Wanted — transparency in exit plan to boost investor confidence

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING: Having a transparent and clear exit plan to bring the country back to the old normal in a reasonably scheduled manner will prompt investor confidence, said Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok.

“The plan should include a timeline on our vaccine inoculation throughout the country, reopening of our borders, and restoring our democratic elected civilian government,” he said when contacted on Monday (Jan 18).

He was commenting on a remark by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali that the state of emergency will not weaken investor confidence in Malaysia.

Sim said the investment potential of Malaysia had been slowed down by the pandemic, as this affected the whole world and its economy as well.

“With the various levels of movement control order and now Emergency Ordinance (EO) being imposed, which is protecting our human capital, we will be able to resume our economy quickly when the pandemic is over and we will not suffer from heavy human casualties,” he said.

He said the present second movement control order (MCO) lockdown has affected states that generate 66 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Malaysia and it also had a huge impact on livelihood.

“The MCO 2.0 lockdown will have a negative spinoff as shown in the previous lockdowns and will again affect the whole country,” he said.

He said that it would be timely for the federal government to implement similar assistances as in the first lockdown to help the economy and businesses, such as reintroducing wage subsidies for six months for all sectors, a six-month carpet moratorium for all bank loans, reduced rates for utilities, additional cash handouts, and so on.

“These should be reintroduced as quickly as possible so that business failure, unemployment rates, social issues, and crime will not increase,” he said.

Sim said that apart from factories and natural resources, another important resource to any country is human capital, as there would not be much economic activities without a country’s population. Thus, he said it was the right move for the nation to protect this important resource.

“We have implemented the various levels of lockdowns to slow the spread of the invisible and deadly virus and now the EO to give more power to a temporary administration under our King,” he said.

He said the various levels of lockdown since March last year had helped to even out the curve of infection, but pointed out that the nation was now facing another wave and spike of infections.

“With the looming Sarawak State Election and the weak federal government, the country might be put into General Election and State Election in Sarawak if we are to adhere to the law.

“However, with EO being imposed, we can delay the respective elections until a safer time for all of us and this will indirectly protect us against this infection,” said Sim.