KUALA LUMPUR - The government has launched a Buy Malaysian Products campaign and will dedicate some streets around the country to sell only local products, such as clothes and handicraft, to help sellers rebound after its coronavirus lockdown.
Launching the campaign on Saturday (July 18) in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said: "I call upon all consumers to spend for Malaysia."
He said the money spent would ensure that the Malaysian economy remained competitive as it would create job opportunities and generate revenue for people.
"I hope this campaign will serve as a starting point for the government, industry and the rakyat (community) to forge collaboration to help revive the economy post-Covid-19 pandemic, and spur growth," he said.
Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected by the World Bank to shrink by 3.1 per cent in June this year, compared with a 4.3 per cent expansion last year.
Malaysia imposed a movement control order (MCO) that locked down much of the country from March 18 in its bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus and only gradually relaxed the rules after 48 days on May 4.
The country has now entered what it calls recovery MCO, with most sectors of the economy reopened, including cinemas, barbershops and malls.
New cases of the coronavirus has been well below 20 a day for several weeks in the country with a population of 32 million people.
Malaysia reported nine new cases on Saturday to bring the cumulative total to 8,764 with total deaths remaining steady at 122.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin said on Saturday that the government has reviewed its existing policies to reduce dependence on imported products.
"Priority is now on boosting the local industry's capability in producing local products," he said.
"Malaysia must have the capability to produce critical products such as food and beverage, medical devices, medicines and petrochemical as well as personal protection gears such as masks and gloves," he added. "With such capability, we can reduce currency outflow and subsequently boost the export of local products," he said.
Meanwhile, Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa said on Saturday that shopping streets will be created in selected locations to promote the Buy Malaysian Products campaign.
A popular shopping street in capital city Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, would for the first time be transformed into a venue for traders to sell local goods in the run-up to the Hari Raya Haji celebration on July 31, he said.
"After fighting against Covid-19, it is time to fight for the nation's economic survival, " he said.