PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government has put in place a six-step plan to address the impact of Covid-19 and ensure that the country emerges stronger from the ravages of the virus, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the first step was to break the chain of infections by imposing the movement control order (MCO), then second by focusing on ensuring the resilience of the country's economy.
Mr Muhyiddin then said that the wide-scale restart of the national economy in a controlled and orderly manner which began on May 4 was the third step in this plan.
He added that while most economic sectors were reopened, those involving close human contact and mass gatherings were still prohibited.
"This is the balancing act Malaysia is trying to achieve - between kick-starting our economy, and the importance of adhering to new standard operating procedures to prevent another wave of infections amongst the population.
"However, the reopening of our economic sectors must not be mistaken for a complete lifting of our MCO. It is important to note that the order is very much still in place until May 12," he said in his speech at the online summit-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group in Response to Covid-19 on Monday (May 4).
Mr Muhyiddin said this would be followed by the implementation of an economic recovery strategy in facing a "new normal", then by an all-inclusive economic revitalisation and finally by a structural economic reform in facing a new global landscape post Covid-19.
"The success of these six 'Rs' I have mentioned today - resolve, resilience, restart, recovery, revitalise, and reform - will greatly depend on the strength of our people in facing this 'new normal'. Things will never be the same again, and we must try our level best to return our nations to some semblance of normalcy.
"Life must go on, but this can only be achieved if we come together globally to get the medication to treat and the vaccine to prevent this deadly novel coronavirus," he said.
Mr Muhyiddin also voiced his concern about the impact of the disunity between NAM member states.
"Malaysia's concern is that if we are not united, smaller nations will be sidelined when the medication and vaccine is developed by pharmaceutical giants in advanced nations.
"We must strongly condemn the declaration and application of unilateral coercive measures against NAM member states, especially while the world is facing this unprecedented pandemic.
"Malaysia believes that NAM must play a more significant role to champion access and acquisition for smaller nations in obtaining medical supplies, medications and vaccine once they are developed," he said.
Mr Muhyiddin also welcomed the establishment of the NAM task force, which would create a common database for basic medical needs, as well as identify social and humanitarian requirements of NAM member states.
He added that the country also welcomed Azerbaijan's initiative to promote the values of multilateralism through the online summit.
"As a movement, we represent 120 nations; 17 states and 10 global organisations as observers. Collectively, we make up nearly two-thirds of the United Nations members and are leading 55 per cent, more than half, of the world population.
"If Covid-19 has proven anything to us as non-aligned nations, it is that this pandemic has levelled the playing field in the world. Some smaller nations are just as strong, if not better, than bigger nations in handling this novel coronavirus.
"This is the time for us as non-aligned nations to come together and prove that by staying united, cohesive and steadfast - we can prove to the world that we can overcome this pandemic and emerge as a major force in the new global order post-Covid-19," he said.