Malaysia’s manufacturing, domestic tourism, agriculture and retail sectors have gradually recovered, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
While noting that the tourism sector was still struggling, Mustapa is optimistic that the sector could grow as it had been resilient with expenditure and numbers of travellers on the rise.
He noted that the sector had seen a 30 per cent increase in hotel’s occupancy after the Movement Control Order was lifted.
According to Mustapa, although domestic tourism had shown a slight recovery, it could not recover completely as international tourism had not reopened.
“We are looking at some figures to show our economy is recovering, such as the sales of vehicles by Proton, which recorded the best sales revenue in eight years recently, as well as the increase in domestic tourism.
“Malaysia posted a 0.7 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to surprise most people who had expected the local economy to contract. For the second quarter, we know the number is expected to fall but the actual figure is still unknown.
“We will get the numbers in a week or two. Overall, Malaysia’s economy is still facing challenges but there are already signs of recovery,” he told a media conference at the Economic Action Council (EAC) workshop series: Public Institutions and Governance here today.
The reformation of public institutions and government administration are among the thrusts emphasised by the EAC in the long-term economic recovery plan following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mustapa said for that purpose, the government, through the EAC, had conducted a series of workshops in an effort to revive the economy.
Today’s workshop, which focuses on public institutions and governance, is the fifth organised by the EAC.
Among the preparations to face post-Covid-19 era, the government sectors, he said, should take the initiative to redistribute civil servants according to the current needs of the sector during this recovery phase.
“We have to be fair. There are sectors that may require more staff before Covid-19 and there is also the opposite. We must also train our officers to be skilled now and in the future,” he said.
He also said the pandemic had opened up space for the government to implement transformation in terms of economic planning and administration as a whole despite posing many challenges to the country.
He said this was an opportunity for the government to implement new policies, with the global landscape changing and most countries now protecting their interests, compared to free trade before.
“We will use this opportunity to ensure that we have sound policies that will ensure Malaysia can further strengthen its position,” he added.