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KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 – As impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak began to bite the local economy, a greater emphasis should be placed on preparing a better strategy to ensure the recovery of the economy as well as providing safety nets for the people.
A study by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) showed the number of unemployed is estimated to reach 2.4 million as a result of the pandemic with 67 per cent of them are non-professional workers.
The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) president Datuk Tan Yew Sing said reviving of the country's economic development in the aftermath of the epidemic will be an extremely challenging task for Malaysia.
“Malaysia's SMEs account for 98.5 per cent of the total number of business establishments. In 2018, SMEs contributed 38.3 per cent of the country’s GDP and the service sector accounting for 62.4 per cent of the total number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
“At present, SMEs provides 70 per cent, which is about 5.7 million people of the country's workforce.
“Therefore, it is vital to secure the continuous operation and sustainability of enterprises, especially SMEs in order to control the unemployment rate,” he said in a statement today.
Besides various anti-epidemic measures already implemented by the relevant authorities, the government he added, should adopt the following four emergency measures to ensure social harmony and reduce unemployment rates.
The four measures comprise of direct financial support to SMEs, maximize production and coordinate distribution of medical and protective supplies at one common price and close and centralized monitoring of stocks and production.
The last measure is providing a social safety net for daily income earners, including foreign workers to ensure social order and no eruption of crimes.