Minister: Govt feels for local businesses, but will not compromise on safety of Malaysians

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya March 19, 2020. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya March 19, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The special Cabinet committee formed to address the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on businesses and the economy will not compromise on the health and safety of Malaysians, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the government understands that many in the local business community face substantial losses due to the closure of premises during the movement control order (MCO) period.

“But at the same time, the government needs to ensure that the Covid-19 virus is eliminated. We want the people safe from Covid-19.

“The government sees a need to strike a balance between health, safety, security and economic interests for individuals and also companies,” said Ismail Sabri.

He said this during the daily non-health press conference broadcasted “live” on television this afternoon.

Ismail Sabri said the government has set up the special Cabinet committee to discuss security and economic matters during the MCO period.

“The special committee meeting will be chaired jointly by the senior minister of security cluster (Ismail Sabri) and the senior minister of the economic cluster (Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali).

“The meeting will discuss future directions during and after the MCO period, to balance the need for national health and security with economic importance,” said Ismail Sabri, who is also the defence minister.

Earlier today, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry announced the formation of the special Cabinet committee, aimed at developing strategic measures to safeguard the economy while maintaining effective Covid-19 mitigation measures.

The ministry said in a statement that the formation of the committee reflected the government’s quick response to address issues highlighted by the rakyat and the Malaysian business community.

The committee’s first two meetings are set to convene this Friday and Sunday.

Last week, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a RM250 billion stimulus package benefiting a wide spectrum of society, to bolster the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the stimulus package, repeated calls were made towards the government by business industry players, asking for incentives to also be given to small medium enterprises (SME), allowing them to counter the losses incurred during the MCO.

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