Tok Mat: Govt must increase preparedness in facing new threats, not adopt ad hoc approach

Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia can no longer take an “ad-hoc” approach in facing unconventional threats against the nation, Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said.

In a statement yesterday, Mohamad said the government must adopt a comprehensive approach in dealing with unconventional threats, including building a resilient economy and allocating resources to the right institutions to prepare better for such threats. 

“First, Malaysia must be prepared to make a ‘total reset’ in ensuring its economic sustainability and development.  

“Previously, our economic orientation was focused on competitiveness and high income. Now our priority is to build economic resilience.  We must rediscover the potential of modernising traditional economy and the crisis-proof growth sector for our economic survival. 

“If before our economic plan is to stimulate growth, now, we must return to sustainable recovery and resilience. All this requires innovation, extraordinary thinking and an extraordinary economic approach,” he said.

Mohamad, more commonly known as Tok Mat, also urged the government to radically reform the delivery system to better prepare in times of crisis, such as increasing its online presence to better serve the people. 

The former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar also stated that Malaysians must understand the seriousness and severity of unconventional threats to national security such as pandemics, cyberattacks, natural disasters and other humanitarian crises. 

“In fact, Malaysia will be more exposed to all these non-traditional threats, as opposed to war or ‘interstate conflicts’. 

“However, too many resources are allocated to the traditional defence and security sectors so much so that investment in readiness for non-traditional security threats is ignored. 

“The government can no longer adopt an ‘ad hoc’ approach. Our preparedness must take time,” he said. 

Mohamad also said the nation must emulate the United States and build our own National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention or commonly known as the CDC. 

Mohamad also said such a crisis also shows the importance of Malaysia’s “visibility” in the eye of the world and the urge for more international cooperation. 

To overcome such a crisis, Mohamad also stated that every citizen must do their part. 

“Finally, in spite of all of our mortal limitations, human endeavours are extraordinary when dealing with extraordinary phenomena. 

“It was never defeated by the most terrible of disasters. In fact, it often embodies the power of extraordinary spirit,” he said. 

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