Various measures taken for state GDP growth amid pandemic situation, says Melaka CM

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali during the launch of a book on preventing the spread of Covid-19 in Melaka, August 10, 2020. — Bernama pic
Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali during the launch of a book on preventing the spread of Covid-19 in Melaka, August 10, 2020. — Bernama pic

MELAKA, Aug 10 — The Melaka state government has initiated various measures, including efforts to attract local and foreign investors to increase the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate this year, said Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali.

However, he said, the state has not set any specific GDP growth rate target this year, following the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the country’s various economic sectors including in Melaka.

“For the year 2020, we cannot have a target projection as before. If previously the GDP was at five to 5.5 per cent, due to Covid-19, we have had to work harder to attract investors to come to Melaka.

“This situation does not only involve Melaka, many other states are also affected also not only in Malaysia but globally as well. I am not very confident of foreign investments coming in n the near future, due to Covid-19,” he told reporters after the launch of the state-level “Embracing New Norms” campaign here, today.

Based on the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s Socioeconomic Report 2019, Melaka has been listed as one of the states with a GDP growth under the national level of 4.3 per cent.

Only seven states were reported to have surpassed the national average; namely Selangor (6.7 per cent), Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (6 per cent), Kelantan (5.3 per cent), Federal Territory of Labuan (5.2 per cent), Negri Sembilan (5.1 per cent), Kedah (4.6 per cent) and Perlis (4.6 per cent).

Sulaiman also said they were more than 12 potential investors for Melaka, however due to Covid-19, investment activities had to be stopped temporarily.

He said among the constraints regarding Covid-19 considered by investors include the infection rate in a state or country, procedures and methods or new norms needed to be adhered to, as well as the 14-day quarantine period.

Meanwhile, he said the state’s unemployment rate this year has also been influenced by the outbreak, but added that this rate can be maintained at a lower level if the stipulated standard operating procedures are complied with to contain the pandemic and keep Melaka as a green zone state.

In another development, he said the state government would study in detail the need to rename the historic St Paul’s Hill in Bandar Hilir to “Bukit Melaka”.

To date, the state government has not received any proposal paper on the matter, Sulaiman said.

“It needs consideration from various historical aspects as well as Unesco’s acceptance of Melaka into the list of ‘World Heritage Sites’. We cannot simply change the name, for now, this is merely a suggestion,” he said. — Bernama

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