KOTA KINABALU: Former Communication and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has described the government’s move to implement PEMERKASA as timely and should be supported by all parties.
He said that the recovery move which is filled with initiatives to spur the economy, is much needed to get back the people’s standard of living.
“I see this as the right move and is spot-on. Given the current situation due to the MCO 2.0, the closure of many sectors have caused the people to fight to live.
“The economy must be started by bringing back economic activities,” he said in his latest blog posting.
Salleh also said that the government’s action to contribute the Special Prihatin 3.0 grant will ease, in particular local SMEs that are in need of funding to re-start their operation.
“It will give new breathe to the local SMEs to compete in a healthy manner. The public is aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of 2,713 SMEs to be shuttered last year,” he said.
He said that the government is also seen as committed to supporting the economic growth through enterprise by increasing the allocation for Micro Credit facilities.
“The funding injection for entrepreneurs, especially SMEs is much needed to ensure they can sustain in this challenging situation,” he said.
Salleh, who is also ex Sabah Chief Minister, also supported the initiative to revitalise the tourism sector because the sector is one of the most affected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In Sabah, there has been a drop of tourism by 32.6 percent according to the statistics given by the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
“This was the overall percentage for last year and the figure is expected to rise,” he said.
He added that through PEMERKASA, tax exemption and assistance grant will help the industry to sustain its operation.
“I am confident that this industry will grow when the national vaccinatio programme has achieved its target and when cross states activities are allowed,” he said.
Salleh said this shows the government is always mindful and endevours to strike a balance in the solution between health crisis and the economy.
“Although the new norms is filled with limitations, the government is committed to finding the way out to steer the country’s economy to a more stable level.
“Without leaving out groups, PEMERKASA is seen as the best way to show that the government wants the country’s economy to be generated even though Covid-19 still remains,” he said.