Malaysia, National Rehabilitation Council (MPN), COVID, mobility, travel, economic growth,

The Council has agreed that the reopening of the country's borders for foreign tourists should be done no later than 1 January 2022 so as to invigorate the tourism sector.

In a recent meeting of Malaysia's National Rehabilitation Council (MPN), led by Chairman Muhyiddin Yassin, several issues on the current status of COVID-19 in the country were discussed. Key updates are shared below.

Generally, with high vaccination rates and SOP adherence, the number of COVID-19 infections continues to decline. Per the meeting, transition to the national rehabilitation plan (NRP) phases is proceeding well, with five states moving to Phase Four on 8 November 8, i.e. Perlis, Perak, Penang, Sabah, and Kedah.

With a presentation by YBhg Chief Statistician Dato 'Seri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahaidin, the meeting also reviewed the latest economic growth performance by sector and sub-sector, in order to identify those need to be given focus and priority in the country's recovery efforts.

Following that, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, YB Dato 'Seri Dr. Adham Baba took the opportunity to share the latest position on efforts to improve contact tracing through the application of technology.

Further, a common complaint as heard by Muhyiddin Yassin among employers was the issue of lack of manpower, especially foreign workers. YBhg Director General of Immigration Dato 'Indera Khairul Dzaimee Daud presented a report on the status of the implementation of the Workforce Recalibration Plan (RTK) and Return Recalibration (RP).

The Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resources, has decided to grant exemptions from quota conditions and permits to all sectors including the services sub-sector. RP registration has also been extended to 30 June 2022. This is expected to help industrial operators, especially the SME sector, to overcome the problem of manpower shortage.

The meeting also examined the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture's report on measures to rehabilitate the tourism industry - one of the sectors severely impacted by COVID-19. It was noted that the reopening of the domestic tourism sector which started with the bubble for Langkawi Island on 16 September 2021 has a positive impact on the country's tourism industry.

Following up, there are also plans of a tourism bubble pilot project on Langkawi Island for foreign tourists from abroad, beginning on 15 November 2021. The National Rehabilitation Council has agreed that the reopening of the country's borders for foreign tourists should be done no later than 1 January 2022 so as to further invigorate the tourism sector.

Overall, the National Rehabilitation Council will continue to support the Government's efforts to achieve the projected economic growth rate of between 5.5 to 6.5% next year by ensuring that the rehabilitation process is implemented quickly and in accordance with priorities. While the country’s recovery is on track, Malaysians are encouraged to continue to cooperate so as to ensure successful recovery efforts.

 Image / Muhyiddin Yassin's Facebook

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