KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tonight called on the people to learn from the challenges and trials of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged them to step into 2021 with renewed spirit and determination.
“For the new year 2021, I would like to call on all everyone to continue to strengthen our resolve, commitment and our efforts to jointly curb the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in his 2021 New Year message aired on television channels.
Muhyiddin went on to share his deep concern for the trials and tribulations faced by the people during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who lost their jobs and had to tighten their belts just so to ensure there is food on the table for the family as well as in enduring other forms of hardship.
He said the government was working hard to ensure the people were safe from the threat of the deadly virus.
“Nevertheless, we ourselves need to be responsible and vigilant because this virus is already in the community around us. God willing, armed with the experience we faced throughout 2020, we can all ensure that the pandemic situation continues to be under control,” he said.
The prime minister also assured Malaysians that the government will put the interests of the people above other matters, adding that their welfare is the top priority of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Accounted for everything
“In facing the various challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the PN government leadership has taken into account all aspects, including the people’s welfare in our economic, health, education and social sector plans,” he said.
He said this policy is not merely a slogan, but encompasses the entire formation and mindset of the PN government and its policies, up to the stage of implementation and delivery.
The prime minister also expressed his appreciation to Malaysians who have been united in facing the challenges of the pandemic with great determination.
“Despite being faced with obstacles one after another throughout 2020, Malaysians have shown a positive attitude and strong resilience, which is something to be really proud of. Thank you, Malaysians,” Muhyiddin said.
While reminding the people to continue to comply with the standard operating procedures set, and not be complacent with the flexibility given, Muhyiddin hopes 2021 will open a new chapter for Malaysians, especially in terms of public health, socio-economy, racial unity and national integration.
“2020 has been a very difficult and challenging year, but I believe as human beings and the people of this blessed land of Malaysia, there are still many blessings that we can be grateful for.
“Let us all mobilise the strength and tenacity shown throughout 2020, to move into 2021 with stronger spirit,” Muhyiddin said.
The PN government, he added, will continue to uphold Islamic principles by fulfilling the demands of the Maqasid Syariah which protects religion, life, intellect, lineage and property without denying the rights of other religions in a situation where the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Muhyiddin also said that the government is ready to consider a strategic fiscal injection if the current economic situation warrants it, like the previous economic stimulus packages.
He said strengthening the people’s caring economy and driving the country’s economic growth after COVID-19 was one of the government’s five integrated strategies laid out for next year.
“The government will help as much as possible to ease the burden of the rakyat, eradicate poverty and improve their well-being.
“When the rakyat’s economy is strong, it will be easier for us to drive the country’s economic growth after COVID-19.
“We cannot be complacent and take the success that we have achieved today for granted,” he pointed out.
Muhyiddin said the government had taken an inclusive approach in addressing the issue of cost of living, the people’s livelihoods, as well as eradicating poverty, especially during COVID-19 by introducing four economic stimulus packages worth RM305 billion.
These include various measures to preserve the well-being of the people, warrant business sustainability and acceleration, as well as ensure that the economy is on track for recovery, he said.
On other integrated strategies, Muhyiddin said the government would ensure that the country’s political stability, including good governance, become the basis for a sustainable economic recovery.
The government will also ensure that the country’s sovereignty is protected and Malaysia’s position on the international stage is intensified, he said.
“I believe that political stability and good governance will be able to create a conducive investment ecosystem to ensure that Malaysia remains a major investment destination in the Southeast Asian region and hence, accelerate the country’s economic recovery process,” he said.
The Prime Minister said besides strengthening ties with neighbours in the ASEAN region, the government will continue to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties with countries that share similar aspirations, through existing and future platforms.
Malaysia’s relations with foreign countries in terms of diplomacy, security and economy will always be based on strategic interests for the long term, he said.
He said another priority earmarked for 2021 was that the government would improve the level of public health through the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine supply and the launch of the vaccination programme nationwide.
The government will also ensure that relations between races and religions are strengthened in forming a united society as a bulwark against any threats.