By Michael Tay, Johor MCA Government and Coordinating Affairs chairman.
I would like to remind the public to remain resilient and be confident of an economic rebound from the coronavirus.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Malaysia’s economy will bounce back to a 9% growth next year, from an expected 1.7% contraction this year.
This is believed to be the fastest among the Asean-5 economies, which also comprise of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
There’s a lot of theories going around now about the nature of the coronavirus, which can trigger paranoia. What we need now is as much credible information as possible and every country, including China, has to be forthcoming about what they know about the virus. This is not the time to be saving face or pointing fingers. The main narrative should be to save lives and economies so that normalcy will return.
Actually, if you think about it, an increase in the number of cases of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 may not be a bad thing. The reason for the lockdown was to break the chain of the spread of the virus. We want to flush those who have the virus from the streets so that they don’t go around infecting others.
The government and relevant authorities now have to beef up efforts to track down illegal foreign workers who may be infected but are just too afraid to seek medical help.
Sooner or later, the lockdown will be lifted.
The coronavirus pandemic brings to mind the AIDs phenomenon. Until today there is no vaccine for AIDS but because there is sufficient information about AIDs, we know how to prevent it.
Similarly, we are fearful of Covid-19 because we are still groping in the dark, with the vague and distorted information that we have. For lives and economies to get back on track again, we need to know everything about Covid-19.
If we don’t know this “enemy” yet by the time the MCO is lifted, we will be paranoid and fearful.
For now, all borders should remain closed. We should not permit travellers to come in yet as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, we have to be optimistic. Have faith in our leaders. Have faith in yourself that we can get through this if we continue to practice social distancing.