Improve quality of life post-Covid-19 via 12MP

Improve quality of life post-Covid-19 via 12MP
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): Government and Opposition Members of Parliament (MP) felt the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) should focus on efforts to improve the people’s quality of life post-Covid-19 pandemic.

In the debate on 12MP at Dewan Rakyat today, Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) stressed that the government needed to look into the security of retired Malaysians to ensure their future retirement funds are adequate.

This included offering more permanent employment opportunities as many people are facing insufficient retirement savings due to irregular or unstable income.

“We need to think about the economic policy for Malaysian retirees, how to ease the retirement crisis as the number of senior citizens in the country is increasing and with their retirement savings depleting, how are they going to survive?” he said.

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) described the 12MP as a mother of all plans to rehabilitate from the impact of Covid-19 and it has to work comprehensively.

She stressed that the government had to change its top down approach to bottom up which is to take into consideration the recovery efforts in line with the theme of 12MP which is a Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable Malaysia.

“We cannot be the Putrajaya which knows and sees all...there is a need for every MP to play his or her role regardless of parties to assist the government in the disaster recovery plan.

“We cannot be too fixated with physical development until we forget that the vulnerable group needs assistance,” she said.

Meanwhile, Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir (PAS-Setiu) opined that the data on the income of people in M40 falling to B40 should be carefully studied with a micro approach to understand the situation of these M40 households following the Covid-19 pandemic.

He proposed that the government look into greater detail the affected household composition as well as profile including their residential location, employment profile and commitment.

“... this is ensure the assistance provided is targeted and is capable of evaluating more accurately the type and form of aid given,” he said.

In the effort to assist B40 Bumiputera entrepreneurs, he suggested that more aid in the form of grants be given out compared to funding or loans as most of them do not want to apply for bank loans as they are unable to repay.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PH-Pandan) wanted the government to take the issue of school reopening seriously as it has a long-term effect on the country and the people if students are unable to attend school fully.

She said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) estimated 1.6 billion students in 190 countries worldwide could not attend school due to the pandemic and the matter has serious implications.

“Even before the pandemic, there are students who reached Year Six but could not read and with the Covid-19 pandemic (which caused students to stay away from school), more could join the group,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said with more students who could not read rising, there would effects on their employment opportunities as well as the quality and productivity of the country in future.

The Dewan will sit again tomorrow.

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