KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — Malaysia should not pass up the opportunity for a structural reform post-Covi-19 in addition to having an economic recovery, according to Economic Action Council (EAC) executive director Prof Tan Sri Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali.
“Recovery without reforms is a waste. If we recover but just go back to how things were previously, it means that we are forgoing the opportunity to reform,” he said on the Bicara Naratif programme aired on RTM yesterday on the topic of “The New Economic Landscape: Is Malaysia Ready?”
He said the digital aspect, education and dependency on foreign workers are among the issues that need to be looked at in the structural reform.
Hence, the EAC has identified a long-term plan and elements to be emphasised.
The healthcare crisis also provides an awareness on the importance of data, Noor Azlan said, adding that EAC is utilising “high frequency data” on a daily basis to identify economic activities.
“This episode has shown the high importance of collecting data,” he said, adding that for example, data on vehicle registrations with the Road Transport Department had been collected to measure spending power.
Various information was also collected from the Malaysian Highway Authority to gauge travellers’ spending.
“This gives a picture of the economic activities taking place,” he said.
He said data also is important to identify the people in need of help.
At present, there are about 15 million workers in the labour market, but only about seven million are registered with the Social Security Organisation, he said.
“Only a few million workers are protected. In the informal sector, there may be four million workers, so what can we do to help them?” he asked.