Early signs of economic recovery visible, says PM

JOHOR BHARU, Aug 15 — The drop in unemployment rate as seen in June is an early sign that the government’s economic recovery efforts are beginning to bear fruit, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Referring to the latest (June) statistics from the Department of Statistics Malaysia, he said the unemployment rate in the country in general last month dropped to 4.9 per cent compared to 5.3 per cent in May this year.

As for the unemployment rate among youths aged between 15 and 30 years, the prime minister said the statistics also showed a decrease to 9.7 per cent in June compared to 10 per cent in May this year.

“Alhamdulillah, this is an early sign that our economic recovery efforts are beginning to show results,” he said at the opening of the National Youth Day 2020 celebration at Persada International Convention Centre here, today.

Muhyiddin hoped that various efforts in regard to such positive developments would be kept up, to ensure that the youth are also on track in the economic recovery of the country that has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the youths who lost their jobs in the wake of the pandemic, he said it was because of the government’s cognisance of the problem that it had introduced the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) in March and the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) in June.

As regards the involvement of youth in the gig economy, Muhyiddin said the launch of the Gig programme on June 23 saw 348 youths participating in ‘myGIG Servis’ and 522 more in ‘myGIG Digital Freelance’.

He said the Gig programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.

“Taking into account the current development of the gig economy, the government allocated RM75 million under the Penjana initiative to support the economic growth and protect the welfare of workers in the sector,” he said.

The prime minister also congratulated the FIFA Pro Clubs Malaysia VPG team for bringing glory to the country by winning the VPG Asian Cup recently and qualifying for next year’s VPG World Cup.

After delivering his speech for youth day 2020 themed, “This Decade is Your Decade”, Muhyiddin launched Esports Medical Academic (Esports MedicA) at the exhibition held in conjunction with the celebration.

Esports MedicA is a comprehensive medical committee focused on e-sports and video game players led by the Malaysian Youth Council with members from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Green Crescent Malaysia and Darul Khusus Electronic Sports Club.

Also present at the ceremony were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

–BERNAMA

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