KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 -- The National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) is a timely initiative by the government to restore the country's economy, hence helping the people to deal with the economic crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An economist at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Unirazak) Prof Emeritus Dr Barjoyai Bardai said generally, the PENJANA launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on June 5 this year focused on early initiatives aimed at driving the country's future economy.
Citing the ePENJANA programme, which is under PENJANA's third core thrust of stimulating the economy, he said, the initiative was an encouragement for the society to shift from using cash to e-wallet, which is now a trend under the new normal lifestyle.
"The e-wallet concept should continue to be promoted because there are certain quarters in the society, like micro traders, who are still waiting and hoping to return to their old practice ... we will not go back to the old normal as online e-commerce is the only trend now," he told the Bernama.
Through the RM750 million ePENJANA programme, the government will credit RM50 into each consumer e-wallet account, with 15 million Malaysians to benefit from it.
Barjoyai said PENJANA is a startup initiative by the government with most of the efforts to be made by the traders themselves, including the willingness to accept new changes and technologies.
“It is a gradual process and traders have to be open to adopt the digital method, such as accepting online bookings and delivering orders through the gig economy," he said.
PENJANA, which has three core thrusts, namely empowering the people, propel businesses; and stimulate the economy, encompasses 40 initiatives worth RM35 billion.
Meanwhile, a fellow at the Malaysian Academy of Sciences, Dr Madeline Berma said PENJANA is an economic recovery plan that focuses on the opening of certain economic sectors in stages.
“PENJANA is capable of easing the people’s burden, restore small and medium-sized enterprises and provide a platform to enhance the country's economic resilience in the medium to long term," she said.
Apart from that, RM25 million was allocated to the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for the Global Online Workforce (GLOW) programme, which is aimed at training Malaysians to generate high income digitally.