New government needs to make bold policy changes

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  • 21 Aug 2021
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New government needs to make bold policy changes

The pandemic has exposed structural social inequality like never before and shown that Malaysia has no social welfare infrastructure to emergency cash hand-outs and food parcels. B40 and M40 alike have been hit. Building a social welfare system with universal comprehensive coverage from cradle-to-grave must be a central pillar of the recovery and development strategy from now on. This must cover the nine branches of social security, sickness, unemployment, medical care, family, old age, employment injury, maternity, invalidity benefits and survivors’ benefits. Security in retirement must also be prioritised and whole-scale reform of the pensions system to rebuild pension funds for individuals. A multi-pillar pension framework and income layering are necessary elements in building a sustainable pension system that goes beyond the current model relying on existing institutions. Many people have compared the current COVID-19 pandemic to a wartime scenario and indeed the costs in terms of lives and livelihoods and the demands on our front liners have all the characteristics of a war effort.

The Malaysian Insight

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