: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia's economy will recover after the COVID-19 crisis ends, but it is expected to take a longer time because the fundamentals have to be rebuilt.
Therefore, he said, all parties and the people at large must rise up and work harder to ensure the economy can be revived as quickly as possible.
"Our economy will recover when we are no longer restricted from carrying out our work because of this pandemic.
"We find our work habits take a beating and we have to rise up to work even harder because it is through hard work that we will be able to revive our economy faster," he said.
Dr Mahathir said this during a Question-and-Answer session via the segment 'Apa Nak Tanya' that was carried 'live'on his @chedetofficial Facebook and Instagram today.
The nonagenarian spent about almost an hour to answer 20 questions including on issues related to COVID-19 and his personal life from his followers on the two social media platforms.
The statesman also advised Malaysians to heed the Movement Control Order (MCO), which started on March 18 and is due to end on April 14, to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infection rate.
"How long it will take to recover, it depends on us, if we follow the MCO, the faster we will be able to get back to our normal daily activities," said Dr Mahathir.
When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, he said: "Terrible, this is terrible."
He further explained that the pandemic had slowed down economic activities, thus reduced working and productivity of the people.
"...when people don't go out for work, they are not productive, not delivering anything, not helping businesses and therefore, they are not creating wealth," said Dr Mahathir.
He said the tourism industry was also affected with travel bans being imposed by many countries, resulting in flight and hotel cancellations and leading to economic hardships.
"Because of this pandemic, tourists cannot travel anywhere. The whole tourism industry will suffer. Hotels, restaurants, suppliers and everybody will suffer," he said.