Vaccines and pent-up demand drive to boost businesses, says Sunway Group founder Jeffrey Cheah

KUALA LUMPUR (April 5): Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah sees some light at the end of the tunnel for businesses after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak last year, with a brighter outlook offered by vaccines and pent-up demand. 

"We have survived with the pent-up demand; more vaccines being rolled out and with Covid-19 cases coming down, I think [consumers'] confidence will come back," Cheah said during a media briefing on the economic recovery.

Cheah noted that due to the pent-up demand caused by Covid-19, of late at every weekend, the crowd in the malls was even better than pre-pandemic levels.

"Our university is doing very well, thanks to our team putting a lot of effort to encourage online study. The foreign student number (registered under Sunway University) improved by 12% in the first quarter of this year. We are confident things will come back once the borders are open," Cheah noted. 

Overall, he said the situation is looking much better now compared to last year when the pandemic started.

"Although we have a lot of cases, I think people are now very much aware of the dangers of Covid-19 and they are adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs)," he said.

"I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I believe the elimination of Covid-19, hopefully, can be [achieved] by the end of next year, he added.

Further, Cheah said he is confident of the country' economy projection to achieve growth of 6% to 7.5% this year, with all the sectors set to return to normalcy. 

He applauded the government for agreeing to roll out the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) project in Budget 2021.

"I am glad this is happening, and we must do our best to support the government initiatives to bring the economy back to normal [as] that would benefit all the rakyat," he said.

"We need to unite and stop politicking, and get our of this pandemic first before going for the election," he concluded.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed concurred on the economic recovery aspect and said: "Measuring crudely by what is happening in Sunway Group, the footfall in retail establishment hotels and the theme park, universities, hospitals and constructions, we believe we can achieve growth of 6% to 7.5% this year.”

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