Malaysia has been relatively successful in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of deaths and infections lower than neighboring countries and many developed economies. This paper will share Malaysia's experience in fighting the pandemic, particularly the key success factors in managing the health impact during the period of January to August 2020. The speedy preparation and planning by the Health Ministry even before the country registered its first case was instrumental in ensuring that the country was ready to face the pandemic. Lessons learned from previous experience with epidemics such as Nipah, SARS, MERS, and H1N1 were also key to the speedy responses. Effective communication helped to ensure the public's support of measures imposed by the government to reduce the spread of the virus. However, while the country managed the health crisis relatively well, the handling of the economy is rather poor, with the economic impact being much worse than what was experienced during the 1997–98 Asian financial crisis, and the 2008–09 global financial crisis. This paper will end with suggestions of several policy interventions to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19, particularly for vulnerable groups.

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