International Trade and Industry Minister, En. Azmin said state governments that did not comply faced the risk of being sued for damages by businesses (FTM May 4, 2020 “States acting without authority, says Azmin”).

Azmin also said that should the state governments refuse to co-operate in implementing Act 342, they may face the possibility of legal action from various parties particularly the industry players.

PEOPLE’S LIVES IS PRIORITY

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal today stated in MalayMail (Tuesday, 05 May 2020) it was poor timing for Putrajaya to threaten state governments with lawsuits during a time of pandemic. He alleged that the states were not consulted prior to the federal government making the decision on the conditional movement control order (CMCO). “We cannot restore the economy at the expense of people’s lives. The economy can be revived but people’s lives cannot,” Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said.

SAFETY NET AND RESPONSIBILITY

Some of public argued that it is unwise to direct any states or territories to take risk with no safety net in sight especially when Covid-19 red zone has increased from 8 to 11 zones and the Covid-19 positive case has returned to 3 digits. While others being out of job with no income since 18 March 2020 they would prefer to start work immediately. Yesterday, it was reported that some people have queued up at pawn shop to sell their valuables indicating they are the hardest hit group. Immediate restarting business operation is the only thing that can help this B40 group. Malaysia government expected to do something to help B40 group.

For any infection under CMCO, enterprises being out of operation and earning zero income, need federal government and MITI’s assistance to pay for cost of disinfection of premises and medical fees for the infected employees/clients. Should any person fall victim to Covid-19 and die because of Covid-19 would federal/local government or SOCSO take care of his or her spouse and their children?

CMCO MAIN PURPOSE AND PRIORITY

If Conditional Movement Control Order main purpose is to reactivate Malaysia economy then the emphasis should be primarily on commercial and industrial activities related to export. To activate full operation of other non-essential sectors when Covid-19 infection is still rampant without giving time to prepare for CMCO will not be acceptable to public.

If it is safe for both employers, employees and clients to reactivate operations, states and territories will definitely be the first one to request for full operation. All states and territories in Malaysia are suffering badly economically and they would take all chances available to rebuild states’ economy.

MASS TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING

South Korea has managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic without full shutdown or lockdown but adopting the practice of wearing mask, social distancing and stay at home. Most shops remain open and besides mass testing, they also have a reliable and effective contact tracing to stop the spread of Covid-19. Therefore it is important Malaysia to adopt the same practice in this CMCO with mass testing and a reliable and effective contact tracing system to avoid any untraceable infected. Malaysian needs to install approved contact tracing apps in their hand phone for the purpose.

Arthur Wong
Publicity and Information Chief
Parti Bumi Kenyalang Central Committee
05.05.2020

 

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