Nation can’t afford another half-baked lockdown

KUCHING: Malaysia cannot be put under another half-baked movement control order (MCO), said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

“Based on recent statements by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Association of Malaysia, 100,000 companies have ceased operations since the first MCO and an additional 50,000 may go out of business if there is any extended lockdown.

“A recent study shows that over half of SMEs won’t survive until September 2021 and 30 percent of them may fold up if the current MCO is further extended.

“I do not believe the country can afford another half-baked MCO and that is why it is essential that the government outlines a more comprehensive national roadmap,” he said in a Facebook post on Sunday (June 27).

Dr Yii said as the current deadline for MCO loomed, the government had to acknowledge that the current lockdown had failed and that it needed to do something different and prepare a clear exit strategy.

“The federal government must face the facts that it has failed to make full use of the current MCO period to ramp up necessary public health measures as recommended by experts,” he said.

The MP said the lockdown did not significantly lower the country’s infection rate even though it came at a huge economic cost to many middle and small businesses, especially those that were not allowed to operate during this MCO.

“It is important the government learn from its mistakes and prepare a clear exit strategy and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for businesses to ease into a reboot of economic activities safely and sustainably,” he said.

Dr Yii added in the near to medium term, the public would have to coexist with Covid-19. Hence, it was incumbent on the Malaysian government to look into strategies to restart economic activities.

He said this was to ensure that they were done in a safe, controlled and sustainable manner while, at the same time, curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“The government cannot continue to rely on lockdowns and the MCO which has a huge economic cost at the expense of the livelihood and mental health of the people,” he said.