Sunday, June 27, 2021

M’sians lampoon ‘half-baked’ MCO as extension looks all but imminent

M’sians lampoon ‘half-baked’ MCO as extension looks all but imminent

Putrajaya panned for allowing ‘loose’ lockdown that fails to stem Covid-19, putting more livelihoods at risk

Unlike MCO 1.0 imposed in March last year, the current lockdown is much less stringent, with more businesses allowed to operate. – The Vibes file pic, June 25, 2021

Amar Shah Mohsen

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysians are growing increasingly frustrated with the government’s failure to address the Covid-19 pandemic, which could result in yet another extension of the movement control order (MCO).

With the restrictions appearing to have failed to achieve their goal, the country may be looking at another two weeks of lockdown at least.

The MCO that came into force on June 1 – the third time it has been implemented – has already been extended once, and is scheduled to end next Monday.

The government has said under the National Recovery Plan, the country will enter Phase 2 of the MCO, in which more economic sectors will be allowed to operate, only when daily Covid-19 infections fall below 4,000, one of several indicators that must be met.

At present, cases recorded over 24 hours average above 5,000, with 5,841 infections reported yesterday.

On social media, restless netizens are slamming Putrajaya over its inability to keep infections under control, with the common theme being the “half-baked” MCO is to blame for the continuously high daily caseload.

Unlike the first lockdown imposed in March last year, the MCO currently in place is much less stringent, with more businesses allowed to operate.

Both employers and employees lament that the possible extension may result in more disruptions to business, including companies going under, and workers taking a pay cut or losing their jobs.

Senior consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar-Singh HSS in a tweet shared a graphic showing the number of Covid-19 cases since the start of the month, when the third MCO took effect.

The table shows that while cases dropped slightly on certain days, this highly corresponds with the number of tests carried out.

When the infection numbers are adjusted to assume that 100,000 tests are conducted daily, and using the positivity rate for the day, the caseload remains high throughout the month.

Muda pro tem committee member Lim Wei Jiet said nothing has improved and the positivity rate remains high three weeks into MCO 3.0.

This is what you get with a half-baked MCO – so many factories are still operating, while SMEs are expected to wait for a miraculous outcome, or die in the process. Criminal negligence!”

MTUC president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor says many SMEs are operating illegally amid the lockdown, as they can ill afford to go long spells without making any revenue at all. – Bernama pic, June 25, 2021

‘MCO 3.0 should be as strict as MCO 1.0’

Malaysian Trades Union Congress president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor told The Vibes that the government should have implemented a proper, total lockdown right from the start of MCO 3.0, and not allow a large segment of the economy to continue operations.

Concurrently, he said, adequate aid, including a blanket loan moratorium, an electricity discount and soft loans for the payment of salaries, should have been rolled out to cushion the impact on businesses and the public.

“MCO 1.0 was more effective. No one complained about having to stay home for two weeks. But this is not the case for MCO 3.0.

“We should have learnt from our past experience, and imposed a total lockdown and provided the necessary assistance to the people.”

A further extension of the lockdown could be disastrous, especially for small businesses without the reserves to stay afloat, he said.

Halim added that he was made to understand that many SMEs are operating illegally today, as they can ill afford to go long spells without making any revenue at all.

Even for employees, many choose to work as they are afraid of losing their income, or worse, their companies going bust. To them, putting food on the table is more important than the risk of being issued compounds.”

The government is urged to immediately announce a six-month moratorium and at least a three-month wage subsidy for workers. – The Vibes file pic, June 25, 2021

Testing, vaccination must increase

SME Association of Malaysia vice-president Chin Chee Seong said while he acknowledges the need for essential sectors to operate during MCO 3.0, mass testing and vaccination are key to reducing infections – something widely agreed upon.

On testing, he said: “If our daily test numbers are low, then of course, fewer positive cases will be identified. But if we can significantly increase it, then we should be able to isolate the majority of cases.

“We must clear them in one shot. Otherwise, the infection will continue to spread, even after identifying a few positive cases.”

With a high number of workplace clusters identified, it is important that economic frontliners be vaccinated as soon as possible, said Chin, who is also Malaysia Cross-Border E-Commerce Association president.

Equally important is for companies that are allowed to operate, as well as the public, to comply strictly with the standard operating procedures, he added.

On the likelihood of a lockdown extension, he called on the government to immediately announce a six-month moratorium and at least a three-month wage subsidy for employees.

“The lockdown has already been in place for some time, so we urge the government to act.” – The Vibes, June 25, 2021


  1. Coming soon... FFMCO.
    Full Full MCO.

  2. useless backdoor pm, stupid somemore, kesian msian.