IT is really alarming. The government should take up a drastic action to contain it and securing a healthy Malaysians.
Umno has been consistent from the very beginning that a strict Movement Control Order (MCP) must be implemented to curb Covid-19 new infection cases but it fell on deaf ears.
However, Umno would like the government to consider these eight steps as a proposal to better results in containing the pandemic:
1. FULL MCO FOR 21 DAYS IMPOSED BY HONG KONG, VIETNAM, SINGAPORE AND SOME NATIONS:
The MCO, enforced a day before Hari Raya Aidilfitri still allows the economic sector to operate as usual, the main source of the infection being the manufacturing, construction sites and shopping malls. The government should implement a strict MCO by closing all economic and social activities for 21 days. The lenient MCO will not help reduce the cases as had been the results of MCO 2.0 and the implementation of previous measures.
2. BULK MORATORY
The government should immediately instruct the banking sector to implement a moratorium of 3-6 months without any conditions in an effort to reduce the burden of the people during this MCO 3.0. Throughout MCO 1.0 and MCO 2.0, the banking sector still made profits. The government should firmly ensure the welfare of the people is well taken care of.
3. ADDITIONAL IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE FOR THE PEOPLE
This assistance should be increased and implemented immediately. These aids must not only focus on the B40 alone but also on the M40 group as well as Small and Medium Industry (SMI) entrepreneurs. The PN government should consider continuing i-lestari and I-Sinar while one-off assistance given to the worst affected sectors such as tourism and SMEs. Financial loan assistance should also be provided to the people.
4. SPEED UP DISTRIBUTION OF 150,000 LAPTOP AND OTHERS
In Budget 2021, the government allocated 150,000 laptops for students in 500 schools but to date they have yet to receive it. Umno urges the government to immediately implement this program by giving laptops directly to students instead of giving them as loans. In fact, the laptop grant should cover all primary and secondary students and not just focus on selective 150,000 students. Schooling can be continued virtually and the aid will certainly reduce the burden on parents.
5. IMPROVE NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM
The state’s immunization program must be intensified. The country in still in its first phase with a target of 895,204 recipients for single dose of vaccine injection but Malaysia is seen lagging to achieve the second and third phases involving almost 23 million citizens.
6. IMPROVE DELIVERY METHOD FOR FOOD BASKET SCHEME
The RM100 food basket program through the PERMAI 2021 scheme was intensified. Food baskets were added and the conditions of acceptance were relaxed and it was proposed to also focus on the contents of the M40 family. The sluggish economy and the failure of pandemic crisis management also affected the M40 group, so it is appropriate to consider the M40 family to also be the recipients.
7. UTC AND RTC AS ONE STOP CENTERS TO HELP PEOPLE IN NEED
The Urban Transformation Center (UTC) and the Rural Transformation Center (RTC) should act as One Stop Center for the distribution of government assistance such as food baskets, for example. This center should also be used as a data collection center where the people affected by MCO can get help directly without political bureaucracy.
8. ADDING FIELD HOSPITAL
The government should be serious in preparing more field hospitals and Covid-19 Low Risk Treatment Centers (PKRC) throughout the country. In fact, government assets such as the training centers and academies should also be converted into PKRC in an effort to reduce the burden of government and private hospitals. MCO 3.0 should strictly cover all sectors. In short, let the people suffer and sacrifice for a while as long as it yields good result. Keep them healthy and make the nation prosperous.
AHMAD ZAHID HAMIDI