KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 – It was only 95,142 listed under the essential services initially but it rose to 128,150 in a matter of days, and this raised question about the government’s decision, said Umno President Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He questioned as to whether the numbers included those who cheated of being under the category.
The Barisan Nasional chairman was referring to reports how a helmet manufacturing factory cheated by claiming it was producing PPE so that MITI can be deceived.
“That does not include those that are not ‘essential’ but operating secretly. Please monitor it strictly. There are complaints on social media about factories not under the essential services still operate. Investigate and act immediately.
“The 14 days period is not long. We have to win,” he said in a Facebook posting, today.
He stressed that the people are facing many predicaments to survive in the high COVID-19 case situation.
“That is why they had demanded for the implementation of ‘total lockdown’, the real lockdown. What we are having now is not a ‘total lockdown’, it’s more of ‘semi lockdown’ and the people may end up facing the risk of ‘pandemic smackdown’. “
However, he said those operators must not be blamed solely because they too were feeling the pinch of the pandemic and did not get enough support to allow operations to stop temporarily to avoid the risk of bankruptcy.
“If their business wraps up, the workers will lose jobs. Same goes for the middle and low income brackets, especially those who are self-employed, survive on daily income or commission and petty traders. Some have their salaries cut by employers.
“They need assistance during the ‘semi lockdown’. There should be an inclusive moratorium, reduction of installments and not ‘refinance’ and i-Sinar 2.0 which will definitely enable them to ‘self lockdown’ without the
need for ‘total lockdown’,” he added.
Prior to that, Zahid also referred to Sultan of Johor statement: “Let us swallow bitter medicine now instead of suffering later.”