Anwar hits out over ‘confusion’ on movement control order

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim says the National Security Council’s contradictory statements have caused confusion among the public.

PETALING JAYA: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has hit out at the National Security Council (NSC) for allegedly making contradictory statements and causing confusion among college students and those working in Singapore in its Covid-19 movement control order (MCO).

He also asked why the prime minister and his Cabinet ministers were not having daily top-level meetings to discuss detailed plans to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the poor.

He said they were “missing from the radar during these crucial times”.

Speaking “live” on his Facebook, Anwar asked “if the government even understands the problems faced by the rakyat”.

He said NSC, which is under the Prime Minister’s Office, is supposed to be the highest body to advise on the right decisions to contain the spread of the virus.

“They are making contradictory statements. They are revising orders on cross-border travel, causing people to gather at police stations. and contradictory statements on higher learning colleges,” he said.

Anwar criticised the government for asking students living in hostels to return home, causing an even higher infection risk. He said the government could have called the rectors to discuss food supply.

He asked the reasons to ban e-learning for college and university students as they may not be able to cope with their studies if schools and universities remained shut down beyond the period the MCO is in effect.

“If it continues beyond two weeks, they may not be able to control the quality of education. This has not been thought out,” he said.

Yesterday, hundreds of students left for home after NSC initially said the hostels would be shut. The council later said the hostels would stay open but hundreds had already left in public transport.

Hundreds of people had also gathered at police stations to seek approval to travel to other states, and Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador later had to withdraw the restriction until a final decision was reached.

Anwar said those working in Singapore were also left in the dark after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that no Malaysians could leave the country.

“The transport and human resource ministries seem to be silent on this matter.

“There are 300,000 to 400,000 Malaysians who travel to Singapore to earn an income,” he said.

He said the government had yet to announce plans for hawkers, fishermen, farmers and the poor who may not be able to survive the crisis

“If there are no immediate plans to help them, they will starve. They do not have savings,” he said.