Keep MCO restrictions in place longer, says MP

Ex-deputy minister Dr Lee Boon Chye says the government will need to enforce the wearing of masks and other measures until the Covid-19 pandemic blows over.

PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya should extend the recovery movement control order beyond Aug 31, former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said.

He urged the government to do it to show its seriousness in combating Covid-19 until the pandemic blows over, adding that the order could be given a new name.

“This is the only way to enforce the SOPs,” he told FMT.

A movement control order, with public activities curtailed, has been in place since March 18; restrictions have been gradually lifted, with the reopening of selected sectors of the economy, from May to July. The current recovery movement control order ends on Aug 31.

Dr Lee Boon Chye

Lee said the government still needed some kind of MCO to enforce mandatory quarantine, the wearing of masks and physical distancing.

“In order for the rakyat to follow procedures, the government needs to ensure that there is no double standard. People and politicians must follow the rules,” he said.

Lee was referring to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s allegation last week that Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali returned from Turkey on July 7 but did not undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine as he attended Dewan Rakyat on July 13.

Although Khairuddin was tested negative at KLIA, Lee said, sometimes the symptoms would only show much later, and therefore the 14-day self-isolation was crucial.

He also said all new policies on Covid-19 must be clear, adding that the recent directive to wear masks in public places had the people confused.

He said all frontliners, including receptionists, hawkers and salesmen, should be required to wear masks as they were dealing with the public.

“Stricter laws are needed to ensure that all frontliners wear masks while at work,” he added.

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