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Monday, May 10, 2021

MCO must be strict and short, with clear goals, says Najib

 

Former prime minister Najib Razak visiting a Ramadan bazaar last week. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak said the government needs to have clear objectives in implementing movement restrictions, without bowing down to various business groups.

He said that this was crucial as economic recovery depended on the country’s success in handling Covid-19.

Speaking during an interview with Umno Online today, he said the movement control order should be strict, but over a short period.

He pointed to countries such as the US and UK that have successfully reduced their Covid-19 infection rates.

“When the emergency was announced, the US had 250,000 cases a day, but now it is down to 30,000 to 40,000 cases a day.

“The UK used to have about 60,000 cases a day but now it is down to 1,600. That means you can manage Covid-19, but measures must be strict and accurate,” he said.

He said the movement control order must have clear objectives, pointing to the contradictory SOPs during the second round of movement restrictions late last year which had caused it to fail.

“MCO 2.0 had multiple objectives. Some shops could open, others could not. Factories and construction sites with the most clusters were also allowed to open. Why? Because of pressure from the sectors.

“So we relaxed (SOPs) and bowed down to their pressure. We cannot have multiple objectives, we must have one objective,” he said.

He also said other countries like China have managed to improve their gross domestic product, as a result of their successful pandemic response.

However, he said Malaysia has yet to recover, all while government debt seemed to be increasing.

Meanwhile, he said the government needed a national consensus for economic recovery that would be able to improve both market and public confidence.

He added that, so far, foreign investors had withdrawn RM25 billion from the capital market.

“This is not a good indication,” he said. “We need to do something, and this is tied to Covid-19 and also the emergency.” - FMT

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