Huazong: Govt must extend aid package if MCO is reintroduced
If the Covid-19 situation in the country worsened and there’s a need to reintroduce the Movement Control Order (MCO), the government should again extend the Prihatin aid package to assist the people and businesses to get through the tough time, said Tan Sri T.C Goh, president of Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong).
He acknowledged that with the nation’s current challenging financial position, negative economic growth, a gloomy business climate and a vast majority of the people struggling to stay afloat, it would be extremely challenging and unfavourable for the government to reintroduce the MCO.
He thus called on the people to fully cooperate with the Ministry of Health and the relevant authorities in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, so as to ensure there’s no turning back to square one.
He urged this while responding to the live telecast message of Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in which he cautioned that if the Covid-19 situation gets worse, the government may be compelled to reintroduce the MCO. The prime minister was obviously concerned with the spike in Covid-19 cases in the country of late, a clear indication that we are not out of the woods yet.
Likewise, Goh was also concerned with the fact that the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has surpassed 10,000 cases, with daily cases hovering between single digit to three digits; certain districts in Sabah like Tawau and Lahad Datu, and Peninsular Malaysia like Kedah and Kota Setar too had seen a spike in Covid-19 infections and the government had to impose the Enhanced MCO there to contain the situation. At the same time, the country is also facing the potential threat of imported cases.
Goh who is also the President of The FCAS also expressed great concern over the potential threat posed by the pandemic on the ongoing Sabah state election, which is seeing an unprecedented huge number of candidates in multiple corner fights.
He thus reminded the people to continue to vigorously adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) mandated by the government, which include wearing of facemasks in public places, keeping social distance, and maintaining good personal hygiene all the time.
Meanwhile, Huazong also rolled out a five-points proposal for the government’s consideration as follows:
1. To extend the Prihatin aid package to help the people to cope with the pandemic, if it is forced to reintroduce the MCO.
2. To allocate sufficient funds in the 2021 Budget to better equip the Ministry of Health with necessary facilities and equipment, in order to better contain the pandemic.
3. To continue to focus on helping economic sectors which are still unable to resume operations, by providing them with necessary aids like extension of wage subsidy scheme, moratorium on corporate and personal loan repayment, tax rebate and living allowance for affected operators and employees.
4. To pay serious attention to businesses in need of support to get back on track, and to provide necessary assistance to those who have been laid off, to enable them to get through this difficult time.
5. To closely monitor and take appropriate actions against the sale of sub standard surgical masks in the market.