KUALA LUMPUR MAY 23: The government of Malaysia will have to spend half a trillion Ringgit Malaysia (RM) if a total lockdown is imposed nationwide as the impact will be a disruption in the economic system while the people’s livelihood will be in devastation.
Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said, the government has spent RM340 billion in the stimulus economic package to help the people following the impact of COVID-19 pandemic for the past one year.
“The government has taken the decision to impose Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 with a more stringent standard operating procedure (SOP) as to balance between economy and livelihood of the people.
“We don’t want the economic system to collapse and the people getting poorer if the SOP is too strict like the MCO 1.0 where everybody just stays at home. This can be done but it will be difficult for the economic activities to boost again,” Muhyiddin said in an exclusive interview “Bicara Khas, Confronting COVID-19” telecasted on TV1 this evening.
The Prime Minister added, after the MCO 3.0 has been implemented for 10 days, the new COVID-19 cases has been increasing following the opening of the economic sectors. With that situation a more stricter SOP is imposed throughout the MCO.
Regarding the increasing trend of new COVID-19 cases even though the national borders have been closed physically, Muhyiddin said, the infections have entered through new variants from India, South Africa and the UK and is hard to control.
He said, due to the aggressive effects of the new variants, flight passengers from India had been banned to enter and Malaysians coming back from overseas have to be quarantined for 21 days now.
The Prime Minister said, closing the border does not guarantee COVID-19 will not be transmitted as many illegal immigrants still try to enter Malaysia via Sabah and Sarawak from the neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
Muhyiddin also mentioned that the National Budget will be presented soon in the Parliament and as such the government will try its utmost capacity to help the groups of people that are most affected by the pandemic.
“The government has also provided assistance to those whose family members have died due to COVID-19 infection,” Muhyiddin said.
Relating the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Muhyiddin said, the programme has been well arranged and structured and assisted by many volunteers along with private clinics assigned to vaccinate members of the public.
“When 80 percent of the Malaysians have been vaccinated then a herd immunity could be formed as they have anti-bodies that could fight against COVID-19,” said Muhyiddin.-Malaysia World News