KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 – The government will not be able to implement a Movement Control Order (MCO) as tight as the first one, as this will be disastrous for the country’s economy, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
The first MCO was carried out amid uncertainties, without any real set of guidelines, as the country and the world was facing a pandemic situation as never seen before.
“But we learnt with the experience of the first full lockdown, the cost it brought not only to the government but also to the people,” the Prime Minister said during a special interview programme aired by RTM and Malaysian National News Agency, BERNAMA on Sunday night.
During the first MCO, the government recorded a total of RM2.4 billion in losses daily.
“But this was not all, as the people carrying out businesses were also badly affected. They had no jobs, no income and were deeply affected.”
The government is aware of the great threat the virus is to people’s lives and is doing its best to ensure the safety of the people, while providing the necessary assistance and support for the people.
Work has also not stopped and all avenues to bring down the increasing numbers in COVID-19 cases are being explored and used, he stressed.
Between lives and livelihood, the government had to find the balance and ensure that the MCO 3.0 allowed for economic activities and businesses to operate but all within more tighter standard operating procedures
Bringing back a total lockdown will help to tackle the COVID-19 situation with more ease but it will also destroy the country’s economy, throw people out of work, and recovering the economy will not be easy, he said.
He said the government was aware of arguments both favouring a total shutdown and those against it and suffering from losing their jobs and without daily income.
He also called on the people to understand the considerations the government had given to decide on the MCO 3.0 and also appealed for their cooperation to fight the spread of the virus.
The basic steps of washing hands, and all SOPs must be observed, and people must also take care of themselves and avoid going out when not necessary to reduce the exposure to the virus, he said.