Muhyiddin should explain whether the government’s Covid-19 pandemic strategy is mitigation or suppression – to flatten the curve to minimise economic and social disruption or to ensure zero Covid-19 infection and zero fatality

In the National Security Council (NSC) reconsideration of the decision to impose conditional movement control order (CMCO) for two weeks on Selangor, KL and Putrajaya from tomorrow, let the NSC Chairman who is also the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, explain whether the government’s Covid-19 pandemic strategy is “mitigation” to flatten the curve to minimise economic and social disruption or “suppression” to ensure zero Covid-19 infection and zero fatality.

This is important so that Malaysians can understand the rationale behind the various Covid-19 measures, in particular the latest decision to impose a two-week CMCO for Selangor, KL and Putrajaya.

There have been new thinking regarding Covid-19 national lockdowns, total or partial, as overly blunt and economically costly instruments, especially as they are difficult to keep in place for long enough to stamp out the virus.

In the past seven months, there are evidence pointing to alternative strategies that could slow the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic at much less cost.

I myself am at a loss as to whether the government’s strategy is “suppression” or “mitigation”.

The government’s strategy is unlikely to be suppression until zero infection and zero fatality, or it would not have allowed the Covid-19 situation in Sabah to deteriorate for over a month as to reach a cumulative total of 4,621 cases and 35 fatalities.

When the movement control order (MCO) was first imposed throughout Malaysia on March 18, the country had a cumulative total of only 790 Covid-19 cases and two deaths.

No government should remain in place if its Covid-19 pandemic strategy is one of “suppression” and yet allow Sabah’s Covid-19 situation to deteriorate for over a month until its cumulative total reaches 4,621 cases and 35 fatalities.

If it is “mitigation”, what is the government’s acceptable level of Covid-19 infection?

Muhyiddin should also explain how his government can claim to be implementing a ‘whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach’ in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic when the Selangor Mentri Besar knew nothing about the two-week CMCO for Selangor, KL and Putrajaya beginning tomorrow?

Malaysians are not convinced that the government is striking a proper balance between maximising lives saved and minimising economic and social disruption of Malaysians.

Will there be positive news in the reconsideration of the NSC decision to impose two-week CMCO in Selangor, KL and Putrajaya?

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Tuesday, 13th October 2020