Yong Teck Lee says a blanket ban on 'non-essential' work will send economy into free fall.
-April 10, 2020 9:18 PMThe Sabah government has been urged to allow certain industries to operate while the MCO is in effect.KOTA KINABALU: Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee urged the Sabah government to relax the movement control order (MCO) for certain industries, saying a blanket ban on “non-essential” work will send the economy into a free fall.
The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president said that with today’s extension of the MCO to April 28, the recession could drag on for the rest of the year.Therefore, he said, there was room to relax the MCO “within the safe parameters of public health requirements”.
In a statement, Yong said Sabah should study how other countries allowed limited work to continue on construction sites and factories for purposes of maintenance, receipt and control of materials and administrative support.“There is no health justification for a blanket ban on so-called ‘non-essential’ work which can go on within the premises of a business,” he said.
He said although the state government had allowed certain oil palm mills and plantations to reopen with conditions, it took authorities more than 10 days to say they wanted more facts and ground checks.“I urge the government to have more foresight on what is going to happen. By now, as we enter the fourth week of the MCO, the government cannot continue to be blind to the facts and situation on the ground,” he said.
Yong said the state government should note the report by the National Statistics Department today that 81.9% of the self-employed, 71.3% of employers and 65.1 % of private sector employees were not financially prepared for an extended MCO.For daily rated workers and family-run businesses, he said, the situation could be much worse than what was reported.
“Therefore, the Sabah government should consider a relaxation of MCO regulations by gradually allowing some economic activities which can impose stringent health and safety protocols,” he said.CLICKFOR THE LATEST DATA ON THE COVID-19 SITUATION IN MALAYSIARead more: Free Malaysia Today »
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