Country Managed Covid-19 Better During First MCO, Says Najib

PETALING JAYA: The country managed the Covid-19 pandemic better during last year’s movement control order (MCO) when compared with this year’s emergency, said former prime minister Najib Razak.

Stating that last year’s MCO lasted one and a half months and did not see the Federal Constitution or Parliament suspended, Najib said the restrictions on movement managed to bring Covid-19 cases down, with the economy then reviving itself and the rakyat able to travel across the country.

He attached a table which compared the number of new Covid-19 cases, deaths, patients in ICU, patients requiring breathing assistance, new clusters, active clusters and infectivity rate when the emergency was declared on Jan 11 with the same figures yesterday. These showed a a marked increase in every category, except for new clusters.

“The emergency is still going on after three and a half months… and the Covid-19 situation has worsened,” said Najib in a Facebook post.

“The emergency was declared on the pretext of wanting to curb Covid-19 and bring the numbers down to double digits so the rakyat could balik kampung for Hari Raya. But they will not be allowed to balik kampung as there are more Covid-19 cases (now).”

He also called out “half-baked” measures during the emergency. This included allowing factories and construction sites to continue operating, although they contributed the most number of cases and clusters, while ordering other sectors which did not have Covid-19 cases to close.

The Pekan MP added that the economy and foreign investors’ confidence continued to be affected by the emergency, with the government now having to dip into the National Trust Fund as it “does not have much money left”.

Putrajaya passed a new emergency ordinance on Wednesday which amended the National Trust Fund 1988 Act to allow it to be used for the procurement of vaccines and related expenditure.

Set up in 1988 and managed by Bank Negara Malaysia, the fund reportedly had RM16.9 billion in assets at the end of 2017.


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