First of all, thank you to ALL THE FRONT LINERS for all the hard work. I really appreciate the sacrifices that all of you have made. Nothing will be able to repay all your sacrifices.
After almost 6 weeks of MCO – the Prime Minister of Malaysia announced on 1st May that the MCO measures will be relaxed and nearly all economic sectors can resume operations on 4th May 2020 (Source: [The Star]).
I think the reopening is too abrupt and too risky given the state that we are in. I prefer a softer landing to open the business gradually, and not let the flock out of the cage. I do understand the concept of sharing the responsibility where everybody has to follow a strict SOP. But, hand to heart, do we think Malaysians can do this?
The Economic Dilemma_
The challenge I have in my head, how long? The economy is not able to sustain a prolonged MCO. According to the Prime Minister in the same announcement – the economy is losing RM2.4 billion a day, and to date (I assume 1st May), the total losses have amounted to RM63 billion. Based on the survey made by the Department of Statistics released on 9th April – 46.6% of self-employed worker has lost their jobs, and this is mostly from Agriculture sector. In fact, 94.8% of self-employed worker reported reduced income due to the Covid-19.
Lives and Livelihood
According to the Director-General of Health in his 1st May daily briefing, there must be a balance between “Lives and Livelihood”. The way I interpret this is that the MCO cannot last forever. The Livelihood of the citizens is impacted. This is true for those who are not able to get any income during the lockdown. As much as we want to eradicate Covid-19, there won’t be a permanent solution until a vaccine is available.
I guess the Government is taking a leap of faith to share the responsibility to the community as we transition to a “new norm”. New norm being, social distancing, mask, hand sanitizers, temperature check etc. Strict SOP has been issued by the Ministry of Health to the sectors. I do hope that each of and every one of us will abide by the SOP.
I agree that we must strike a balance between Lives and Livelihood. Where possible, we must adapt to the new norm as we venture into this new era. I will continue to “MCO” myself with a little bit of flexibility to exercise outdoors where possible.
What do you think?