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KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today chided the federal government for failing to communicate effectively the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic to the public.
He said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s national broadcast on Monday and Wednesday failed to get this crucial point across.
“When the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, announced the Movement Control Order (MCO) on Monday night, he failed to explain the seriousness of the epidemic and importance to break the chain of infection of the Covid-19 virus.
“Even his second ‘live’ telecast two days later was not a full success either,” Lim said in a statement.
“The nation is at war with the Covid-19 virus and the government must communicate fully and effectively to all Malaysians, including sharing with all Malaysians the worst-case scenarios about the Covid-19 crisis.
“It is important that the prime minister and all ministers earn the trust and confidence of all Malaysians that they are capable and competent to wage and win this war and this is why good suggestions should be deliberated and acted upon without delay by the government.”
Lim gave examples of how Italy has had 41,035 positive cases for Covid-19 with 3,405 deaths, exceeding China’s 3,248 deaths becoming the worst hit country globally for the virus. Italy had 902 deaths in the last two days alone, 475 on Wednesday and 427 yesterday.
All this had happened despite Italy taking extreme measures to ensure the virus doesn’t spread, he added.
He also said that the United Kingdom is considering a lockdown after they joined 10 other countries with the most number of Covid-19 deaths, after the global death toll hit 10,028.
Lim offered several suggestions for the government to consider. Among them was a proposal by former women, family and community development minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her former deputy Hannah Yeoh, that the government provide additional allocation for frontliners who are risking their lives in the battle against Covid-19.
He also supported that small business owner, Lee Siew Lian’s proposal to finance minister that all the PCB (Monthly Tax Deduction) and CP204 (submission of tax estimation) paid for the last 12 months be reversed.
At least, 245,049 people have been infected with Covid-19 globally, with seven countries registering in excess of 10,000 cases.