DAP says met DPM with solutions after ‘ineffective’ lockdown, proposes more Covid-19 testing, ditching ‘essential’ label

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob  arrive at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur July 29, 2021. — Bernama pic
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob arrive at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur July 29, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — DAP today said its leaders met with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday afternoon to hand over the political party’s policy paper on preparing Malaysia to live together with Covid-19.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said the policy paper titled “Gearing Malaysia towards living with Covid-19” was presented during a meeting between the party’s leaders and Ismail Sabri.

The DAP delegation was led by DAP secretary-general and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng, and included others such Damansara MP Pua himself, Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming and Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim.

Pua noted that Ismail Sabri is a key member of the National Security Council tasked with tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the meeting with Ismail Sabri, Lim had stressed on several main policies that should be implemented as soon as possible, Pua said.

“We are of the view that the gloomy situation in Malaysia today reflects the failure and ineffectiveness of various ‘lockdown’ measures carried out by the government,” Pua said in the statement, noting that the continuation of the lockdown for months was done with the erroneous belief that the spread of the virus could be completely halted by merely restricting movements.

Pua said, however, that the continued lockdown was now proven ineffective, especially when Covid-19 has reached a critical level within the community.

“Therefore, DAP had recommended that relaxations be done immediately where all social sectors and small and medium businesses that are low-risk are allowed to operate again with standard operating procedures that are reasonable and not excessive.

“For employers that have more risk, they can be allowed to operate with tighter SOPs, including the need for employees to be vaccinated and for scheduled testing to be done,” he said.

“We also asked for the ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’ sectors measures to not be used anymore, and it has to be replaced with control measures based on the level of risks of employers and workplaces,” he added.

Pua said DAP had also called on the government to further increase targeted Covid-19 screening as the current rate of testing is still insufficient, despite having increased in the past two weeks.

To back the view of insufficient Covid-19 tests being done in Malaysia, Pua pointed out that the positivity rate of Covid-19 screening in the country now exceeds 10 per cent, which is more than two times than the World Health Organisation’s recommended rate.

Further suggestions by DAP can be found in its policy paper that was published on July 25.

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