KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — The government must explain the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) breaches at its 100-day Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia event, said DAP’s Lim Kit Siang who noted the Malaysian Medical Association’s dismay over the incident.

Saying MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai was justified in questioning the government’s motive in holding the event alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, the Iskandar Puteri MP said matters were made worse by the “chicken feed” fine imposed on the government department that organised the event.

Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the organiser was fined RM1,000 for failing to enforce the Covid-19 SOPs at the event, after photographs emerged of the venue packed with attendees without physical distancing.

“If the prime minister does not buck up in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, how can the Cabinet buck up in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic?” Lim asked in a statement.

He added that the disregard for the government’s own SOPS at an event that the government organised had undermined Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s 90 per cent rating for his government’s first 100 days in power.

After the apparent violations from the event were publicised, Dr Koh pointedly asked if the government has made increasing Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases over the next 100 days a priority, noting that the crowded celebration was held while the country was bracing for a new wave of omicron infections.

Today, Lim said the government must correct the matter by sending a strong message to Malaysia about the continued gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The minister responsible for the programme should be required to resign and the prime minister Ismail Sabri should tender a public apology to all Malaysians for the shameful flouting of the Covid-19 SOPs at the event.”

The 100-day Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia was a four-day event held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to extol the current government’s performance since August. 

The government sent text messages inviting the public to the event and had opened counters for heavily discounted payments of traffic fines, leading to crowds beyond the permitted capacity of the venue.

Yesterday, Malaysia reported 5,041 new Covid-19 infections.