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Covid-19 SOPs: PN must use proper science & data, not political whims!

Press statement by MP for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen on 9 February 2021:

PN Cannot Change Covid-19 Based On Their Own Political Interest

The Perikatan Nasional Government must stop making decisions on Covid-19 precautions and SOPs based on their political whims and fancy, but every decision especially to curb a dangerous infectious disease must be based on proper science and data.

This is especially when the Government gazzeted the law to allow Ministers returning from official duties overseas to be exempted from Section 15 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) from February 9 until August 1 which spans the entirety of the state of emergency.

Cabinet of Ministers returning from any overseas official visit only need to go under observation or surveillance for three days, then they can be discharged to public, unlike the common rakyat which needs to be quarantined for 10-14 days upon arrival from overseas.

 

On what basis was this decision made? What is the science and data behind this justification?

 
FMT article screenshot on calls for the Health Minister to resign.
 

This decision not only show double standards when it comes to Covid-19 enforcements, but more importantly it potentially puts the lives of the public at danger, especially when the nature of the job requires Ministers to meet many people and even attend public events.

They have to be reminded that the virus has an incubation period, and just because they were tested negative upon return, it doesn’t mean that they are not infected and based on data, symptoms tend to appear within 5-8 days after infection.

Remember, the blame is not purely on the Minister of Health Dr Adham Baba for this decision even though the gazzetment was signed by him. This HAS TO BE COLLECTIVE CABINET decision. The timing of the PM coming back from Indonesia even though the numbers of Covid-19 cases there are high, is no coincidence.

 

Is the PN government sending the message that somehow the virus does not infect VVIPs?



Is Covid-19 in Malaysia so special that it mutated into a new strain that can recognise between normal rakyat and VVIPs?

 

The experiences of countries around the world show that Covid-19 outcomes are worse when science and public health become subservient to politics.

In Malaysia, the PN government declared a state of emergency and claimed that it needed stronger laws to curb the virus, but instead they give exemptions to Ministers. However, even with these exemptions, they still do not allow Parliament and State Assemblies to convene.

The Government claims they want to change the law to raise fines and increase punishments for normal rakyat who breach SOPs, but for Ministers, they change the law so that they are ‘exempted’.



When in other countries, Ministers resign due to Covid-19 SOP breach, in Malaysia Ministers change infectious disease laws to allow such breach for themselves.

That is why I strongly urge the government to make decisions based on science and data and not merely base important infectious disease control on purely political considerations. Sabah was a good example on how exemptions spike the third wave of infections which we have yet to recover from.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching

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