Weekly Highlights

National Recovery Plan is no “recovery” plan

I am utterly disappointed with the National Recovery Plan announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday as it had contained no “plan” whatsoever.

A real recovery plan must set concrete plans with realistic targets to achieve. Right now, the only concrete way out of this vicious cycle of lockdowns after lockdowns is to greatly speed up the vaccination programme.

The only Muhyiddin’s “plan” is the relaxation of SOPs in the event certain number of daily cases or ICU Wards bed usage are achieved. Such planning is good at paper but lack of concrete action.

It is like a student setting targets of getting straight As in his or her exam but does not set plans to sit down and study, do extra revision nor attend extra tuition class.

Daily new cases & ICU bed usage are variables that can be controlled depending on vaccination, whereby these 2 numbers will certainly and surely drop if vaccination could take place faster.

Instead of telling us that SOPs will be relaxed if Covid-19 cases drop, this PN government should instead tell us their plan to greatly speed up vaccination rate.

We need to know what are their plans to secure greater supply of vaccine and from who. We need to know what are their plans to set up more vaccination centres nationwide and where. We need to know what are their plans to include more private medical practitioners in administering vaccine.

We need to know what are their plans to send in KKM health officers to vaccinate the rural dwellers and those who are not IT savvy or do not have the luxury of having a smartphone and access to MySejahtera. We also need to know what are their plans to vaccinate high risk sectors such as factories and manufacturing sectors, etc.

At the end of the day, the ultimate factor in controlling daily cases and ICU wards bed usage is still vaccination and NOT lockdowns.” – Chan Foong Hing

Other than speeding up of the vaccination rate, a comprehensive “recovery plan” must also contain provisions of adequate financial aid to enable the “social” sector which are forced to close to survive in the meantime whilst waiting for the country to achieve herd immunity, and as forecasted in the National Recovery Plan, may take until November.

Businesses from many sectors are shutting down for good, and this include professionals such as lawyers (in Peninsular) to traditional service providers such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners whose services have been deemed to be “non-essential”, not to mention spa and wellness, saloon which are normally not allowed to operate due to physical contact between the business operator and customers.

Just imagine months with zero cashflow, even if they do not starve to death, they will be left with bare skeletons with numerous debts to pay.

The government cannot expect these businesses to have to wait that long without any forms of reliefs or targeted income compensation or automatic loan moratorium in the meantime and yet call its so-called plan a “recovery” plan.

I urge the Perikatan Nasional to speed up vaccination and achieve herd immunity as soon as possible without any further delay.

In the meantime, I concur with Bagan Datuk MP Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that it makes no sense for Parliament to be reopened only Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan. I, too, believe that you do not need 40 percent of the country’s population receiving two doses of Covid-19 vaccines as a pre-requisite to allow Parliament to resume proceedings.

Chan Foong Hin

Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu

DAP Sabah Secretary

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