Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
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 be exempted from Section 15 the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) from February 9, tomorrow until August 1 which spans the entirety of the state of emergency.
The Cabinet of Ministers who returns from any overseas official visit only need to go under observation for three days or undergo surveillance 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 justification science and date behind this reasoning?
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 have public events.
They have to be reminded that the virus has an incubation period, and just because they were tested negative upon return, but does not mean 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 rhere 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 probably 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 Gov declared emergency claiming it need stronger laws to curb the virus, but instead they give exemptions to Ministers. With these exemptions, yet they do not allow Parliament and State Assemblies to convene.
The Government claims want to change the law toraise fines and increase punishments for normal rakyat who breach SOPs, but for Ministers, they change law so 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