PETALING JAYA: As the government mulls making the wearing of face masks in public places mandatory, some are for it while others offer a more cautious view as the country continues in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said complacency had started to set in with many Malaysians disregarding social distancing, wearing face masks and avoiding crowded places.
“I think the statement by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is very apt, relevant and timely.
“From what we have been observing, compliance with the standard operating procedure has been reduced with social distancing and use of face masks not being practised in many places, especially in crowded areas.
“The Prime Minister is warning us not to let our guard down, otherwise there will be a second wave, ” he said.
Lee said the victory in the fight against Covid-19 rested in the hands of the public, who must play their role in keeping an eye on one another to ensure everyone’s collective security.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said if wearing face masks were to be made mandatory in public places, the government must ensure that they were affordable.
“We must look at the economic aspect where people are able to purchase them and the government must regulate the pricing.
“If it is made compulsory, that means even the poor and schoolchildren must purchase face masks. As such, the government has to ensure that the masks are affordable for everyone, ” he said.
However, Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association president Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said wearing masks should only be in crowded places and not applied too generally in all public settings.
He warned that people might rebel against the use of face masks if the government were too strict in enforcing it.