WFH directive: Last-minute clarifications waste time, cause unnecessary stress, says Anwar


PETALING JAYA: The last-minute clarifications by the government on the work-from-home (WFH) directive has not only wasted people’s time, but also “caused unnecessary stress and anxiety during an already difficult period”, says Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said Malaysians needed a government that was not only forthcoming with information, but also had policies that were well thought-through.

“It does not instil confidence, both domestically and amongst foreign investors, when important statements are made without proper follow-through and clarification, ” he said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 22).

On Wednesday (Oct 21), Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the WFH directive from Thursday (Oct 22) until the end of the conditional movement control order (MCO) only applied to government servants at the management and supervisory levels, who did not need to be in office, as well industries registered under the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI).

Although all economic activities would be allowed to operate, Anwar said the latest ruling would still have an impact on businesses. He quoted Retail Group Malaysia as saying that approximately 51,000 retail stores, or 15% of the total industry, would not cope beyond the next four to five months.

Meanwhile, he reiterated his call for the government to reinstate the loan moratorium.

“This should last at least for the next several months to help businesses and individuals cope with the impact of this prolonged crisis and prevent more job losses and businesses going bust.”

Anwar said the Perikatan Nasional government must show firm leadership by extending the loan moratorium for another three months, as the economy had yet to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic amid the spike in new cases.

“Additional measures are required to keep small businesses afloat and wages flowing to workers until the MCO ends, ” he said.

“It is indeed telling that the government has been silent on protecting the lower income groups and instead focus on protecting large corporations, ” he added.

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