Azmin: Any govt decision to lift MCO must be based on 'data and science'

PUTRAJAYA: Any decision by the government involving the lifting of the movement control order or the reopening of sectors needs to be justified by “data and science”, says Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali.

The Senior Minister (Economy) said this has always been the government’s way of deciding on MCO-related matters for the past year.

“Our decisions are all made based on our experience as well as the data and statistics that we collected over the past year.

“If we need to extend the MCO, then the decision needs to be justified based on data and science. If we decide otherwise, it also has to be based on data and science, ” said Mohd Azmin at a press conference after Perikatan Nasional’s one-year anniversary event here on Monday (March 1).

The International Trade and Industry Minister said the government has always been transparent when it comes to sharing data with the public.

“The government is very transparent. (Senior Minister of Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the Health director-general (Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah) appear on live television nearly every day to share all the data with the public.

“We do not hide things. As a responsible government, data sharing is very crucial and it helps us to come up with the most effective solutions.

“Thankfully, so far, we have made the best decisions, ” said Mohd Azmin.

The MCO - which is still imposed in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor - is scheduled to end on March 4.

Mohd Azmin said the special National Security Council meeting on Monday will discuss whether the MCO will be ended or extended.

The announcement is expected to be made by Ismail Sabri on Tuesday (March 2).

Mohd Azmin also commented on the country’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The tourism industry is one of the sectors that has been terribly crippled by the pandemic. The effects are not just felt by the hotel industry, but also logistics, airlines and other sub-sectors.

“The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, together with the International Trade and Industry Ministry and Health Ministry are currently outlining several standard operating procedures for the tourism sector which we can implement after the MCO, ” said Mohd Azmin.

Meanwhile, Mohd Azmin said his ministry will be coming up with a "Safe At Work" approach for workers to practice to prevent outbreaks at workplaces.

“We will present a working paper on this to the National Security Council. If this is approved, we will implement this approach at all factories and workplaces so that the industry will be more responsible in looking after their workers’ health and safety.

“If their workplaces are protected and have no infections, then there is no reason for their operations to be shut down, ” said Mohd Azmin.

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