Covid-19: People must comply with preventive measures to ensure Malaysia’s economic recovery success, says Lee Lam Thye

PETALING JAYA: The success of Malaysia’s economic recovery will depend on the people’s compliance towards Covid-19 prevention measures, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

The chairman of the Alliance for Safe Community said the upcoming months will be a “litmus test” to see if the country’s reopening of the tourism sector can be expanded further.

“The government has shown that it is gradually working towards economic recovery when it announced the first important step to return the country to normalcy in the tourism and plantation sectors.

“The success of these initiatives will depend to a large extent on compliance by all the parties concerned - tourist agencies, hotels, homestays, plantation owners, and law enforcers.

“If there is laxity in this chain, resulting in a spike in the number of infections, the commendable efforts of the Health Ministry to secure a high level of vaccination and to return to normalcy will come to nought.

“And if that happens, we will see a return to the dark ages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The people must now resolve to leave no stone unturned in ensuring compliance with all the new SOPs without compromise and law enforcers must be resolute in performing their duties,” said Lee in a statement Sunday (Oct 24).

On Friday (Oct 23), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced an international tourism bubble initiative in Langkawi that will take effect on Nov 15.

At the same time, foreign workers would also be allowed to enter the country, beginning with those for the plantation sector.

The Prime Minister said an SOP list had been approved by the Covid-19 pandemic management special committee and was in place for international tourists and foreign workers entering Malaysia.

The target group for the international tourism bubble initiative are high-spending tourists who have been fully vaccinated from countries under the Immigration Department’s, and Health and Foreign ministries’ permitted list.

Commenting on the decision to target only high-yield tourists for the travel bubble initiative, Lee said the authorities should look into feedback from the public on this.

“Some people may find it unconscionable that the target group for the international tourism bubble initiative is the ‘high-spending tourists’.

“Why the emphasis on high-spending tourists? The low-spending tourists have the same need as the high-spending tourists to seek emotional and physical relief.

“We must always be mindful not only be enamoured by the big spenders.

“By this emphasis, we are sending the wrong signals. The rich and the not-so-rich should be equally entitled to enjoy their brief respite from the pandemic restrictions.

“We must show the world that we are a nation of people who are less mercenary and more caring,” said Lee.

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