SOP adherence vital to bring us back to normalcy

Teratai state assemblyman Lai Wai Chong should not have made Covid-19-related matters in Selangor worse. All of Malaysia knows that the state has been leading the nation in new Covid-19 cases on a daily basis for the last few months.

Now, a video of this pro-Pakatan Harapan independent taking a dive at a jungle waterfall has gone viral. They sounded extremely delighted and happy while taking the plunge despite the restrictive travel measures imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

This is clear proof of standard operating procedure (SOP) non-compliance, and it should not be taken lightly by the relevant authorities. They had entered the Ulu Jelai forest reserve without permission and the investigation is still ongoing.

Whatever the outcome of the investigation and punishment to be meted out against him and his gang, this act of SOP non-compliance should be dealt with serious punitive action to serve as a bitter but good lesson for others.

Lai and his friends are clearly not helping to ease the infectivity rate in the Greater Klang Valley as both Selangor and Kuala Lumpur have been reporting the highest number of daily infections despite a steady decline in other states.

As it is, the Selangor special task force formed last year has not done much to curb the spread of the virus and now this person and his friends are going against what the present federal government is doing to fight the pandemic.

The daily Covid-19 infection rate remains high and is still soaring, with irresponsible quarters taking advantage of the situation and keep blaming the government-of-the-day over the resurgent virus.

Despite an emergency declared in January, Covid-19 cases remain high and are soaring, with some The government seems to be the easy target for politicians, and it shoulders all the "wrongs" to cover up for their selfishness and non-adherence to lockdown measures.

Such portrayals and a string of other negativities linked with the present government, have been trending on social media until today, creating anger against the government and restlessness in the public. These people will continue to create issues and more issues to make people go against the government amidst this difficult pandemic-induced time. They will not stop until they are able to grab power from the present government.

Despite heavy shelling, the Perikatan Nasional government remains astute in safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of the people and the country’s economy. It has been with us since the start of the pandemic in early 2020 and until today, it has never neglected its firm commitment to see us through this difficult time.

Its never-ending flow of aid packages plus numerous people-friendly measures and plans implemented, have benefited millions of Malaysians and other nationalities residing in this country, helping them to survive through the ordeal. More than RM530 billion in comprehensive economic aid packages and measures have been given out thus far. Malaysia has also won praise in its handling of the pandemic at the international level.

In April, the World Bank stated that despite the pandemic which has had a major economic impact on Malaysia - particularly on vulnerable households - the government has remained focused on addressing the well-being of the poor. Following the removal of broad-based subsidies, it has gradually moved toward more targeted measures to support the poor and vulnerable, mainly in the form of cash transfers to low-income households.

It also stated that Malaysia’s near-term economic outlook would be more dependent than usual on government’s measures to sustain the private sector activity at the shock of the pandemic. Over the longer term, as Malaysia converges with high-income economies, incremental growth would depend less on factor accumulation and more on raising productivity to sustain higher potential growth. The World Bank also said on-going reform efforts to tackle key structural constraints would be vital to support and sustain Malaysia’s development plan.

All plans and measures to save people and this country from the aftermath of the pandemic are being ramped up. Take the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, for instance, which so far has seen some 15,517,866 people receiving either their first or second doses of vaccine, with daily vaccination rate reaching more than 400,000 people over the past few weeks.

At the speed all those saving measures and strategies are being executed, hopefully, we are ready to achieve herd immunity before the end of this year and return to some semblance of normalcy soon after.

Nur Afiqah Aida Azman

Bukit Antarabangsa, Ampang.

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