Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob has defended the government’s decision to re-introduce the movement control order (MCO) across large parts of Selangor as well as Kuala Lumpur and areas in other states, saying authorities do not want what is happening in India to take place in Malaysia as well.
In a video shared on his Facebook, made shortly after his latest announcement last night, he said it was not the government’s intention to burden the people.
“I know the people are angry,” he said. “Our goal is to save the lives of the people. We don’t want Malaysia to end up like India.”
In India, he said, authorities had announced that they had won the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and had begun lifting restrictions.
“In the end, when the virus spread, the government was unable to control it.”
Six out of nine districts in Selangor – Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang – came under MCO today.
Last night, Ismail announced that Kuala Lumpur and several areas in Terengganu, Perak and Johor would be placed under MCO as well.
Speaking in the clip, he reiterated that the government was acting in the people’s best interest.
“If there is no intervention, and the people no longer comply with the rules, it is not impossible that after Raya cases could increase to 5,000,” he said. “If we hit 10,000, we could end up like India.
“Because of this, immediate intervention must be taken and I hope the people understand, the measures taken are to protect their lives.”
India, which yesterday released US$6.7 billion in cheap financing for vaccine makers, hospitals and other health firms, has been battling a huge surge in Covid-19 infections with record numbers of deaths and new cases announced nearly every day.
Its underfunded healthcare system has struggled to cope with the latest Covid-19 onslaught, with patients dying in hospital parking lots due to a lack of beds and oxygen.
Experts have warned that case numbers will keep rising until the end of May and could reach 500,000 new infections a day.