Monday, September 20, 2021

Protests can wait, retail boss advises after youngsters ignore warnings against pandemic crowd

Ameer Ali Mydin says the main goal should be achieving herd immunity in order to accelerate the reopening of the economy.

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Prominent retail tycoon Ameer Ali Mydin has expressed concern over the gathering of a crowd of protesters despite warnings by health authorities that this could trigger fresh Covid-19 clusters.

“Not completing the two doses and getting a crowd at the same time, unfortunately, will affect not only them but their families and colleagues,” Ameer, owner of the Mydin hypermarket chain, told MalaysiaNow.

He was asked to respond to calls circulating on social media for people to show support for a group of youngsters planning to hold a protest against the government in Kuala Lumpur.

One message which made the rounds read: “It’s reasonable to say that we shouldn’t protest during a pandemic. But protests are equally reasonable if politicians are clearly failing, if the status quo is likely to lead to more deaths and suffering, and if factories can remain open despite having clusters. And pandemic protests can be safe.”

Ameer Ali Mydeen.

Ameer said those who wish to gather for protests should wait for the country to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19.

“We have been waiting for 16 months. Let’s wait for another two to three months for herd immunity,” he said.

He also said the public should be working together for the re-opening of the economy, as well as to ensure stability in order to focus on Covid-19.

Ameer reiterated his earlier calls for the reopening of the economic sector which has been shut for months due to worries about the spread of the virus, saying this would be in line with the increasing number of people being vaccinated.

He said factories and shopping centres with 80% of staff vaccinated should be allowed to open, adding that one way to help re-energise the economic sector would be to allow those who have completed two doses of vaccine to visit shopping malls and dine in at restaurants.

Protesters dressed in black stand at Jalan Tun Perak heading to Dataran Merdeka during the Lawan rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Malaysia, which currently reports one of the highest daily vaccination rates in the world, is well on its way to achieving herd immunity this year.

The protest in Kuala Lumpur yesterday dubbed “Lawan” was held following days of online mobilisation on social media.

The crowd of youngsters numbering about 200 marched near Dataran Merdeka shouting slogans against the government, in a gathering that was endorsed by several anti-government activists and groups.

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