Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the MCO this time around is looking at the economic importance both through large companies and small-scale traders, and at the same time focusing on people’s health.
“We do not want people to die due to Covid-19 infections, and we also do not want them to die from not eating,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said there were parties debating the MCO implementation for the second time which was said to be more flexible. But, in a broader context, he emphasised that the country could go bankrupt if the MCO continues for many years.
“During the first MCO, the country lost RM2.4 billion daily. The government also needs to focus on the people who depend on their daily income to make ends meet. That is why during MCO 2.0, we allow most economic sectors to operate. The welfare of the people and their safety are equally important.”
He further explained that although various financial assistance had been channelled to the people and businesses owners, the government cannot continue doing so – taking into account the long-term effects.
The government decided to allow the manufacturing sector to continue operation was not to take care of the “big bosses”, but because the economic chain involving company operations and the fate of workers should be given priority.
“One-off assistance of RM3,000 is given for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). By allowing some sectors to operate, small traders, for example, who operate roadside stalls can also do business to meet their daily needs,” he said.
“Netizens say we take care of the big bosses but it is related to their employees. If the big boss loses due to the factory not being in operation, then in the end the victim is an employee who depends on the income,” he said.