KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today said that it was against any move to open up non-essential businesses without the full endorsement of the Health Ministry, amid a new list of industries allowed to operate following the announcement of the extension of the movement control order (MCO).
MTUC Secretary-General J. Solomon said he is worried about attempts by certain government leaders and employers to shift the Covid-19 narrative from the aspect of public health risks to reopening the economy.
“MTUC is against any move to open up non-essential businesses without the full endorsement of the Health Ministry. The danger of opening more shops and stores is simply far too great, given what we know about Covid-19.
“Now is not the time to open up non-essential services nor relax the enforcement of the MCOs be in green zones or any other part of this country, not until we have really flattened the curve on a sustained basis,” he said in a statement here.
Last Friday, Putrajaya released a new list of industries that are allowed to operate following the announcement of the extension of the MCO to April 28.
Barbers and laundry, but not self-service outlets, were among those named by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti).
However, the decision to allow these outlets to operate, especially barbers and beauty salons, received criticism from across the political divide as well as the general public, saying that it would be difficult for these services to comply with strict social distancing guidelines due to the nature of their profession.
Solomon said while it welcomed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s decision to disallow the aforementioned outlets from operating, he questioned the necessity of allowing other non-essential businesses such as launderettes, hardware stores and electrical stores to continue operations.
He claimed that certain events over the past few days seemed to indicate that the Health Ministry was not consulted, or worse, that its views were dismissed.
He also suggested that the government, with the guidance of the Health Ministry, make public its proposals in ensuring the health and safety of workers and the public before tabling any proposal to reopen the economy, even on a limited scale.
“These proposals must be comprehensive and become part of a blueprint which takes into account that a vaccine for Covid-19 may take a year to 18 months, or even more, to develop,” he said.
Source : https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/04/14/mtuc-disagrees-with-nod-for-non-essential-businesses-without-health-ministr/1856487