By FMT Reporters (16 July 2021)
PETALING JAYA: PKR has proposed that the government scrap the essential or non-essential approach and open up the various economic sectors based on risk assessment instead.
Subang MP Wong Chen said the party viewed the essential and non-essential classification of industries and services as redundant as, after eight weeks of various movement control orders (MCOs), all sectors had become essential.
“We have proposed a new re-classification for industries and services, determined by which economic activities are high-risk or low risk,” he said in a statement today.
“To achieve this, the government has to build the data collection infrastructure for risk assessment now and then back it by frequent periodic mass testing of industries and services.”
This was among the party’s list of proposals to the government during a meeting with the finance ministry in Putrajaya yesterday.
Wong presented PKR’s concerns and position on the issues and policies on national recovery, outlining the party’s four areas of focus – public health, the economy, budget and fiscal, and implementation processes.
The meeting was attended by deputy finance minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah and six senior officers of the ministry and two other PKR MPs.
Wong said he also told the meeting that there was no quick economic solution and that the government should stop looking for a silver bullet and focus instead on improving fundamentals for national recovery.
He said these fundamentals were reliable data and economic modelling, better testing and tracking, good SOPs with widespread public compliance, and a successful vaccination rollout.
He said the root cause of the current economic crisis was the failure of public health policy and substandard implementation.
“Therefore, any national recovery plan must first address the issue of our failing public health system.
“The government, too, has to first admit that it had failed in its public health policy and then promptly reach out to other countries for assistance to acquire the best policy knowledge available.
“The first step for any recovery is to accept failure and then to ask for help,” he said.
Wong said the government must provide answers on the “big lockdown question” that was on the minds of the people.
“The government must mobilise data scientists to do the detailed modelling and disclose to the people whether the option for a full total lockdown of another three to four weeks can still work, or whether the window of opportunity has closed for good.
“The government needs to also apologise for the half-baked lockdowns over the last eight weeks, which had thousands of exemptions from Miti (international trade and industry ministry),” he said.
Wong also stressed that PKR believed the emergency must end immediately and that a more inclusive approach, open to all parties and stakeholders, was needed to implement a proper national recovery.
“First and foremost, the government needs to rethink how to regain the trust and confidence of the people.
“Jailing recalcitrant celebrities who are repeat offenders and forcing ministers to resign for non-compliance of SOPs will be a good start.”
He said a joint select committee of government and opposition MPs to monitor the implementation of the recovery plan should also be established.