Sabah Needs a Comprehensive Exit Strategy For MCO

By Mohd Raheezal Shah Abdul Karim

COMMENT: Governments all over the world are concerned about the long term impact of Covid-19 towards the economy. Every government, Malaysia notwithstanding, is stuck in a Catch-22 situation- ie opening up the economy too soon or too quick.

There is a real danger of exposing ourselves to a 2nd wave of Covid-19 infection, undoing all the hard work achieved so far, if we are not too careful.

Covid 19 is highly contagious and indeed fatal especially among older people but the economic damages caused by in the form of lockdown/restriction towards businesses is equally damaging. This will lead to various issues (and might worsen some long standing issues).

That is why the government need to put in place a comprehensive exit strategy for MCO, if instead of making hasty decisions.

However the announcement made by TS Muhyiddin on Friday informing that almost all businesses can operate starting on Monday came as a surprise to everyone due to the short notice given. Ideally it would be good for business to start operate after May12, so businesses would have ample time in complying with all the SOP required.

Even though the commencement of business is optional, there is possibility that some of them will eager to start operations by flouting one or two SOP, therefore increasing the probability of spreading the virus.

Sunday’s decision made by Datuk Seri Mohd Panglima Haji Shafie Apdal and the Sabah govt in this case is therefore understandable.

But the Sabah government shouldimmediately prepare a comprehensive exit strategy roadmap and timeline and then communicate it with business community.

* Mohd Raheezal Shah Abdul Karim is a political commentator and a Lecturer at UiTM Sabah