Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant Political Education Director for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 16th of June, 2021

10 Questions and Suggestions for the National Recovery Plan

Since I made the offer[1] for “pro bono” consultancy services yesterday, I have received calls from a brewery, a debt collection agency, a lawyer doing primarily property conveyancing and a part time cili farmer who works for an oil and gas company. Although I have not received any calls or messages from the Prime Minister’s office, I thought that I would ask the following 10 questions about his recently announced National Recovery Plan (NRP) 2021 and at the same time provide some suggestions, also on a pro bono basis, to help answer some of these questions.

  1. What ideas does the PM have in terms of raising revenue and improving the cash flow situation at the Ministry of Finance?

One of the challenges currently faced by the Ministry of Finance and perhaps more accurately, certain government agencies or statutory bodies, is the issue of cash flow during these challenging times. As a former director of the National Higher Education Loan Corporation or better known as PTPTN, this statutory body relies on the Ministry of Finance to fund its yearly interest payments on all of its outstanding loans and also repayments from students who have graduated already. PTPTN focuses mostly on its cash flow and its cash flow has been severely affected since the start of MCO 1.0 with the suspension of repayments on its outstanding loans. One way which this cash flow challenge can be addressed is to securitize part of the loan portfolio for students who are studying and who have graduated from Private Institutions of Higher Learning (or IPTS). PTPTN can easily provide the data to show that the loan repayments from this group of students are reliable and predictable, two elements which financial institutions looking to securitize any loan portfolio are looking out for.  

2. What about helping the hotel and tourism sector in other more creative ways?

We all know that the hotel and tourism sector has been pummelled by this pandemic. Other than providing wage subsidies to the employers during the lockdown period, what other creative ways can we think of to assist those in this sector of the economy? In the short-term, some of them can be turned into vaccination centers (PPVs) and also temporary quarantine centers (for those who don’t want to go to MAEPS in Serdang and are willing to pay) to cover operating and salary costs. For some hotels with golf courses and shopping malls, they have rooftops and idle land which can be turned into rooftop gardens and places where solar PVs can be installed. Some banks are already offering packages to fund solar PV installations. Can the government provide additional soft loans or grants for these kinds of initiatives that are targeted at the hotel and tourism sector?

3. What about setting up another improved version of Danaharta?

Those of us who lived through the Asian financial crisis at the end of the 1990s would remember the role Danaharta had to play in terms of taking away distressed assets from banks so that they could be properly recapitalized and start lending again to the private sector without the burden of large non-performing loans. During this pandemic crisis, there are many companies with good quality assets that can be pledged as collateral so that these companies can borrow funds to cover their expenses while waiting for the economy to open up again. The challenge is that many banks are reluctant to lend, especially to some of the worse affected sectors such as retail, tourism and leisure and food & beverage. Could the government step in by doing something similar where these assets can be temporarily acquired as collateral and then used to guarantee the loans of these companies to banks? Prokhas (formerly Danaharta) can be called once again to be the coordinating agency and SJPP can be called to do the loan guarantees. Once the pandemic is over and the cashflow of these businesses have returned to normal, their assets can be returned to them (for a small administrative fee to cover the expenses of Prokhas and SJPP). Banks which take part in this scheme can also be asked to provide loan moratoriums to the companies that are pledging their collateral so that there is more targeted loan relief. (Hope that Bank Negara and MOF will approve of this possible win-win solution)

4. What about thinking more creatively to create jobs for the youth?

The issue of youth unemployment (three times that of regular unemployment) has been something that has been repeated many times by economists and policy makers. I have a humble proposal to make here. Federal government agencies such as MDEC and state agencies such as SIDEC in Selangor have made available various digitalisation grants especially to the SMEs. But one of the main challenges is to reach out to these SME owners, many of whom are digitally challenged. Why not find a win-win solution by hiring recent graduates or recently unemployed youth who are digitally savvy to help “on board” many of these SMEs into the digital world? It can be as simple as getting the local kuay teow or popiah seller to sign onto one of the food delivery platforms or helping a local restaurant do FB promotions and create FB posters using online software applications such as CANVA. These youth can then be our digital “frontliners” to help the SMEs (and they can also be vaccinated as part of their job requirement).

5. What about getting digital devices to the B40?

One of the major challenges with regard to learning from home during this pandemic is the need to buy additional digital devices for our children including laptops and handphones. I recently got to know about a Malaysian IT company called Rentwise[2] which, among other things, would take in old laptops and other digital devices, “clean them up” and then rent them out again including to the B40 community. Rather than waiting for the Ministry of Finance to finish procuring all of the 150,000 promised laptops / digital devices, why not ask corporations and other Malaysians to get involved in this endeavour by donating our old digital devices to companies such as Rentwise which can then rent out these devices to others including those from the B40 community? The federal and state governments can also step in by offering tax deductions, both to individuals and companies who are donating, and to the companies who are receiving and then renting out these devices. And this can also be considered a sustainable initiative which is consistent with the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)!

6. What about the housing conditions for foreign workers, especially those living onsite at the factories?

With the outbreak of COVID19 at many factories across the country, many factory owners have resorted to “forcing” their foreign workers to live onsite within the premises of the factories for fear that these workers may get infected with COVID19 if they are allowed to live outside on their own. Technically speaking, workers are not supposed to live at the factory area. But given the current circumstances, the government needs to be flexible and come up with new housing guidelines under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, together with the respective state government, so that onsite housing at the factories can be legally constructed. I have spoken to a few companies that are able to provide this kind of “dorm” living arrangement and these accommodation arrangements can be set up and dismantled in a very short period of time.[3] All the government needs to do is to provide updated guidelines so that accommodation can be built in industrial areas and still be in compliance with Act 446 (The Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act (Amendment) 2019).

7. Can we think of new ways to open up indoor spaces in a responsible and scientifically sound manner?

One of the fears of reopening indoor spaces is the aerosol spread of the COVID19 virus. One way for us to minimize this risk is to ensure that the air quality in these indoor spaces is constantly monitored and cleaned. I was told that the Belgium government has recently mandated the use of CO2 monitoring in indoor spaces as a pre-requisite for indoor spaces to be opened.[4] We have a very vibrant and innovative Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) sector in Malaysia headed by the Malaysian Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Association (MACRA)[5]. I am sure that they would be able to provide updated inputs on how to ensure clean air quality through the installation of new air filters and air circulation devise so that these indoor spaces can be opened in a responsible and scientifically sound manner. Indoor spaces in this case would include restaurants, gyms, and banquet halls, for a start.

8. Can we use technology to safely re-open shopping malls?

In a related manner, we can also use technology to control and monitor the number of people in a mall using real time monitoring via CCTVs and also tracking apps such as MySejahtera or apps which can be produced by individual shopping malls. Once the limit of people (which is determined by the size and air circulation quality of the mall) has been reached, no other people can be allowed into the mall until someone leaves. Given that we are pushing for the adoption of I4.0 technologies including the Internet of Things (IOT), the government should take the lead in working out feasible solutions with the private sector using technology and innovations.

9. Can we think of ways to organize physical events using existing international SOPs?

This is a bit of a selfish question to answer since it is an area that is near and dear to me. There is no reason why small-scale running events cannot be organized in a manner that is consistent with international SOPs. The Ministry of Youth and Sports can work together with race organizers to adopt a simplified version of the World Athletics COVID19 Protection Procedures handbook[6] which includes testing the athletes before the event and minimizing interactions between the people involved in the organization of such events. I recently upgraded a 400m running track in my constituency in Bandar Baru Bangi Section 15 and I would be more than happy to work with the race organizers and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to see how this can be done in a responsible manner after the end of Phase 1 of this lockdown.

10. What about setting up an IDEAS depository?

The ideas which I have proposed above are not rocket science. I have gotten some of these ideas from friends and others who have reached out to me. I would humble suggest that the Prime Minister’s Office set up a “National Recovery Plan Ideas Bank” (similar to a food bank but for ideas) so that whoever thinks that he or she has a good idea to help reopen the economy in a responsible and safe manner can deposit the idea into this “bank”. The PMO can then select a good idea every day and ask the relevant Minister to interview the person who came up with the idea and see how to implement it in that ministry.

While waiting for the PMO to act on this, if you have any good ideas, please feel free to email me at [email protected]!







Response to the National Recovery Plan: Question of Trust and what we can do about it

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant Political Education Director for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 16th of June, 2021

A Question of Trust and what we can do about it

After the speech yesterday by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announcing the 4 phases of the National Recovery Plan (Appendix 1 below), several questions were raised in a few whatsapp groups that I am in. They include the following:
1) What about businesses which cannot survive beyond August such as gyms, cinemas and restaurants, just to name a few? Will there be assistance for them in the months of July and August?
2) Can we be confident that if the number of cases drops below 2000 that it won’t increase again once some economic sectors are allowed to re-open? What is the government doing differently during MCO 3.0 (other than vaccination) that will help prevent MCO 4.0 from happening?
3) Why is parliament NOT considered as essential especially since all of the MPs and many of their staff and also the civil servants who have to attend parliament have already gotten their COVID19 vaccine shots (at least the first dose)?
4) Where are the detailed plans from each ministry to allow the sectors under their jurisdiction to open up and to operate safely during each of the 4 phases outlined below?
5) While waiting for schools to re-open in September, what is the plan of the government to ensure that those school children who do not have access to devices that will allow them to learn online are taken care of?

Of course, I could have come up with a much longer list to complement the 10 points put forward by Industries Unite but the point of this post is not to merely criticize the lack of details provided in the National Recovery Plan outlined yesterday. The point of this post is to explain the CONSEQUENCES of the breakdown in the trust of the people in this PN government and how we can proceed after recognizing and understanding this breakdown of trust.

Let me illustrate what I mean by using a few examples.

First Example: Under the FMCO, the approval for operations for the various sectors is supposed to come from individual ministries. But the letter of approval for individual businesses to continue to operate is issued by MITI under the CIMS 3.0 system. So when a gang of robbers used a MITI issued letter for a security company to continue to operate to cross state lines and proceeded to carry out a robbery in Melaka, the headlines blamed MITI for issuing the letter when the approval must have come from the Home Ministry! Similarly, MITI is supposed to issue approval letters for essential manufacturing sectors to continue their operations (E&E and Food Manufacturing, for example) but when the workers at these factories get COVID19 because of their cramped accommodation quarters (which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Human Resources), MITI gets blamed as well. Of course, MITI is not helped by the fact that its Minister, Azmin Ali, is one of the most unpopular politicians in the country at the moment (and probably in the foreseeable future as well).

Second Example: Under the FMCO, we are allowed to exercise (jogging, walking) alone with proper physical distancing in our respective housing areas. As a Member of Parliament, I am also allowed to cross district and state lines for the purpose of work. I often run at the open area outside the Bukit Jalil Stadium which is located less than 2km from where I live and I have been exercising here since the start of the FMCO. At the same time, I have also come here recently to look at the operations of the recently opened mass vaccination center at the Axiata Arena which is in the Bukit Jalil Sport Complex. I will also sometimes run in certain areas in Kuala Lumpur, not just for the purpose of exercise but also to check to see if my fellow runners are following the FMCO SOPs and not congregating in groups before and after their runs. But because there is such a low public opinion of politicians at the moment, I also receive criticism on social media for running outside my housing area whereas I am in fact, doing my job as an MP (and getting some exercise at the same time). I do not blame the public because of the double standards shown by some Ministers and also celebrities during this period.

Third example: My local councillors and their assistants as well as my volunteers under Unit Tindak Bangi have been helping me conduct vaccine registration exercises, sanitization of factories and other places with COVID19 positive cases and doing traffic management and crowd control for the recently concluded mass testing exercises in Selangor. They are regularly exposed to COVID19 positive people. But I am worried that if I submit their names of the local district health officer (Pengawai Kesihatan Daerah), I will be labelled as an MP that promotes “queue cutting for my own staff even though I consider them to be frontliners in their own right in the fight against this pandemic. Again, I do not blame the public because there have been other instances where politicians have done this for their family members and other staff who are NOT frontliners in the fight against COVID19. Thankfully, the PKD officer in my area is very understanding and recognizes the contribution of these frontliners.

The three examples above show the level of public distrust against this government and politicians. This kind of mistrust has also filtered into the community where in some instances, people will report on one another because of minor breaches against existing SOPs. This is very worrying especially from a societal cohesion standpoint. We do not want to reach a stage of mistrust where neighbour would turn against neighbour because there is lack of food in the supermarkets or because they are fighting over who would get vaccinated first. So, what can we do as a society in response to the Prime Minister’s National Recovery Plan?

Instead of incessant criticism (which is likely to fall on deaf ears for many of the Ministers) and complaining, I suggested the following action steps in a whatsapp message:

For each sector which has yet to be opened / will need some time to open / may be bankrupt by the time they are allowed to open, please do the following:

1) Propose as detailed an SOP as possible to allow for a safe and secure way of opening with limited capacity and then growing that capacity as the # of cases reduces. (I believe, for example, that cinemas already have a very strict SOP which actually can be implemented even now, to allow for limited seating capacity and ample social distancing)
2) Propose ideas for your company and your sector to be part and parcel of the national vaccination program so that you can play a part in increasing the % of vaccination. For example, offer incentives or discounts for people who have been vaccinated for your services.
3) Propose methods and means to ensure some sort of revenue stream for your company / sector which requires changes / flexibility in govt regulations to cover for the time before your sector is allowed to open fully. For example, I just visited a hotel / resort yesterday which is planning to convert itself temporarily into a PPV as well as a COVID quarantine center in order to cover some of its operating costs.

I also said I am available on a pro-bono basis to share more views and to give consultation on the above 3 points. This is what I think I can and should do as an elected representative with sufficient exposure to different sectors of the economy given my past experience as the Deputy Minister of MITI, as a former Boston Consulting Group consultant, as a former academic at a private university in Malaysia and as a Member of Parliament for the past 8 years.

If you want to take up my offer above, please email me at [email protected] and I promise I will respond to you personally within 48 hours of your email, if not sooner.

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant Political Education Director for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 7th of June, 2021

Almost one week after the start of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO), there are even more questions and confusions than compared to MCO 1.0 in March 2020

One would have thought that more than a year since the first MCO was announced in March 2020, this Perikatan Nasional (PN) government would know how to implement a full lockdown with clear and transparent SOPs. Sadly, this has not been the case. Since the FMCO started on the 1st of June, 2021, there has been MORE confusion and questions with regard to this FMCO compared to the first MCO. Here is a list of issues I have compiled based on media reports and social media postings over the past one week.

20 issues which we are still unsure about 1 week into the FMCO

1, We still don’t have a comprehensive list of which sectors or industries are under the jurisdiction of which Ministry.

When the FMCO was first announced, I issued a statement asking the PN government to make public a comprehensive list of the different sectors of the economy and which Ministries are responsible for overseeing them. This list has not been published. We need to know this information even though the issuing of approval letters has gone back to MITI’s CIMS 3.0 system. This is because the approvals still have to come from the respective ministries and there is still confusion among the Ministries themselves as to which sectors they are responsible for.

2. We still don’t know if restaurants are allowed to operate if they have not gotten an approval letter from MITI

One example is restaurants. Although food and beverages are considered as essential items and F&B is considered an essential industry, it is unclear which Ministry is responsible for approving the continued operations of the many thousands of restaurants in the entire country. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) has said that hawkers only need to produce their license to operate from the local authority and not have to wait for the MITI letter to continue to operate.[1] But this has not stopped some irresponsible enforcement officers from pressuring hawkers into showing their MITI letter.[2] Some restaurants continue to remain close even for take away meals because they have not gotten their MITI approval letter yet. I have received some reports that the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) thinks that only franchise restaurants come under its purview but not the non-franchise restaurants. The National Security Council (NCS) has not clarified this issue at the time of writing.

3. We don’t know if those operating roadside stalls selling food and drinks can continue to operate without an approval letter from MITI

This is similar to the point above except that some of these stalls don’t operate with a valid license from the local authority. But how about those who have been given a temporary license to operate by the local authorities in KL and Selangor, for example, during the COVID19 pandemic? Can they continue to operate? Are the enforcement officers clear on this policy?

4.We don’t know what criteria is being used to ban the sale of alcohol but allow the sale of cigarettes

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs was reported to have said that the sale of alcohol was banned because it is considered as a non-essential item but that the sale of cigarettes would continue to be allowed to cater for the “cigarette addicts”[3] Later on, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri expressed his confusion over this statement since shops which sell beer such as 7-11 were still being allowed to operate. Some supermarkets then closed down the section of their operations selling beer and other alcoholic beverages to comply with the ‘instruction’ from the Deputy Minister. The Minister of Domestic Trade has not issued any public statement on this issue, as far as I know.

I am not advocating for a ban on cigarettes. What I am asking, like many other Malaysians, is consistency and clarity in government policies on the part of the government. If the production and sale of alcohol are banned during the FMCO, has the government considered that opportunists will take the opportunity to make and sell illegal alcohol which will be much more dangerous to consumers? Or have we forgotten the deaths of those through methanol poisoning by consuming cheap and illegal alcohol back in 2019?[4]

5. We still don’t know if automotive / car workshops are allowed to operate if they have not gotten an approval letter from MITI

Even though car workshops are listed as essential under the distributive trade category, it is still unclear which is the Ministry that is supposed to give approval for these workshops to continue to operate. The Ministry of Transport does not list auto workshops under the sectors that are under its jurisdiction for approval in its SMILE application system.[5] The Ministry of Domestic Trade is maintaining an elegant silence on this issue. So many car workshops continue to remain closed. This means that those in the logistics sector needing servicing may face some challenges. And those who need to drive to work because they are working in the essential services sector must hope and pray that their cars or motorcycles don’t break down or require major servicing.

6. We don’t know if those which are in the distributive trade sector and supplying to the essential services are allowed to operate and from which Ministry do they seek approval from

I know of someone who imports various types of PPE equipment to supply to the hospitals and COVID19 quarantine centres in Malaysia. Without getting the approval to operate, his company would not have been able to continue the supply of these essential items to the Ministry of Health. He tried applying to the Ministry of Domestic Trade but the website and later, the google form application, crashed. After trying various options, I was made to understand that his approval was finally granted. I am still unsure as to which was the approving Ministry for his particular sector of the economy.

7.We don’t know if air-con maintenance and repair are allowed to operate and from which Ministry they should seek approval to operate from

Critical maintenance and repair is listed as one of the 17 essential services during the FMCO but I think it only applies to the construction sector. What about other maintenance and service operations which are critical for the continued operations of other essential sectors? For example, if the air conditioning system at a hospital breaks down, we need those in the air-conditioning service sector to do their repair work. For factories producing food and beverages, they also need their air circulation system to be maintained. In fact, one can say that given the airborne nature of the COVID19 virus, the air-conditioning sector should be considered as essential especially for the servicing of commercial (including factories) and government buildings. We are also unsure which Ministry the air-con sector comes under.

8.We don’t know if plumbers are allowed to operate and from which Ministry they should seek approval to operate from

Plumbers are also important to ensure that the toilets in hospitals, factories, offices and government buildings are “flowing” smoothly. But which Ministry is in charge of approving plumbers to continue to operate under FMCO?

9. We don’t know if those servicing photocopiers and printers are allowed to operate and from which Ministry they need to seek approval from

I also received a request from a company whose sales and marketing arm services the photocopiers and provides printing paper to many government ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance. If such companies are not allowed to operate, the Ministries and even hospitals, may not have the required paper to print their documents on and also would not be able to have access to photocopiers and printers which have broken down and are being left unrepaired during the FMCO.

10. We don’t know what criteria is being used to approve or not to approve those who are in the essential services supply chain

There should have been a clear mapping and understanding of the sectors and companies which are critical to the continued operations of the essential services sectors. This can be used as the basis of approving or not approving or approving at a much-reduced capacity, companies which are part of this supply chain. As of today, we have not seen such a mapping or heard any explanations from any Minister with regard to the bigger picture surrounding the supply chain for essential services.

11. We don’t know how children are going to learn online when computer and telco shops are closed and the stationary section in the supermarkets are shut down

The Minister of Education recently announced that classes will continue to remain online when school reopens on the 13th and 14 of June 2021.[6] But many parents who want to repair their laptops and handphones used by their children for online learning at home cannot do so because all of these services are shut down by the FMCO. Furthermore, even stationary sections of some supermarkets have been shut down thereby preventing parents from even buying stationary for their children to use at home.

12. We don’t know how people are supposed to Work From Home (WFH) if their laptops break down and their phones are damaged but the IT and Hphone shops are closed

Similarly, for those who have to work from home using their laptops and handphones, they better hope that their devices don’t break down during the FMCO since none of the places which repairs these devices are open during the MCO. (I had a problem with my laptop which could only be fixed at the HQ of the company and I was informed that this could only be done after the end of the FMCO. Thankfully I have the resources to buy a new laptop but what about those who don’t have the funds to buy a laptop during such an emergency?)

13. We don’t know how those people who seek treatments from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can continue to seek such treatments

I was also told that those seeking treatments from TCM shops cannot do so during the FMCO. The operators of the TCM shops cannot even go to their shops to pack packages of herbs to sent to their customers as they are NOT considered as an essential service even though they provide health and other related relief to their customers.

14. We don’t know why hair colouring is not allowed to be sold at pharmacies

Apparently, some pharmacies sealed up the section of their stores selling hair colouring as it is deemed as a non-essential item. I cannot understand why the selling of hair colouring at a pharmacy that is already open can be detrimental to our overall fight against the COVID19 pandemic.

15. We don’t know why the home improvement section in some shops e.g. DIY are not allowed to be opened

Apparently, some sections of hardware shops which sell home improvement products have been cordoned off. I received a report via tweet that a person couldn’t buy “hooks” for his bathroom from DIY because this section had been cordoned off.

16. We don’t know how people are going to cook at home if some of their home appliances break down since electrical appliance stores are not opened and the sections selling some of these items in supermarkets are closed (e.g. rice cookers and kettles)

Household appliances such as rice cookers and kettles have their shelf life. Some may short circuit during the FMCO because of overuse. But we may not be able to buy their replacements because those shops selling electrical appliances are not open and the sections selling some of these items in some supermarkets have been cordoned off. Of course, there is the option of buying these items online but delivery may take a few days and for some of the semi-urban areas, the preferred option would still be to go to the physical store to procure these items.

17.We don’t know how companies which are in non-essential sectors can continue to maintain their data centres in case of emergencies

I know of a company which is in the non-essential sector but has an important data centre which stores and processes critical information to the financial services sector. For these companies, they need to have one or two people on standby to access the data center in case there is an emergency or if the server breaks down (for whatever reason). Is MDEC, the agency under the Ministry of Multimedia and Communications, that is in charge of data centre operations, aware of such issues happening?

18.We cannot understand why some companies were issued letters of approval by MITI but when the QR code for the company is scanned by the police, the details reveal that it is considered as a non-essential industry (show example)

This is a bit of a technical issue but is important in terms of preventing companies and their staff from being unfairly fined. Some companies which are listed as essential services suddenly find that they are NOT classified as an essential service when the QR code on their MITI letter is scanned by the authorities including the police. This means that the employees of companies with this sort of letter can potentially be fined thousands of ringgit for violating the FMCO. Appendix 1 shows the information from an Optometrist which is NOT classified as essential under the QR code scan even though a letter from MITI has been issued to allow this optometrist to continue to operate under the FMCO.

19.We still don’t understand why jogging is allowed but cycling is banned

I appreciate the fact that jogging and exercise alone in our residential areas are still permitted. But I fail to understand why cycling alone is not permitted, especially if this person is cycling within a 10km radius of his or her home. Furthermore, some people actually cycle to work (including some factory workers in my constituency) and some people cycle to the morning market to do their grocery shopping. Will they be fined for cycling by the enforcement authorities?

20. We still haven’t heard the following Ministers come together and separately give a press briefing on the sectors under their jurisdiction – MITI, Home Ministry, Domestic Trade, Communications and Multimedia, Housing and Local Government (just to name a few)

I am not sure if a gag order has been issued by the Prime Minister to disallow Ministers other than Ismail Sabri to have press briefings for the FMCO. But given the current confusion over the SOPs, shouldn’t the Ministers from the key Ministries (as suggested above) organize a joint press conference to clear the air? We wait with bated breath for this to happen.

Appendix 1: Optometrist considered as “non-essential” in the QR code scan
Appendix 1: Optometrist considered as “non-essential” in the QR code scan