Thursday, April 02, 2020

Azmin Ali - Prioritize Workers Health during Covid-19 MCO - Do not simply recomend exemption of businesses? 4,000 exempted?

Well, Azmin is back now, and he is talking about exemption of businesses, that currently are not specified as 'essential services' and as such had to cease operations..and all workers now are 'safely' at home. 

If exemptions are given, the these business starts operating again during this movement control order and workers will have to go back to work...

Under this movement control order, only workplaces/factories/businesses involved in 'Essential Services' are required, and thus allowed to operate >  But all others are required to cease operations. 

The reason is simply we need everyone to stay home, not move around, not gather and interact with others ('Social Distancing') - all steps simply to STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19...the priority concern now is not the improving or stabilizing of the economy...

So, is Azmin going to decide on the best interest of business OR the best interest of workers and their families?

Further more, according to the current Order and Regulations, the person empowered to grant exemption is ONLY the Director General of Health > not even Senior Minister Azmin Ali? So, all Azmin can do is to give the DG of Health his or his Ministry's recomendations.

4,000 applications for exemptions are approved? Why? Does MACC and the police need to investigate whether there were any element of 'corruption' involved? How many workers now will be forced back to work during the MCO - and how many families will be at risk? 

If these workers, on their way to work and back, or at the workplace become infected by Covid-19, which also causes death > should we blame Azmin Ali? Should we blame the DG of Health? Everyone and every business is 'sacrificing' a lot - why can't the simply wait for the end of the MCO to begin operations again? 

Maybe Azmin Ali can give us the full LIST of Businesses exempted - and the reasons for their exemption? Are they really needed essential services? 

In normal times, the worker and/or their trade union can challenge this 'Exemption' decision by the Minister in Court by way of Judicial Review...but now, the risk is simply too great...and it will involve lawyers and judges coming in to hear this applications.

Maybe Azmin ought to give a PERSONAL guarantee, that any worker and/or their family are infected or possibly infected, he will compensate them for their sufferings and loss of liberties...and if anyone dies, then Azmin will immediately resign not just as Minister but also as Member of Parliament? Will he do that? After all, his decision will immediately increase the risk of these workers and/or their families.

A public disclosure of these newly exempted companies is IMPORTANT because we too can try to convince the companies to not start operations during this high risk period for the wellbeing of their workers and families...Just wait until the end of the MCO...please. The list must be gazetted...and, the exemption according to the current applicable law must come from the DG of Health and not MITI?
Azmin Ali is wonders why he, being 'senior' senior Minister is not leading Malaysia's fight against Covid-19, as the one seen to be leading is not even the Home Minister(the one responsible for police, immigration, and other law enforcement bodies) is also not the Minister of Health - but rather the Defence Minister(who is primarily responsible for the armed forces)...

Well, anyway, it is the Prime Minister's or really the Cabinet's decision - is it an indication of the growing power and influence of UMNO within this new PN government? 

Azmin's own political future is a big question mark - does he even now have the majority support of his own parliamentary constituencies. If he was a candidate of PN, and not PH, would he even win or will he simply lose even his deposit.

Come next GE, will he even be a candidate - Now, he is a member of BERSATU - but the question now, is who will be in control of BERSATU after their soon elections - will it be Mahathir or Muhyiddin? Even if Muhyiddin, when it comes to next GE, will Bersatu, BN and/or PAS agree to let Azmin be their PN candidate for Gombak? Will PN even contest as PN - or will they simply contest as BN, PAS, Bersatu, etc ?

So, at least for now, prioritize people rather that businesses...prioritize health and safety rather than 'economics'?

Azmin: Firms sent over 11,000 applications for MCO exemptions, around 4,000 approved

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2020. — Bernama pic
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2020. — Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The government gave some 4,000 companies approval to operate during the nationwide movement control order (MCO), International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.

The senior minister also said his ministry received around 11,000 applications from companies including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) for exemptions from the MCO.

“The government is taking a very courageous and responsible step to protect the people, ensuring public healthcare and supporting businesses including SMEs to strengthen the nation’s economy.

“These companies must also take this opportunity to enhance their capabilities and abilities in new technologies. This is a great time to learn so that our industry is more prepared post-MCO with the need to build ecosystem as we enter digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said on Twitter today.

Azmin also pleaded with SMEs to work in tandem with the government to retain their workers and continue operations after the MCO period.

He said following the economic and health crisis, the government introduced a RM250 billion economic stimulus package — representing 17 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product — which was the biggest in the nation’s history.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced last Friday the People-Centric Economic Stimulus package (Prihatin) to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the package, RM100 billion was allocated to support businesses, including SMEs.

“The government is taking an open approach to hear the views and feedback from SME representatives. The sum in the package is a large one, not just to help the rakyat but to support SMEs because they contribute significantly to the country’s economy,” Azmin said.

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