Lee calls for ‘drastic action’ as COVID-19 cases soar

By Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye


The writing was clearly on the wall when the number of Covid-19 infections kept rising. Something drastic had to be done to address the alarming trend.

So, it comes as no surprise that new SOPs are soon to be imposed in the states and territories where the concentration of such cases is the highest.

While the daily figures have exceeded 3,000 recently, it has been reported that the figure could reach 5,000 by the end of this month.

So, we are faced with Hobson’s Choice. We need to put in place more stringent SOPs or even impose partial lockdowns over a specific period of time in the worst hit areas.

It is not rocket science why we are facing this deluge in the number of cases. We have been too complacent, too lackadaisical, too careless.

In bazaars and in other areas, the number of people in close proximity is alarming. Even wearing masks in such crowded places is no guarantee of safety. We must still practice physical distancing.

So we need new guidelines or the imposition of previous restrictions. It is imperative that before new guidelines and restrictions are introduced, there must be deep reflection and these must be based on past experience.

They must be clearly spelt out and not left to the individual law enforcer to interpret. In the past this has led to confusion, resentment and defiance. A case in point is the burger seller in Kelantan who was issued with summons to pay RM50,000 when the maximum fine should only have been RM2,000.

This has led to some comical and satirical Tik-Tok videos on social media.

And it is paramount that there must be buy-in from the public. This can only be done if there is public confidence and participation in the formulation and implementation of rules and regulations.

It will not help when hefty fines are imposed on some and others are only given a slap on the wrist for non-compliance with same SOPs. Such incidents are not just isolated cases, but seems to be commonplace.

We are all equally responsible and should therefore be equally treated.

So, let’s brace ourselves for tougher measures to meet difficult times. In doing so, let’s all be on the same page in terms of imposition, enforcement, consistency and purpose.

Only then can we beat the enemy. And we can together say ‘We did it’ under the first MCO when we flattened the curve.


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