PM’s friendly reminder not to be taken for granted

It was a gentle reminder that some may have construed as unnecessary.

But the friendly warning by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should not be taken lightly as Malaysians pick up the pieces throughout the Recovery Movement Control Order.

The number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Malaysia remain relatively low (21 news cases today; death toll remains at 123) compared to developed nations as over 14.5 million cases have been recorded worldwide.

Yet, Muhiyddin ended his speech by saying: “Let’s not take things for granted and get carried away. The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over.”

During his 4pm televised address, Muhyiddin highlighted the billions of subsidies and grants handed out to Malaysians and business owners who were badly hit when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed on March 18.

He gave subtle warnings of what to expect if Malaysians continue being lackadaisical while reminding the people of the economic impact due to the lockdown resulting in the country losing RM2 billion daily during the MCO.

“Although the number of cases remains low, I’m concerned with the 13 new clusters … even more worrying is the double-digit numbers we’ve been recording. I’m sure you don’t want the government to impose a lockdown if the cases surge. I hope we don’t have to do that,” Muhyiddin said.

“We must continue to wear face masks, practise social distancing and avoid handshakes. Some are now hugging each other. It’s good to strengthen bonds but remember, we’re still in the recovery process. We must protect ourselves and those around us from Covid-19.”

He added the government is mulling making the wearing of face masks in public mandatory. The use of face masks is encouraged at the moment with many premise owners insisting on it before patrons can enter. Muhyiddin said as discussions were ongoing, details pertaining to this will be announced soon.

He also urged parents to remind their children to wear face masks, practise social distancing and wash their hands regularly.

“Never mind if it sounds like you are nagging but this is important. This is because we love our family.”

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

DEFACED MURALS OF AGONG, PM REMOVED

The Shah Alam City Council has removed the murals of the nation’s leaders which were recently painted on the walls of a building at Taman Cahaya Alam in Section U12 after they were defaced.

The murals of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, among others, were vandalised and defaced with red paint.

The murals were painted by Muhammad Suhaimi Ali, 27, Muhamad Firdaus Nordin, 26, and Abdul Hadi Ramli, 27. Al-Sultan Abdullah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah had visited the site on July 10.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SURGES

The unemployment rate in Malaysia rose to 5.3 per cent in May compared to 5 per cent in April.

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the tourism, manufacturing and services sectors are among the worst hit. The self-employed and small-time entrepreneurs are also affected.

He was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Port Dickson) in Parliament regarding the unemployment rate and projections until the end of the year.

DAP REP MAKES U-TURN

Rahang assemblyman Mary Josephine Prittam Singh, who quit DAP on July 9, has decided to stay put with the party. The 71-year-old DAP veteran said “it was too painful to leave”.

SELANGOR EXPECTS 6 MILLION TOURISTS IN 2020

Tourism Selangor has initiated efforts to rebuild tourism industry in the state post-Covid19.

Initiatives include a domestic tourism campaign ‘Pusing Selangor Dulu’ and optimum use of the digital platform and social media sites.

Tourism Selangor has set a new tourist arrival target of six million this year.

STATE GOVT FUNDING POLICIES POISON FOOTBALL ASSOCIATIONS

State governments cannot be allowed to sponsor state football clubs, using taxpayers’ money, without any form of accountability or clear commercial expectations.

The state governments’ obvious lack of interest in their investment is not just a stark abuse of public funds, but poor leadership that reinforces the uncontrolled and unchecked governance and rotten commercial practices prevalent in many state football associations, writes Twentytwo13 contributor Muhammad Yunus Zakariah.

COLLEEN NOW AMNIG STAR

Mixed martial arts athlete Colleen Augustin is now the ambassador of local brand Amnig. Both parties signed a one-year agreement with an option to extend it for another year.

Colleen Augustin in Amnig gear.

Colleen inked her name in the history books as she became Malaysia’s first gold medallist at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) Asian Championships and won bronze in the IMMAF World Championships last year.