Don’t make money from our health

Dear Diary,

News broke overnight that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating a company over its RM30 million contract to supply mass testing laboratory systems to the government for use to detect Covid-19 infections.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah neither confirmed nor denied the Health Ministry had been involved in awarding contracts to procure equipment for Covid-19 testing through direct negotiations.

Hopefully, if there is any misappropriation, the guilty parties will be brought to justice.

Penang and Selangor are standing their ground on easing into the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state was ready to face any legal suit.

This comes after Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said on Monday that the reluctance by state governments to fully comply with CMCO and re-opening economic sectors could expose themselves to lawsuits by industry stakeholders.

Here’s how Day 49 of MCO unfolded.

8am: REALITY? – Got this via WhatsApp. How many experienced this in office yesterday?

9.15am: BEATING THE THIRST – Police swing batons to beat back thirsty Indians jostling to buy alcohol at the end of a 40-day lockdown.

11.15am: RM800 ONLY? – Don’t be upset Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid and husband are fined RM800 each for violating MCO when visiting Deputy Environment Minister Datuk Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri on April 20.

The law states it is a maximum fine of RM1,000 or six months imprisonment or both, if convicted. Never mind ordinary citizens were handed a maximum fine and even jail term in some cases.

If you want to be upset, it should be that magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim barred media from covering the proceedings without providing reasons. It is supposed to be a public hearing.

Based on her social media posting, Nurulhidayah had also posted a picture of she and her husband going grocery shopping together several days after their Putrajaya visit. At that time, only one person was allowed to do so.

Will she be charged for the second offence?

1.18pm: WHAT S.O.P.? – Ampang residents claim guards at the Ampang Point shopping mall are only checking temperatures of customers coming through the main entrance but not from the car park. Also, there is no proper physical distancing at the car park payment counter.

1.40pm: NOTHING WRONG – Selangor investment, industry, commerce, and small and medium enterprises committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim says the state’s decision to comply with only some of the Federal Government’s CMCO is not wrong.

In a statement, he says: “Under Para 4 of the State List of the Ninth Schedule under the Federal Constitution, local government is under the jurisdiction of the State Government while under the Concurrent List of the same schedule, public health, sanitation and prevention of diseases are under the concurrent jurisdiction of the Federal and the State Government.

He adds it is about striking a balance between lives and livelihood.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow says the state is not opposed to CMCO but disagrees with the implementation. He says state leaders were caught by surprise as they were told they had time to formulate how best to go about it.

2pm: SEMANTICS – Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says reports that Taman Wilayah and Taman Desa Bakti in Selayang and Jalan Raja Bot where Chow Kit market is located are under Enhanced MCO are not true. They are just under tighter control.

He says there is no more curfew and vehicles are allowed to be on the road throughout the day. Inter-district travel restrictions have also been lifted.

Inter-state travel is still prohibited except from May 7-10 for those in personal vehicles who have received permission. Public transportation for inter-state travel has yet to be approved.

He reiterates it is important for all companies to send their foreign workers for Covid-19 tests as there could be a high number of infections, similar to what happened in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz says all 10 core initiatives in the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package have been implemented, comprising 95 per cent of the total package valued at RM260 billion.

4.39pm: LOWEST YET – Only 30 new cases today, the lowest since MCO began on March 18. This brings the total to 6,383. Another 83 patients are discharged, bringing the number of those cured to 4,567 or 71.5 per cent of cases. There is one death which takes fatalities to 106.

5pm: I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND – Today is World Hand Hygiene Day. This Beatles song should come with a warning!