National Recovery Plan: If all goes well, Parliament to reconvene by Sept, lives back to normal in Dec

Malaysia can look forward to celebrating the New Year under the Covid-19 National Recovery Plan (NRP), which hopes to see 60 per cent of the population fully vaccinated by then.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in announcing the NRP today, said there are four phases to the recovery, with the final stage expected to begin by late September, or early October.

“To enter Phase Four, we need three things to happen – the average daily cases of Covid-19 to be below 500, the public health system is at a safe level, including bed rates in the ICU at adequate levels, and 60 per cent of the country’s population has received two doses of the vaccine,” said Muhyiddin.

“The Fourth Phase is the last phase of the National Recovery Plan, where we can, as much as possible, return to normal daily life, pre-Covid-19.

“All sectors of the economy would be opened, more social activities and state travel allowed and domestic tourism opened, subject to tight standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“But once we enter Phase 3, Parliament can also reconvene.”

For that to happen, the average daily cases must drop below 2,000, the public health system is at a comfortable level, and bed use in the ICU is at adequate levels. Most importantly, 40 per cent of the population must be fully vaccinated.

He said this is possible as the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is on track to vaccinate as many as 300,000 individuals per day in the coming months, after reaching nearly 200,000 doses yesterday.

However, Muhyiddin said the government could extend any phase under the NRP if necessary, until the country was able to meet the conditions set.

These are Twentytwo13’s news highlights.

EXPERTS TO PRESENT VIEWS TO MALAY RULERS TOMORROW

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has, to date, met 18 leaders from various political parties, since June 9.

In a statement today, Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, said Al-Sultan Abdullah had granted Special Independent Committee on Emergency chairman, Tun Arifin Zakaria, an audience at Istana Negara today.

“The sessions to meet the political leaders were made on the initiative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and is linked to efforts to combat Covid-19 during the state of emergency,” the statement read.

“Based on these sessions, the views gathered from the political leaders will be presented during a special meeting involving Malay rulers tomorrow, which will start at 2.30pm.

“Experts from government agencies are also scheduled to be granted audiences at tomorrow’s meeting, where they will present matters related to health, security, politics and the nation’s economy.”

Separately, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was also granted an audience with the King today.

MALAYSIA GREENLIGHTS PFIZER SHOTS FOR 12 AND ABOVE

The Drug Control Authority (DCA) of Malaysia has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and above.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, however, said priority would still be given to the high-risk groups, in line with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Dr Noor Hisham, in a statement today, said DCA had also granted conditional registration for the emergency use of CanSino and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Both these vaccines only require one dose.

Malaysia recorded 5,419 new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of cases to 667,876.

COPS OPEN FIRE, ARREST DRIVER WHO MOWED DOWN PEDESTRIAN

Police opened fire on a Perodua Myvi after its driver, a grass-cutter, rammed into a pedestrian and attempted to crash into policemen at Jalan Batu Uban 2 in George Town, Penang, at 6.40am.

The 61-year-old pedestrian, who was trying to cross the road, died at the scene.

Police had earlier tried to stop the driver, who was driving suspiciously, but he sped off. This led to a high-speed chase. The driver ignored repeated calls by the police to stop, forcing them to shoot at the vehicle’s right rear tyre.

The 46-year-old driver, who was not injured, was then apprehended. Police also found three packets of Heroin AB drugs, weighing 13g, inside the vehicle.

FOREIGNER NABBED AFTER RELIGIOUS TEACHER LOSES RM78K IN LOVE SCAM

A 38-year-old Nigerian was detained over his alleged involvement in a love scam involving a 49-year-old religious teacher.

During a raid at an apartment in Alor Gajah over the weekend, Melaka police also found, among others, 14 bank cards, three mobile phones, one courier service envelope with the name Timothy White on it, a resident’s card, one Federal Republic of Nigeria passport, and an iPad.

The suspect was remanded from the date of his arrest to today.

The victim, a single mother, was allegedly duped by the suspect after befriending him on Facebook. The suspect, after sending her romantic messages, had claimed he had sent her jewellery, shoes, a mobile phone, clothes and cash.

The victim was later contacted by an individual claiming to be from a courier company and was informed that she had to settle taxes of RM78,214 before she could receive the items. The victim transferred the money to three different bank accounts between May 28 and June 8.

The victim became suspicious after she did not receive the parcel and lodged a police report at the Alor Gajah police headquarters on June 9.

PENANG GOVT’S RATIONALISATION ON SOUTH ISLANDS PROJECT RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

The Penang government had tried to pacify the public through its rationalisation, but most environmentalists and marine biologists agree the state government’s explanation is anything but convincing.

Associate Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk, director of the Centre for Policy Research and International Studies in Universiti Sains Malaysia, said that in 2015, the university was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive social impact assessment on the repercussions of this project on those who live nearby, and the wider population of Penang, northern Perak, and southern Kedah.

“As such, I believe the explanation by the state government is merely a rehash of old arguments that do not hold up to scrutiny,” he wrote in his article today.