Should MCO end soon?

Dear Diary,

We have reached 80 days of the Movement Control Order (MCO) but we still don’t know if it will be extended beyond June 9 – only four days away.

Are we out of the woods? Should it be lifted or should it be continued with more loosening of restrictions?

Hopefully, we can get a clearer picture from the powers-that-be soon.

The good news is Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced some incentives today.

The political drama in the country doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon with former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad alleging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is using tactics akin to threats when questioning certain Armada (Bersatu’s youth wing) members.

Over in the United States, the George Floyd protests continue with some shocking videos of police brutality being exposed. To get the live updates, click here.

Here’s how Day 80 of MCO unfolded.

7.30am: IN THE DARK – Premier League clubs head into Project Restart in the dark over how the final table will be decided if the season is curtailed once again as no resolution was reached overnight.

8.09am: GAMBLING WITH HEALTH? – Las Vegas casinos reopen after months of lockdown.

9.45am: YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS UP – Although Porto lost 2-1 to Famalicao, you wouldn’t believe who scored its consolation goal.

10.12am: MONEYBAGS – According to Forbes, Cristiano Ronaldo is the first billionaire footballer.

11.03am: CLIMBING – Brazil’s death toll blew past Italy’s with another 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional Covid-19 cases. It now has 34,021 deaths, trailing only the United States (110,179) and the United Kingdom (39,904).

12.07pm: RAYA GAWAI – Nice brunch in the office today.

1.38pm: D-DAY – The Kuala Lumpur High Court will deliver its judgment regarding the SRC International case of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on July 28.

2.21pm: POOR SUPERSTAR – Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, was mistakenly approved to receive a US$120 (RM511) welfare payment meant for low-paid Brazilian workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

3pm: GOVT AID – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announces several perks to help the economy via the Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana). Among the 40 initiatives worth RM35 billion are:-

  • One-off financial assistance worth RM300 to more than 300,000 disabled persons and single mothers that will be distributed before Hari Raya Haji.
  • Peka B40 healthcare support initiative for the needs of low-income groups.
  • MY30 programme for public transportation users in the Klang Valley to purchase unlimited travel passes for only RM30 per month.
  • Incentives for working parents through subsidy of childcare expenses. E-vouchers for mobile childcare services until the end of August, an increase of income tax relief for parents on expenses related to childcare services from RM2,000 to RM3,000.
  • Incentives to childcare centres, among them a one-off grant to registered childcare centres to train new practitioners for child nursing and early education.
  •  Full sales tax exemption on locally assembled passenger cars, 50 per cent sales tax exemption on imported passenger cars, from mid-June to December 2020.
  • RM50 worth of e-wallet credits.
  • Tax relief will be given to businesses for Covid-19 related expenses.
  • RM2 billion financing to assist SMEs affected by Covid-19.
  • Employers of those asked to take leave without pay as their industries have yet to be given the green light to operate can apply for wage subsidy provided the funds go directly to their employees.
  • One gigabyte of free Internet, from 8am until 6pm daily which is for education sites and video conferencing.

Muhyiddin says this is the fourth stage (Recovery) of the government’s six-stage recovery plan. The six stages are called 6R – Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise and Reform.

To get the full list, click here.


5.30pm: END OF STREAK – After 13 days of no fatalities, there was one Covid-19 death, making it 116. The good news is that after the high of 277 cases yesterday, the number of new infections dropped to 19, taking the total to 8,266. Also, 51 patients have been discharged, meaning 6,610 people have been cured.

6.30pm: WHERE ARE YOU? – Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, has a meaningful message.

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