PETALING JAYA,Oct 22: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has questioned how Putrajaya’s work from home order affecting certain workers would help the health ministry’s public health measures.

In a statement today, Anwar said the directive made no sense as it allowed management staff to stay at home while operational level employees worked on-site as usual.

“How does this help public health measures, and at the expense of blue-collar workers?”

He also repeated his call for the loan moratorium to be reinstated, to help businesses and individuals survive, adding that the extension should last for the next few months.

Citing recent figures by Retail Group Malaysia, he said approximately 51,000 retail shops, or 15% of the industry, will not be able to survive past the next four to five months due to the pandemic.

“The government must show firm leadership by extending the moratorium for another three months, as the economy has yet to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic especially with the spike in new cases.

“Additional measures are required to keep small businesses afloat and wages flowing to workers until the movement control order (MCO) ends.

“It is indeed telling that the government has been silent on protecting the lower-income groups and is instead focusing on protecting large corporations,” he said.

He also slammed the government over the confusion on the work from home SOPs for workers involved in management and supervision in the public and industrial sectors in states under the conditional MCO (CMCO).

He said Putrajaya should be issuing clear statements with proper clarifications to avoid causing unnecessary distress to firms and people who were already facing a difficult time.

“It does not instil confidence both domestically and among foreign investors when important statements are made without proper follow-through and clarification.”

On Tuesday, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the work from home order in CMCO states was to reduce the number of people at workplaces, following the detection of several workplace Covid-19 clusters.

Yesterday the international trade and industry ministry issued more details on the work from home order, stating that 10% of management and supervisory staff in the finance, administration, HR and IT departments were allowed to go into the office, but only between 10am and 2pm, and for a maximum of three days in a week.


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