PETALING JAYA,Jan 25: An opposition MP has told Putrajaya not to blame the public’s lack of SOP compliance for the surge in Covid-19 cases, saying the rules set by the government have been contradictory and confusing at times.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii told FMT there were policy flip-flops on public parks and businesses that were allowed to open during the current movement control order (MCO 2.0).

He also cited the change in policy on the number of people permitted in a car during the conditional MCO last year, while standard operating procedures for home quarantine were unclear.

“On top of the flip-flops, there have clearly been double standards in terms of enforcement, which do not instil confidence and set good examples for the general public,” he said.

Bernama yesterday quoted senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob as saying the surge in Covid-19 cases was due to failures in observing physical distancing, particularly during the Sabah election.

While Malaysians have largely complied with wearing face masks, Ismail said, the practice of physical distancing was insufficient, particularly in restaurants.

However, in December last year, Ismail had attracted criticism after pictures of him at a restaurant in Melaka allegedly failing to practise physical distancing went viral.

He denied the claims and said the pictures were taken at an angle to intentionally show everyone sitting close to each other, adding that having a chair between diners was enough distancing.

More recently, there was controversy in Johor after a cafe owner was fined for not wearing a face mask in a “crowded public place”. Nur Izzati Aqilah Lokman Hakim disputed the claim and produced a CCTV recording that showed it was not crowded.

But a source in the Johor police rejected her claim and insisted she had ignored the rules, sharing with FMT a picture that showed a woman leaving a shop as a mask-less Nur Izzati grabbed her bags from her car.

The source added that the movement control rules set by the National Security Council clearly stated that masks were mandatory in outdoor public places when other people were present.


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