KUALA LUMPUR,:The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has urged the government to further expand and boost the Covid-19 relief, such as the ‘targeted loan moratorium’, wage subsidy and living allowance for the vulnerable group, so as to assist Malaysians to better cope with the impact of tighter standard operating procedures (SOP) during the latest Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) which takes effect from 13 January until 26 January.

Its President, Tan Sri T.C Goh expressed hope that with the full support and cooperation from the people and the relevant authorities, the government’s move of imposing stricter SOPs and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s declaration of emergency to last until 1 August, Malaysia could come out of the woods, soon.

He also urged politicians from both sides of the divide to fully respect and abide by the emergency declaration, which effectively disallow political elections at all level, and to immediately stop their political farce. He reiterated that they should instead rally behind the people to fight the pandemic and to stimulate economic recovery.

In a statement issued today, he said Huazong fully supports the declaration of emergency by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as a measure to address the worsening pandemic in the country, as well as the government imposing of various degrees of MCOs i.e. MCO, CMCO and RMCO nationwide.

Goh who is also the President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) however opined that the government should continue to roll out necessary relief schemes, to assist the business sector and the people.

“The government should boost such aids like wage subsidy, living allowance and welfare assistance for vulnerable groups, and extension of loan moratorium for affected businesses and people in the worst hit states.

“The government should also focus on helping those worst-hit sectors like tourism, food catering business, entertainment, gig economy, and the self-employed,” he added.

He also called on the Chinese community to join forces with fellow Malaysians from other communities to fight the pandemic.

The following is Huazong’s 10-point proposal to better fight the pandemic:
1. To prevent the UK virus strain from spreading to Malaysia.

2. To expedite the purchase of vaccines, and to speed up the national vaccination program to ensure all Malaysians get free vaccination.

3. To ramp up Covid-19 testing and vaccination programs for non citizens, foreign workers included.

4. To beef up border patrol and security at all entry points to prevent influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries.

5. To pay serious attention to the ongoing flood situation in Peninsular Malaysia, and to introduce proper and effective SOPs to prevent emergence of the “flood clusters”.

6. To set up a special taskforce to encourage and to enlist private hospitals to join the fight against the pandemic, so as to ease the burden of the government medical and healthcare systems which are currently at breaking point.

7. To strive to boost support and to keep the risk of infection at the lowest level for the frontliners and medical team.

8. The Ministry of Health to enlist more retired medical personnel or volunteers to ease the work burden and pressure of the medical frontliners.

9. The Ministry of Finance continues to provide necessary aids like low or zero interest financing, wage subsidy, and extension of loan moratorium to business sector, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and those who are involved in the gig economy or self-employed.

10. To provide living allowances and welfare aids of various categories to those from the low-income or vulnerable groups.-pr/BNN