PETALING JAYA: Restrictive conditions and regulations under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) must be reviewed from time to time to ensure a realistic balance between lives and livelihoods, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The Alliance For Safe Community chairman said the lifting of the enhanced movement control order in several parts of Selangor was a welcome respite for an MCO-weary population.
“More and more people in the worst-hit areas of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur have been or are being vaccinated. Further relaxation of some restrictive conditions following vaccination will slowly help restore economic activities and pave the way for improved mental health, among others,” he said.
On Friday (July 16), the government announced that the enhanced movement control order in most parts of Selangor has been lifted despite the high number of cases as mass Covid-19 screenings have been completed.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was based on the information given by the Health Ministry at the National Security Council (NSC).
In a statement on Saturday (July 17), Lee said that it does not make sense for all the restrictions to remain the same as it could cause hardship until the pandemic is over.
“In deciding when, why, and where there can be further relaxation of the restrictions, it is important to engage and seek the advice of stakeholders.
“Stakeholders have the knowledge and the clout to suggest practical ways and means to ensure compliance,” said Lee.
He added that some quarters are reeling under some current restrictions that they believe do not make sense.
“For instance, why restrict the rakyat to buying only essential items in supermarkets? What is essential for some may be different from what is essential for others,” said Lee.
He said that it also does not make sense to restrict people from dining-out.
“Instead, patrons who have been vaccinated should be allowed to do so while restaurant owners are charged with the responsibility to ensure that there is physical distancing and the tables are placed well apart,” said Lee.
“Many eatery establishments have closed due to loss of business and the employees are out of jobs,” he added.
Lee also questioned why people in residential areas are only allowed to jog in open spaces around their homes but not in the public parks located near their residence.
“Public parks are the most appropriate places for jogging and relaxation as they are free from traffic and environmental pollution. People who go there should comply with all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the assistance of park enforcement officers,” he said.