Umno info chief demands answers from Putrajaya over proposed economic shutdown

John Bunyan
·2-min read
A general view of the Perdana Putra building which houses the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya February 25, 2020. — Bernama pic
A general view of the Perdana Putra building which houses the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya February 25, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan has urged the government to clear the air over a proposed economic shutdown if the Covid-19 situation does not improve by Feb 4.

A leaked memo by EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eurocham Malaysia) to its members following an informal meeting with the International Trade & Industry Ministry (Miti) last Friday had mentioned the proposal and was widely shared on social media yesterday, sparking panic among the public.

Shahril said the government should respond to such news immediately as it creates confusion for the public.

“If the rumours aren’t true then the government should deny it. But if it is true, the government needs to be honest with the people.

“Give the people sufficient time to prepare if there is indeed an intention to implement a tighter lockdown,” he said in a statement last night.

Yesterday, Malay Mail reported on the memo to a Eurocham Malaysia member, which stated that Putrajaya is set to announce a total economic shutdown after February 4. A source linked to the organisation confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

However, Eurocham Malaysia has denied the lockdown and said that the leaked internal memo which was widely shared was issued only for its members, after an informal discussion with (Miti).

Shahril also questioned why Miti had revealed such information to Eurocham Malaysia first.

“Why did Miti give information regarding the MOH recommendation? Shouldn’t it be a secret, especially if it’s just a recommendation and not yet a decision?

“Then, after the ‘leak’, where is the government official's explanation to the people?” he asked.

He said that people don't need the details of the meeting or any differences of opinion between agencies or ministries.

“That is the internal matter of the government. What we want to know is the formal decision and a clear strategy that can convince all parties. Citizens, employees, employers — all want certainty, not confusion,” he said.

Related Articles CM: 153,250 plantation workers in Sabah ordered to undergo Covid-19 screening German business confidence slips on tighter lockdown With Covid-19 cases still high, Sabah minister predicts strict rules for Chinese New Year