By Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) is concerned about Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 which has lasted for almost a month and has failed to lower the Covid-19 case numbers.

ABIM stresses that the ongoing situation of MCO 3.0 shows signs of worsening living conditions. Based on a report from the Secretariat of the Economic Action Council (EAC), more than 600,000 households from the middle-income group (M40) have slipped into the B40 low-income group.

Apart from that, dialogue between the Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) and the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) has revealed data and facts that show the people's dire economic situation. Some 200,000 people have almost emptied their EPF savings, while 6.24 million members under 55 have less than RM10,000 in Account 1. Based on the National Average Savings of Malaysians, without EPF, the average Malaysian savings rate is negative 0.5%.

At the same time, the government today is still failing to get an adequate supply of vaccines. According to a statement from the Prime Minister, the government failed to provide 400,000 doses of vaccine a day due to the failure of suppliers to supply vaccines according to national requirements. The government also claimed that this failure was related to vaccine monopoly factors from developed countries.

This statement revealed that efforts to fight Covid-19 through the target of achieving group immunity will take a long time and restrictions such as the MCO may be prolonged.

Thus, ABIM outlines several calls for the government to take responsibility for the misery of the people's lives.

First, ABIM urges the government to take responsibility for the direct impact of the MCO on the people. A massive aid package should be disbursed to the people, covering the B40 as well as the M40 who are in a position to slip into the B40 bracket at any time. This includes a moratorium on auto loans which should be implemented, such as was the case in MCO 1.0.

Second, the government should try to find alternatives to the failures that occurred as soon as possible, including the failure to get an adequate supply of vaccines to ensure that the misery of the people is not prolonged.

Blaming another party without coming up with an immediate alternative will in no way help Malaysians end the hardships of life they are experiencing at this time.

This is vital given that the government has announced the allocation of a vaccination programme of RM 5 Billion covering every aspect of its implementation, including the purchase of vaccines on March 17, 2021 as announced by the Ministry of Finance.

The people have the right to know how that amount adds value to the safety and well-being of the people.

Thirdly, ABIM recommends that the government review the plan presented with the joint involvement of all parties given the current situation. Based on the number of Covid-19 cases that are still growing, it is feared that the government will fail to achieve the results we need. This includes a review of SOPs that are not clear in terms of the enforcement of MCO 3.0.