By Your Friendly Neighbourhood EnvironMentalist 

One has to do with who is authorised to force you to open the front grill of your home. The other is about who is authorised to close down the operations of a factory.

Malaysians live daily in fear of catching Covid-19 (more than 13,000 cases today). In recent days, there are reports that we also have to contend with bogus cops demanding home occupants to unlock their grill or gate to allow them in for "inspection". Ya, inspection for the purpose of robbery. How do we tell the fake cop from an original ... Wait, what? oops ... the real police officer ?

Personally, I would play it safe, request or demand to deal with a uniformed officer of inspector rank only, photograph the inspector without their mask, and get confirmation from the nearest Balai Polis.

That is about opening.

Then there is the ongoing tug-o-war between Federal and State authorities over who has jurisdiction over closing down factory operations.

State EXCO for the local council says it is for the Federal Agencies to decide. The Federal Minister for Housing & Local Council says the authority lies with the local council.

Strange fact. The Federal Minister and State EXCO are both elected, but the Mayor or Council President are appointed, either through the Federal or State civil service, depending on ex-Straits Settlement, Federated or Unfederated Malay States, Sabah or Sarawak.

One of the most glaring issues that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us in Malaysia is WE NEED TO GET OUR LAWS & REGULATIONS HARMONISED at Federal, State and Local Government levels.

EVERYONE has to be on the same page. This means EVERYONE has to know who is involved in the decision making process. EVERYONE must be informed of these decisions.

SOPs need to be discussed across agencies, these SOPs must be publicised with ample time for people to understand and comply, and, this must be applied across the board without fear or favour.

Do we allow restaurants to open for dine-in customers on Monday?

Do we allow only pick-up.

Do we force many businesses to 'tapau' permanently?