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YOURSAY | Flip-flops galore - ministers at loggerheads

YOURSAY | ‘While they are at it, the 14-day lockdown would be over.’

Last-minute change: All MCO exemptions must now come from Miti

Police will now accept all travel permission letters, not only Miti's

Patriot1: This is typical of a government that implements policies without giving things a proper thought through.

There are many industries that do not involve manufacturing. If the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) is the sole authority to approve exemptions, then they must first figure out if the applicant is under the purview of which ministry, and after that, who to contact and who are the people applicable under “work from home” instructions?

While this is being done, the 14-day lockdown would be over.

SV: This is to be expected from the present leadership.

First, they announced that all industries must get approval from the respective ministry. But there was no mechanism set up so they reverted to Miti.

Next, it will be 80 percent government officials working from home. We can expect delays!

OrangePigeon6609: Another flip-flop. It is indeed right that someone said this government is clueless. Its own departments can’t even communicate with one another.

It’s no wonder the people are fed up and confused. It’s time to get rid of all these leaders in the next election.

OrangePony5652: Are Miti and the Finance Ministry playing a virtual ping pong game amidst this pandemic? Is the National Security Council (NSC) so brainless that they have to issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) only on the eve of every movement control order (MCO)?

Do they ever get it through their thick skulls that last-minute, hare-brained solutions and contradictory official orders create mayhem in the business circle and make the public scurry for groceries and last-minute tasks before the full lockdown?

This is the most well-staffed cabinet but it has no inkling of leadership and is instead behaving like a headless chicken.

RedParrot1151: Can you all please standardise the SOP? Just use colour codes and then declare if we are red, orange or green.

Please don’t keep tinkering and experimenting. You cannot satisfy everyone, but at least we have certainty of what to do instead of guessing and trying to understand the ever-changing SOP.

It’s like when you go to a restaurant, you get a menu and you order what’s on the menu. You wouldn’t like it if the chef keeps changing the contents of the menu while you’re looking at it.

You want certainty, don’t you?

MyMalaysia: What an incompetent, laughing stock of a government. This pandemic didn’t come yesterday. These last-minute U-turns are confusing the business community.

When you announced a “total lockdown”, why did you not prepare the guidelines as well?

Just A Malaysian: It takes two to four days to apply and verify for approval to operate during the lockdown. That’s four days gone from 14 days of lockdown.

Why didn’t they define and approve essential services last year? We went through 16 months of Covid-19 and three lockdowns, and we learned nothing.

This is worse than stupid.

Xenobio: This is guaranteed to cause chaos and backlogs. Approval still has to be verified by the relevant ministry, only now they have to go through Miti as a middleperson?

Why couldn’t the government come up with a straightforward application pipeline ahead of time?

Epidemiologists predicted since early last year that every country would suffer multiple epidemic waves. There is no excuse for coming up with last-minute SOP changes this late.

Dr Raman Letchumanan: Governments typically are inefficient because they work on the basis of consultation and consensus. That is okay during normal times, but during pandemic times it needs strong, respected and unquestionable leadership as in during times of war.

During lockdowns, it was a big mistake to allow 15 ministries to decide, especially when each has its own clients to protect. So, this system was set to fail from the start.

I believe Miti was put in charge for the added reason that its minister Azmin Ali is the second-in-charge after the prime minister. In that sense, Miti should have the sole discretion to decide based on predetermined guidelines from the sectoral ministries.

That's the reason for the mess we are in. We can see rather than strictly restricting the industries and movement, now there is a proliferation. This is not total lockdown.

And the general in charge is now blaming the soldiers. This fiasco can be traced back to all pandemic measures, be it SOPs, vaccine supply, vaccine roll-out, finance, etc.

The government is operating in peacetime mode rather than wartime mode. The reason is clear, politics and political survival is paramount, not so much the Covid pandemic or people's life and welfare.

Speechless: It is either a total lockdown or it is not. Making exemptions shortly after announcing a total lockdown makes the government look like amateurs.

All these flip-flops demonstrate a total lack of planning, strategy, leadership and understanding of the crisis we are in.

MarioT: As it is, businesses are already suffering. To make matters worse, we have clueless people giving haphazard instructions which keep changing at the blink of an eye.

The hardships the people go through are compounded by the blunders made by the leaders. The operating systems only work as well as the people who are responsible for it.

MW: All my clients were scrambling around like headless chickens the entire day calling ministry after ministry, not knowing exactly which one to call since the 17 categories announced yesterday did not say which ministries the businesses should call.

What a complete waste of everyone’s time!

Vijay47: This must be a record - three changes in one day.

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