KUALA LUMPUR (May 10): Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called on all Malaysians, regardless of race and political parties, to continue complying with the standard operating procedures (SOP), including limiting this year’s Aidilfitri celebrations to prevent a further spike in Covid-19 cases.
He said the government’s instructions to avoid visits and gatherings during Aidilfitri should be adhered to as it could cause the spread of the disease.
“We all have to be patient on Aidilfitri this year because we all want to see a drop in the infection rate of the disease.
“…limit the celebrations, sacrifice today for tomorrow's safety,” he said in a special video message on the Covid-19 situation via his Facebook page today.
Dr Mahathir said based on his observation, the public had begun to ignore the SOP including in Ramadan bazaars and mosques, and this situation had prompted him to stop performing congregational prayers in the mosque or going to the bazaar for his own safety.
He said although many people disliked the SOP, it was still important to ensure that the country will not suffer the same fate as India and Brazil where hundreds of thousands of people were infected daily, causing the Covid-19 crisis to be out of control.
Dr Mahathir said the same situation could happen in Malaysia if the people continue to ignore the SOP as facilities for treatment and medical supply would not be sufficient to accommodate the rising number of patients, which could lead to an increase in the death toll.
“We have to remember that when we first implemented the month-long lockdown (last year), we managed to control the daily cases at double-digit...but now, the daily tally had gone to up to 4,000.
“The situation has become critical now with the new variants that are more contagious and may not be able to be controlled with vaccine shots,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir also advised Ramadan bazaar traders in the Movement Control Order (MCO) areas, who were affected by the government’s instruction for them to cease operations, to be patient.
He said if they chose to prioritise their businesses, more people will get infected and fall victim to the coronavirus.
At the same time, Dr Mahathir also expressed hope that the government could help the traders and the people to cope with this difficult situation.