GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has asked if there are enough laws to protect Malaysians from irresponsible people who may infect others with Covid-19 now that the face mask mandate for indoors has been lifted.
Gerakan national vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh said the country’s healthcare system and economy had taken enough hits in the past two years to now allow and promote self-responsibility among Malaysians.
He said while it was time for Malaysians to be given more freedom, the people must be mindful that the war against Covid-19 was far from over.
He said some Malaysians’ tendency to throw caution to the wind and infect others with the virus would likely continue.
“Even if many citizens have expressed their wish to continue masking up, there must be laws in place to protect the vulnerable and people who come into contact with those who may be infected.
“Hawkers, service workers and frontliners must continue to be protected even if Malaysia has opted to follow some countries by no longer compelling citizens and visitors to wear face masks.
“Will there be new standard operating procedures for international arrivals at our airports, sea terminals and land borders from countries that may still be reporting high numbers of Covid-19 cases?”
Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the wearing of face masks in enclosed places is now optional.
He said face masks remained mandatory on public transportation, such as buses and aircraft, and at health facilities and care centres.
Wearing face masks is still mandatory for people who test positive for Covid-19 and need to get a health evaluation at Covid-19 assessment centres.
Baljit asked if the country was doing enough to protect citizens from tourists who might spread the virus.
“All Malaysians should assume greater responsibility for their own care and safety.
“The responsibility of the government in continuing to protect the health and safety of the people, however, must in no way be set aside.”