PENANG Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has appealed to the public not to politicise the Covid-19 issues and urged everyone to stay united to combat the outbreak.
“We strongly object the comments by some irresponsible people who politicise the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Among the four major public markets on the Penang island, the Air Itam Market roadside traders received the most coverage so far.
“There are irresponsible individuals who took the opportunity to politicise the issue and criticise the Pakatan Harapan state government. Others turned it into a racial issue.
“As I have said before, I do not wish to politicise the outbreak.
“Neither are we proud that the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Penang are way lower than several other states in Malaysia; including those states that are administrated by a different political party.
“Please understand that this is not the time to look at our differences. The Covid-19 victims in Penang are Malaysians, the Covid-19 victims in Johor are Malaysians; similarly, the victims in Kelantan and Sarawak are also Malaysians.
“Let us stop all this politicking and focus our efforts to fight this outbreak as one country and as one nation,” Chow told the public via Facebook Live on his Facebook page today.
Chow said that the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) had updated him about the status of the four main public markets on the Penang island.
“I was told that the status of the markets, especially the Air Itam market, was 90% under control. Most public markets practised social distancing. Markings were placed on the floor as indicators.
“The roadside traders at the Pulau Tikus public market will be closed from tomorrow (March 24).
“The MBPP conducts daily disinfection works at the markets under the council; while disinfection works are carried out once every two days by the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP). The traders clean their stalls and tables with detergent every day,” he said.
Chow also said that the public bus services by Rapid Penang had been reduced by 70%, starting today (March 23).
“The free CAT bus services have also been reduced by 50%.
“The public can check the schedule at https://jp.rapidpg.com.my/index.html? . The frequency for ferry services have also been reduced,” he said.
Chow said he received the latest updates on the Covid-19 matters from various departments and agencies, such as the Health Department, Immigration Department, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Labour Department, during the state Covid-19 Working Committee meeting this morning (March 23).
“I advise all of you to stay at home and minimise going outdoor. Please obey the movement control order (MCO).
“This is for the benefit of everyone as we face this worrying situation.
“The state government will be working on the necessary preparation to face a possibly worsening situation.
“I believe that we can all get through this together,” he added.
Chow also offered his deepest condolences to the family of a Covid-19 victim from Penang who had passed away on March 22.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Chan Kok Kuan