KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 – The move to impose the Movement Control Order or MCO nationwide to restrict the movement of the people was a tough decision that had to be made to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease in the country, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the decision, which he had to make just 17 days after taking his oath of office as the prime minister, was not an easy one but it had to be taken for the well-being of Malaysians.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic posed a dangerous and life-threatening situation and we had to act as quickly as possible because any delay will have huge consequences for the people.
“It was for this reason that we made the unprecedented decision of imposing the MCO as a way to contain the spread of COVID-19 … and we saw this happening in many countries, not just in Malaysia but around the world,” he said.
Muhyiddin spoke at a special interview that was broadcast tonight by RTM, Astro Awani, TV3 and Bernama TV.
Muhyiddin said the MCO, which was imposed on March 18, has been fruitful in the sense that it showed good progress in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“Today, Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), it appears that the people have accepted the MCO as a means of containing the disease, along with the other measures taken by the Ministry of Health.
“The facilities at our disposal include the expertise of the doctors and the equipment for screening. The infected must be treated,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the MCO is necessary to support effective implementation of the government efforts from the health perspective.
“What we are required to do during the MCO period is nothing extraordinary. Just stay at home. Do not go anywhere and don’t do anything that has hitherto been the norm.
“Don’t gather in groups, refrain from coming into close contact, practise social distancing, wash hands frequently and such other things which the Ministry of Health has laid down as the standard operating procedure (SOP),” he explained.
Muhyiddin, who is a cancer survivor, expressed gratitude for having been given the health and strength to discharge his responsibility of administering the country at this critical time.
“I am not worried. I have been advised to exercise caution because of the possibility of my low immunity but, Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), so far I have been able to perform my tasks unabated,” he said.
Asked about the relaxed approach he adopts when addressing the nation, Muhyiddin said it is aimed at ensuring that the information being conveyed is understood by the people of all walks of life.
“My audience is our people, most of them are ordinary folk. As they are, generally, ordinary folk, they must be able to understand what the prime minister is saying.
“It is a more effective way, the language is simple. I want the language of the script that I have to deliver to be not so bombastic. For, if the language is high-sounding, the people cannot understand what the prime minister is saying,” he said.