Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Coronavirus: More aid for the poor in KL, Putrajaya as they brace for conditional movement restrictions in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia plans to distribute more welfare aid to the poor and needy in the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya under the “Wilayah Cakna” initiative as they brace for tighter movement restrictions in the cities imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The government yesterday announced a conditional movement control order (CMCO) for Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and the Selangor state after the number of infections in recent weeks rose at an alarming rate.

The movement restrictions, which are expected to affect about a third of Malaysia’s population, will begin after midnight on Tuesday (Oct 14) and will last until Oct 27.

“Definitely the lives of many city dwellers will be affected. I am sure Wilayah Cakna 3.0 is very much needed, especially for the lower income groups, ” Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The “Wilayah Cakna” initiative was launched in March with an allocation of RM63.6 million (S$20.8 million) to aid small business, Covid-19 frontline workers and patients, and residents affected by the virus.

Sources told The Star that discussions on additional aid packages under the Wilayah Cakna initiative will start on Tuesday.

Tan Sri Annuar on Tuesday tweeted that he would chair the Federal Territories crisis management centre with heads of various departments daily, to personally supervise the implementation of the conditional MCO.

“I pray to Allah for all Federal Territories’ dwellers to get through the challenges of the conditional MCO with courage and patience.

“We will focus on breaking the chains of Covid-19 again. Stay home…stay safe… stay united, ” he tweeted.

Mr Annuar also said he hoped that the media, including TV and radio, would disseminate all SOPs and regulations as clearly as possible, to ensure that the confusion among the returnees from Sabah does not repeat.

He said that many who returned from Sabah had misunderstood the SOPs which resulted in some who followed it labelled as defiant and received double-standard treatment.

Yesterday, 563 cases were logged, the second-highest daily tally.

Malaysia now has a cumulative total of 16,220 cases, with 5,039 active cases. Two more deaths were reported, to raise the total to 159.

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