Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali should have held negotiations with states that decided not to comply with the conditional movement control order (MCO) instead of suggesting that they could be sued by businesses, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Who is this minister representing? Industries? Corporations? Under the Federal system, states have the right to make decisions.
“What is wrong with negotiations? Negotiate with them. I don’t think there would be a Mentri Besar or Chief Minister who is not concerned about unemployment issues.”
The PKR president said Azmin acted like US President Donald Trump, where the US attorney-general was reported as threatening to sue states that did not want to lift the Covid-19 lockdown.
“This reminds me of Trump’s style. He (Azmin) might have learnt it from Trump himself because he had threatened governors who did not wanted to follow (lifting lockdown).
“Don’t follow Trump. Discuss amicably and find the best solution,” he said during a Facebook live session on Tuesday (May 5).
Without mincing his words, Anwar labelled Azmin for being arrogant for refusing to negotiate with state governments over the conditional MCO.
“This represents arrogance. It shows that he thinks his decision is the best without holding talks with states.
“This is a national problem, not just a Covid-19 problem. It involves unemployment and generating economic growth,” he said.
Anwar said that the criticism is not just from the opposition.
“The government MPs have also criticised the move because the policies are incoherent and unclear. Restarting the economy should not come at a loss of lives.”
He hoped that the government will organise itself better so ministers are on the same page.
“The response from the state governments is very negative and reflects flaws in the policy guidelines.”
On Monday (May 4), Azmin said the failure of state governments to comply with the conditional movement control order could expose them to possible lawsuits from affected industries.
He said the state governments did not have the lawful authority to refuse to comply with the conditional MCO, as instructed by the Federal government.
At present, there are a total of nine states are not following or fully complying with Putrajaya’s decision to ease conditions and let businesses resume with guidelines under the conditional MCO, which was enforced Monday (May 4).