Lim Kit Siang on the ban on outdoor exercise #en

Pic: The Star Online

By Lim Kit Siang

Yesterday, in my hashtag #kerajaangagal27 media statement, I said that Malaysia is suffering from having the worst Prime Minister and the worst government in its 63-year history!

As if keen to establish the truth of my statement, the Muhyiddin government banned outdoor exercises under MCO 3.0.

What scientific studies are there to show that solo walks or runs are a high risk in the Covid-19 pandemic?

I go for solo walks and from all accounts on the Internet, running or walking alone in less crowded areas is the best way to reduce one’s risk to Covid-19 and help the immune system to keep the viruses at bay.

The infectious diseases expert Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, who was recently inducted into the World Health Organisation’s Science Council, has urged the government to review the decision, pointing out in a Twitter post that the risk of contracting Covid-19 outdoors was about 18 times lower than indoors.

“Please let the rakyat continue to jog, cycle or do any other outdoor sports for the sake of our physical and mental health,” said Adeeba.

Dr Steven Chow, president of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Association Malaysia (FPMPAM), said the decision “makes no sense”.

Chow asked the government for evidence that exercising in compliance with Covid-19 SOPs in an open area was responsible for the spread of Covid-19.

He said: “It is irrational to blindly pursue a ‘duduk di rumah’ (sit at home) approach at this stage. This is detrimental to the physical and mental health of the people. Outdoor family-centered activities should be encouraged.”

Typical of what the former Inspector-General of Police, Hamid Bador, has described as “unintelligent Ministers” (which seems to be the only qualification of the present bloated Cabinet), the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Wan Ahmad Faysal Ahmad Kamal has jumped in to defend the ban on outdoor exercise in areas under MCO 3.0.

Probably Wan Ahmad thinks he is more qualified to comment on the matter, although even the former Health deputy director-general Dr. Christopher Lee has said that outdoor exercise is relatively safe.

Dr. Lee tweeted: “Let science guide our rulings. As long as physical distancing is practised, the risk of outdoor spread is low.

“There has also been no major cluster linked to outdoor exercise and non-contact sports. Let science lead.”

Malaysia has become a laughing stock as a result of such kakistocracy.

Is Muhyiddin capable of undoing the ludicrous decision to ban outdoor exercise under MCO 3.0.

In fact, the government should reconsider a blanket ban on gym, non-contact sports and indoor exercises.

(Media Statement (3) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, May 7, 2021)


*The views expressed are those of the author

This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.