What’s up, doc? Najib’s posting and ministers’ spat add to intrigue
PETALING JAYA: Just days after reports emerged of a spat between senior ministers over the lockdown, a Facebook posting by health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on Covid-19 cases at the workplace has sparked fresh speculation.
In a Facebook posting, Noor Hisham shared a news report of 299 workers of an electronics factory testing positive for Covid-19, leading to the factory’s closure.
He made no comment on the story, and merely shared it, although this was enough to pique former prime minister Najib Razak’s curiosity.
In a Facebook post of his own, Najib said Noor Hisham rarely makes a reference to a specific Covid-19 cluster.
“Perhaps he wants to send a message to someone,” he said in the post.
Although Najib, too, did not say anything else in the post, it has been reported that workplace clusters account for a large number of Covid-19 clusters.
Just yesterday, 19 of the 24 new clusters were from the workplace and health ministry data indicates this is a serious problem in flattening the curve.
Today, 12 of 23 clusters were from the workplace.
Many social media users took to Najib’s Facebook posting to criticise international trade and industry minister (Miti) Azmin Ali over the many approvals for factories to operate during the lockdown.
In recent days, Azmin has become a target for criticism after Miti said that 128,150 companies had been given approval to operate under lockdown. This figure is expected to rise with over 600,000 companies having applied to operate as of yesterday.
An online petition has been launched by social media users demanding Azmin resign for “failing to perform”. So far, it has received over 100,000 of the 150,000 signatures target.
FMT has reached out to Azmin’s office for comment.
Political analyst Azmi Hassan said it seems like Azmin is seen as the easiest target for Perikatan Nasional’s opponents because of the issues linked to him, especially the Miti approvals now.
Another analyst, Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said the petition calling for Azmin’s resignation was a reflection of Miti’s failure to ensure that only essential sectors are allowed to operate.
“But the petition only serves as a warning for the government. The sacking of a minister is at the discretion of the prime minister.”
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