I was wrong to join MPs’ gathering, admits Dr M

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has admitted that he should not have joined the gathering of opposition MPs at Dataran Merdeka yesterday due to the lack of social distancing at the protest.

Mahathir was speaking to an online forum on the importance of complying with Covid-19 SOPs, particularly social distancing of more than one metre, in order to curb the pandemic.

The Langkawi MP then admitted that he was “wrong” for joining the gathering of some 107 MPs, adding that he had wanted to stay and observe from his car when he arrived at Dataran Merdeka.

“But when I reached and saw all of them there and how some of them were giving speeches, I also went and sat among them.

“Thankfully, I tested negative today, but I shouldn’t have done that.

“By right, gatherings like that should not have been held. If we wanted to gather, we could have met on Zoom so that we’re not so close to others,” he said.

A total of 107 MPs from the various opposition parties attempted to march to Parliament from Dataran Merdeka yesterday to protest and call for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet to resign.

The march was short-lived as Federal Reserve Unit personnel armed with riot shields blocked them from going further, though opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the MPs had made their point.

Later that day, Kuala Lumpur police chief Azmi Abu Kassim said investigations into the gathering had been initiated after two police reports over the matter had been lodged.

Mahathir said the key to effectively bringing down the daily Covid-19 cases was simply for everyone to follow SOPs, especially physical distancing of at least two metres, and vaccinating more people.

The Pejuang chairman said the one-metre physical distancing was insufficient due to the Delta Covid-19 variant, which was more infectious and airborne.

While he applauded the government’s achievement of ramping up vaccinations to more than 500,000 a day, Mahathir said this could be raised further to 800,000 daily. – FMT

by Nicholas Chung

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