Most ministers had agreed on a total lockdown but news that 95,000 companies had received approval to operate from Miti did not sit well with many.

PETALING JAYA: A heated argument broke out among several ministers recently over the international trade and industry ministry’s (Miti) move to allow some 95,000 companies to operate even during the lockdown, says a source in the know.

The source who declined to be named said the argument took place during a meeting involving several ministers.

“Prior to this, most ministers had agreed on a total lockdown but news that 95,000 companies had received approval to operate from Miti did not sit well with some, and an argument broke out.”

The source said many ministers were concerned that without a full lockdown, the Covid-19 situation would not improve and that ensuring compliance would be challenging.

“But the main concern was that so many factories would remain open despite the fact that they were among the hotspots for infection.”

According to another source, the argument may also have had something to do with a cryptic Facebook post by senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob earlier.

The exemptions for many sectors to operate have come under fire from social media users and politicians alike, with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying today the government should not refer to the lockdown as a “total lockdown” but as a “partial lockdown”.





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