PETALING JAYA: A think tank tonight called for Putrajaya to set up a Covid-19 consultative council comprising NGOs, the business community and medical professionals to better coordinate relief efforts for flood victims and all those affected by the latest movement control order or MCO 2.0.
The KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI) said while Putrajaya has stated it will set up an independent committee comprising government and opposition MPs as well as health officials, it did not include NGOs or civil society linked to public health and humanitarian efforts.
KSI said during these crucial times input from these groups is vital for the sake of transparency on top of the need for long-term planning to manage the Covid-19 pandemic as well as its impact.
“Such a taskforce can work in tandem with the National Security Council (MKN) and will allow a direct means of communication and coordination among groups involved in the struggle to contain the spread of the virus,” it said in a statement.
KSI went on to say that MCO 2.0 had been further complicated by floods in Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, and Sabah.
Therefore, the role of NGOs and civil societies in assisting flood victims has become ever more crucial, it said.
And while some groups have been given permission to carry out relief works, a streamlined mechanism was needed to allow more to participate in a coordinated and effective fashion.
“Flood victims have not been spared the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and will find themselves in more vulnerable positions, particularly in operating businesses.”
KSI said for these reasons, the government, through a special Covid-19 consultative council, could coordinate with the NGOs and medical professionals to not only provide relief for affected victims but help revive businesses as soon as possible.