The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) stands in solidarity with Projek Wawasan Rakyat (POWR) Coordinator Nathaniel Tan, who launched a personal hunger strike to declare the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s ineptitude in fighting against the pandemic. We hereby urge both the Perikatan Nasional government and Prime Minister Tan Sri Mahiaddin Md Yasin to listen to the rakyat, respond to Nathaniel Tan’s demands promptly, and revise the COVID-19 recovery plan – that has been repeatedly revised and criticized upon – immediately.

Due to the ineffective handling of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), Nathaniel announced through his personal Facebook page on August 4 of his hunger strike campaign at a corner of the street in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) near his home. By using a non-violent fasting protest to express five (5) demands, the activist hopes to draw the government’s attention, as well as highlight to the rakyat on the government’s repeated failures in the COVID-19 prevention plans. The demands of Nathaniel Tan are as follows:

1. Hand over the decision-making power of COVID-19 pandemic recovery to be handled by relevant experts, or reconvene Parliament meetings immediately.

2. Purchase est. RM500 million of medical equipment for hospitals to treat patients with COVID-19. Doctors can freely choose the equipment they need without going through tedious bureaucratic procedures.

3. Allow all frontliners to disclose and reveal the work efforts to combat COVID-19, and will not be dealt with severe punishments of “whistleblowing”. Therefore, they can disclose any COVID-19 related data in a fair, transparent manner.

4. Publish the full list of companies approved to operate during movement control order (MCO).

5. Provide free N95 masks and hand sanitisers to frontliners serving in hospitals and police stations.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and rage across our country. The government has implemented different stages of the COVID-19 recovery plans across the country for more than 2 months. However, the pandemic curve has not been flattened. On the contrary, the number of COVID-19 positive cases per day exceeded the mark of 20k cases in recent days, related deaths have reached a record high of 360 lives lost yesterday (Aug 8), with the total no. of COVID-19 deaths exceeded 10,749 nationwide.

KLSCAH is united with Nathaniel Tan on his 5 demands, especially with demands no. 1, 2 and 3. These 3 demands can be described as the most urgent and crucial to the COVID-19 recovery strategy. The government must remedy these desperate times with the right measures; they must strengthen cooperation with NGOs and revise the National Recovery Plan (NRP) accordingly. Without the proper solutions, the shocking rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in our country will continue to have a negative domino effect on our rakyat.

AUGUST 9, 2021

Nathaniel Tan (Facebook)

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