PETALING JAYA: The decision to allow non-contact sports and recreational activities in areas subject to the movement control ordinance has been a great relief to the public, but many have expressed hope that the government will be tougher in its decisions to avoid confusion.
On Thursday, May 6, the Ministry of Youth and Sports said that the National Security Council (NSC) had taken the decision to ban all sports and recreational activities in areas under the jurisdiction of the MCO.
However, in a statement issued Friday, May 7, the ministry said the NSC had met to consider its call to revise standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the sports and recreation sector at the MCO from May 7 to 20.
The final decision, taken later that same day, allowed non-physical contact sports and recreation such as jogging, cycling and exercising in open areas, subject to SOPs.
Lisa Chang on Facebook said the standard operating procedure should be similar to what it was during MCO 2.0 to avoid confusing the public.
“Why is it necessary to change here and there, just follow the previous SOP.
“Stop confusing us,” she said in her post.
Steward Saw also said the changes to the SOPs would not only confuse the public but law enforcement officials as well.
However, Muhd Nuh Abd Rahman felt that the government only listened to the plight of the public when it made such a decision.
“Alright there. At least the government did the research and came up with a logical result based on what people wanted, ”he said.
Facebook user Anis Hashim pointed out that the NSC’s SOP had no restrictions on non-contact outdoor sports as of Thursday.
“First, the NSC’s SOP on PKP Selangor as published and entered into force on May 6 had no restrictions on non-contact outdoor exercises provided the physical distance of 1.5m is respected,” she declared.
The public also hopes that the government will allow the opening of swimming pools and gymnasiums.
“I’ve never heard of a cluster of gyms, a cluster of running tracks, even a cluster of sports centers.
“Exercise is good for everyone; it might help prevent the infection itself! Please stop all this sporting closure and reopen the gym, ”@Zul_fz said on Instagram.
Others asked if sports such as badminton, hiking and golf would be allowed.
“Great news, I am now awaiting confirmation that golf will be licensed again,” said John Preston.
A handful of netizens, however, felt that irresponsible parties would abuse flexibility to disobey SOPs, such as having conversations without wearing a mask.
“When they allow it, half will abuse it. They will chat in the park without their masks.
“When law enforcement issues a ‘saman; (compound) the next day, the headlines will be’ jogging without a mask, fined 1k,” Farook Divanand said.
Instagram user @ Aisyaziz04, meanwhile, suggested that a stricter OLS would help reduce cases of Covid-19 in the country.
“I have to say this, I hope everyone agrees. Do like the first MCO last year. Believe me, if we go in this direction, it (the number of cases) will go down, ”she commented.