Can the government devise the best exit strategy for Malaysia when it cannot even end the “confusion of colours” in designation of red, orange, yellow and green zones for Covid-19 infections?

The question that is bugging me is whether the government is capable of devising the best exit strategy for Malaysia in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic when it cannot even end the “confusion of colours” in the designation of Malaysia into red, orange, yellow and green zones based on Covid-19 infections.

Yesterday, Bernama reported that three districts in Perak, namely Kuala Kangsar, Muallim and Kampar have been declared as green zones or areas that have zero Covid-19 cases as no new cases have been reported over the last 14 days.

This announcement was made by Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu at the ceremony where he received donations of essential items for frontline personnel including personal protective equipment (PPE) from Techlab Security Sdn Bhd.

He told reporters that this did not mean that residents in the three districts were free to go out.

He said: “This is great news. So we expect these districts to remain green zones and for this status to extend (widely) to other districts throughout the state. We want Perak to be free from Covid-19 and finally the whole country.”

But this colour scheme of the Perak Mentri Besar is not reflected in the latest release today of the 148 districts in the country divided into red, orange, yellow and green zones, as I see in Perak two red zones, one orange zone and eight yellow zones but no green zones.

The three green zones declared by Ahmad Faizal appear to be fictional, as Mualim is reported as having five Covid-19 cases, Kuala Kangsar four cases and Kampar two cases.

Under the official classification based on cumulative figures, Malaysia now has 29 red zones nationwide with the addition of Kota Kinabalu.

Using cumulative figures instead of using the latest data, which take into account recovery from the infections, would encourage residents in red zones to reduce Covid-19 cases so as to be designated as orange, yellow or green zones.

As to today, how many red zones are there based on the latest data, taking into account recovery of Covid-19 infections?

Nobody knows.

How can the government expect public support in the invisible war against Covid-19 when they are kept in the dark about such information?

Yesterday, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said that internet centres in green zones will be allowed to operate as long as their workers are from within the area.

Can the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin clarify whether this is the policy, and how Peninsular Malaysia is to benefit from such a policy, if the colour zoning scheme is based on cumulative data for Covid-19 infections - as there are only three green zones in Peninsular Malaysia with one each in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu?

The inability of the government to resolve such “confusion of colours” has reinforced the perception that in the government with the biggest Cabinet in history, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing or even worse, the right hand does not care what the left hand is doing – leading to farcical episodes like the “warm water”, barber and “dumb appointment of government MPs as GLC chairman” incidents.

Malaysia is facing an unprecedented crisis in the Covid-19 pandemic. Can Malaysian people expect the government to show greater intelligence, consistency, transparency and professionalism in the invisible multiple wars of the Covid-19 pandemic ?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri