Weekly Highlights

Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking was the final nail in Muhyiddin’s leadership

2nd August 2021

The July Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking which placed Malaysia in 52nd spot when in January we were No. 16 out of 53 countries with economies of more than US$200 billion is the final nail in the coffin about the failure of the emergency and the strategy of the Muhyiddin government in the war against Covid-19 pandemic

The July Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking which placed Malaysia in 52nd spot when in January we were ranked No. 16 out of 53 countries with economies of more than US$200 billion is the final nail in the coffin about the failure of the emergency and the strategy of the Muhyiddin government in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

For 20 consecutive days since 13th July, we have had five-digit daily new Covid-19 cases, setting a new peak nine times during this short period of 20 days until a daily peak of 17,786 new Covid-19 cases was reported on 31st July.

From a world ranking of No. 85 last November among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, we overtook 58 countries as we are now ranked No. 27 with 1,130,422 Covid-19 cases and 9,184 Covid-19 deaths.

Emergency was declared when we had 135,992 Covid-19 cases and 551 Covid-19 deaths. Six months later, at the end of the emergency on 31st July, we had 1,113,272 Covid-19 cases and 9,024 Covid-19 deaths – some five times the number of Covid-19 cases and 16 times the Covid-19 deaths after the emergency.

If the emergency on January 11 was justified, then it should be extended on August 1 with the exponential worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The exponential increase of Covid-19 cases and deaths since the declaration of emergency have shown that the emergency which suspended Parliament and the State Assemblies was the wrong prescription for the Covid-19 pandemic, and in fact, a gross abuse of Executive power.

Now, Parliament is being locked down for precisely the same reason why emergency was declared on January 11, 2021 – not to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic but to allow the backdoor, illegitimate and undemocratic government to hold on to power.

This is no way to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the threat of Delta and other variants.

Do we need more international reports, like the monthly Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking to convince Malaysians that we have catapulted to be the world’s top dozen countries which are the worst performers in the Covid-19 pandemic, whether in terms of daily new Covid-19 cases or daily new Covid-19 deaths?

We have fallen from 16th to 52nd ranking, the next lowest, in the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking. Although Indonesia is ranked 53rd and last, we have four times higher “daily cases per million population” index than Indonesia.

The country must re-focus to gain control of the worsening Covid-19 situation, and this can only be done if three conditions are met:

1. End the major constitutional crisis plaguing the country.

2. Admit the failures so far in the 20-month war against the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for a new policy and strategy to replace the National Recovery Plan which is truly “whole-of-society” and not just in lip-service. Parliament has a major role to draft this new policy and strategy. How can the Muhyiddin’s policy and strategy be “whole-of-society” when it could not even be “whole-of-Parliament”?

3. Restore public trust and confidence in the new policy and strategy in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic based on “Living with Covid” instead of “Zero Covid” policy. A Parliament lockdown is a throwback to “Zero Covid” rather than “Living with Covid” policy, apart from being against the national interest to seclude the Muhyiddin government from parliamentary scrutiny and accountability.

Lim Kit Siang

MP for Iskandar Puteri

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