Current Affairs

Darurat false alarm caused us to waste two days in fighting Covid-19.

On Sunday night, the question was whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would resign as Prime Minister following the rejection by the Yang di Pertuan Agong of the Cabinet’s advice to declare a state of emergency and suspend Parliament to fight the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

Last night, the question was whether Muhyiddin Yassin’s backdoor government would fall if the UMNO Supreme Council resolved to pull UMNO out of the Perikatan Nasional government formed after the infamous Sheraton Move plot in February.

Netizens waited eagerly as UMNO’s Supreme Council met to discuss the fate of Muhyiddin’s future

There was big talk of political reconciliation and national unity, but the action was all about political divisiveness and national polarisation.

It would appear that the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s advice to Malaysians to stop politicking and stabilize the government so that all people, regardless of background and particular ideology, could set aside their differences and disagreements and unite as one against the Covid-19 pandemic and that of the Malay Rulers to translate the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy into a culture of governance to ensure justice and curtail any abuse of power have fallen on deaf ears.

Where is the “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset to fight the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, which is the nub of the message from the advice of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers on Sunday?

Yesterday, one online news website blared the headline “Spain declares virus emergency as global cases soar” as if to lament “an opportunity lost” for the failure to declare a state of emergency and suspend Parliament in Malaysia.

But has Malaysia become a Spain in the Covid-19 pandemic?

On Sunday night, Spain  declared a state of emergency and  the government ordered a nationwide curfew  that will limit Spaniards’ movement between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in the Canary Islands, where there are fewer new cases. The new emergency powers also mean regional officials can impose harsher restrictions on movement between areas and limit gatherings to six people.

The Covid-19 pandemic situation in Malaysia is serious and alarming, but we must bring it under control – but definitely we not in the league of Spain or the top 20 countries with Covid-19 infections, led by the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.

In the last 24 hours, Malaysia’s ranking in the world have worsened from No. 88 to 86th, beating North Macedonia and Australia.

We must  not deteriorate further, in fact, we must strive to be better than Thailand, which is ranked No. 146 in the world with most Covid-19 infections, with 3,743 cases and 59 fatalities – representing 54 cases and 0.8 fatalities per million of population.

But the most important difference is that Spain’s state of emergency does not involve the suspension of the Spanish Parliament. In fact, it would be the Spanish Parliament which would decide whether the decree of a state of emergency would be extended beyond 14 days!

The most important difference is that Spain’s state of emergency does not involve the suspension of the Spanish Parliament

In Malaysia, however, the intention is to suspend Parliament rather than to impose an emergency!

We have wasted two days and should not waste any more time to focus and forge an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and approach in the war against the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic Malaysia.

It is heart-breaking that Malaysia had registered a second four-digit daily increase yesterday – 1,240 cases although not in the Spanish league of  daily increase of  20,000 cases or that of United States which recorded more than 84,000 new Covid-19 cases last Friday.

We will be doing a disservice to the frontliners who risked their health and lives to combat the Covid-19 pandemic if we further delay and fail to forge a “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and  approach in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

We must start immediately and now.

Are we going to have  an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and strategy  to fight the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia?

Lim Kit Siang

MP for Iskandar Puteri

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