If Even A Cabinet Minister Does Not Know What Is Going On With The Government’s Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic And Vaccination Drive, What Hope Is There For The Rakyat?
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is not only heading a failed government but also a dysfunctional and disunited government that will only lead Malaysia to a possible dystopian future bereft of reason. The PN government had failed abysmally to contain the current surge in COVID-19 cases and death toll from spiralling out of control, necessitating a total lockdown MCO 4.0 with adverse repercussions for our recession-hit economy.
Apart from the tragic suffering of the COVID-19 pandemic, the open spat between Senior Ministers Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Mohamed Azmin Ali, as well as public attack by Special Functions Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof in Malaysiakini against Muhyiddin, points to a dysfunctional and disunited government.
This is not helped by a bizarre video clip made by Muhyiddin’s principal private secretary Marzuki Mohamad opposing the formation of an all-powerful National Operations Council (NOC), effectively a dictatorship, similar to the one that ruled the country from 1969 to 1971 after the May 13 riots.
No PH parties nor any political parties have suggested the formation of a NOC. This raises more questions of whether PN is in control of running the government. The NOC will exercise absolute power to govern the country and effectively replaces the functions of Cabinet. Marzuki argued that the Cabinet can still function, and various Ministries were still needed.
For Marzuki to suddenly throw up the idea of opposing a NOC when the King is taking the unprecedented step of consulting leaders of PH yesterday on the country’s public health and economic crisis, lends suspicion that this is a political red herring by Muyhiddin to divert attention from the whole-of-society loss of confidence in his government. If Muyhiddin is genuinely committed towards democracy, he should convene Parliament immediately, particularly when all MPs have been vaccinated.
Marzuki’s spurious claim of a functioning PN Cabinet is not helped by Mohd Redzuan’s open attack on his own government’s handling of COVID-19 and gross inconsistency in the vaccination drive.
Redzuan expressed disappointment that he is no longer invited as a Cabinet Minister to National Security Council (NSC) meetings on Covid-19 and does not know what is going on. If even a cabinet minister does not know what is going on with the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination drive, what hope is there for the rakyat?
Further, the open warfare between Ismail Sabri and Azmin Ali has led to policy flip-flops and SOPs U-turns, causing much distress to businesses and workers already suffering from the full lockdown. Ismail Sabri had announced the full closure of the country except for 17 essential economic sectors, which Azmin had over-turned and which was then later over-ruled again by Ismail Sabri.
When Ministers cannot harmonise their decisions in Cabinet meetings, the government is totally incapable of uniting the people to fight and win the battle against COVID-19. Malaysians face a possible dystopian future of great injustice or suffering from such a dysfunctional and disunited government.
Lim Guan Eng