Press statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 15 February 2022:
No Covid-19 Meetings For 100 Days, No Personal Responsibility By Leaders For Compliance, No Public Accountability On Covid-19 Protocols, Might As Well Permit A Full Reopening Of Economy, Society And Borders Subject To Normal SOPs For Those Fully Vaccinated
The law-abiding citizens and public suffering from the Covid-19 SOPs are angry at Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s ridiculous rationale that Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein need not resign after receiving a fine for violating Covid-19 protocols because this is not a crime. Hishammuddin Hussein, incumbent Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad and MIC president S Vigneswaran were caught mingling closely with a crowd of politicians at a MIC event in Johor in flagrant violation of Covid-19 SOPs.
Ismail Sabri has tried to defend Hishamuddin that his offence is not a crime but merely a RM1,000 compound.
Ismail forgets that this is a question of personal responsibility and public accountability for a Minister like Hishamuddin, who also chairs the Covid-19 Quartet Ministers’ Meeting entrusted to urge public compliance with managing and announcing Covid SOPs.
How can Hishamuddin impress upon the public the gravity of Covid-19 and the need to comply with Covid-19 SOPs if he does not show leadership by example and flagrantly violates the very protocols that he had introduced. When a lawmaker turns into a lawbreaker which is what Hishamuddin and Hasni have become, they would have to resign in any functioning democracy like countless Ministers in the West.
Hishamuddin had tried to pin the blame on the political event’s organisers for failing to control the crowd which gives rise to suspicions as to political favouritism as to why MIC and all participants were not punished. Apart from Hishamuddin breaking the very SOPs that he established, Ismail Sabri is also not serious about battling the latest wave of Covid-19.
Ismail has not called for any meeting of the Special Committee on the Management of the Covid-19 pandemic(of which I am a member) since the last meeting on 5 November 2021. If the 3rd wave of Covid-19 pandemic is a serious threat, why is there no meeting for the top Covid-19 national committee for the last 100 days?
Or is the lackadaisical attitude of Ismail and his Ministers due to the Covid-19 pandemic becoming endemic like any common flu? This gives rise to suspicions about the real extent of the latest wave of Covid-19 infections and whether it has been politicised by irresponsible quarters to benefit the selfish interests of political parties, especially in the coming Johor state election.
With no Covid-19 meetings for 100 days, no personal responsibility by leaders for compliance, no public accountability on Covid-19 protocols, the government might as well permit a full reopening of the economy, society and borders subject to normal SOPs for those fully vaccinated. This is what many countries like Australia have done to fully reopen its borders to fully vaccinated tourists.
If Ministers can break such SOPs with only a RM1,000 fine what is to prevent other event organisers from organising similar events?