The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must have attracted record viewership in his live Facebook address yesterday, but it was the worst live speech he had made since becoming “backdoor” Prime Minister on March 1.
Adverse, anxious and angry reactions were immediate on the social media when he referred to himself as “Abah” and jokingly threatened to “use the cane” if people won’t comply with the government’s SOP to curb the disease – as it was as plain as day that he was guilty of “double standards” while proclaiming that there would be “no double standards” over the Covid-19 SOP.
Public anger was palpable as a one-year old child was reported dead from Covid-19, the youngest to die from the outbreak in the country.
I agree with the Director-General of Health, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah that Malaysians should not let frontliners’ efforts go to waste and come together to fight the common enemy rather than “continue to cry over the spilled milk over and over again”.
But what is done about the “spilled milk” is a gauge as to whether the government is going to learn from its mistakes and begin to deal with its trust deficit in the country and start to be inspirational examples to unite all Malaysians in an all-out war against the Covid-19 virus.
It is a blessing that we do not have a Donald Trump as Prime Minister, who staged a reckless departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center yesterday, telling his followers the virus that dangerously deprived him of oxygen and hospitalized him for 72 hours was nothing to fear before peeling off his mask on the White House balcony. This has led one correspondent to comment: “Not only did he (Trump) not fear Covid-19, but he didn’t fear passing it on everyone in his vicinity. That’s not bravery, it’s sociopathy.”
It is somewhat tragic that the only person in the government whom the people trust on the Covid-19 issue is the Health Director-General, who had to soldier on to conduct live press conference from home while under quarantine – as the Health Minister had delivered a self knockout with his unimaginable utterings after being sworn in as Minister in March.
Noor Hisham wrote in his Facebook:
“Where do we want to be? We need to decide either to come together, be united and be stronger to fight the common enemy or continue to cry over the spilled milk over and over again when the numbers are increasing. Our frontliners are already on the ground with their sweat and tears.”
Dr Noor Hisham also noted that as Malaysia enters its 10th month since the first Covid-19 case was registered here, “controlling large-scale community transmission is the country’s top priority”.
“We need strong solidarity and unity, together we can better fight against this common enemy.”
Noor Hisham is right, especially at a time when there is an exponential surge of Covid-19 cases nationwide, with the country recording a new record-high of 691 cases yesterday, bringing the country to 2,936 Covid-19 patients under treatment – the worst level since April 5, when there were 2,595 active cases.
But Malaysians have a right to expect better performances from our Ministers, although the Cabinet has now been immobilized by Covid-19 pandemic.
Muhyidden must impress on his Ministers the urgency to restore public trust and confidence in the war against Covid-19 virus and government leaders must stop exhorting the people to comply with the Covid-19 SOP while they themselves are not prepared to comply.
As a first step, Muhyiddin should ensure that the Chief Minister and Mentri-Menteri Besar of Pakatan Rakyat states of Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan are not excluded in the next meeting of the National Security Council meeting on Covid-19!
Lim Kit Siang,
MP for Iskandar Puteri