Weekly Highlights

Muhyiddin has broken his 5 promises to the people

Yesterday, I said that the five priorities which the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin listed in his New Year Message as the basis for an integrated national recovery strategy post-Covid do not stand up to  public scrutiny by the first fortnight of the new year.

What happened to Muhyiddin’s 5 priorities?

I referred to Priority Three “to ensure political stability with strong emphasis on good governance as a foundation for sustainable economic recovery” and Priority Four “to uphold the country’s sovereignty and strengthen Malaysia’s position on the world stage”.

Today I will examine the other three Priorities to demonstrate that they also do not stand up to public scrutiny.

The First Priority sought “to improve public health through the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines with the launch of a nationwide vaccination programme”.

End of February? Why the delay?

The Covid-19 pandemic had actually exposed the weaknesses of the public health system, best highlighted by the fact that when we first imposed the movement control order (MCO) on 18th March 2020, we had 790 Covid-19 cases and 2 deaths, while today we have 147,855 Covid-19 cases and 578 deaths.

My grim prediction yesterday that we could make a triple jump from No. 68 and No. 65  in our ranking among countries in the world  with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases has unfortunately come to pass.

If we have another record-high daily increase of Covid-19 infections today, like yesterday’s daily increase of 3,337 new Covid-19 cases, we will move forward to rank No. 64.

We seem to be  on the way to become among the top 30-40 countries in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, which is not what Malaysians want as it is  a testimony of the failure not success of our public health system.

Yesterday, the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin tried to explain why Singapore and Indonesia got Covid-19 vaccines before Malaysia.

But the fact is that some 50 countries have already rolled out their Covid-19 vaccination campaigns while Malaysia will only receive its first batch of Covid-19 vaccine in February.

We ranked No. 30 among countries with the most daily increase of new Covid-19 infections, but we are not among the 50 countries which have already launched Covid-19 vaccination campaigns.

Clearly, the government has  failed to fulfil the Prime Minister’s Priority One  to “improve public health through the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines with the launch of a nationwide vaccination programme”.

Muhyiddin’s second priority is “to strengthen the people’s economy and drive the country’s economic growth post Covid-19 through the implementation of the 2021 Budget and the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP)”.

This is why the reconvening of  Parliament originally scheduled on March 8 should be held as planned.

The Government is  becoming such a kakistocracy that for the first time in the nation’s history, the new five-year plan has not been presented to Parliament for debate and approval although the 12th Malaysia Plan  is to cover the five-year period from 2021 to 2015 and the year 2021 has started.

Are  we going to have an illegitimate Five Year Plan  for  the first time in Malaysian history which will a new  height of irresponsibility and absurdity – a powerful case why the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s Proclamation of Emergency must  not  involve a suspension of Parliament.

Muhyiddin should allow  Parliament to reconvene on March 8 as scheduled as Parliament had  continued  to function for 35 years through four  Prime Ministers  from 1977 to 2012 although there were simultaneously  four Proclamations of Emergency during the period.

As the PKR MP for Pasir Gudang, Hassan Karim had asked, does suspending Parliament and all State Assemblies help defeat Covid-19?

Has Muhyiddin forgotten that when he became Johor Mentri Besar from 1986-1995, there were  multiple declarations of emergency, and during his Cabinet days from 1995-  2015 (even when he was Deputy Prime Minister from 2009 to 2015), there were simultaneously four  proclamation of emergency until 2012?

Muhyiddin’s fifth priority  “to strengthen ties between races and religions in shaping a unitedcommunity against any threat” is a joke, when those responsible for causing  racial and religious polarisation under his premiership had been allowed to get away scot-free with their diabolical campaign of  incitement and disinformation.

We have much to learn from Trump’s America.  Trump made dubious history as the first US President to be impeached twice over the insurrection he incited his followers to stage at Capitol Hill in Washington when the US  Congress was holding its joint session to certify Joe Biden’s election as the 46th United States President.

Malaysians  must learn how toxic extremist politics of race and religion can be when it is  bolstered by a massive campaign of lies, falsehoods and fake news.” – Lim Kit Siang

There is a Malaysian equivalent to Trump and Trumpism.

It is the long-term disinformation campaign that Malay rights, position and future (including that of Islam) are in peril despite 50 years of politics of Malay hegemony, when such politics  only benefited UMNO leaders and their cronies and not the ordinary Malay and  non-Malay rakyat.

Trump’s disinformation campaign was so potent  that the issue of masks has divided and polarised the entire American nation – and a Democratic New Jersey Representative 75-year-old Bonnie Watson Coleman contracted Covid-19 after being trapped with maskless members of the Republican members of the House of Representatives during the insurrection by Trump’s supporters at  the Capitol Hill.

We must not allow a Malaysian Trump in the country to mislead Malaysians into believing that Malaysia’ Golden Age was when it became a kleptocracy!

This is why I had  asked whether all  political parties can  reach a national consensus that the 15th General Election will not be held until the Covid-19 crisis is overcome.

If there is such an national consensus,  why is there a need to suspend Parliament and the State Assemblies when they are important instruments  to ensure that the country adopt an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic?

Lim Kit Siang

MP for Iskandar Puteri

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