Weekly Highlights

Pot calling the kettle black?

Malaysia must restore our moral high ground in international arena or we will continue to be regarded as illegitimate and Muhyiddin’s call to Myanmar military to release Aung San Suu Kyi and change course from violence to peace akin to the pot calling the kettle black

The  Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin, has called on the Myanmar military to release Myanmese elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi and to change course from violence to peace.

If Muhyiddin will not heed national and international calls for the convening on Parliament and the lifting of the emergency,  why would the Myanmese military listen to his call?

Malaysia must restore our moral high ground in international arena or we will continue to be  regarded as illegitimate and Muhyiddin’s call to Myanmar military to release Aung San Suu Kyi and change course from violence  to peace akin to  the pot calling the kettle black.

A few years ago, an American Secretary of State referred to Malaysia as “kleptocracy at its worst”.  At that time, if Malaysia had preached at international conferences about  the virtues of corruption, it would have been a scandal of global proportion.

This was the reason why at  the last minute, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia pulled out of the programme to officiate the opening of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC)  in Putrajaya attended by 1,000 delegates world-wide in September 2015.

This is not  the  only reason why the Cabinet tomorrow must decide on the issue of the recovening of Parliament, especially as the Yang di Pertuan Agong has said that Parliament can convene during the Emergency proclaimed on Janaury 11.

The other potent reason why Parliament should be reconvened is because the suspension of Parliament is one major cause why Malaysia is one of the worst performing nations in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension of Parliament is a grave national disservice to Malaysia  as it robbed the country of the opportunity to use  Parliament to mobilise the whole country as one united force to combat and  overcome the Covid-19 pandemic to show Malaysia as one of the better performing nations in the world in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan (pictured) showed his superficial commitment to parliamentary democracy when he maintained that Parliament will only sit when the emergency expires in August and trotted out the argument that Parliament did not sit for two years in a separate emergency in 1969.

He claimed that the government was functioning well even though Parliament has been suspended through an emergency proclamation that came into force on Jan 11.

Takiyuddin is doubly wrong. Firstly, Parliament was not suspended for two years in 1969.  General election was held on May 10, 1969 and it was reconvened on February 1971.

Secondly,  the government had not been functioning well to combat the Covid-19 pandemic  with the suspension of Parliament.

Although we are not in the terrible league of United States, Brazil, India and the European nations which have  a cumulative total of over a million to over 30 million Covid-19 cases and fatalities as high as over 550,000 deaths  in the United States, Malaysia is the worst performing-nation in East Asia and South-East Asia, as reflected by the February 2021  Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking which ranked Malaysia as No. 23, lower than  Singapore (3), China (6), Taiwan (7), South Korea (8), Japan (9), Thailand (10), Hong Kong (13), Israel (14), UAE (15), India (16), Saudi Arabia (17) and  Vietnam (18).

We are ranked No. 45 among countries in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases – 334,156 cases –  which is way ahead of Myanmar (ranked No. 78 – 142,246 cases) South Korea (No. 84 – 99,076 cases), China (No. 88 – 90,106 cases), Singapore (No. 100 – 60,208 cases),  Thailand (No. 116 – 27,876 cases), Vietnam  (No. 176 -2,575 cases), Cambodia (No.183 – 1,753 cases)  and Taiwan (No.189 – 1,006 cases).

Despite more than two months of emergency, the Muhyiddin government is still unable to bring under control the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, started by the superspreader event of the Sabah state general election in September – making it  one of the longest Covid waves in the world!

Yesterday’s daily increase of 1,116 new Covid-19 cases was the 15th day where daily increase of new Covid-19 cases was below 2,000 cases.

We must  ensure that we can register triple-digit figure for the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases in March and double-digit figure in April, bringing  under control the  seven-month third wave of Covid-19 pandemic started last  September.

We must ensure that before we bring to the third wave of Covid-19 to double-digit daily increase, there will not be a fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, rising  to higher levels of daily increase of Covid-19 cases than the  peak of 5,728 new Covid-19 cases on January 30?

This is why Parliament must be reconvened.

We must  ensure  the success of the national Covid-19 vaccination rollout, and even accelerate and complete it by the National Day-Malaysia Day period of August 31- September 16, 2021 so that normality, recovery of the economy and national life can begin?

I welcome the two initiatives announced yesterday on off-line registration for vaccination and RM500,000 compensation for serious side-effects for vaccination.

These two initiatives are most welcome and positive steps in war against Covid-19 pandemic, but there are many weaknesses and drawbacks in the anti-Covid 19 strategy, the weakest aspect being the failure to have an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach after one year  in  the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, including the suspension of Parliament.

Are there no Ministers who dare to raise the subject to end the suspension of Parliament in tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting?

Lim Kit Siang

MP for Iskandar Puteri

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