2020 Christmas day message by DAP Secretary-General and MP For Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 24 December 2020:
Stop Pitting Malaysian Against Malaysian Based On Race And Religious Extremism But Unite Together Against COVID-19 By Questioning Why RM2.1 Billion Cannot Be Made Available Earlier To Purchase Vaccines
The biggest enemy facing the nation and the rakyat is COVID-19 and not women or minorities. Whilst some can also point to corruption and incompetency, there is no doubt that this once in a lifetime global pandemic is the biggest threat to our public health and economic livelihood.
That is why members of this unelected Federal goverment should stop pitting Malaysian against Malaysian based on race and religious extremism. We should instead unite together to defeat COVID-19 by questioning why RM2.1 billion cannot be made available earlier, to protect Malaysians by purchasing vaccines that can arrive now, like other neighbouring countries and not three months from now.
DAP totally rejects the pathetic excuse given that Malaysia does not have the financial resources like Singapore to make earlier purchases of the vaccines. Such an excuse is acceptable if the cost of the vaccines is RM100 billion and not the reported RM2.1 billon.
What is a paltry RM2.1 billion compared to the PN government RM305 billion Prihatin economic stimulus package this year against the negative economic impact of COVID-19?
I do not believe that the Finance Ministry refused to make available RM2.1 billon or RM3 billion to make earlier purchases of the COVID-19 vaccines. I hope the Finance Ministry can clarify whether this is true. If this is indeed the case, then such a stingy and miserly refusal to make available RM2.1 billon or RM 3 billion is a bigger blunder and more incompetent than Malaysia’s downgrade in sovereign credit ratings by Fitch recently.
Unfortunately, members of this unelected government continue to make political statements or take actions that divide the rakyat or hurt the sentiments of many Malaysians, especially women and minorities. Whether these provocative actions are a desperate attempt to distract attention away from their failures and unprofessional conduct of government affairs, this has bred a growing despair.
Just as Christmas is a season of joy, peace and love, Malaysians must never give up our quest to allow everyone to enjoy equal opportunities and our children to realise their fullest potential.
We must give hope to Malaysians, especially women and minorities, that they will be recognized for their accomplishments here and not only celebrated as Malaysians when they succeed in foreign countries.
Lim Guan Eng
MP for Bagan