Weekly Highlights

The first test of Ismail Sabri’s government

26th August 2021

The acid test of the  Ismail Sabri government is whether it could  win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic and bring it under control as the pandemic is still on the relentless march towards the 64th National Day on August 31 and 58th Malaysia Day on September 16 settling dubious new records.

Yesterday, we broke the 1.6 million-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

Today, we will break the 15,000-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 deaths.

Can we reduce the daily new Covid-19 cases to avoid passing the 1.7 million mark on 64th  National Day on August 31?

Can we reduce the daily new Covid-19 deaths to avoid the breaking the 16,000-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 deaths on 64th National Day?

The third test will be whether we can reduce the new daily cases to avoid breaking the two million-mark on the 58th Malaysia Day on Sept. 16  and the fourth test whether we can avoid breaking the 19,000-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 deaths on the 58th Malaysia Day.

These are the four tests of the Ismail Sabri government.

Malaysians must be concerned that for two consecutive days, we have become the No. 1 country in ASEAN in having the most  daily new Covid-19 cases, beating both Indonesia and Philippines.

We had 20,839 new Covid-19 cases on  24th August and 22,642 new cases on August  25, as compared to Indonesia which had 19,100 cases and 18,671 new  cases for these two days and Philippines, which had  11,891 new cases and  13,573 in these two days.

In fact, we have been having more daily new Covid-19 cases than Indonesia in the last 10 consecutive days, which is why time is of the essence to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

Since Mahiaddin Yassin submitted his resignation as Prime Minister on August 16, 2021, there had been 212,345 Covid-19 cases and 2,308 Covid-19 deaths.

This is a national emergency that can brook no more delay and Ismail Sabri must get down to the business of winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, the new  Prime Minister had a meeting with Pakatan Harapan leaders and  the Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said after the meeting that Pakatan Harapan would not complicate matters during a vote of confidence in Parliament if Ismail Sabri’s policies are pro-rakyat and designed to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

We may be in the Opposition but when the country faces a national crisis, all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics must unite so that the country can tide over the crisis.

I am reminded of my call on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the National Day in 1987  where I called for a summit meeting of top political leaders  to defuse the escalating racial polarisation in the country so that that nation could concentrate on the task of national economic recovery.

This is the time for all political parties to demonstrate that whatever their political differences, they are prepared to rise above party politics with  one overriding common cause – to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic so that Malaysia can embark on economic and national recovery.

Lim Kit Siang

MP for Iskandar Puteri

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