By Lim Kit Siang
The flurried manner of the announcement of a national MCO 3.0 late yesterday evening less than a month after the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin promised no more nationwide restrictions is living proof that the Muhyiddin government has become a kakistocracy.
There was no time to arrange for a live telecast by the Prime Minister, which must be a blessing in disguise as Muhyiddin cannot be unaware of the huge deficit in public trust and confidence in government’s decisions and announcements, particularly relating to Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision of a national MCO 3.0 was the culmination of two days of dizzying confusion and chaos in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with different Ministries making confusing and conflicting statements about the meaning of MCO 3.0 and Conditional MCO, causing hardships and sufferings to the people, particularly petty traders and SMEs.
But whether Muhyiddin will admit or not, the advice by the Indonesian government to her citizens to stay home and to take precautions on Covid-19 in the forthcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays, with the warning: “Learn from India and Malaysia, for surely we don’t want Indonesia to face the same problem” would have bulked large on the final decision on the MCO 3.0 for the whole country.
Malaysia is going to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri without balik kampong for the second year in a row.
What is even more shocking is that Malaysia would have exceeded the half-a-million mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 cases by Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
The emergency declared on January 12, 2021 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a failed emergency.
On January 12, 2021, the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases was 3,309 cases and four deaths. Some four months later on May 10, it recorded a daily increase of 3,807 new Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths.
On January 12, the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases for the past 12 months was 141, 533 cases. In the four months since the emergency, the cumulative total of Covid-19 more than tripled to 444,484 cases and the cumulative total of fatalities more than tripled from 559 deaths to 1,700 deaths.
What type of an “emergency to combat the Covid-19 pandemic” is this?
It is not only the Indonesian Government which had used Malaysia and India to warn its citizens to stay home and comply with the SOPs with regard to 3Cs (crowded place, confined space, close conversations) and 3Ws (wash your hands, wear a mask, heed MOH warnings), it was also been used by Malaysian government leaders like Muhyiddin, Ismail Sabri and the Health Director-General Noor Hisham as well.
Can Muhyiddin explain why Malaysia might become a mini-India, why Malaysia with 444,484 cases is ranked No. 42 among countries with the most Covid-19 case losing out to nations in East Asia, ASEAN and Pacific which have lower ranking and fewer cases like Myanmar (ranked No. 82) with 142,963 cases; South Korea (84) 127,772 cases; China (96) 90,769 cases; Thailand (98) 85,005 cases; Singapore (104) 61,378 cases; Australia (120) 29,931 cases; Cambodia (130) 19,743 cases; Hong Kong (147) 11,812 cases; Vietnam (176) 3,461 cases; New Zealand (179) 2,644 cases; Laos (190) 1,327 cases; Taiwan (194) 1,199 cases and Brunei (201) 230 cases?
Indian Prime Minister Narendran Modi is now blamed for the huge political rallies and the mass religious festivals which had resulted in India recording over 400,000 Covid-19 cases a day and daily fatalities exceeding 4,000 cases.
Would Muhyiddin and his bloated Cabinet accept responsibility for the worsening Covid-19 crisis in Malaysia?
There was cryptic statement by the PAS President, Hadi Awang asking civil servants to follow the government’s instruction even if they do not support the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
He said those uncomfortable with the government formed by the parties they do not support are morally bound to resign.
I do not agree with Hadi as I believe that it is the political leaders who had failed in their duties like those in the bloated Muhyiddin Cabinet who, in the national interest, should resign.
I do not fault civil servants who are not prepared to see the Malaysian civil service deteriorating into a kakistocracy.
One Covid-19 antidote Muhyiddin and his bloated Cabinet should not continue to ignore in the anti-Covid-19 strategy is to convene Parliament to spearhead an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” national mobilisation against the Covid-19 pandemic, as this move will go a long way to resolve the ever-ballooning deficit of public trust and confidence in government plans to end the Covid-19 pandemic.
Will the Prime Minister and his bloated Cabinet finally accept the hard truth and advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong to convene Parliament without any delay?
(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, May 11, 2021)
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This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.