Home English News Can Muhyiddin government restore public trust and confidence? – Lim Kit Siang

Can Muhyiddin government restore public trust and confidence? – Lim Kit Siang

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Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday 19th May 2021

Something is very wrong with Malaysia’s strategy in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

Firstly, for the seventh consecutive day, Malaysia has a higher daily increase of new Covid-19 cases than in Indonesia, with Malaysia recording 4,865 cases yesterday as compared to Indonesia’s 4,185 cases. For the past one week, Malaysia’s total cumulative cases increased by 30,982 cases while that of Indonesia increased by 24,637 cases.

This is unbelievable, that for seven consecutive days Malaysia has chalked up a higher daily increase of new Covid-19 cases although Indonesia has a population that is nine times that of Malaysia.

#TamilSchoolmychoice

No wonder the Indonesian government felt it was fully justified to tell Indonesians not to emulate India and Malaysia which had mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic when advising Indonesians to take precautions about the Covid-19 pandemic during the Hari Raya holidays as if Malaysians are a very undisciplined lot!

While Indonesia is now worried that millions of Indonesians returning from the Hari
Raya Aidilfritri holidays across the sprawling archipelago risk a Covid-19 ‘time-bomb’ following mass gatherings and virus variants which could trigger a surge of new cases in the world’s fourth most populous nation, even with a surge of cases in the coming days, Indonesia would have a full week to show its superiority to Malaysia in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Secondly, the two top countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases – United States with 33.7 million cases and India with 25.2 million – are beginning to turnaround in their surges, but Malaysia continues to rise on the Covid-19 curve.

The United States, which reached a peak in its daily increase of 304,204 cases on January 8 has now dropped to 21,736 on May 16 – a humongous drop of 93%.

India, which hit the peak of daily increase of 414,433 new Covid-19 cases (a world record) on May 6, has fallen to 263,045 cases on May 17 – a sharp drop of 38% in 11 days!

Even the United Kingdom, which reached the peak of daily increase of 67,873 new Covid-19 cases on January 8 has dropped to a daily increase of 1,979 new cases on May 17 – another humongous drop of 97%!

But Malaysia is an exception and is on the upsurge, exceeding the 4,000-mark in daily increase of new Covid-19 cases in six of the past seven days!

If this is not a failure in the strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, I do not know what failure means!

I will not ask the Muhyiddin government to explain why this is so, for it will be unable to do so.

This illustrates the terrible mess the Muhyiddin government has made of the Covid-19 pandemic, exposing Malaysia’s Achille’s heel in its claim for Malaysia to a developed or fast developing nation status.

The slow and tardy national vaccination process in Malaysia is another fatal weakness in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Up to now, after nearly three months of the national vaccination roll-out, only 2.3 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated while 3.8% of the population had been given one dose of the vaccine, as compared to 3.5% of Indonesian population which had been fully vaccinated and 5.2 % of the Indonesian population which had been given one dose of the vaccine and 25.3% of Singaporeans who had been fully vaccinated and 34.5% of the Singapore population which had been administered one dose of the vaccine.

There will be at least two consequencs of such slow and tardy national vaccination rollout.

Firstly, it will be difficult for Malaysia to gain the herd immunity for Covid-19 virus. To get herd immunity, we will need to fully vaccinate 60-70% of our Malaysian population. Presently, medical experts think that vaccine immunity may last 6-8 months. If vaccine immunity can only last 6-8 months, and our vaccine rollout is so slow and tardy, by the time the last vaccine group get their first dose, the first vaccine group would have passed their vaccine immune period.

Secondly, we are in a race against time in the battle of “vaccine vs virus”, as the more the virus spreads, the more chances it has to mutate and create new variants that could eventually resist current vaccines, threatening to undermine the progress in containing the pandemic.

But the real problem in the war against Covid-19 pandemic is leadership, public trust and confidence.

Muhyiddin suffers from the worst deficit in public trust and confidence in Malaysian history as a result of the many instances of Covid-19 SOP flips-flops and double-standards, as well as the kakistocracy in government.

With such surging Covid-19 numbers and failure in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in fact doing a great disservice to the frontliners who are sacrificing themselves to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

The first problem to address in the continuing war against the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia is to restore public trust and confidence in the strategy against Covid-19 pandemic.

Is it possible for Muhyiddin with his backdoor, undemocratic, kakistocratic and illegitimate government to restore public trust and confidence in the war against
Covid-19 pandemic.

Yes, if he does two things:

Firstly, convene Parliament to establish a parliamentary united front in the war against Covid-19 pandemic where there will be no “no-confidence” motion and to spearhead a “whole-of-society” national mobilisation of Malaysians to restore the country to normalcy; and

Secondly, end all SOP flip-flops and double standards, including an end to all police investigations into the groups of youths who gathered in front of Parliament on
April 30 protesting against the suspension of Parliament and the group of youths who held a protest in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat on May 12 and unfurled a large banner with the words “#kerajaangagal”.

The police had termed the Parit Raja, Batu Pahat event as a “riot” – although no material damage has been reported – and detained at least 27 people who were allegedly involved.

Is Muhyiddin capable of a new start in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic?