Finally, the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has appeared in a live telecast on the eve of the “total lockdown” MCO 3.0 today.
But his live telecast is distinguished more for what it omitted than what it said.
Muhyiddin ignored many elephants stomping in the room – 17 months after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Firstly, why the emergency that was declared on January 12, 2021 had been such a colossal failure to bring the third Covid-19 wave under control?
Instead, some five months later, the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia is not only in a worse stage, but the country has become an international poster boy as a nation which had failed in the pandemic – no more the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain or even India!
We are now ranked No. 39 among nations in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, with 572,357 Covid-19 cases and 2,796 Covid-19 fatalities.
In daily confirmed cases per million yesterday on Our World in Data (30.5.2021), we scored 235.58, higher than India (134.07), France (133.88), Canada (75.26), United States (60.82), Philippines (57.12), Italy (56.28), Thailand (54.98). Germany (51.24), UK (45.34), Japan (28.77), Taiwan (23.02), Indonesia (21.32), South Korea (10.79), Singapore (4.96), Vietnam (2.69), Hong Kong (0.10) and China (0.01).
For the 20th consecutive day, we have beaten Indonesia in daily increase of new
Even more shocking, for the first time, we have beaten United States in daily new Covid-19 cases, with United States’ daily increase of new Covid-19 cases yesterday only some 75% of Malaysia’s daily increase of 6,824 new Covid-19 cases!
Malaysia and India are the two worst performing countries in the May 2021 Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking – Malaysia falling 15 spots to No. 35 and India falling 20 spots to No. 50 out of 53 countries with economies of more than US$200 billion.
A few days ago, Malaysia was mentioned in the international media as one of the 19 countries in the company of Argentina, Colombia, Iran, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Costa Rica and South Africa which could see the Covid-19 pandemic reach “crisis point” as happened in India.
What has gone wrong? Why is Malaysia doing so badly, from all measures that are used, that we have become the international poster boy as a nation which is a failure in the Covid-19 pandemic?
Muhyiddin provided no answers. He omitted mention of this embarrassing subject and the reasons for these colossal failures in the Covid-19 pandemic in his live telecast last night.
There are five aspects of the war against the Covid-19 pandemic which the Muhyiddin government had failed badly, viz:
· Restore public trust and confidence in the government handling of the war against the Covid-19 pandemic;
· National mobilisation of Malaysians through a genuine “whole-of-society” strategy and approach;
· A new economic stimulus package to help the poor and vulnerable;
· Effective and efficient Find-Test-Trace-Isolate-Support (FTTIS) strategy to ensure that we are always ahead of the pandemic curve; and
· Acceleration of the national vaccination rollout especially in view of deadly Covid-19 variants.
With the announcement of a RM40 billion economic package to help the poor and vulnerable groups, the Muhyiddin government is fumbling to tackle the last three items in its five failures in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.
But Muhyiddin had left the first two failures in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic unaddressed in his live telecast last night – namely the need to restore public trust and confidence in the government handling of the war against the Covid-19 pandemic and the imperative need to spearhead a national mobilisation of Malaysians through a genuine “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The spectacle of a government fumbling and bumbling in its imposition of MCO 3.0 “total lockdown” after 17 months of Covid-19 pandemic, like the last-minute decision that any business which wanted to operate during the 14-day “total lockdown” must obtain permission from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), is not one to inspire public trust and confidence.
When is Muhyiddin going to advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong to convene Parliament which is essential if the first two failures in the war against the Covid19 pandemic are to be addressed.