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“Is Muhyiddin going to have a parallel Cabinet of Special Advisers with Ministerial status?

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Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 8th August 2021

Is Muhyiddin going to have a parallel Cabinet of Special Advisers with Ministerial status?

The appointment of Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu as special adviser to the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin with the status of Minister raises the question whether Muhyiddin is going to have a parallel Cabinet of Special Advisers with Ministerial status.

This is because there are already two full Ministers and two deputy Ministers for the two portfolios of community relations and communications for which Faizal Azumu had been appointed as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister.

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Are the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Rina Mohd Harun, her deputy Minister, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusuf, and the Minister for Communication and Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah and his deputy, Zahidi Zainul Abidin competently doing their jobs or have they failed in their duties as to require a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for these portfolios?

Would Muhyiddin need Special Advisers with Ministerial status for the other portfolios where there are already Ministers and deputy Ministers like Security, Finance, Economics, Education, Environment, Transport, Youth and Sports?

Since Azumu’s appointment on 5th August, there have been 60,742 Covid-19 cases and 534 Covid-19 deaths in the last three days – when it had taken eleven months to reach the first cumulative total of 60,752 Covid-19 cases on November 26, 2020 and 12 months to reach the first cumulative total of 537 Covid-19 deaths on January 8, 2021.

Is Azumu’s focus to help get the daily Covid-19 cases and deaths down or is it to prepare Malaysians to accept higher daily Covid-19 cases and deaths as to reach 1.5 Covid-19 million cases and 1,500 Covid-19 deaths on the 64th National Day on August 31?

UMNO MP for Padang Rengas, Nazri Aziz, has denied that he was the person who contacted several Opposition MPs with offers for them to defect to Perikatan Nasional.

Can Azumu throw light on this promotion of the “frog culture” among Opposition MPs during this critical political period. Is he in any way involved?

Oppositions MPs who had been contacted and spurned such overtures to “frog-jump” and support Perikatan Nasional government include MPs M. Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat), Khoo Poay Tiong (Kota Melaka), Kelvin Yii (Bandar Kuching) and Cha Kee Chin (Rasah).

Apart from ministerial posts, the MPs were also offered “durian RM30”, whatever it implies.

It is most shocking and abhorrent that there are people who are more concerned at these critical times with political games and conspiracies when the sole focus should be on how to save Malaysia by first cutting down the daily Covid-19 cases and deaths.

For 26 consecutive days, the daily new Covid-19 cases have been in five-digit numbers, twice exceeding the 20,000-mark in the last three days.

For 27 consecutive days since July 12, except for 25th July, daily Covid-19 deaths were in three-digit figures. For the past week since August 1, the daily death rates are in the 160-257 range.

The Muhyiddin government is still trying the same trick and expect a different result. Shouldn’t the policy makers have a serious reset to get the case numbers and the death rates down?

We seem to be over relying on the national vaccination rollout in the war against
Covid-19 pandemic. The vaccines will help but it is not silver bullet for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other nations like Israel, United Kingdom and United States have shown that the vaccine alone cannot solve everything.

Isn’t it time to get our medical students who may have completed their final exams or employ short term contract workers to help as frontliners to track and trace as we ramp up our testing?

When the positive rates following testing is persistently at 11-13%, it must mean that the virus is deep in the community and testing is the only way to flush them out.

Yet testing must be complemented by adequate tracking, tracing and then quarantining them.

Our frontliners are tired and exhausted. We must do whatever we can to get the cases down.

With vaccination at almost half a million daily, we have now reached 47% Malaysians given one dose of vaccine and 25% fully vaccinated with two doses, but we have yet to see any effect on the case numbers and deaths.

Do we have to wait when we reach almost 90% of Malaysians fully vaccinated?

We must be conscious that we are in a race of “vaccine vs virus variants’ if we are not to contest with more variants which may reach us, like Delta Plus and Lamda Variant from Peru which are more resistant to vaccines.

The exact hospital situation as regards facilities for care of Covid patients, including ICU facilities, oxygen reserves and drugs capabilities continue as matters of concern.

I hear of alarming acute shortage of ICU beds in the country. There are long queues for hospital beds and an even longer queues for ICU beds. There are also reports of increasing number of patients brought in dead who were Covid-19 positive.

What is the government’s solution for these pressing problems?