Going by the record, it is likely that with Dzulkefly as Health Minister, a Pakatan Harapan Government would have done better in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak than the Perikatan Nasional Government

The Perikatan Nasional campaign in the Slim River by-election has produced many outrageous events which highlight the need for a new political culture which upholds the five Rukunegara principles and the objectives of truth and fair play.

The most abominable so far had been outrageous statement by Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, that there would be more Covid-19 cases and deaths in Malaysia under a Pakatan Harapan Government.

Actually, the truth could be the opposite.

Under the Pakatan Harapan Minister of Health, Dzulkefly Ahmad, before the infamous Sheraton Move on February 23, 2020 and before the second wave of Covid-19 attacked the country, Malaysia had a good and great record in fighting Covid-19.

Before the Sheraton Move, Malaysia had a cumulative total of 21 Covid-19 cases on Feb. 15 and no death and for eleven days from February 16 – 26, there was only one new case, bringing the cumulative total to 22 cases,

Malaysia’s Covid-19 record at the time (under Pakatan Harapan government) was among the best in ASEAN, even better than Thailand.

Thailand for instance had a cumulative total of 35 cases on Feb. 15 and an cumulative total of 40 cases on Feb. 26 – in both instances higher than Malaysia.

The second wave of Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia started under the Perikatan Nasional Government, with Malaysia overtaking Thailand on March 4, registering a cumulative total of 50 cases as compared to Thailand’s 43 case.

When the PN Cabinet was formed on March 7, there was a cumulative total of 93 cases, 10 daily case increase and no death as compared to Thailand’s cumulative total of 50 cases, two daily new infections and one death on the same day.

When the second wave of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia reached its peak on April 3, 2020 it registered a cumulative total of 3,333 cases and 53 deaths as compared to Thailand’s cumulative total of 1,978 Covid-19 cases and 19 Covid-19 deaths.

The gap has widened since then and today, Malaysia has 9,267 total cumulative cases and a total of 125 deaths as compared to Thailand’s 3,397 total cumulative cases and total of 58 deaths.

Under the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic under the Pakatan Harapan government, Malaysia had better Covid-19 statistics than Thailand, which had over twice Malaysia’s population.

But under the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, which happened under the Perikatan Nasional Government, the situation was reversed and Malaysia has now a cumulative total of 9,267 cases and 125 deaths as compared to Thailand’s cumulative total of 3,397 cases and 58 deaths.

Is there a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia?

Let’s listen to the Deputy Health Minister Noor Azmi Ghazali who admitted to The Malaysian Insight three weeks ago on 27th July 2020 that Malaysia was currently experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

He said: “What we have been undergoing since March until today is actually the second wave.”

He said Malaysia experienced a brief first wave at the end of January with the first batch of patients who had come from China, the epicentre of the outbreak.

He said the second wave started in March, the same month the government imposed the movement control order.

The restrictions were successful in curbing the spread of the virus so that the government could “flatten the curve”, he said.

Following a period of dwindling infections, the coronavirus has in recent weeks made a resurgence in a few locations.

The director-general of health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said that 120 new cases were reported from July 19-25, but during this period the number of new Covid-19 cases in Thailand stood only at 33!

Of course, if we compare with the United States and some other countries in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East, we had done well – but going by the record of Dzulkefly and Pakatan Harapan Government, it is likely that the Pakatan Harapan would have done better than the Perikatan Nasional Government.

This is why it is important that politicians in the Perikatan Nasional government should not drag and destroy the professional excellence of the public service particularly in the case of the new Malaysian hero, the Director-General of Health, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah – who has rightly been honoured by being conferred a Tan Sri for his outstanding leadership in the fight against the Covid-19.

Let us not destroy a Noor Hisham to save a “air suam” Minister or a Covid-19 quarantine SOP violator.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri