A “all-of-government” and “whole of society” mentality and approach to the war against Covid-19 pandemic can only be predicated on a larger Malaysian vision recognising that Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-civilisational country and not land of one race, one language, one religion, one culture and one civilisation
The past nine months were depressing time for Malaysians who want Malaysia to take her rightful place in the international community of nations, building on the diversity of the nation of many races, languages, religions, cultures and civilisations to become a world top class nation in various fields of human endeavour.
Malaysia produced a political miracle in the 14th General Elections to end the national trajectory leading towards a kleptocracy, and the new Pakatan Harapan government laboured to break from the past abuses and misuses of power to build a New Malaysia based on the five Rukun Negara principles recognising that the diversities of race, language, religion, culture and civilisation were assets and not liabilities in the building of a modern, democratic, just and united Malaysian nation.
But before the Pakatan Harapan government could produce lasting impact in its nation-building efforts, it was overthrown by an illegitimate, backdoor Sheraton Move plot which plunged the country into despair and hopelessness, driving the country into the trajectory of a kakistocracy and the second wave, followed by a third wave, of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, it is not only Malaysians but people outside the nation who are asking the question: Does the country have a future?
Is it possible for Malaysia to break away from the trajectory of a failed state, kleptocracy and kakistocracy and to become a world top-class nation in various fields of human endeavour, a leading nation of integrity among the world’s top 30 nation in integrity, where the best, brightest, and the morally upright build – in the words of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman – a “beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”?
Although many Malaysians had been subjected to bouts of despair and even a sense of hopelessness, we must not give up hope for a better Malaysia. We must be courageous and brave to put nation above all other considerations, not based on position, wealth or office, but what is good for the country.
Is a kleptocracy good for the future of Malaysia? Is a kakistocracy good for Malaysia’s tomorrow?
The answers are so obvious that they need not be belaboured.
A “all-of-government” and “whole of society” mentality and approach to the war against Covid-19 pandemic can only be predicated on a larger Malaysian vision recognising that Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-civilisational country and not land of one race, one language, one religion, one culture and one civilisation.
It has been argued that a state of emergency is the only way to prevent the upcoming Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah and a possible Sarawak state election from becoming Covid-19 super-spreader events like the recent Sabah state general election .
The Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who had expressed such fears, could not be more wrong.
If all Malaysians and political parties could reach a national consensus that a Warisan candidate should take uncontested the parliamentary seat of Batu Sapi, vacated by the death of former Minister Liew Vui Keong and further, that any general election, whether state or national, should not be held until the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control, both these concerns could be resolved without a state of emergency.
It is clear that what the advocates of a state of emergency want is not so much special powers to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic – as the government has all along such powers under the present laws – but to avoid parliamentary scrutiny and accountability by suspending Parliament altogether.
The Sarawak state general election has to be held no later than Aug 6, 2021. If Malaysia adopts a “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and approach to the war against Covid-19 epidemic, I am confident that the Covid-19 epidemic can be brought under control well before the nine-month time span for the holding of the Sarawak state general election.