The Original Sin of Malaysia’s Covid 19 crisis was the Sheraton Move toppling the Pakatan Harapan Government, sparking the Second and Third Waves which have caused 136 unnecessary deaths
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah seems to be right that Malaysia is facing the “the beginning of a new wave” with the country recording 287 new Covid-19 infections yesterday, making it the country’s highest daily increase throughout the pandemic so far.
Six months ago, I suggested the establishment of a Covid-19 Pandemic Study Centre to learn from the successes and mistakes of other nations and to ensure that Malaysia does not lead the world in using the pandemic to emasculate and marginalise Parliament and human rights.
But we seem to be unable to learn from the success of other nations in the combat against Covid-19.
This is the unavoidable conclusion when we read China promoting “revenge travel” to boost the country’s economy after the Covid lockdowns.
The British daily, the Guardian, reported:
“Millions of Chinese people are travelling across the country in a bout of ‘revenge tourism’ after almost a year of quarantines, lockdowns and restrictions on their movement.
“China’s ministry of culture and tourism expects around 550 million people will make trips within the country during an eight-day public holiday marking the mid-autumn festival and China’s national day.
“Photos posted on social media on Tuesday, the first day of the national holiday, showed tourist spots crowded with visitors, and train stations busy with harried passengers…
“Officials are keen to encourage this pent-up demand, described by state media as ‘revenge tourism’ or ‘revenge travel’ during the annual public holiday known as Golden Week, traditionally a prime time for travel and spending.
“Spending during the next eight days will be a key indicator of China’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The state-run newspaper Economic Information Daily described this year’s holiday as a ‘critical battle’ for the tourism industry. Commentators say it marks the beginning of ‘revenge spending’ by Chinese consumers.”
China was able to encourage “revenge travel” because it had contained Covid-19, with no new locally transmitted cases in almost two months, although Chinese officials anticipate the volume of domestic tourism for this year’s Golden Week to fall short of last year, when almost 800 million people travelled across the country.
But the world provides another example of the abysmal failure of a superpower to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, when the United States President, Donald Trump and the First Lady was tested positive for Covid-19, after claiming “it will disappear”, telling journalists he was downplaying it deliberately, failing to develop a national testing strategy, refusing to wear a face mask for months, floating the idea of injecting patients with bleach and insisting to one of his many crowded campaign rallies that “it affects virtually nobody”.
The United States is a disaster as far as Covid-19 pandemic is concerned. It has recorded more deaths than any other country in the pandemic, registering 213,524 deaths out of more than a million who had died of the disease, with the US recording 7.5 million cases out of a global total of nearly 35 million cases.
The true death toll and number of cases are likely to be significantly higher due to differing definitions and testing rates, delays and suspected underreporting.
Why is Malaysia unable to learn from the best lessons in the world in the battle against Covid-19 epidemic.
While the Covid-19 pandemic is an once-in-a-century global catastrophe, the Original Sin of Malaysia’s Covid 19 catastrophe was the Sheraton Move toppling the Pakatan Harapan Government in February this year, sparking the Second and Third Waves which have caused 136 unnecessary deaths.
Myth makers claim that the Muhyiddin government had passed its greatest test in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin himself said that while the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented in Malaysia and across the world, but with the tenacity of the government, the support of frontliners, civil servants and volunteers, and the people’s discipline, the nation was up to the challenge.
This is not the truth. The Covid-19 pandemic had in fact provided the Muhyiddin government an opportunity to hide its weaknesses and internal contradictions.
But thanks to the frontliners and to Malaysians who rallied behind the government because of the enormity of a Covid-19 disaster, we have emerged quite well by international standards despite the unnecessary deaths of 136 people and infection of over 11,000 people.
The Muhyiddin government had at first mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic, causing a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak in March, which reached its peak on April 3.
If not for the Sheraton Move, there would not be a second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown of the country – no MCO, CMCO, RMCO!
Now all Malaysians must unite and be disciplined to ensure that any third wave of Covid-19 pandemic will be the shortest possible.