First item of business for the 27-day budget meeting of Parliament starting on Nov. 2 is to set up an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on Covid-19 to monitor the public health, economic and nation building crisis of Covid-19
Two months ago during the last parliamentary meeting, I asked whether the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Health Minister, Dr. Adham Baba whether they will give top priority to ensure that a Parliamentary Select Committee on Covid-19 would be set up to monitor the public heath, economic and nation-building crisis of Covid-19.
It is a serious dereliction of duty by both the Prime Minister and the Health Minister that this has not been done, resulting in a leadership vacuum to inspire public trust and confidence to rally all Malaysians, regardless of political affiliation, to wage a single-minded war against the Covid-19 virus for the public health wellbeing of the country, as well as to ensure a sustainable bounce-back of the Malaysian economy after the ravages of over seven months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even more important, to ensure that the process of nation-building is given top priority.
At that time, the cumulative global total of Covid-19 infections had just passed the 20 million mark.
Today, the cumulative global total has increased by leaps and bounds and has recorded nearly 36.4 million cases and over one million fatalities.
Today, global statistics of Covid-19 pandemic established another grim record, when the global daily increase of Covid-19 cases registered an all-time high of 343,517 cases.
When the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, there were more than 118,000 Covid-19 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.
Yesterday’s global daily increase was nearly three times the global total of Covid-19 cases when WHO declared Covid-19 as a pandemic seven months ago – when it killed 4,291 people as compared to the present fatality of 1,060,427 people.
In the United Nations two days ago, the World Health Organisation estimated that roughly one in 10 people may have been infected with the coronavirus, leaving the vast majority of the world’s population vulnerable to the Covid-19 disease it causes.
This is a mind-boggling figure as it would mean that 780 million people are infected with Covid-19 as the world population is 7.8 billion – which is a far cry from the recorded Covid-19 estimate.
Countries all over the world are worried about a second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, except the United States which has not emerged from its first wave of the Covid-19 epidemic although it leads the world with 7.8 million cases and over 216,000 fatalities.
We in Malaysia are in the thick of a third wave caused by the Sabah state general election with three-digit infections for the last 11 days except one since the Polling Day - the result of the negligence and irresponsibility of backdoor conspirators who wanted to illegally seize power in the Sabah State.
As a result, Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 had the dubious honour of breaking the 10,000-mark for Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, as on that day, the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases stood at 10,147 cases with 128 deaths.
During the 14-day Sabah state general election from Sep. 12 – Sept. 26, the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases increased by over 900 cases, and the number of Covid-19 cases from Sabah general election Nomination Day on Sept. 12 to now is an sharp increase of 4,125 cases and 13 deaths!
It must be a top priority for Malaysia in facing the “once-in-a-century” health crisis that the leadership vacuum is filled so that there can be inspirational examples to the people to unite, regardless of politics, race, religion, class, gender or age to fight and win the war against the Covid-19 virus.
The question is whether the Prime Minister and the Health Minister will agree that the first item of business for the 27-day budget meeting of Parliament starting on Nov. 2 is to set up an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on Covid-19 for MPs to monitor the public health, economic and nation building crisis of Covid-19.