Sad and shocking that Sabah Chief Minister tested positive for Covid-19 – let his 26-year promise to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants and eradicate corruption in Sabah and to reduce poverty and illiteracy in Sabah to zero be the agenda of his Cabinet

I am sad and shocked that the Sabah Chief Minister, Hajiji Mohd Noor, has been tested positive for Covid-19 to become the first head of state government in Malaysia to be infected with the disease.

His public relations secretary Effendi Mohamed Sunoh said Hajiji, 65, is now receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, and his health is good and stable.

Effendi said although Hajiji is receiving treatment, he is still conducting his duties and responsibilities at the place of treatment through phone calls and video conferencing and the state government functions as usual.

Instead of decreasing threat after nine months, the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be reaching new heights menacing the very functioning of government itself.

In Malaysia, a Minister has been tested positive for Covid-19, the Cabinet is not functioning, and the Prime Minister and more than half the Cabinet are undergoing home quarantine for 14 days.

In the United States, which is leading the world with the most number of Covid-19 cases, with a cumulative total of nearly 7.9 million Covid-19 cases with over 218,000 fatalities, the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the White House into a Covid-19 hotspot, infecting US President Donald Trump and his aides.

Sabah is currently battling the worst wave of Covid 19 since it was first detected in the country.

Several districts in the east and west coast are now under a conditional movement control order to try to curb the spread of the virus.

The Health Ministry recorded 274 new Covid-19 cases in Sabah (out of 354 cases in Malaysia) yesterday. Six people in the state, all Malaysians, also died from the virus.

Late last night, the Education Ministry announced the closure of all schools for two weeks, from October 10 to October 25.l

Teachers are to conduct lessons from home in virtual classrooms, the ministry said.

This has again brought to the very forefront the problem of the digital divide in Sabah and the kakistocratic government where neither the Prime Minister nor any Minister dare to exercise discipline over two Deputy Ministers for falsely attacking Veveonah Mosibin – the 24 hour “tree-top girl” whose Youtube of her feat to gain internet connectivity to sit for an online examination has been viewed more than 840,000 times – and her family from Pitas, Sabah.

As Hajiji is carrying out his Chief Minister’s duties by phone calls and video conferencing, let him instruct his Ministers that the agenda of the Hajiji Cabinet is to fulfil his 26-year promise when he stood as an UMNO candidate in 1994 to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants and eradicate corruption in Sabah and to reduce poverty and illiteracy in Sabah to zero – and to instruct the Hajiji Cabinet to issue a report as to how these four objectives are to be fulfilled.

At a time when Sabah is in the eye of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, it is inexplicable as to why the post of a Sabah Minister for Health had been abolished.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri