“Once-in-a-century” Covid-19 pandemic must not be allowed to cover a multitude of sins – especially kleptocracy, the infamous 1MDB scandal and kakistocracy

The “once-in-a-century” Covid-19 pandemic is being exploited to cover a multitude of political sins all over the world.

In the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the country with a vengeance and rampaging across the country.

After weeks of warnings that Covid-19 cases were again on the rise, a third surge of coronavirus infection has firmly taken hold in the United States.

Yesterday, United States registered a daily total of 63,663 Covid-19 infections and 1,225 deaths, and at the current rate of growth, new daily confirmed cases could soon surpass 75,687 cases, the record set on July 16.

The daily record for fatalities in the United States was set on April 21 when 2,742 fatalities were registered.

Yesterday, United States leads the world in registering 8.6 million Covid-19 infections and more than 227,000 fatalities, out of a global total of 41.5 million Covid-19 cases and more than 1.1 million fatalities.

But the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to claim its greatest political prize in the United States presidential election, for when Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump on Nov. 3 -which appears most likely - Trump would have fallen victim to the Covid-19 pandemic because, in the words of Obama, of Trump’s “degree of incompetence and misinformation, the number of people who might not have died if we’d have done the basics”.

In Malaysia, we have the horrendous spectacle of the former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, assuming the “moral authority and leadership” to lecture the PAS Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities, Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razai as being “morally wrong” for breaching the Covid-19 quarantine SOP, while claiming that it is “legally hard” to find the Minister guilty of any offense.

The cheek of the man who turned Malaysia into a kleptocracy and has not yet admitted to creating one of the biggest financial scandal in the world - the 1MDB financial scandal – pontificating on what is morally right and wrong for a Minister!

Najib was found guilty of corruption by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 28 in the first of several cases linked to the 1MDB scandal, and sentenced to 12 years in prison for abuse of power and 10 years in jail for each of six counts of money laundering and breach of trust – the sentences to run concurrently – and fined RM210 million.

Yesterday, Elliott Broidy, once a top Republican fundraiser, pleaded guilty in Washington to illegally lobbying President Donald Trump’s administration to help Malaysian fugitive from justice and key 1MDB operator, Jho Low, end a federal investigation into the 1MDB scandal.

This is ahead of an expected criminal settlement involving the US Justice Department with Goldman Sachs as the bank has agreed to pay more than US$2 billion for its role in helping the 1MDB Malaysian development fund raise billions of dollars, much which was later illegally diverted.

Malaysians will be interested to know what Najib has to say about these developments on the 1MDB scandal in Washington instead of his pontification of what is morally right or wrong for Khairuddin.

Malaysians must unite as one people to fight the “once-in-a-century” Covid-19 pandemic, and the DAP has always advocated an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach if the invisible war against the Covid-19 pandemic is going to be successful in Malaysia.

But the people who are undermining an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach are none other than the Perikatan Nasional Minister and leaders themselves.

Just to give five examples of such sabotage of the “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach in the war against the Covid-19 epidemic:

  1. Despite the Prime Minister’s assurance that there will be no double standards in the Covid-19 SOP, the case of the PAS Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities Khairuddin Aman Razali will stand as a permanent example of a Prime Miniser who is incapable of honouring his words.
  2. Having sparked the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic after the infamous Sheraton Move conspiracy in February, the Perikatan Nasional Government has no qualm in sparking the ongoing third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic by a failed coup in Sabah resulting in a Sabah state general election and the third Covid-19 wave.
  3. Sabah left to fend for itself although Sabah is now the epicentre of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  4. Discrimination against Pakatan Harapan State Governments, as exclusion from key National Security Council meetings on Covid-19 and the Federal Government refusing to share granular data on Covid-19 cases with the Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 (STFC).
  5. Confusing, slipshod and half-baked directives to the public during the Covid-19 epidemic, like the work-from-home directive which was made without consultation with the stakeholders such as employer groups and worker representatives.

The “once-in-a-century” Covid-19 pandemic must not be allowed to cover a multitude of sins – especially kleptocracy, the infamous 1MDB scandal and kakistocracy.

I do not see anyone in the Muhyiddin Cabinet who has the “all-of-government” and “whole-of society” mindset necessary if the government is to lead an “all-of government” and “whole-of-society” war against the Covid-19 virus – not the Ministers, the four Senior Ministers or even the Prime Minister himself.

Quo Vadis?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri