Where is the “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and strategy to fight the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia?
On Sunday night, the question was whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would resign as Prime Minister following the rejection by the Yang di Pertuan Agong of the Cabinet’s advice to declare a state of emergency and suspend Parliament to fight the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.
Last night, the question was whether the Muhyiddin Yassin backdoor government would fall if the UMNO Supreme Council resolved to pull UMNO out of the Perikatan Nasional government formed after the infamous Sheraton Move plot in February.
All the talk use the language of political reconciliation and national unity, but the action was all about political divisiveness and national polarisation.
It would appear that the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s advice to Malaysians to stop politicking and destabilise the government so that all people, regardless of background and particular ideology, could set aside their differences and disagreements and unite as one against the Covid-19 pandemic and that of the Malay Rulers to translate the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy into a culture of governance to ensure justice and curtail any abuse of power had fallen on deaf ears.
Where is the “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset to fight the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, which is the nub of the message from the advice of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers on Sunday?
Yesterday, one online news website blared the headline “Spain declares virus emergency as global cases soar” as if to lament “an opportunity lost” for the failure to declare a state of emergency and suspend Parliament in Malaysia.
But has Malaysia become a Spain in the Covid-19 pandemic?
Spain is the first European nation to pass the bleak milestone of one million cases and has now been joined and overtaken by France.
France is now the world’s top fifth country in Covid-19 infections, with 1,165,278 cases with 35,018 fatalities , while Spain ranks No. 6 with 1,156,498 infections and 35,031 fatalities.
United Kingdom ranks No. 9 in the world with 894,690 Covid-19 cases and 44,998 fatalities while Italy ranks No. 14 with 542,789 cases and 37,479 fatalities.
Four days ago, Spain set a new national record of daily increase of Covid-19 infections to reach 20,986 cases – which was almost Malaysia’s cumulative total of 27,805 cases after nine months and three waves of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Spain has 24,732 Covid-19 cases and 536 fatalities per million of population as compared to Malaysia’s 856 Covid-19 cases and 7 fatalities per million of population.
On Sunday night, Spain declared a state of emergency and the government ordered a nationwide curfew that will limit Spaniards’ movement between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in the Canary Islands, where there are fewer new cases. The new emergency powers also mean regional officials can impose harsher restrictions on movement between areas and limit gatherings to six people.
The Covid-19 pandemic situation in Malaysia is serious and alarming, but we must bring it under control – but definitely we not in the league of Spain or the top 20 countries with Covid-19 infections, led by the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.
In the last 24 hours, Malaysia’s ranking in the world have worsened from No. 88 to 86th, beating North Macedonia and Australia.
We must not deteriorate further, in fact, we must strive to be better than Thailand, which is ranked No. 146 in the world with most Covid-19 infections, with 3,743 cases and 59 fatalities – representing 54 cases and 0.8 fatalities per million of population.
But the most important difference is that Spain’s state of emergency does not involve the suspension of the Spanish Parliament. In fact, it would be the Spanish Parliament which would decide whether the decree of a state of emergency would be extended beyond 14 days!
In Malaysia, however, the intention is to suspend Parliament rather than to impose an emergency!
We have wasted two days and should not waste any more time to focus and forge an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and approach in the war against the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic Malaysia.
It is heart-breaking that Malaysia had registered a second four-digit daily increase yesterday – 1,240 cases although not in the Spanish league of daily increase of 20,000 cases or that of United States which recorded more than 84,000 new Covid-19 cases last Friday.
We will be doing a disservice to the frontliners who risked their health and lives to combat the Covid-19 pandemic if we further delay and fail to forge a “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and approach in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
We must start immediately and now.
Are we going to have an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” mindset and strategy to fight the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia?