Postpone the budget presentation in Parliament by one week so that the 2021 Budget could incorporate proposals by both the Perikatan Nasional government and the Pakatan Harapan opposition to ensure that it could be adopted by Parliament
The presentation of the 2021 Budget in Parliament on Friday, 6th November 2020 should be postponed by one week to 13th November 2020 so that the 2021 Budget could incorporate the proposals by both the Perikatan Nasional government and the Pakatan Harapan opposition to ensure that the 2021 Budget could be adopted by Parliament.
It is almost one week since the Yang di Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and the Malay Rulers rejected the advice of the Muhyiddin Cabinet to proclaim a state of emergency nine months after the Covid-19 epidemic, but Malaysians cannot see any result in the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers’ call to the political leadership to inspire Malaysians to rise above considerations of race, religion, region, class and politics with a larger Malaysian vision to unite in a single-minded manner to launch an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach and mindset in the war against Covid-19 epidemic.
Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has become more catastrophic, with the last three days from Wednesday to Friday consecutively registering the highest global daily increase of Covid-19 infection of over half-a-million cases, with yesterday registering the highest record of a daily increase of 573,616 cases (nearly five times the global cumulative total on March 11 when the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 as a pandemic).
There is a new surge of Covid-19 cases in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, where whole countries are in the red zone and the colours of red, orange and green cease to have any more meaning.
It is both pathetic and tragic that the United States presidential election, which is entering the final days to a November 3 voting, is ending up in a contest of “Mask or No Mask” battle, with the United States again becoming the epicentre of the Covid-19 epidemic despite having 9.3 million Covid-19 cases and more than 230,000 fatalities – almost four time the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam war.
The Covid-19 pandemic is not having any let-up in the United States for on Friday, it recorded the largest number of new daily cases and fatalities – exceeding 100,000 new cases and exceeding 1,000 deaths.
Malaysia is also facing a grim challenge from the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are not in the league of other nations, like the top ten countries with a cumulative total of over a million Covid-19 cases, led by the United States with more than 9.3 million cases, followed by India and Brazil with more than 8.1 million and 5.5 million cases respectively.
We are now No.87th in the world among the countries with most number of Covid-19 infections although in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic we were ranked No18.
In terms of total cases per 1 million population, however, we are ranked No. 130.
Malaysia has 926 Covid-19 cases per 1 million population, while the top 15 countries in terms of total cases per 1 million population are:
1. Andorra 59,077
2. Bahrain 47,237
3. Qatar 47,065
4. Aruba 41,827
5. French Guiana 34,615
6. Israel 34,043
7. Belgium 31,736
8. Panama 30,447
9. Kuwait 29,052
10. Czechia 28,936
11. Armenia 28,678
12. Montenegro 28,254
13. United States 27,770
14. San Marino 27,330
15. Peru 27,100
When will the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia peak? Will there be more waves of the Covid-19 pandemic before it is brought under control, some say 2022?
Malaysia is struggling to ensure that we avoid four-digit daily increase of Covid-19 infections, although we have failed twice on the 24th and 26th October when we recorded 1,228 and 1,240 Covid-19 new cases respectively.
There is a modelling projection by academicians in Malaysia that there will be 15,000 active Covid-19 cases by November 8, 2020.
But the reports of Covid-19 cases by the Health Director-General, Noor Hisham Abdullah in the last two days seem to provide some light at the end of the tunnel.
In the last two days - 629 new cases and no new deaths on Thursday and 799 new cases and three deaths on Friday – may be signs of the beginning of a slowdown of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic where there are no more new daily increases in four-digit figures.
At this juncture, let Parliament have a 2021 Budget to save lives and livelihoods in Malaysia in the Covid-19 pandemic, which should reflect for the first time an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach and mindset representing the views of both the Government and the Opposition in the war against Covid-19 epidemic.