#kerajaangagal13 – why are countries without emergency doing better than Malaysia despite a four-month-long emergency and suspension of Parliament?

Malaysia reported 3,332 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, the second day in a row that infections have exceeded the 3,000 mark, while for the previous 13 days, the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases were over 2,000 figures.

Many questions have to be asked, but the most important one is why Malaysia is performing worse than countries which have not declared a national emergency.

In the sixth monthly Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking released on April 26, 2021, Malaysia fell two rungs and was ranked No. 20.

None of the 19 countries higher ranked than Malaysia, led by Singapore and followed by New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, UAE, Finland, Hong Kong, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Denmark, Norway, Saudi Arabia, US, UK and Canada, have declared national emergencies or suspended Parliament to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, yet they have performed better or shown greater national resilience than Malaysia.

Out of these 19 countries with higher Covid Resilience Ranking, Malaysia lost out to ten countries in East Asia, ASEAN and Pacific which have better “Total Cases per 1 million population” and “Deaths per 1 million population” indices, namely Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, China and Thailand while the other nine countries have higher “Total cases per 1 million population” and “Deaths per 1 million population” indices, namely Israel, UAE, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Saudi Arabia, US, UK and Canada.

Recent developments have supported the statement by community activist, Dr. Mohamed Rafick Khan that there is no point looking at daily positive tested cases because the disease is already in the population.

The “Tests/per 1 million population” index shows that of the 19 nations ranked ahead of Malaysia in the April 2021 Bloomberg Covid Resilience Index, Malaysia is ahead of six countries, namely Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, China and Thailand in this index but behind 13 other countries.

The “Test/per 1 million population” index for the these 20 countries in the April 2021 Bloomberg Covid Resilience Index are:

Nation (Cumulative Total Ranking) Test/1 million population
Singapore(104) 1,619,618
New Zealand(178) 402,539
Australia(119) 651,505
Israel (29) 1,543,894
Taiwan(192) 22,624
South Korea(86) 171,634
Japan(38) 92,759
UAE(40) 4,395,501
Finland(97) 803,518
Hong Kong(145) 1,483,190
Vietnam(177) 26,502
China(95) 111,163
Thailand(103) 116,162
Denmark(62) 6,403,542
Norway(88) 951,529
Saudi Arabia(42) 475,765
USA(1) 1,339,328
UK(7) 2,274,470
Canada(22) 820,038
Malaysia(43) 285,379

As Dr. Rafick said, with the declaration of emergency on January 12, 2021, the government should be able to introduce a more focussed and targeted strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and stop using one rule for the whole country.

Has the jumbo-sized Muhyiddin Cabinet ever considered this question why other countries could be better performers in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic without declaring an emergency or suspending Parliament?

Even the United States has made a great turn-around after being the worst country in the world fighting the Covid-19 pandemic under President Donald Trump, who left office on January 20, 2021 with 25 million Covid-19 cases and 400,000 fatalities, with daily increase of new Covid-19 cases exceeding 200,000 cases in his last six weeks on office, reaching as high as 307,507 new Covid-19 cases on January 8, 2021.

Since Biden’s inauguration as US President on January 20, 2021, daily increase of new Covid-19 cases have come down as low as 42,098 cases on April 25.

Now, there is race against time between the virus and the vaccine.

Biden's major COVID-19 promise was 100 million shots in Americans' arms by his first 100 days in office. Some 290 million shots have been distributed, more than 230 million administered, and about 96 million Americans are fully vaccinated, 29% of the population.

The United States has now vaccinated more people than any other country, although the pandemic has killed 572,000 people, more than any other country as well.

Over 3,000 people were dying per day when Biden took office. Now that figure is under 700 a day.

Biden's next 100 days will force him to face vaccine hesitancy among millions of Americans and an uptick in variants of the virus.

But in Malaysia, we are struggling to bring the third Covid wave – longest in the world – under control by reducing the daily increase of new Covid cases to triple and later double-digit figures.

But there is clear danger that before the third Covid wave could be brought under control, a more deadlier fourth Covid wave would escalate in the coun

The antidote to the fourth Covid wave is to immediately convene Parliament to spearhead an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic – a call which I had made for a whole year but which had fallen on deaf ears!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri