Khairy’s greatest challenge – whether he could return Malaysia to the National Day month last year when we had only daily double-digit Covid-19 cases and single-digit Covid-19 deaths
We are now ranked No. 23 among nations with most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, having overtaken the Czechia Republic yesterday, and we will breach the 1.7 million mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and 16,000-mark for Covid-19 deaths today.
We must stop this relentless march of Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths as we have fallen to the rock bottom of Bloomberg’s monthly Covid Resilience Ranking of 53 economies of more than US$200 billion, from the best ranking of 16th in January 2021 to 51st in June, 52nd in July and now 53rd in August.
We were ranked No. 89 among the nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases when we marked our 63rd National Day twelve months ago, but we have overtaken 66 other nations to be ranked No. 23 with one of the longest Covid-19 waves in the world since the Sabah state general election in September last year.
This is feat we do not want or need for it denotes infamy not glory.
For the National Day month of August last year, we had 364 Covid-19 cases and two Covid-19 deaths. For the present month of August, we are likely to have more than 630,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 7,400 deaths.
This is a phenomenal increase by more than 17,500 times the number of Covid-19 cases and more than 3,700 times the Covid-19 deaths during the National Day month this year as compared to last year.
This is kakistocracy at its worst.
The Ismail Sabri Cabinet has been ridiculed, lampooned and universally criticised as “recycled” material, both in numbers and quality, and nobody has any illusion or expectation of it except for the appointment of Khairy Jamaluddin as Health Minister and the return of the Covid-19 national vaccination portfolio to the Health Ministry.
Khairy’s greatest challenge is whether he could return Malaysia to the National Day month last year when we had only daily double-digit Covid-19 cases and single-digit Covid-19 deaths.
The first thing Khairy has to do is to stop the escalation of daily Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths.
In the 24 days since August 5 when the daily new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia passed the 20,000-mark, we have 16 days of over 20,000 new cases. In the 34 days since 26th July when the daily Covid-19 deaths exceeded the 200-mark, there were four days when we exceeded the 300 deaths-mark and 22 days when we exceeded the 200 deaths-mark.
Are the 24,599 daily new Covid-19 cases and the 393 Covid-19 deaths the respective peaks or there will be new peaks in the days to come?
In view of the dire situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, Khairy should have swung into action when the Cabinet was announced on Friday and not wait until the Cabinet members are sworn in by the Yang di Pertuan Agong tomorrow, as there had been more than a quarter of a million Covid-19 cases and more than 3,000 Covid-19 deaths since Muhyiddin Yassin submitted his resignation as Prime Minister to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on 16th August 2021.
Khairy should have taken action to ensure that walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, people with comorbidities, teachers and those who missed their second dose should be started immediately in Johore like other states like Perak, Kedah, Penang, Sabah, Melaka, Kelantan and Sarawak as he had previously promised.
The death of Bersatu Supreme Council member and former Deputy Minister, Lajim Ukin, former Chief Secretary, Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and Pakatan Harapan Youth chief, Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin because of Covid-19 demonstrate that the new coronavirus is no respector of race, religion or politics.
Winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic to return Malaysia to normality so that we can start work on economic and national recovery must be the unifying mission for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics.
If an accord could be reached between the government-of-the-day and the Opposition to put politics aside and focus single-mindedly on winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be most unprecedented and demonstrates that Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or politics can unite for the nation’s stake.
I have not hidden my position that the best Prime Minister for Malaysia today is Anwar Ibrahim and not anybody else whether Muhyiddin or Ismail Sabri but I disagree with those who believe that it is still possible for Anwar to become the Prime Minister through the game of numbers.
I do not believe that this is practical politics. For the sake of the nation facing the existential threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, I suggest that we put all personal and political considerations aside and focus single-mindedly on reaching an understanding to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic founded on parliamentary and institutional reforms.
Let us defer to the next general election – the 15th General Election – in 12 to 18 months’ time the important question as to which coalition should govern Malaysia and who should be the tenth Prime Minister of Malaysia.