Ismail Sabri’s First Hundred Days, whether of his premiership or his government, is nothing to boast about – whether the “Keluarga Malaysia” concept or Covid-19 Pandemic

Yesterday, 7th December 2021 was the First Hundred Days of Ismail Sabri’s government although his own First Hundred Days as ninth Prime Minister of Malaysia fell nine days earlier on 28th November 2021.

Ismail Sabri’s First Hundred Days, whether of his premiership or of his government, is nothing to boast about – whether the “Keluarga Malaysia” concept or Covid-19 pandemic.

Firstly, the Ismail Sabri’s “Keluarga Malaysia” concept is more divisive and fragile than that envisioned by the founding fathers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak, Ismail, Hussein Onn, Tan Cheng Lock, V.T. Sambanthan, and embedded in the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara.

Those who talk of “Keluarga Malaysia” in 2021 seem to be different human beings from those who envisioned the “Keluarga Malaysia” concept in the early days of the country’s nationhood, as the latter ones seemed to have lost their moral compass.

The founding fathers of Malaysia were the first generation of Malaysians who do not reject the “Malaysian First” concept, accepting it as “work-in-progress” in Malaysia as a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation, but their descendents pride themselves in an exclusivist “Malay First” concept.

As a result, the polarisation of races and religions rule the roost introducing the toxic fumes of extremism, intolerance, hate, lies and falsehood.

The “Keluarga Malaysia” concept has undergone great changes from the early days of nationhood, for Tunku Abdul Rahman would have reacted in horror if there had been suggestion in his time that coffee shops had to pay an exorbitant licence to sell beer – the current controversy of the present time.

Corruption has become a serious problem as compared to the early days of Malaysian nationhood to the extent that Malaysia became the poster boy of “kleptocracy at its worst” to the world – which must caused the first three Prime Ministers to turn in their graves – an infamous appellation which Malaysians struggled to shake off for 22 months, relapsed and is still awaiting the outcome whether Malaysia can finally say farewell to kleptocracy!

In 2019, Malaysia was ranked high as No. 18 country in the Global Health Security Index, and regarded as best positioned to deal with pandemic diseases but when the Covid-19 Pandemic hit the world in the last two years, Malaysia proved to be one of the worst performing nations in the world, occupying the top 20 position for cumulative total of Covid-19 cases for the past two months.

Indonesia, which was ranked No. 30 in the Global Health Security Index in 2019, recorded 261 daily new increase of Covid-19 cases and 17 Covid-19 deaths yesterday as compared to Malaysia’s 4,965 Covid-19 cases and 66 Covid-19 deaths.

Indonesia has been recording triple-digit daily increase of new Covid-19 cases for 53 days since Oct. 15 and for eight days since 19th November had recorded single-digit Covid-19 deaths while Malaysia is struggling for seven months to reduce daily new Covid-19 cases to below 4,000 cases and struggling for eight months to reduce daily Covid-19 deaths to single-digit numbers.

In the last half-a-century, we have been losing out to more and more countries whether in international competitiveness, good governance or having a more efficient and effective government, and if we our poor performance in the Covid-19 pandemic is not a wake-up call, Ismail Sabri’s “Keluarga Malaysia” concept will not save Malaysia from the trajectory of decline and lose out to more countries, including Indonesia!

In a few hours, Malaysians will know whether they will be faced with a new crisis and whether an unprecedented campaign will be mounted for the return of Najib Razak as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia and all that it means for the prospect of Malaysia realising its dream and vision of becoming a world-class great nation before its Centennial in 2057.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri