Can all political parties reach a national consensus that the 15th General Election will not be held during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Recently, there has been new convulsions on the Malaysian political scene.
One of the demands is the holding of the 15th General Election even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fourteen opposition Members of Parliament have issued a joint statement blasting the push for the holding of a snap general election even during the Covid-19 pandemic, which had registered a cumulative total of 122,845 Covid-19 cases and 509 fatalities – placing Malaysia as No. 72 among countries in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, ten places ahead of China, where the pandemic started and which had 40 times the population of Malaysia.
The 14 MPs are DAP's Hannah Yeoh, Teo Nie Ching and Yeo Bee Yin, Amanah's Salahuddin Ayub, Khalid Samad and Mahfuz Omar, PKR's R Sivarasa, Parti Sarawak Bersatu's Baru Bian, Warisan's Darrell Leiking, Azis Jamman, and Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis, Pejuang's Amiruddin Hamzah and Senator Marzuki Yahya and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman of Muda.
If not for the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, caused by the greed of the Perikatan Nasional government to grab power in the Sabah state general election, resulting in the Sabah state general election, Malaysia would have a better record in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Sept. 1 last year, Malaysia had a cumulative total of 9,354 Covid-19 cases and 128 deaths and the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases was in the lower two-digit figure of 14 cases and new daily increase of Covid-19 fatalities in the lower single-digit figure of ONE.
But the Sabah state general election changed the entire picture of the Covid-19 pandemic, and yesterday, there were 2,027 new cases and eight deaths, bringing the cumulative total to 122,845 cases and 509 fatalities.
New Zealand stood out in the world in ringing the new year with music festivals with no health protocols for the over 30,000 concert-goers while most of the world marked the new year with muted celebrations.
We could have joined New Zealand during the New Year among countries which had successfully fought the Covid-19 pandemic if not for the fatal mistake which resulted in the Sabah state general election which brought in the third wave of the pandemic.
Are we to make the same mistake by holding the 15th General Election during the Coivid-19 pandemic and see a more ferocious fourth wave of the pandemic with a greater cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and fatalities – which would probably catapult Malaysia to be among the top countries in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases?
The question Malaysians are entitled to ask all political parties is whether they could reach a national consensus that the 15th General Election would not be held during the Covid-19 pandemic?
All political parties must ensure that the top priority during the Covid-19 pandemic is to save lives and livelihoods and ensure that Malaysia can stage a swift and full post-pandemic economic and national recovery.
This is why I had suggested the summoning of a Special Parliament in a week or so as we cannot wait until Parliament is reconvened on March 8, as by that time, if the Covid-19 trajectory continues unabated, we may see the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia in the region from 200,000 to 250,000 cases.