Furore over KSN attending the PN leaders’ meeting highlighted the sad fact that we are still long way to an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society”” strategy and approach in the war against Covid-19 pandemic

The furore over the presence of top civil servants during a virtual meeting of party leaders from the Perikatan National government questioned by the DAP MP for Segambut Hannah Yeoh and PKR MP for Tanjong Maluim Chang Lih Kang has highlighted the sad fact that a year after the outbreak, we are still a long way to an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

When will the Chief Secretary Mohd Zuki Ali and the Health Director-General or his deputy brief the Opposition leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Mohamad Sabu, Shafie Apdal and Mahathir Mohamad on the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergency proclamation, or is the Covid-19 pandemic the sole concern of the Perikatan Nasional government and none of the business of the Opposition parties and the people?

The Opposition parties have shown that they are prepared to work as one team with the government coalition in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, but where is the response from the government?

The daily increase of 3,346 new Covid-19 cases yesterday is the eleventh consecutive day that new daily Covid-19 infections have passed the 3,000-mark, bringing the cumulative total to 183,810 cases and 678 fatalities. On three of these 11 days, we have crossed the 4,000-mark.

As the global cumulative total reached 99,755,721 cases with a daily increase of 455,549 new infections yesterday, the world will pass the 100 million mark for Covid-19 cases today.

However, in the worst country affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States, which has 25.7 million cases and close to 430,000 fatalities, it is beginning to see a turn for the better as illustrated by the daily increase of new infections of 195,045, 173,067 and 135,182 cases in the last three days.

With a new US President who takes the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, who declared that the fight to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control in US is a “wartime undertaking” and pleading with Americans to wear masks and promising to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his Hundred Days, there is hope for better days in the United States against the Covid-19 pandemic.

But there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel in Malaysia, with talk of a possible complete shutdown of the economy if the current movement control order cannot bring down the number of Covid-19 cases by Feb. 4.

The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic had been rampaging for four months and we should have brought it under control earlier with an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach.

When will the Muhyiddin Government bestir itself, get its act together and launch an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach to bring the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic under control?

When will Parliament be re-convened to be the centrepiece and platform for such a strategy and approach?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri