#kerajaangagal169 – Time to draft a new strategy in the war against Covid-19 pandemic to replace the National Recovery Plan and present it for endorsement by Parliament

Members of Parliament have not yet received any notice for the parliamentary meeting which is to meet for five days beginning on July 26 as announced by a Prime Minister’s Office statement on July 5, 2021.

As the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and the MP for Sepang, Hanipa Maidin, has rightly pointed out, this is most improper especially as the five-day special meeting seems to exclude a question-and-answer session for the five days as well as excluding a Royal Address for the official opening of Parliament for the year.

As a result, it makes a mockery of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

Only the most dishonest politician will indulge in the denial complex, disputing that the government strategy, the six-month emergency and the “total lockdown” since June 1 had been dismal failures in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, which is fortified by adverse international surveys, viz:

  1. June 2021 Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking with Malaysia falling 35 places from its 16th ranking in January 2021 to 51st position in June 2021 edition out of 53 economies of more than US$200 billion;
  2. Economist’s global normalcy index which placed Malaysia in the last 50th position out 50 countries; and
  3. Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index on 7th July which ranks Malaysia No. 114 out of 120 countries on infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility.

In the past 40 days from June 1, there had been 31% rise in Covid-19 cases despite a 17% fall in testing, and a 111% increase of Covid-19 deaths.

Malaysia has become one of the worst-performing nations in the world in the 18-month long Covid-19 pandemic, overtaking in less than eight months over 50 countries having the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases – falling from 85th rank in November last year to 33rd rank today.

We will overtake Israel to be ranked No. 32 tomorrow if not today, and from the present rate of Covid-19 infection, Malaysia will be ranked among the 30 worst countries in the world in the Covid-19 pandemic and have more than a million Covid-19 cases and over 10,000 Covid-19 deaths when we celebrate our 64th National Day on August 31.

We need a new strategy and approach to stop this upsurge of Covid-10 infection and deaths as well as to inject hope for the future among Malaysians as the government’s present strategy not only cost lives – marked by rising toll and increasing suicides – but destroys livelihoods.

Such despair and hopelessness is clearly evident from the prevalence of “White Flags”, but how long can the donors last? What happens if even the donors get fewer and fewer and the white flags go unanswered?

The time has come to draft a new strategy in the war against Covid-19 pandemic to replace the National Recovery Plan, which should be presented to Parliament for endorsement.

I call on the Muhyiddin government to begin to engage with the Parliamentary Opposition to draft such a new strategy, which focuses on re-opening the economy instead of total lockdowns taking into account the view that the new coronavirus cannot be eliminated and human beings must learn to live with it.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri