#kerajaangagal179 – From the National Recovery Council to the Battle of Stanlingrad
The important Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14th July 2021 where Malaysians hoped the Cabinet will rise up to the challenge and draft a new policy to replace the failed strategy and approach against Covid-19 pandemic came and went without any news except for a statement about unanimous support for Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister.
The Cabinet seemed to be more worried about the existential threat to the Prime Minister posed by decision of the UMNO Supreme Council than the existential threat posed to the Malaysian people by Covid-19 pandemic.
But what Malaysians gathered from last Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting was a source of concern, as reflected from two events.
Firstly, the “kitchens full” statement by the Prime Minister which shows that the Muhyiddin government has no idea of the great sufferings and hardships of the people as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and has no empathy whatsoever.
Secondly, the tweet by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament), Takiyuddin Hassan, invoking Stalin’s victory over Hitler in the Battle of Stalingrad.
Taken together, these two events showed a government which is not prepared to admit that the six-month emergency since January 11 is an abysmal failure in the invisible but lethal war against the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for a new strategy and approach to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and to replace the National Recovery Plan, especially with the world changing its war aims from the original intention to eliminate the coronavirus to finding a formula to live with it.
In its refusal to change course, the Muhyiddin Cabinet has decided to dig its toes in even if it has to paint a false and dishonest picture that the six-month emergency, the total lockdowns and the National Recovery Plan are great successes in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
But facts are facts and no amount of cybertrooper propaganda can deny them.
By any measure, macro and micro, Malaysia has joined the dubious club of the world’s worst-performing nations in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, we will break the 900,000-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and we are well set to break the million-mark when Parliament is convened on July 26, 2021 overtaking Portugal and Pakistan to be ranked No. 30 among nations in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases – when eight months ago we were ranked No. 85.
In “Total cases per million population” index, Malaysia is the highest in Asia, ASEAN and the Pacific, beating China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.
In “Daily Cases per million population” index, Malaysia not only beat China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Philippines, we are also ahead of United States, Brazil and Mexico.
We are the word’s top 13th country for daily new Covid-19 cases and the world’s top 14th country for new Covid-19 deaths.
How can these facts be denied?
The announcement of a National Recovery Council chaired by the Prime Minister to implement the National Recovery Plan is bad news for it means that the Muhyiddin government is not prepared to admit its mistakes and draft a new policy and strategy to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic with a truly “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach.
I should be welcoming Takiyuddin’s tweet for being open-minded and probably being the first Islamist leader who praised the Soviet communist dictator Stalin for his victory over Hitler in the Battle of Stalingrad 80 years ago it not for two worries.
Firstly, the tweet carries the implication that worse is yet to come before victory could be finally won in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the emergency was declared on January 11, 2021, the toll from Covid-19 was 551 deaths. The six-month emergency has seen an increase of the toll by over eleven times, i.e. 6,178 deaths, bringing the total to 6,729 Covid-19 deaths. At the present rate of Covid-19 deaths, Malaysia will see more than 10,000 deaths when we mark our 64th National Day on August 31 – without taking account the spiral in suicides.
How many more deaths will Malaysia has to suffer before we win the Battle of Stalingrad in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic?
Secondly, we are not fighting the war against any human being or group but against the new coronavirus.
In order to defeat Hitler in the Battle of Stalingrad, Stalin issued the “Not one step backwards” order, which saw a Soviet division with over 10,000 men suffering 80 per cent casualties in the first week in the city alone.
Hitler’s casualties during the Battle of Stalingrad are estimated to have been around 800,000, including those missing or captured. Soviet forces are estimated to have suffered 1,100,000 casualties, and approximately 40,000 civilians died. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the deadliest battles in World War II.
What is Takiyuddin suggesting?