#kerajaangagal189 - Is Muhyiddin coming to Parliament on Monday as victor or vanquished of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Is the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, coming to Parliament on Monday as victor or vanquished of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Muhyiddin cannot come as a victor, for with today’s 12,366 new Covid-19 cases, Malaysia has had eight days of five-figure new Covid-19 cases – and as the new civil society coalition for a “Health Emergency Action Plan” (HEAP) warned: The worse is yet to come!
When Muhyiddin declared an emergency on January 11, 2021 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, there were 135,992 Covid-19 cases and 551 Covid-19 deaths.
We will end the emergency on August 1 with over a million Covid-19 cases and over 8,000 Covid-19 deaths – some eight times the number of Covid-19 cases and some 15 times the number of Covid-19 dead when the emergency was first declared.
Yesterday, we were the world’s top 12th country in daily new Covid-19 cases and the world’s top ninth country in daily new Covid-19 deaths.
The National Recovery Plan announced by Muhyiddin in a live national telecast on June 15, 2021 is in tatters.
I do not think anybody will dare to claim to be a victor in the Covid-19 pandemic when Parliament meets on Monday
But Malaysians, though we have paid a heavy price in cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths, are not vanquished and we are committed to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control and Malaysia back to normality.
The Health Emergency Action Plan (HEAP) of the new civil society coalition should the basis for a “whole-of-society” national coalition to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control and this should be consummated at the special meeting of Parliament beginning on Monday.
There are many things amiss with the special meeting of Parliament beginning on Monday.
Apart from the questions of its constitutionality and parliamentary propriety, what is its purpose?
Is it to rally Malaysians to turn the tides of defeat and ensure that we can bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control as we have changed our war aim in the pandemic from “Zero Covid” to “Live with Covid”?
Then the Prime Minister should be leading the charge. But the Prime Minister is noticeably absent in the agenda for the special meeting of Parliament, which is confined to Ministerial statements by Ministers on core issues of the Covid-19 pandemic – though it excluded important core issues like education and higher education.
The Cabinet meeting tomorrow should ensure that the Prime Minister lead the charge when Parliament meets on Monday to turn the tides of defeat in the war against Covid-19 pandemic with a truly “all-of-government” and “whole-of-nation” national coalition at all levels of society to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control, using HEAP’s "Roadmap to Recovery from Covid-19" as the basis for such a coalition.
The Prime Minister should ask Parliament to endorse HEAP, based on its three guiding principles:
- Trust is crucial to fighting the pandemic and this is based on transparency
- There must be an all-of-society approach
- And we need a set of solutions that are not lockdown-based.
The key thrust of HEAP recommendations are:
- Interrupting community spread of Covid-19 by having a comprehensive national testing strategy, tracing all contacts, enabling public self-test, home quarantined with monitoring, and limiting non-critical social interaction.
- Ramping up genome testing to monitor Covid-19 variants.
- Increasing support for MOH hospitals and clinics by improving conditions for contract staff, growing ventilation and ICU capacity, respite for staff and ensuring a multi-sectoral approach with civil society support.
- Data transparency and sharing with the public is important. The media should be engaged as partners to communicate better metrics that monitor the pandemic and hospital situation, as well as combat rumours and fake news.
- Strong co-operative leadership is vital and we propose a national coordinating unit that reports to the cabinet and to Parliament. Decision making should be decentralised to states to enable rapid local action capacity.
- Vaccination and vaccination sites need to be ramped up with less reliance on mega PPVs and better use of maternal-child health clinics, school health teams and general practitioners. Outreach programmes are necessary to reach those "not able" to register as well as non-citizens. While we want to fix "hot spots", equitable vaccination distribution is important for all states.
- Community responsibility and support is integral to making headway in this pandemic. This requires simpler, science-based SOPs, using RTK-Ag testing to enable a return to work, significant improvement in workplace ventilation and a safety net for the poor.