#kerajaangagal109 – Is the Covid-19 exit plan Muhyiddin’s distraction ploy from the SIEC issue?

Why should the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin be now talking about a National Recovery Plan in preparation for the country to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic?

Is it Muhyiddin’s distraction ploy from the Special Independent Emergency Committee (SIEC) issue triggered by his de facto Law Minister, Takiyuddin Hassan as to whether SIEC would be the only authoritative body to advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong whether to extend the emergency on August 1, 2021?

Muhyiddin said yesterday that the Covid-19 exit plan, based on data, science and all the preparations that had been done, including in terms of Covid-19 management, the economy, vaccination programme and so on, would be presented to the National Security Council (NSC) within the next week.

He said it was time to set an exit strategy or National Recovery Plan for Malaysia to get out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I find it strange and bizarre for the Prime Minister to talk about a Covid-19 exit plan when Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world struggling with the 18-month-long Covid-19 pandemic.

If Malaysia had followed a science-based instead of a politics-based strategy and approach, we would not be in the sorry state we are in today.

In the first place, the emergency proclaimed on January 11, 2021, which was not science-based, would have been terminated and Parliament and the various State Assemblies convened to restore public trust and confidence in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and to launch a national mobilisation of a “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

Is Muhyiddin still claiming that the emergency proclaimed on January 11, 2021 was a huge success against the Covid-19 pandemic?

The emergency was not science-based but politics-based, as no other country which had successfully fought the Covid-19 pandemic had resorted to such a route.

Unlike countries which have not declared any emergency, new Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths have continued to soar until there is now another two-week extension of MCO 3.0 of a total lockdown.

On November 18, 2020, we ranked No. 85 among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

Yesterday, some seven months later, with 657,509 Covid-19 cases, we have overtaken Austria and is now ranked No. 38 among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases. We will probably overtake Switzerland to be ranked No. 37 before the two-week extension of total lockdown ends on June 28.

China, which topped the world at the start of the pandemic, is now No. 99 with 91,428 Covid-19 cases.

According to Our World in Data website, for cases per million of population for June 12, 2021, just like the previous day on June 11, 2021, we beat the world’s top 37 countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases except for four countries in South America – Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

The magnitude of the failure of Malaysia’s emergency to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control could be gauged by the huge gulf between Malaysia and countries which were once regarded as worst performing nations in Covid-19 pandemic.

Malaysia’s “cases per million of population” on June 12, 2021 was 183.74 as compared to United States (43.25), India (65.20), France (63.79), Turkey (72.57), Russia (74.12), UK (98.63), Italy (31.49), Spain (108.83), Germany (26.19), Iran (101.66), Indonesia (26.78) and Philippines (60.07).

So far, 3,098 people have died of Covid-19 in Malaysia – 3,293 deaths during the five months of the emergency since January 11, 2021 or more than six times the fatalities in the five months of emergency as the first 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic before the emergency when there were 551 deaths.

We have also become a top-ranking nation in the world in term of daily deaths per million population.

The Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah has described the next two weeks as critical for the country to reduce the number of daily Covid-19 infections to below 4,000.

He said it is important for everyone to cooperate to help flatten the Covid-19 curve of infection as the number of daily cases is still on the rise and he described as “irresponsible” all forms of unnecessary travel and gathering to celebrate events during this period.

The single-mined national focus should be on how to reduce the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases to double-digit figures and the daily increase of new Covid-19 deaths to single-digit number.

I will describe any talk of an exit plan from the Covid-19 pandemic instead of this single-minded focus as most irresponsible indeed.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri