#kerajaangagal122 – Ten things Malaysia should do to win the invisible but lethal war against Covid-19 pandemic

Malaysia has suddenly catapulted to be one of the world’s worst performing nations in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Countries which have previously been regarded as the world’s worst performing nations have turned the corner and are addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in a more effective fashion as compared to Malaysia.

At the end of March last year, the world Top Ten worst countries in the Covid-19 pandemic were dominated by the United States and seven countries from Europe – namely United States, Italy, Spain, China, Germany, France, Iran, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Belgium.

Sixteen months later, the seven-nation European dominance of the Top Ten worst nations in Covid-19 pandemic has been replaced by three-nation South American dominance, namely United States, India, Brazil, France, Turkey, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina and Colombia.

There are now worldwide over 178.5 million Covid-19 cases and over 610,000 Covid-19 deaths. China, which had been No.1 nation with the most number of Covid-19 cases, is now ranked No 99 among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases. China now has 91,534 Covid-19 cases and 4,636 Covid-19 deaths.

On November 18, 2020, we ranked No. 85 among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases. Now, some seven months later, with 682,204 Covid-19 cases, we have overtaken Austria and is now ranked No. 38 among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

By the end of the extension of the MCO 3.0 and the total lockout on June 28, we would have overtaken Switzerland to be ranked No. 37 in cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and overtaken China in total Covid-19 deaths.

Most shocking of all, we have had a high rate of suicides in Malaysia as a total of 266 people committed suicide nation-wide during the movement restrictions from March 18 to October 30 last year. This figure would have more than doubled by now.

We are fighting a losing battle in the invisible war against Covid-19 pandemic, paying heavily not only in terms of lives, but in the devastation to the economy and society of Malaysia.

We must turnaround the tides of war against the Covid-19 pandemic and here are ten things we should do to win the invisible but lethal war against the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. “War mentality” by all Malaysians to unite to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, based on a political moratorium with a single-minded focus by all in Malaysia, including the Executive and the Legislature, that the only national priority is to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic and all other considerations must be subordinated to this objective.
  2. End the emergency, which had been a wholesale failure as a weapon in the war against Covid-19 pandemic; convene Parliament and avoid a constitutional crisis over the ridiculous question of what “ASAP” means to restore public confidence, trust and support of the war against Covid-19 pandemic. We must not allow those who “use democracy to kill democracy” to undermine the war effort against Covid-19 pandemic.
  3. Launch “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against Covid-19, which had been noticeably absent in the 18-month Covid-19 pandemic.
  4. Use the war against the Covid-19 pandemic as a catalyst to unite Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
  5. End all Covid-19 SOP flip-flops, U-turns and double-standards and ensure that there is good governance, effective and efficient administration and the rule of law.
  6. Economic assistance to all vulnerable groups adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with nimble, agile and creative responses to groups in need of assistance, whether traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) practitioners who have been barred from operating during the current movement control order or to list a second list of frontliners who are given priority in Covid-19 vaccination like teachers, grave-diggers, judges, lawyers, staff of judicial and legal officers, parliamentary and state assembly personnel, staff in constituency offices of elected representatives, police and prison personnel, teachers, students facing public examination this year, and other groups deserving to be put on the list.
  7. Effective and efficient Find-Test-Trace-Isolate-Support (FTTIS) strategy to ensure that we are always ahead of the pandemic curve.
  8. Acceleration of the national vaccination rollout especially in view of deadly Covid-19 variants, to bring vaccine to the people especially in rural and remote areas instead of bringing people to the vaccine, by having more PPVs, mobile vaccination units and even house-to-house vaccination teams.
  9. Effective communications strategy to address vaccine hesitancy, including incentive offers to ensure the highest rate of registration and vaccination.
  10. Important parliamentary reforms to ensure Parliament can play as important a role as the Executive to win the war against Covid-19 pandemic.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri