#kerajaaangagal123 – The PMO’s three-paragraph statement had said more things than if it was a three-page statement

The Prime Minister’s Office’s three-paragraph statement on the Conference of Rulers’ special meeting on Wednesday had said more things than if it was a three-page statement.

Four days have passed, and there are no indications that there will be any emergency Cabinet meeting on the two conclusions of the Conference of Rulers’ special meeting on Wednesday: first, that Parliament and the State Assemblies should be convened “as soon as possible” and second, there is no need for the extension of the emergency beyond August 1, 2021.

This is the first effect of the PMO’s three-paragraph statement. It “takes note” but it does not act when action is urgently called for.

Secondly, it is clear that the information and advice of the Prime Minister to the Yang di Pertuan Agong “on the course of the Covid-19 pandemic management, enforcement of the Emergency Ordinances, implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Program, economic stimulus packages and financial assistance to the people, implementation of Parliamentary sessions, the National Recovery Plan and other related matters” had not been comprehensive or satisfactory enough requiring further information and advice from other quarters, including leaders of various political parties and specialists.

Thirdly, the statement that the Government will take follow-up measures based on the Federal Constitution and national laws to uphold the views of the Yang di Pertuang Agong and the Rulers is a statement justifying “no action”, and this is why no action had been taken except for three-paragraph PMO statement, in the last four days.

The Health Director-General, Noor Hisham Abdullah lamented yesterday that the sense of unity among Malaysians in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is still lacking – but who is to be blamed when there is no sense of urgency in the government although we are in the midst of an invisible but lethal war against the Covid-19 pandemic?

Noor Hishan admitted that standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance among the public is still an issue today though the pandemic has been around for more than a year.

He said: “I think this is lacking because there is actually discordance in terms of our unity, instead of fighting against the virus, we are fighting against each other in terms of opinion, in terms of approach, etc.”

This should not have come as a surprise when neither the Prime Minister nor his bloated Cabinet have shown any sense of urgency nor any “war mentality”: against the Covid-19 pandemic although the new coronavirus is killing more and more Malaysians – 4,348 fatalities to date, and by next week, more will die in Malaysia than in China from the pandemic.

The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have to date refused to acknowledge that the emergency declared on January 11, 2021 to combat Covid-19 had been a dismal failure or Malaysia would not have suddenly catapulted to be one of the world’s worst performing nations in the Covid-19 pandemic while nations which had previously been regarded as the world’s worst performing nations have turned the corner and are addressing the Covid-19 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, Argentina, Italy and Colombia.

There are now worldwide nearly 180 million Covid-19 cases and nearly 620,000 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 91,564 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 691,115 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 and Serbia to be ranked No. 36 in cumulative total of Covid-19 cases and overtaken China in total Covid-19 deaths.

When will the Muhyiddin government set an example of a “war mentality” by immediately convening Parliament and the State Assemblies and end the emergency on August 1 to set to stage for a “whole-of-society” war mobilisation of the country against Covid-19 pandemic?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri