#kerajaangagal130 – The Muhyiddin government’s Covid-19 pandemic communication strategy an unmitigated failure and disaster because of the endless SOP flip-flops, U-turns, double-standards and threats to freedom of press and information to the extent that Malaysian public simply do not trust what the government says
The Muhyiddin government’s Covid-19 pandemic communication strategy is an unmitigated failure and disaster because of the endless SOP flip-flops, U-turns, double-standards and threats to freedom of press and information to the extent that the Malaysian public simply do not trust what the government says.
This is best illustrated by the plea by the Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah for the umpteenth time yesterday to Malaysians particularly in the Klang Valley to be vigilant in complying with the SOPs and public health recommendations with the rise in Covid-19 cases from sporadic outbreaks and the virus variants, especially as many sporadic cases are asymptomatic.
He urged the people to stay at home as much as possible and obey the National Security Council’s rules on hygiene and safety measures to take when they go out.
The Health Director-General’s advice are now like water down the duck’s back, observed mostly in the breach.
This is why even the Prime Minister’s live national telecasts are not as frequent today as at the beginning of his administration after the Sheraton Move conspiracy succeeded in toppling the democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government after 22 months, but even in the fewer Prime Minister’s live national telecasts in recent times, they are met with a degree of cynicism by the public not present in the early days of the “Sheraton Move” government.
Muhyddin Yassin self-deprecatingly said he is prepared to be accused of being “bodoh”, but the fact is that he is the most unpopular Prime Minister in the nation’s history.
Already, the communication strategy of such a government starts off with a handicap, but it is compounded by endless SOP flip-flops, U-turns, double-standards and threats to freedom of the press and information.
The latest example is the announcement yesterday by the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin of a half-month delay in Phase One of the National Recovery Plan, as the country is estimated to fully vaccinate 10 per cent of the population in the country by mid-July and not the end of June as announced by the Prime Minister in a live telecast only six days ago.
This half-month setback was presented as a great achievement of the Muhyiddin government.
This is why there was no immediate celebration when it was announced yesterday that there were 4,611 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest since mid-May, expecting there is a catch somewhere.
The DAP MP for Kuching Bandar, Kelvin Yii and and DAP MP for Bruas, Ngeh Koo Ham, have pointed out in their media statement today that yesterday’s announcement of 4,611 Covid-19 positive cases gave an impression that the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia had improved when in actual fact, this was because the number of persons tested yesterday was the lowest in June – 58,384 people yesterday as compared to 105,293 on 4th June.
Kelvin Yii cautioned the government on the current low testing rate nationwide which will set the country up for new surges of Covid-19 cases and defeat the purpose of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
Ngeh gave on his Facebook a chart of the number of persons tested and the percentage of those found to be Covid-19 positive each day in June this year.
Ngeh pointed out the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that the percentage of persons tested positive must remain below 5% for at least 2 weeks before considering reopening a lockdown, and that Malaysia had performed poorly as the last 3 weeks those tested Covid-19 positive had been consistently above 5.0%.
If the Cabinet tomorrow decides to ignore two conclusions of the Conference of Rulers special meeting – that Parliament should convene before August 1 and that there is no need for the emergency to be extended beyond August 1 – it would lose all credibility and legitimacy apart from plunging the country into an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
This is an agenda which the Cabinet should address tomorrow.