#kerajaangagal41 - With the third Covid wave in Malaysia becoming more serious with deadly variants and low vaccination rates, what guarantee is there that Hari Raya Aidilfitri next year will not be a third consecutive year where balik kampong will be banned?
The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, already the longest in the world, has become more serious.
Yesterday, the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases is 4,855 cases and daily increase of Covid-19 fatalities is 27 deaths – the fourth highest in daily increase of Covid-19 cases and the second highest in daily fatalities since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in January last year.
The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message said that he is not a tyrant but justified the restrictions placed on the public during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive period as necessary to protect the lives of everyone.
He said if customary visits to the homes of friends and relatives were allowed, one would not know if the guests had Covid-19 or not.
He said; “… the guest will go to the homes of others, and thereby infect the host. If the guest visits 10 homes, then 10 families will be infected with Covid-19, and in the end as soon as Aidilfitri ends the number of positive cases in the country could jump to tens of thousands daily.”
Stressing that this was not a matter to be taken lightly, the prime minister said it was a difficult yet necessary decision by the government
What Muhyiddin failed to explain was that the emergency declared on January 12 was supposed to resolve this critical problem of the Covid-19 pandemic so that Malaysia will not be faced with the “difficult yet necessary decision” on the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year!
Why did the emergency declared on Januar y 12 failed to bring the third Covid-19 wave under control so that unlike the lockdown last year, balik kampong during Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year is permitted and not banned like last year.
Many questions beg for answer which the Muhyiddin government is studiously avoiding answering.
First, why is Malaysia one of the worst performing nations, in particular in East Asia, ASEAN and the Pacific, in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, to an extent that the Indonesian government could cite Malaysia in the same breath as India as two countries not to be emulated in its advice to Indonesians to take precautions against Covid-19 during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.
Second, how long will the Covid-19 pandemic last? 2022, 2023 or 2024?
Third, when will Malaysia achieve herd immunity. We are not doing well in the battle “virus vs vaccine”. Is the Muhyiddin government trying to accelerate the national vaccination rollout to complete it by Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 as I had suggested two months ago?
To get herd immunity, we will need to fully vaccinate 60-70% of our Malaysian population. Presently, medical experts think that vaccine immunity may last 6-8 months. If vaccine immunity can only last 6-8 months, and our vaccine rollout is so slow, by the time the last vaccine group get their first dose, the first vaccine group would have passed their vaccine immune period.
What is being done to accelerate the national vaccination roll-out as at present, Malaysia has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world – as only 2.2% of the population had been fully vaccinated while 3.6% of the population had been given one dose of the vaccine, lower than Indonesia where 3.3% of the population had been fully vaccinated while 5.1% of the population given one dose of the vaccine? In Singapore, 22.5% of the population had been fully vaccinated while 32.5% of the population has been given one dose of the vaccine.
Finally the most relevant question during this season. With the third Covid wave in Malaysia, the longest in the world, becoming more serious with deadly variants and low vaccination rates, what guarantee is there that Hari Raya Aidilfitri next year will not be a third consecutive year where balik kampong is again banned?
Will Muhyiddin now concede that the suspension of Parliament was one of the critical factors for the failure of the emergency to bring the third Covid wave under control?
Without the constitutional safeguards of parliamentary scrutiny and the necessary parliamentary check-and-balance of the Executive, it was so easy for kakistocracy to rear its ugly head resulting in Malaysia even losing out to Indonesia in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Yang di Pertuan Agong had the foresight to see the importance of parliamentary scrutiny and the parliamentary role of check-and-balance of the Executive if the third Covid-19 wave is to brought under control, and the King spoke up publicly that Parliament could convene in an emergency. But the Prime Minister and his bloated Cabinet were deaf to the King’s advice and refused to convene Parliament.
Is Muhyiddin and his bloated Cabinet now prepared to eat humble pie and advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong to convene Parliament?
In any event, a national emergency is the wrong prescription for the Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed the MCO 3.0 because Malaysia was crossing the “red line” where the capacity of hospital utilisation had reached a critical level with the increase in daily cases, with the hospital wards and intensive care units filling up.
This begs the question as to why the emergency, which was to ensure that Malaysia did not cross the “red line” in the war against Covid-19 pandemic, had failed.
Will Muhyiddin and his bloated Cabinet answer these questions?