Is a historic breakthrough of a confidence-supply-reform agreement between the government and opposition in Parliament for the nation to single-mindedly focus on winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic until the next general election an impossible goal?

Former Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin said that 2022 is the year of recovery for Malaysia.

This is like many of his statements and pronouncements when he was the eighth Prime Minister which had remained empty statements which had marked his disastrous premiership.

Take his 2021 New Year Message on Dec. 31, 2020 on five priorities for an integrated Covid recovery.

His first priority to “improve public health through the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines with the launch of a nationwide vaccination programme” had been completely pulverised by the Covid19 data in the past nine months.

Malaysia started the new year of 2012 with 2,064 Covid-19 cases and 474 Covid-19 deaths but we have now 1,919,774 Covid-19 cases and 19,486 Covid-19 deaths (a phenomenal increase of 930 times the number of cases and over 41 times the number of deaths).

We had low four-digit daily new Covid-19 cases and single-digit daily Covid-19 deaths but now we have five-digit daily new Covid-19 cases and three-digit daily Covid-19 deaths.

Tomorrow, we will overtake Iraq to be ranked No. 22 among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, and overtake Netherlands on Sunday to be ranked No. 21 in the world – when we were ranked No. 55 at the beginning of the year, an ignominious jump over 34 countries – and the dubious distinction of having probably the longest Covid-19 wave in the world since September last year.

Yesterday, we were ranked world’s Top No. 7th country in both daily new Covid-19 cases and daily Covid-19 deaths.

Muhyiddin’s second priority to “strengthen the people’s economy and drive the country’s economic growth post Covid-19 through the implementation of the 2021 Budget and the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP)” has been defeated by the six-month unconstitutional suspension of Parliament during the Emergency and the 12th Malaysia Plan has not yet been presented to Parliament.

Muhyiddin’s third priority to “ensure political stability with strong emphasis on good governance as a foundation for sustainable economic recovery” was a joke with the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 of Transparency International(TI) undoing the best in 25 years in the previous TI CPI 2019, falling from 53 points to 51 points in score and a six- point fall in ranking from No. 51 to 57 - with worse to come in TI CPI 2021 in January 2022.

Muhyiddin’s fourth priority to “uphold the country’s sovereignty and strengthen Malaysia’s position on the world stage” was punctured by the Bloomberg August Covid Resilience Index when we fell to the rock bottom of 53 economies of more than US$200 billion from the best ranking of 16th in January 2021.

Muhyiddin’s fifth priority to “strengthen ties between races and religions in shaping a united community against any threat” made no sense whatsoever as it was completely antithetical to the very rational of the Sheraton Move conspiracy which was the basis of the Muhyiddin government.

I had said that the possibility of a historic confidence-supply-reform agreement between the government and opposition had suffered a grievous blow and is now “up in the air” as a result of the omission of the vote of confidence motion in Ismail Sabri as Prime Minister in the parliamentary agenda next week.

The stakes have been further raised against such a historic agreement with the unilateral announcement of Muhyiddin as Chairman of the National Recovery Council as the confidence-supply-reform agreement presupposed a more consultative approach in the worsening war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now there is talk that a former Prime Minister responsible for turning Malaysia into a kleptocracy would be appointed with ministerial rank as economic adviser to the Prime Minister.

It would appear that the possibility of a historic breakthrough in reaching a confidence-supply-reform accord between the government and opposition in Parliament so that all Malaysians can single-mindedly focus on winning the losing war against the Covid-19 pandemic until the 15th General Election would not be an achievable goal.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri