A breakthrough for Malaysia in Covid-19 pandemic in the last six days with triple-digit daily cases and single-digit daily deaths in Malaysia which should be a prelude to a wide-ranging study why Malaysia, indexed as among the top 20 countries in the world in a global study on health in 2019, became one the worst performers in the Covid-19 pandemic

Malaysia achieved a breakthrough in the Covid-19 pandemic, recording triple-digit daily Covid-19 cases and single-digit daily Covid-19 deaths for six consecutive days, bringing Malaysia back to more than two years ago before Malaysia broke the daily barrier for triple-digit Covid-19 cases and single-digit Covid-19 deaths, reaching five-digit daily new Covid-19 cases and triple-digit daily Covid-19 deaths terminating the “backdoor” premiership of Muhyiddin Yassin.

The catastrophic handling of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Muhyiddin government and Muhyiddin’s fear of a vote of confidence in Parliament were major causes for the collapse of the Muhyiddin’s “backdoor” government.

Parliament was illegally and unconstitutionally suspended for six months for Muhyiddin to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Muhyiddin Government’s handling was a catastrophic failure as illustrated by the following:

  1. When Emergency was declared in January 2021 to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia was ranked No.69 among nations with the most cumulative total of daily cases, but when Emergency was ended six months later we were ranked No. 23.
  2. When Emergency was declared in January 2021, Malaysia was ranked No. 16 the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking out of 53 countries with economies of more than US$200 billion and when Emergency was ended six months later, Malaysia fell to the very bottom of ranking of the 53 nations — a fall of 37 places.
  3. When Emergency was declared, Malaysia had 135,992 Covid-19 cases and 551 Covid-19 deaths. Six months later, at the end of the emergency, we had 1,113,272 Covid-19 cases and 9,024 Covid-19 deaths — some five times the number of Covid-19 cases and 16 times the Covid-19 deaths after the emergency.

I therefore cannot understand Muhyiddin’s recent claim during the 15th General Election campaign that under his premiership, the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia was on the verge of becoming endemic and that lives were saved, where “only a few died” during the pandemic.

What is shocking is not that Muhyiddin lied about the Covid-19 pandemic, but that huge numbers of Malaysians believed Muhyiddin as if 9,000 deaths is a small number.

The breakthrough in the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia is the occasion for the new Health Minister to carry out a wide-ranging inquiry why Malaysia had been such a poor performer in the pandemic, so that Malaysia can be better prepared for future pandemics.

The wide-ranging study on the health situation in Malaysia should also probe the shocking revelation by the former University of Malaya’s Dean of Medicine, Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman that at least 30 of the best medical graduates from Universiti Malaya leave Malaysia for greener pastures because of unresolved healthcare worker issues at home.

The Government should draw up a programme to attract the best medical and other talents from other countries to Malaysia, and not the way round.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran