Politics vs COVID-19: Nobody wins

MALAYSIA is now in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of confirmed new infections rising to over 1,000 on some days.

The main cause of this sharp rise in daily Covid-19 infections has been clearly identified as reckless human-to-human contact during last month’s campaigning for the Sabah state election and we’re still paying the price two months later.

Right now, the nation’s total COVID-19 infections has tripled within weeks and is fast racing towards 30,000.

It only makes sense to focus on containing this rapidly spreading pandemic, but our political leaders are up to their shenanigans instead to force a change in government!

If our politicians haven’t learnt from mistakes made during Sabah’s state election, just take a look at Singapore’s hubris in holding a general election on July 10 on the assumption its Covid-19 outbreak was well-contained. 

The subsequent rise in Singapore’s Covid-19 infections a month later to 908 on Aug 6 and down to only eight cases on September 2, starkly shows how wrong politicians often are.

Dewan Rakyat proceedings are set to resume on Nov 2 with many politicians are baying for a ‘no confidence’ vote against the current government’s leadership and threatening to shoot down Budget 2021. 

We’ll only find out in a few days if these same slippery politicians have actually backed down from their threats  in response to the Agong’s warning on Sunday.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said His Majesty stressed that it was very important for the Government and the authorities, especially the frontliners, to continue implementing policies and making efforts to curb the threats of the pandemic.

Al-Sultan Abdullah called on the MPs to heed the royal advice to immediately stop the politicking and to give priority to the people’s wellbeing so that Budget 2021 could be passed without any disruption.

His Majesty also reminded the MPs that engaging themselves in political disputes for personal interest will only bring harm to the country and the people, especially when the country is still struggling to face the threats of Covid-19.

The Agong emphasised that he feels the present government has managed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic well and effectively and that he believes in the government’s capability under the leadership of the Prime Minister to continue implementing policies and enforcements to curb the spread of COVID-19.

And if this august advice isn’t meaningful enough, the key person driving the nation’s effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic has also advised against holding a general election.

Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said hard lessons had been learnt from Sabah’s state election.

“We hope we don’t need to repeat the consequences of an election in other states,” he stated.

Noting that the Health Ministry can only give recommendations, he advised that if the need for a general election as required by the Constitution did not arise, there should be no cross-border and no cross-district travel, and no ‘balik kampung’ for the election.

He also strongly advised against mass gatherings or ‘ceramah’ or house-to-house visits by politicians and supporters. 

Clear minds have spoken out against forcing any change in the government now or at worse, another general election.

Otherwise, Malaysia’s total number of Covid-19 cases will definitely overtake Singapore’s total of around 58,000 now.

Nadzmi Faiz



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