With great power comes great responsibility

By Malaysian Health Coalition


THE Malaysian Health Coalition recognises that the Government has received extraordinary power to manage the pandemic via the Emergency declaration (announced Jan 12) and the movement control order (MCO), announced Jan 11).

We support any intention to protect the health of the rakyat. On our part, we will continue to fulfil our duty as health professionals and as citizens.

On the Government’s part, we demand that it uses its power responsibly and effectively to protect the rakyat.

We further demand the following:

Depoliticise Malaysia’s health services

The frontline health professionals who have tirelessly served the rakyat throughout the pandemic must not be politicised. The government must prepare and deliver a basket of solutions which protects the rakyat, cares for our frontliners and fights the pandemic.

Many of these solutions have been previously proposed. While MCO can be one part of the COVID-19 response strategy, we do not support it as the main policy response, and do not accept any politicisation of the health system.

Deliver a long-term COVID-19 strategy

COVID-19 will be a multi-year pandemic even with vaccines arriving soon. Therefore, the government must prepare and deliver a robust long-term plan to manage COVID-19 while allowing economic and public life to safely continue.

This includes engaging and collaborating with professional societies, private sector stakeholders, non-government bodies and citizens. We support the decision to convene an independent advisory panel for evidence-based decision-making on national COVID-19 management.

We expect transparency in the decision-making process, and for health experts to be regularly consulted.

Assist rakyat in the MCO states

There must be all-of-government coordination to provide the rakyat with adequate financial and mental health support during the MCO. The economic impact of MCO 2.0 will be more severe.

We also fear that calls to suicide prevention and domestic violence hotlines will spike as they did during the first MCO. Besides that, floods in several states have impacted healthcare delivery and many households’ ability to safely self-isolate.

The Government must provide adequate resources to support all vulnerable residents of Malaysia.

Malaysia needs predictability and stability to effectively fight the pandemic. The MCO only serves to buy us more time.

The Government must use this time and their extraordinary powers to deliver a long-term COVID-19 plan, consult experts, and avoid another MCO at all costs. – Jan 13, 2021

The MHC is a coalition of over 50 organisations and individuals representing health professionals in Malaysia


  1. Academy of Medicine of Malaysia
  2. Academy of Family Physicians Malaysia
  3. Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia
  4. Asthma Malaysia
  5. Befrienders Kuala Lumpur
  6. CERAH Haze Action Group Malaysia
  7. IKRAM Health
  8. College of Anaesthesiologists
  9. College of Emergency Physicians
  10. College of Ophthalmologists
  11. College of Physicians
  12. College of Public Health Medicine
  13. Dermatology Society of Malaysia
  14. Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society
  15. Family Medicine Specialists Association
  16. Federation of Reproductive Health Associations
  17. Islamic Medical Association Malaysia (IMAM)
  18. Lung Cancer Network of Malaysia
  19. Malaysian Association of Dental Public Health Specialists
  20. Malaysian Association of Environmental Health
  21. Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants
  22. Malaysian Association of Speech-Language & Hearing
  23. Malaysian Dental Association
  24. Malaysian Health Diplomacy Foundation
  25. Malaysian Mental Health Association
  26. Malaysian Nurses Association
  27. Malaysian Oncological Society
  28. Malaysian Paediatric Association
  29. Malaysian Pharmacists Society
  30. Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists
  31. Malaysian Society of Intensive Care
  32. Malaysian Society of Nephrology
  33. Malaysian Thoracic Society
  34. Medical Mythbusters Malaysia
  35. Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia
  36. MedTweetMY
  37. MMA Public Health Society
  38. MyWATCH Action for Tobacco
  39. National Cancer Society Malaysia
  40. #OpsHarapan
  41. Pertubuhan Doktor-doktor Islam Malaysia (PERDIM)
  42. Public Health Malaysia
  43. Public Health Physicians Association
  44. Rare Diseases Alliance Foundation of Malaysia


  1. Tan Sri Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman
  2. Tan Sri Dr Mani Jegathesan
  3. Datuk (Dr) Anwar Fazal
  4. Datuk Dr Amar Singh-HSS
  5. Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim
  6. Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Zin Bidin
  7. Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail
  8. Prof Dr Ahmad Hata Rasit
  9. Prof Dr Raja Affendi Raja Ali
  10. Prof Dr Mohd Zamrin Dimon
  11. Prof Dr Roslina Abdul Manap
  12. Prof Dr Sazzli Shahlan Kasim
  13. Prof Dr Shaiful Bahari Ismail
  14. Prof Dr Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh
  15. Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy
  16. Assoc Prof Dr Uma Devi Palanisamy
  17. Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri
  18. Dr Khor Swee Kheng


Malaysian Health Coalition is an apolitical coalition of Malaysian health professional societies, health professionals and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Malaysians, strengthening the Malaysian health system, and supporting health in all policies.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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