EVERYTHING that the present government has done and is still doing to fight Covid-19 in this country seems to be all wrong, indecisive, incompetent, with semi-committed and semi-interested elements, all combined, to go with. These are some of the charges and condemnations heaped upon Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister by who else but, as expected, Opposition politicians and the like.
Day after day, he continues to receive bashing and criticism from these quarters. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng quite recently branded Tan Sri Muhyiddin the worst Malaysian prime minister in history for practising what he called a double standard by instructing premises listed under the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system to close for three days.
On Monday (May 10), an article written by a former journalist, Frankie D’Cruz, which was run by the news portal Free Malaysia Today, totally put the blame on our prime minister for taking the war against the pandemic lightly.
Seriously? What is so wrong with this man? Is he kidding?
Why has the Perikatan Nasional government, even until today, been spending hundreds of billions of ringgit for the rakyat since the pandemic outbreak last year?
Is he, just like other opposing camps in this country and Guan Eng, blind to accept with gratitude the multiple forms of aid and assistance that have been forthrightly coming to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the public and our country’s economy, which have been brought to the brink of collapse by the pandemic?
And the state of Emergency - don’t all these travel restrictive measures imposed, including HIDE, mean anything to them?
Indeed, it is easier said than done.
Looks like this armchair writer, whoever he is, has simply concocted a slew of sweeping statements and generalisations as to his whims to belittle the government for reasons that he only knows.
To take his words that Muhyiddin and his ministers appear semi-interested, semi-committed and semi-competent in the face of an emergency, is grossly unjustified and uncalled for. From social media, to the print and electronic media, there have been media statements made almost every day by the ministers in charge of Covid-19-related issues for the rakyat to mind and keep tabs on the latest, and the National Security Council, too.
Surely, all these are issued after a series of daily meetings or consultation sessions are held.
More often than not, sometimes, we could see that even the prime minister himself would address the rakyat via live addresses on television stations.
Go to his official Facebook page and read all those articles and videos posted almost daily – you are able to gauge his high commitment, his deep worries and concerns for the people’s health and safety as well as the nation’s troubling economy.
This writer also claimed that public anger against our prime minister had worsened when on Friday (May 7), Indonesia told its citizens to stay home and take precautions and not to end up like Malaysia.
I believe that most Malaysians know and understand that our government’s handling of Covid-19 cases has been far better than this neighbouring country of ours.
Recently, Malaysia received good news when the latest Covid-19 performance index report dated March 13,2021, stated that the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank with a global outlook, placed Malaysia on the 17th spot from 102 countries in managing or handling the pandemic.
It said Malaysia is still doing pretty well, with its efforts ahead of countries like Indonesia itself, Finland, Norway, South Korea, Greece, Germany and Canada.
This only points to how well Malaysia has been in managing the pandemic, unlike what it has been accused of.
As far as HIDE listing is concerned, nothing is worse than uncertainty for businesses which means disruptions in their operations and financial standing.
Every Malaysian knows that but in order to be on the safe side of our health, this is just what the government must and has to do.
With 26 deaths on Sunday (May 9) alone and the increase in sporadic cases in the community, HIDE aptly fits in to control the pandemic.
Most Malaysians have given their thumbs-up as stakeholders rush to comply with the system. The emergence of new variants where patients, including the younger ones, exhibiting the more severe manifestations, reinforces the need for MCO and HIDE.
Malaysians should stay home whenever possible as this is safer compared to when you are on the streets.
For the safety of our loved ones, ourselves and all others, we should all, by now, try to accept the reality that this global health crisis is going nowhere, that it is getting meaner. So, stop all these endless politicking and bashing of the government.
The PN government has been under fire for no reason. Amid all the rancour, it’s worth asking - why are we so quick to assign blame during a crisis, particularly to those in positions of power?
Of course, blame is a normal reaction to epidemics or other calamities but it is just not fair to continue pointing your finger at those in authority who have to bear the brunt of scapegoating.
Be sensible enough and appreciate what the government has done and is still doing to win this war. The blame game must stop. Never lose hope or wave the white flag yet as we are all set for a rebound, slowly but surely, and we can do this by staying and fighting together.
NUR ZULAIKHA YATIM
Batu Pahat, Johor