By Chandra Muzaffar
1) Most Malaysians are deeply concerned about their health at this moment.
2) This is why they are focussed upon getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
3) All segments of society should be totally mobilised towards achieving this crucial goal.
4) If 80% are immunised by October this year, Malaysian society as a whole will be free of the danger of the coronavirus pandemic.
5) We would be able to return to normal in most spheres. This should be our objective.
6) To achieve this goal we should all work together as one family. There should be complete cohesion and unity of purpose. ,
7) The present Muhyidddin Government has done relatively well in managing at least 6 dimensions of the pandemic and its consequences
a) Keeping track of and monitoring the pandemic
b) Providing effective treatment to patients through hospital care
c) Curbing it to some extent the pandemic’s anticipated dramatic spread
d) Implementing a mass immunisation programme that has become better organised and more effective with the passage of time
e) Ensuring recovery from the pandemic for a significant portion of the infected.
f) Mitigating its socio-economic consequences through a range of aid packages and other measures that have benefitted a sizeable segment of the population
8) Of course the government has made mistakes. It could have done better in various areas. As with many other governments, it is learning as it grapples with the challenges emanating from the pandemic.
9) A fair and balanced evaluation of the government’s performance would conclude that there is no rational basis to seek the overthrow of the present government. In a situation like ours, one does not change horses mid-stream.
10) The repercussions of any such move could be disastrous for the country, especially if one took into account the larger picture.
11) What the government and King should do now is to request the independent committee established under the Emergency.Ordinance headed by former Chief Justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria to submit a comprehensive report on how the government and society as a whole have managed the pandemic so far and the ensuing socio-economic crisis. The Report should be presented to parliament 2 0r 3 weeks before the scheduled end of the Emergency on 1st August 2021.
12) The report should be discussed by both the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara and the general public and their views should be presented to the government and the King. The King would then act on the advice of the government,
13) Such an approach will not only do justice to the people’s sentiments but also incorporate inputs from both houses of parliament. It would adhere to established procedures and protocols while recognising the role of the Executive and the King.
This is a more mature way of handling the pandemic and its consequences than yielding to vested interests from the government or the opposition.
Dr Chandra Muzaffar.
10 June 2021.