Malaysia has been the worst performer in the Covid-19 pandemic on the world stage, jumping 22 rankings among countries with most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases from No. 83 to No. 61 since December 1 – even worse than US, Brazil, UK, France, Turkey, Italy and Spain

(Tatal ke bawah untuk kenyataan versi BM)

On 1st December, 2020, I asked: “Will Malaysia overtake China with more cumulative total of Covid-19 cases before or after the end of the present Parliament meeting?”

Unfortunately, Malaysia overtook China before the end of the Parliament meeting on December 16, 2020, with Malaysia positioned as No. 79 with 87,913 cases while China was ranked No. 80 with 86,770 cases (, when China with 1.4 billion population has 40 times the population of Malaysia.

On December 1, Malaysia was ranked No. 83 in the world with 65,697 Covid-19 cases but we have deteriorated by leaps and bounds and today, we are ranked No. 61 with 158,434 Covid-19 cases and 601 fatalities.

As a result, Malaysia is the worst performer in the Covid-19 pandemic on the world stage jumping 22 rankings among countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases from No. 83 to No. 61 since Dec. 1, 2020 – even worse than United States of America, Brazil, UK, France, Turkey, Italy and Spain.

From Dec. 1 to now, the global total cumulative of Covid-19 cases increased from 65 million Covid-19 cases to 95.5 million cases, an increase of 1.46 times, but Malaysia increased from 65,697 cases on Dec. 1 to 158,434 cases, an increase of 2.4 times – the worst case among the top 100 nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

Why is this so? What is the real problem?

One thing is clear. Without malice or finger-pointing, let us own up to the fact that despite calls for an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach to the war against the Covid-19 epidemic, these calls have fallen on deaf ears for the past year.

It is only now that the Ministry of Health is engaging with discussions with the private health sector on a joint effort in the war against Covid-19 pandemic, when this should have been done many months earlier.

But it is better late than never.

The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should be commended for his response to the Open Letter to the Prime Minister by 46 public health experts on the Covid-19 pandemic, but it raises new questions.

When will the Prime Minister reply to the Joint Open Letter which Dr. Mohamad Rafick Khan and I sent to him on January 10, 2021?

As the Prime Minister’s reply to the Open letter was dated yesterday (Sunday 7th January, 2021), it is clear that the Prime Minister had not acted on my suggestion on January 9, 2021 that the government “fully consult the private health sector before drawing up its new strategy in the Covid-19 pandemic” which was announced by the Prime Minister (on the re-imposition of the MCO) on January 11 and the declaration of emergency.

The Prime Minister revealed that on 15th December, 2020, he had met with five of the signatories of the Open Letter, and the very fact that these five public health experts had joined 41 other public health experts to send the Open Letter to the Prime Minister on January 7, 2021 showed their concern that there must be drastic change in the strategy to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is most unfortunate that the Prime Minister had not given the proper response by meeting with the 46 public health experts before announcing the new strategy, as the 46 public health experts had expressed “much apprehension and concern” with regard to the current status of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

I do not believe that anyone of the 46 public health experts had suggested that the declaration of emergency and the suspension of Parliament and the State Assemblies were necessary measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

In their Open Letter, the public health experts proposed ten “urgent and critical actions lest Malaysia slips into Covid-19 intensive care”, particularly Proposal 9 and 10, viz:

“9. A Covid-19 Task Force comprising a cross-sectoral and empowered team of subject matter experts must be immediately formed to provide evidence-based advice on a harmonised whole-of-government response across ministries and agencies. The Covid-19 Task Force will help steer the nation out of this pandemic by regularly presenting its recommendations and audit of the health economic impact of key decisions to the cabinet. To ensure independence of the Covid-19 Task Force, the Malaysian Medical Association, Academy of Medicine Malaysia, Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association and Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia are best positioned to select the members.

“10. Do not politicise the pandemic but instead secure a bipartisan consensus and approach to flatten the pandemic curve, accelerate efforts to achieve herd immunity as a form of community protection to co-exist with the coronavirus. The GE15 in the midst of an uncontained pandemic is an unmitigated disaster waiting to happen as the Sabah state election has exemplified.”

Both these proposals have not been acted upon, instead we have a declaration of emergency and the suspension of Parliament and the State Assemblies.

There is considerable debate firstly, as to whether an emergency should be declared, and secondly, whether Parliament and the State Assemblies should be suspended in such an emergency.

The Prime Minister, in his reply, gave an interesting revelation that the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic started on 20th September 2020.

Is the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic the fault of the Executive or Parliament?

If the third wave was the fault of the Executive, and not the Legislature, what is the rationale for the suspension of Parliament and the State Assemblies?

Article 150(3) of the Malaysian Constitution provides that a proclamation of emergency and any ordinances under the proclamation shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and, if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect if resolutions are passed by both Houses annulling such Proclamation or ordinance.

Clearly, the drafters of the Malaysian Constitution did not envisage that Parliament would be suspended as this would make it impossible for Parliament to revoke the proclamation of emergency, bringing about a dictatorship completely contrary to all tenets of parliamentary democracy.

The Prime Minister had acted wrongly and unconstitutionally in advising the Yang di Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency and to suspend Parliament and the State Assemblies, and he should undo these wrongs.

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 18th January 2021)

Malaysia telah menunjukkan prestasi terburuk dalam usaha menangani pandemik Covid-19 di pentas dunia, melonjak 22 anak tangga dengan kes terkumpul Covid-19 terbanyak, dari kedudukan ke-83 ke kedudukan ke-61 sejak 1 Disember — lebih buruk daripada AS, Brazil, UK, Perancis, Turki, Itali dan Sepanyol

Pada 1 Disember 2020, saya bertanya: “Adakah Malaysia akan mengatasi China dengan kes terkumpul Covid-19 terbanyak sebelum atau selepas berakhirnya mesyuarat Parlimen sekarang?”

Malangnya, Malaysia mengatasi China sebelum berakhirnya persidangan Parlimen pada 16 Disember 2020, dengan Malaysia berada di kedudukan ke-79 dengan 87,913 kes sementara China berada di kedudukan ke-80 dengan 86,770 kes ( Untuk rekod, China mempunyai 1.4 bilion penduduk, bersamaan 40 kali ganda jumlah penduduk di Malaysia.

Pada 1 Disember, Malaysia berada di kedudukan ke-83 di dunia dengan 65,697 kes Covid-19 dan keadaan semakin memburuk selepas itu. Malaysia kini kini berada di kedudukan ke-61 dengan 158,434 kes Covid-19 dan 601 kematian.

Akibatnya, Malaysia telah menunjukkan prestasi terburuk dalam usaha menangani pandemik Covid-19 di pentas dunia, melonjak 22 anak tangga di antara negara-negara lain dengan kes terkumpul Covid-19 terbanyak, dari kedudukan ke-83 ke kedudukan ke-61 sejak 1 Disember – bahkan lebih buruk daripada AS, Brazil, UK, Perancis, Turki, Itali dan Sepanyol

Dari 1 Disember hingga sekarang, jumlah terkumpul kes Covid-19 dunia meningkat dari 65 juta menjadi 95.5 juta kes, meningkat 1.46 kali ganda, sementara kes Covid-19 di Malaysia meningkat dari 65,697 kes pada 1 Disember kepada 158,434 kes setakat ini, meningkat 2.4 kali ganda – kes terburuk di antara 100 negara teratas dengan jumlah terkumpul kes Covid-19 terbanyak.

Mengapa demikian? Apa masalah sebenarnya?

Satu perkara yang jelas. Tanpa niat jahat atau mahu menuding jari, marilah kita memahami hakikat bahawa walaupun ada gesaan untuk mengambil strategi dan pendekatan “keseluruhan kerajaan” dan “keseluruhan masyarakat” untuk perang melawan wabak Covid-19, gesaan ini tidak diendahkan sejak setahun lalu.

Baru sekarang Kementerian Kesihatan mengadakan perbincangan dengan sektor kesihatan swasta mengenai usaha bersama dalam perang melawan pandemik Covid-19, yang sepatutnya dilakukan sejak dulu lagi.

Tapi lebih baik terlewat sedikit, daripada tidak berusaha langsung.

Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin harus dipuji atas respons beliau terhadap Surat Terbuka kepada Perdana Menteri oleh 46 pakar kesihatan awam mengenai pandemik Covid-19. Ia bagaimanapun menimbulkan persoalan baru.

Bilakah Perdana Menteri akan membalas Surat Terbuka Bersama yang saya dan Dr. Mohamad Rafick Khan kirimkan kepada beliau pada 10 Januari 2021?

Berdasarkan jawapan Perdana Menteri terhadap surat terbuka bertarikh semalam (Ahad 7 Januari 2021), jelas bahawa Perdana Menteri tidak bertindak berdasarkan saranan saya pada 9 Januari 2021 agar kerajaan “berunding sepenuhnya dengan sektor kesihatan swasta sebelum mengembangkan strategi barunya dalam perang melawan pandemik Covid-19” yang diumumkan oleh Perdana Menteri (mengenai penguatkuasaan semula PKP) pada 11 Januari dan pengisytiharan darurat.

Perdana Menteri mendedahkan bahawa pada 15 Disember 2020, beliau telah bertemu dengan lima para penandatangan Surat Terbuka berkenaan, dan hakikat bahawa lima pakar kesihatan awam ini telah bergabung dengan 41 pakar kesihatan awam yang lain untuk mengirim Surat Terbuka itu kepada Perdana Menteri pada 7 Januari 2021 menunjukkan keprihatinan mereka bahawa perlu ada perubahan drastik dalam strategi memerangi pandemik Covid-19.

Sayang sekali, Perdana Menteri tidak memberikan respons yang tepat dengan bertemu 46 pakar kesihatan tersebut sebelum mengumumkan strategi baru, kerana 46 pakar kesihatan ini telah menyatakan “kerisauan dan keprihatinan” mereka berkenaan dengan status terkini wabak Covid-19 di negara ini.

Saya percaya yang tiada seorang pun daripada 46 pakar kesihatan awam ini telah mencadangkan bahawa pengisytiharan darurat dan penggantungan Parlimen dan Dewan Negara adalah langkah-langkah yang diperlukan untuk menangani wabak Covid-19.

Dalam Surat Terbuka mereka, pakar kesihatan awam mencadangkan sepuluh “tindakan mendesak dan kritikal bagi mengelakkan wabak Covid-19 menjadi tidak terkawal di Malaysia”, terutama cadangan 9 dan 10, iaitu:

“9. Membentuk suatu pasukan petugas khas Covid-19 yang keahliannya terdiri daripada pakar perubatan, ekonomi dan pelbagai sektor yang berkaitan perlu dibentuk dengan kadar segera untuk menyediakan khidmat nasihat kepakaran dan menyelaraskan respons pelbagai kementerian dan agensi didalam kerajaan untuk membenteras pandemik Covid-19.

Pasukan petugas khas Covid-19 akan memacu negara keluar dari wabak ini dengan kerap mengemukakan cadangan dan odit kepada kabinet, dan menekankan unsur-unsur memelihara nyawa, kesihatan fizikal, emosi dan mental rakyat jelata dan juga memelihara kesihatan ekonomi negara.Untuk memastikan kebebasan pasukan petugas khas Covid-19, pemilihan ahli perlulah dilakukan oleh, Persatuan Perubatan Malaysia, Akademi Perubatan Malaysia, Persatuan Pakar Kesihatan Awam Malaysia dan Persatuan Pakar Kesihatan Hospital Swasta Malaysia.

“10. Jangan mempolitikkan pendemik ini, sebaliknya mendapatkan konsensus bipartisan dan pendekatan untuk melandaikan lengkuk pandemik, mempercepatkan usaha untuk mencapai imuniti komuniti untuk membentuk perlindungan masyarakat didalam rangka untuk wujud bersama (co-exist) dengan koronavirus.

“Mengadakan PRU15 semasa peningkatan wabak yang tidak terkawal akan membawa bencana seperti apa yang telah terberlaku di PRN Sabah.”

Kedua-dua cadangan ini belum dilaksanakan, sebaliknya kita berdepan pula dengan perisytiharan darurat dan penggantungan Parlimen serta Dewan Negara.

Terdapat perdebatan yang cukup besar; pertama, mengenai apakah darurat harus diisytiharkan, dan kedua, apakah Parlimen dan Dewan Undangan Negeri harus ditangguhkan dalam keadaan darurat seperti itu.

Perdana Menteri, dalam jawapannya, memberikan kenyataan menarik bahawa gelombang ketiga pandemik Covid-19 bermula pada 20 September 2020.

Adakah gelombang ketiga pandemik Covid-19 ini adalah salah Eksekutif atau Parlimen?

Sekiranya gelombang ketiga adalah salah Eksekutif, dan bukan Badan Perundangan, apakah alasan penggantungan Parlimen dan Dewan Undangan Negeri?

Perkara 150 (3) Perlembagaan Malaysia menetapkan bahawa:

“Proklamasi Darurat dan apa-apa ordinan yang dimasyhurkan di bawah Fasal (2B) hendaklah dibentangkan di hadapan kedua-dua Majlis Parlimen dan, jika tidak terlebih dahulu dibatalkan, hendaklah terhenti berkuat kuasa jika ketetapan diluluskan oleh kedua-dua Majlis yang mengungkaikan Proklamasi atau ordinan itu, tetapi tanpa menjejaskan apa-apa jua yang dilakukan sebelumnya menurut kuasa Proklamasi atau ordinan itu atau tanpa menjejaskan kuasa Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk mengeluarkan suatu Proklamasi baru di bawah Fasal (1) atau memasyhurkan apa-apa ordinan di bawah Fasal (2B).”

Jelas, penggubal Perlembagaan Malaysia tidak membayangkan bahawa Parlimen akan digantung hanya kerana ada pengisytiharan darurat, yang akan mewujudkan kediktatoran yang sepenuhnya bertentangan dengan semua prinsip demokrasi berparlimen.

Perdana Menteri telah bertindak salah dan tidak berpelembagaan dalam menasihati Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk mengisytiharkan darurat dan menangguhkan Parlimen dan Dewan Negara. Beliau perlu segera memperbetulkan kesalahan ini.

(Kenyataan Media Ahli Parlimen DAP Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang di Kuala Lumpur pada hari Isnin, 18 Januari 2021)

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