Supporters of Perikatan Nasional coalition have a very peculiar habit of defending the indefensible backdoor government. They do not talk facts and figures. Worse, they would twist and spin even though it does not make any sense. When they fail to argue with you, they would threaten to jail you for spreading fake news. And if that also fails, they would flash race and religion card.
For example, the latest half-baked MCO 3.0 lockdown obviously will fail again to tackle the current third wave (or fourth wave depending on your argument) of Coronavirus pandemic. It will fail simply because it is just another copy of MCO 2.0, which had failed miserably. There’s a reason why Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
Fine, let’s talk about the United Kingdom, a democratic country that has about twice the population of Malaysia. Not only Malaysia was a former colony of the British Empire from 1824 to 1957 (except during the Japanese occupation between 1942 and 1945), the country also inherits the same constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy system from Britain.
Three days ago (May 12), PAS Islamist party president Hadi Awang insisted the State of Emergency, first declared by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on January 11, is still necessary to defeat Covid-19.
Fake holy man Hadi Awang, however, could not explain why Malaysia is the only country in the world that has declared an Emergency as well as locking up the Parliament under the pretext of fighting Coronavirus. Of course, he also could not explain why, despite having the emergency rule for four months since January, the pandemic has gotten from bad to worse.
Great Britain – England, Scotland and Wales – is saying goodbye to lockdown next Monday (17 May), after months of tough lockdown restrictions. Britain is arguably the Western country that has been under lockdown longer than any of its neighbours in the European Union. Researchers at the Oxford University said Britain had spent 175 days (about 6 months) at its “maximum stringency level.”
With 128,000 total deaths, the UK has the highest reported Covid-19 fatalities in Europe. Britain saw its death toll topped 1,800 in a single day in January, the same month backdoor Prime Minister Muhyiddin shamelessly declared a State of Emergency in Malaysia to cling to power. But on Friday (May 14), Britain recorded only 17 deaths, compared to Malaysia’s 34.
From nearly 70,000 new daily Covid cases in January, Britain’s average new infections have plunged spectacularly to around 2,000 a day now – an improvement of over 97%. Malaysia, on the other hand, recorded 4,113 new infections on Friday, and is on its way to break January’s record of 5,725 daily cases. In fact, Malaysian PM Muhyiddin has warned of 10,000 new cases.
The best part is – the UK had managed to bring down the fatality from 1,800 to 17 deaths, and reduce new cases from 70,000 to 2,000 – without Emergency rule. During the same period, Malaysia, despite introducing iron-fist emergency rule and locking down the Parliament, has seen the death toll skyrockets from single digit 4 (Jan 11) to 34 deaths (May 14) – more than 8 times.
So far, more than 36 million people in Britain – approximately 68% of the adult population – have received their first dose, while more than 19 million have had both doses. The number of first doses administered each day is now averaging around 149,000. However, at its peak, an average of about 500,000 people was vaccinated in mid-March, when the schedule of second doses kicks in.
Malaysia, meanwhile, has seen only 1,166,737 people (3.7% of a population of 33 million) received their first dose and 727,893 people (2.3%) have had both doses. Hence, in total, less than 1.9 million people were vaccinated as of 12 May. Thanks to a clueless and incompetent government, the country recorded an average 28,551 jabs a day in the week of April 28 to May 4.
Clearly, the UK’s huge success has been due to an effective lockdown and a comprehensive vaccination program, and not any state of emergency, let alone playing politics by shutting down the Parliament. More importantly, Britain has a bold and innovative strategy to free up vaccines for more people – delaying the second vaccine dose by up to 12 weeks (3 months).
England’s national lockdown, which started on January 4, consisted of four phases and has its key exit strategy to ease the lockdown, depending on the number of cases and vaccination progress. In March 8, all schools and colleges were reopened. In March 29, up to six people are allowed to meet outside. By April 12, non-essential retail reopened where pubs and restaurants can serve people outdoors
Next Monday (May 17), all restaurants and bars as well as hotels, theatres and museums in England can reopen. People will be able to hug friends and family again, with the easing of social distancing rules. International travel would also be able to resume next Monday in most circumstances, although quarantines and testing would still be required for those returning to the U.K.
Malaysians, meanwhile, will continue to suffer the third round of nationwide lockdown from May 12 to June 7. The MCO 3.0 half-baked lockdown, however, is expected to be extended again. Without any new strategy, it’s likely there will be MCO 4.0 lockdown. That’s because not only all types of business are allowed to run at top speed, the vaccination program is running at a snail’s pace.
In order to succeed like Britain, the Malaysian government has to at least boost vaccination at half the speed of the British government – 75,000 of first dose each day for the next 12 weeks to cover as many people as possible. This will be able to protect 6.3 million people, after which it can start giving the second dose, taking a page from the British playbook.
Taliban Abdul Hadi Awang was obviously talking cock when he argued that an emergency rule was the formula to fight the pandemic. On the contrary, the increasingly critical Covid-19 situation in the country provides more reasons for the current State of Emergency to be scrapped and the Parliament to be reopened so that new strategy can be proposed, debated and implemented.
There are three successful models to choose from – Singapore, China and Great Britain. Malaysia fails not because it’s a bigger country than Singapore, nor because it isn’t a communist country like China. The UK, a country twice the population and with a similar system as Malaysia, has shown that you need a full-blown nationwide lockdown and a speedy vaccination rollout.
Today, the health ministry of Malaysia has reported 4,140 Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 466,330. Total deaths have increased by a record 44 to 1,866. The blood is on the hands of politicians like Muhyiddin Yassin and Hadi Awang. But they don’t want to defeat the virus because to do so would mean the end of the illegitimate regime, and the end of their perks of at least RM70,000 per month.