January 2020 – The Coronavirus pandemic hit Malaysian shores when the then Pakatan Harapan (PH) government let the tourists from Wuhan into the country. The whole world knew then that Wuhan was Ground Zero for the SARS-CoV-2 virus cases. In fact, when the outbreak happened in Wuhan, countries around the world were closing their borders and not allowing visitors from China, specifically Wuhan, to enter their shores. Except for Italy, which had a bilateral arrangement with Wuhan then, but we saw for ourselves that Italy was almost devastated by the pandemic.
At the same time, the PH Members of Parliament (MPs) were clamouring for power with Anwar Ibrahim claiming to have the numbers of MPs on his side, with all kinds of Statutory Declarations were claimed to have been signed and would be presented to the King for his consideration to appoint a new Prime Minister and Cabinet.
February 2020 – Tun Mahathir resigned paving the way for the fall of the PH government.
The Sheraton Move then took place and the King agreed to Muhyiddin (real name Mahiaddin) being made the Prime Minister of Malaysia and he established the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, supposedly a unity government to bring different parties together to govern the country.
Subsequently, the Sabah election happened because then Chief Minister, Shafie Apdal, wanted to hold on to his position as CM even though the court verdict had nullified his position. Thinking that he can be elected once again as CM, he advised the TYT (the Head of State) to dissolve the Sabah Cabinet to make way for the state election.
Sabah election (thanks to Shafie Apdal) happened – bringing about a surge in COVID cases in the country when the Sabah election machinery came home to the peninsula after their duty in Sabah.
In January 2021, the Prime Minister then advised the King to declare a State of Emergency with the excuse to tide the rising number of Covid cases in the country.
Despite the Emergency declaration, Malaysia went through a few Movement Control Orders (PKPs) and their ‘siblings’ – EMCO, CMCO, RMCO and whatever acronyms that supposedly mean different levels of lockdowns, but the SOPs were loose and incomprehensible. Unfortunately, the new cases kept on rising, thanks to the stupid move by Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, Azmin Ali to let the factories to remain open despite the COVID cases sprouting up like wild mushrooms.
Meanwhile, a crisis of no-confidence is brewing among the PN government MPs.
To assuage the broiling situation and for fear that UMNO may withdraw from the government, thus leaving a vacuum of capable Cabinet Ministers, the Prime Minister appointed UMNO’s Ismail Sabri as the Deputy Prime Minister.
While Ismail has assured the public that he will close back those factories that were allowed to remain open by Azmin, a large number of Malaysians are sceptical that this will happen. This is because the Cabinet Ministers are facing a trust deficit.
So it seems that PM Muhyiddin (not his real name) appears to have lost the popular vote, although he is not as unpopular as his sidekick who has now been downgraded, Azmin.
Consequently, businesses have folded, bankruptcy and suicide cases are on the rise, more white flags are being flown by impoverished families needing aid and support.
While the vaccination programmes have picked up steam with more than 11% of the country’s population having been vaccinated to date, there is now the question of whether the vaccinations are able to counter the effects of the various deadly variants that seem to have cropped up recently. Despite Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s assurance that the country is on the right track to reach herd immunity in the very near future, the figures of increases in new cases do not seem to assuage the people’s fears.
There have been many calls for the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members who have not performed to resign, as they have failed to contain the number of new COVID-19 cases, to cushion the economic blow faced by the rakyat and to come up with effective plans and policies to ensure that Malaysia bounces back as the economic powerhouse it once was during the reign of Barisan Nasional for the past 60 years or so. The hashtag #KerajaanGagal (failed government) was going viral, until today, with citizens raising the white flag for assistance and economic support.
However, PM Muhyiddin (not his real name) doesn’t seem to be going that way. He seems to cower behind the Emergency declaration and the excuse of the rising number of COVID cases, among other things. He had refused to convene any Parliament session until the people had urged for it and the King had to make a royal decree for Parliament to convene immediately. As such, the first Parliament session this year will be held in the third week of July.
Meanwhile, members and supporters of Bersatu (PPBM), the PM’s political party, have decried the calls for the PM to step down because they claim that this is not the right time for such an event since the world is suffering the effects of the pandemic and that Malaysia is not the kind of country to urge its Prime Ministers to step down. But they seem to suffer some kind of short-term memory loss. They forgot that when PM 6, Datuk Sri Najib Razak’s BN coalition, failed to get a comfortable majority in the 2018 General Election, he handed the reigns like a gentleman he is. When Tun Mahathir was sick of the power struggle in PH, he stepped down in February 2020, as mentioned above. So why can’t the current Prime Minister, who does not seem to have the ability to help the country and its people, do the same? Resign honourably, or things will get worse for him and his party, not to mention for the country.
So, if Muhyiddin (not his real name) resigns, will the King again call all party MPs to give the name of the person they think can be PM and see who gets the most votes?
Or will he institute MAGERAN and appoint a council to administer the country until GE15? After all, we are still in an Emergency state, at least until sometime in August.
Or will he appoint an interim PM until GE15?
Or the situation is just too tenuous that Parliament will have to be dissolved to make way for PRU15 at a time when the COVID cases are rising and seems to continue to rise?
Whatever steps the leaders and the Kings take may either have fatal repercussions for us or maybe the best thing that will take this country and its people out of the doldrums.
I shudder to think of the final outcome if we are being continuously attacked by this enemy of a virus and its variants.
May Allah helps us out of this and may our leaders and the King make the right decision.
I am exhausted, just like the rest of the country, but no one is more exhausted than our Frontliners.
Our social, medical and financial machinery have broken down, but at this point, it can still be mended and repaired. But the longer you leave it unattended, the more irreparable it becomes until we can function no more. Please don’t let that happen. – New Malaysia Herald
About the author: Hasnah Abdul Rahman is the editor-in-chief of the New Malaysia Herald while being an activist for autism. She has worked for various media organisations as reporter and editor and specialises in strategic communications. She is also a foodpreneur in her spare time and gives traditional cuisine that 5-star edge from her home kitchen.
Note: The views expressed in this article is that of the writer’s and does not necessarily reflect the stand of the New Malaysia Herald.