Malaysia Dateline

Tomorrow will be Malaysia’s Day of Shame

Tomorrow will be Malaysia’s Day of Shame when we break the million-mark for Covid-19 cases and overtake Pakistan to be ranked among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.

But we must not give in to despondency, despair, hopelessness and even helplessness.

We must continue to live in hope and belief that Malaysia deserves better and take courage from the support of Malaysians for justice, truth and a better Malaysia as demonstrated by the success of Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed ‘Abdul Rahman to crowdfund for his legal cost and bail, raising more than RM700,000 in just 24 hours

The easiest thing is to surrender to despair and hopelessness, especially with Covid-19 pandemic doing its worst havoc in the past 18 months,, destroying lives and livelihoods, and turning Malaysia into a nation of food banks.

But as the surreal opening of Tokyo Olympics last night demonstrated, we must have the will and resolve to turn the present despair into a new hope for a better world – to turn the crisis into an opportunity.

One lesson of the Covid-19 pandemic is that we must unite as Malaysians to face this existential test, as the new coronavirus does not distinguish race, religion, region or politics. We must respond as one people, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to firstly bring the Covid-19 Pandemic under control and build a better, more just and equal tomorrow for all Malaysians.

This is illustrated by the Club of 31 Covid-19 “millionaire” nations we will join tomorrow, for it illustrates that the Covid-19 pandemic inflicts damage on all nations, regardless of race, religion, region or politics.

Headed by three nations with over 10 million Covid-19 cases, United States (35 million cases), India (31 million) and Brazil (19 million) which together account for more than 44% of the global total of 193 million Covid-19 cases, the other nations with more than a million Covid-19 cases are Russia, France, UK, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, Italy, Spain, Germany, Iran, Indonesia, Poland, Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, Peru, Netherlands, Czechia, Chile, Philippines, Iraq, Canada, Bangladesh, Belgium, Sweden, Romania and Pakistan. Truly regardless of race, religion, region or politics.

Most of these countries have seen light at the end of the tunnel. USA, for instance, has made the transition from its daily peak of 305,073 cases on January 8 and peak daily deaths of 4,449 dead on January 12, 2021 and reduced by 80% for daily increase of cases and by over 90 per cent in daily Covid-19 deaths despite the recent spike of Covid-19 cases because of the Delta variant.

India have made even more progress after the catastrophe of its recent oxygen crisis in the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing both its daily increase of new cases and new deaths by over 90 per cent.

Even the United Kingdom, which declared last Monday as “Freedom Day” by removing most Covid-19 restrictions which many experts considered reckless, have come down from a high of 54,674 daily new cases on 17th July to 36,389 cases yesterday.

But there is still no light at the end of the tunnel for Malaysia, which is one of the countries which is still trying to establish a new peak for daily new cases and new deaths.

Is the national vaccination rollout – which has reached half a million doses administered a day – the light at the end of the tunnel?

This depends on whether the rollout could be further accelerated and whether the target of vaccinating every adult by October can be achieved.

The convening of Parliament on Monday has come at a critical moment – whether it will mark the beginning of a new policy and strategy to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control or whether Malaysia bungles along with past mistakes and disasters.
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Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Saturday, 24th July 2021.