'Unchecked govt, suspended Parliament made Covid-19 worse'

·2-min read
'Unchecked govt, suspended Parliament made Covid-19 worse'
'Unchecked govt, suspended Parliament made Covid-19 worse'

Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang has questioned how Malaysia's Covid-19 situation is now worse off despite the imposition of a state of emergency on Jan 11 which the government said was necessary to control the pandemic.

Contrary to what the government has claimed, Lim said the suspension of Parliament under the emergency was what contributed to failing the battle against Covid-19.

"Will Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin now concede that the suspension of Parliament was one of the critical factors for the failure of the emergency to bring the third Covid-19 wave under control?

"Without the constitutional safeguards of parliamentary scrutiny and the necessary parliamentary check-and-balance of the executive, it was so easy for 'kakistocracy' to rear its ugly head resulting in Malaysia even losing out to Indonesia in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Is Muhyiddin and his bloated cabinet now prepared to eat humble pie and advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to convene Parliament?" he said.

Lim noted that Muhyiddin had yesterday defended the movement control order (MCO) 3.0 as unpopular but necessary.

However, he said absent from Muhyiddin's explanation was why the emergency did not work.

"Why did the emergency declared on January 12 fail to bring the third Covid-19 wave under control so that unlike the lockdown last year, balik kampung during Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year (would be) permitted and not banned like last year?

"Many questions beg for answers which the Muhyiddin government is studiously avoiding answering," Lim said.

Instead, he said Malaysia was now crossing a "red line" in the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed MCO 3.0 because Malaysia is crossing the 'red line' where the capacity of hospital utilisation has reached a critical level with the increase in daily cases, with hospital wards and intensive care units filling up.

"This begs the question as to why the emergency, which was to ensure that Malaysia did not cross the “red line” in the war against Covid-19 pandemic, had failed," Lim said in a statement.

The government announced a third country-wide MCO on May 12, on the eve of Hari Raya. However, the Sabah and Sarawak state governments have decided to stick with the conditional MCO.

Malaysia was placed under MCO 2.0 around the same time after the emergency was imposed in January.

However, Covid-19 cases have surged again after restrictions were rolled back in March.

The country is now seeing record new cases this year and also unprecedented deaths.

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