Reopen Border Despite Record Covid Deaths – Muhyiddin Wants To Win Popularity Contest, Even If It Kills More People

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Aug 09 2021
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A record 360 people died on Sunday (August 8) due to Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 10,749. Daily cases increased by another 18,688, pushing the total infections to 1,262,540 since the pandemic began last year. But those numbers mean nothing to backdoor Prime Minister Muhyiddin, as he struggles to cling to power. The only thing that matters to him is the “Iron Throne”.


He has already lost his legitimacy as the prime minister. His razor-thin 113 votes in the 222-seat Parliament has been slashed by 14 votes, after UMNO – his biggest ally in the Perikatan Nasional coalition government – under the leadership of Zahid Hamidi withdrew the support. Even though only 14 out of 38 UMNO MPs have rejected Muhyiddin, it’s sufficient to topple the fragile regime.


Effectively, the chief executive has lost the majority support of the board. He has in his pocket only 99 votes, less than the minimum 111 votes (after the death of 2 members) required for a simple majority. If he has an ounce of honour, he would have resigned with dignity. But the power-crazy cancer survivor would rather die in office than give up the power.

Muhyiddin Yassin - Prime Minister Legitimacy In Question

As UMNO slowly tightens the screw on Muhyiddin, the thick-skinned prime minister has decided to dig his heels, refusing to resign. He has again scammed and tricked King Sultan Abdullah to allow him until Parliament reopen in September to test his legitimacy. This is the first time in history an illegitimate prime minister is being given 5 weeks extra time to bribe and buy support.


But the most irresponsible act was the regime’s decision on Sunday to relax restrictions for the fully vaccinated people – without putting any proper thought into the methodology, new SOP (standard operating procedures) or implementation. All of a sudden, everything seems to be wide open and vaccinated people can do whatever they like as if it’s a big orgy party.


The backdoor prime minister announced that local tourism or travelling within states, outdoor sports and exercise, as well as dining at eateries will be allowed from Tuesday (August 10) in states that have progressed to Phase-2 (Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Penang and Sabah) or Phase-3 (Perlis, Labuan and Perak) of the so-called National Recovery Plan.

Coronavirus - Malaysia Covid-19 Pandemic - Hotel Tourism

According to the original National Recovery Plan, Phase-2 will be triggered if new daily infections drop to below 4,000, the vaccination rate reaches 10%, and ICU’s (intensive care unit) usage falls to “moderate” level. Phase-3 is the stage when daily Coronavirus cases threshold fall below 2,000, health system reaches a manageable level and at least 40% of the population is fully vaccinated.


Phase-2 also means more economic sectors such as the manufacturing industry will be allowed to operate with up to 80% capacity. At the stage of Phase-3, all economic sectors will be allowed to operate except high-risk activities such as nightclubs, pubs, conventions, spas, and beauty salons. So, has the country improved to deserve the Phase-2 or Phase-3?


From the beginning, the hastily cooked Covid-19 National Recovery Plan was a gimmick. When the regime realized Phase-2 was not achievable, let alone Phase-3, it cheated and applied it to “states” instead. The funniest part was that once a state moved to Phase-2, the genius government said it will never go back to Phase-1, no matter how bad the pandemic may deteriorate later.

Coronavirus - Malaysia Covid-19 Record Cases and Deaths - KLCC

Hence, not only they are flawed, but it creates a delusion that the situation is improving, when it is not. When Muhyiddin launched the four phases of the National Recovery Plan on June 15, daily Covid cases was 5,419 and total accumulated infections was 667,876, while total deaths was 4,069. Today, it is 20,000 daily cases and total infections are close to 1.3-million, not to mention 11,000 death toll.


As if the current 5-digit daily infections and 200 daily death toll are not bad enough, all of which the Ministry of Health conveniently blames the Delta variant, now the government says spouses and parents can travel interstate to meet their loved one or kids younger than 18. Which part of science or data that says fully vaccinated people are immune and will not spread Delta?


Worse, under the new rules, returning citizens and residents who are fully vaccinated can serve their quarantine at home, instead of designated hotels. Exactly how does the government plan to ensure those people do not carry Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta or Delta Plus or even Lambda variants from overseas to Malaysia? Does the regime have the slightest clue what is Lambda?

Coronavirus Temperature Measuring - KLIA Kuala Lumpur International Airport

And now Senior Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the government is considering allowing night markets to open even for states under Phase-1 (Kedah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor), despite admitting that the government is unable to conduct any thorough monitoring of SOP compliance.


As Muhyiddin is being cornered, he is throwing everything, including the kitchen sink. At current stage, nothing the clueless and incompetent government does will flatten the Coronavirus curve. The windows of opportunity to contain the virus have long gone. They have been dragging their feet for too long that the virus has spread to every corner of the country, so much so they can’t be bothered anymore.


Like it or not, the super bloated Cabinet of 73 ministers and deputy ministers has lost the plot in fighting the Coronavirus. It’s the blind leading the blind. It is chaos everywhere as the hospitals are overwhelmed while the ambulance services are crippled. The healthcare infrastructure has collapsed. As a frontliner said – “We’re already in Italy 2020. We’re already in India 2021.”

Patients Outside Emergency Room At Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah HTAR

On July 26, about 5 weeks after he launched the Covid-19 National Recovery Plan, PM Muhyiddin proudly announced that Malaysia expects to reopen the economy and lift movement controls as early as October as the country ramps up its Covid-19 immunisation programme. But the sudden withdrawal of support from ally UMNO has forced him to bring forward the date.


So, when the illegitimate prime minister announced the decision to ease restrictions for the fully vaccinated, it was a desperate strategy to win the popularity contest. Mr Muhyiddin knew his only choice is to put all his chips on the table, betting and hoping that the economy will improve and voters will be less angry with his administration for the new travelling incentive.


However, if the strategy fails, it would open the floodgate for more infections and deaths. But Muhyiddin doesn’t care because it will be the new government’s problems. With 49.4% (15,772,101) people received at least 1 dose of Covid vaccines and 27.5% (8,770,336) people fully inoculated, Muhyiddin administration hopes it could see the same success in Singapore and Britain.

Coronavirus - UK Covid-19 Lockdown To Be Lifted - People Rejoice With Beer

But both Singapore and the United Kingdom are different from Malaysia. For example, when the U.K. daily Covid cases steadily dropped from 70,000 (Jan 8) to 1,730 (Apr 11), it was correspondence to the vaccination programme which saw the number of Britons receiving at least 1 dose increased from 3% to 48.3% for the same period of time.


Hilariously, in the case of Malaysia, the reverse is true – the higher the vaccination rate, the higher daily infections and death toll. From May 1 to Sunday, people who received at least 1 dose of vaccine climbed from 2.8% to 49.4%. But in the same period, the daily cases also jumped accordingly from 2,881 to 18,668. Some might argue that 2 full doses are needed to do the trick.


Even based on this argument, how do you explain that when the U.K. daily Covid cases steadily dropped from 70,000 (Jan 8) to 1,730 (Apr 11), the people who had received full doses for the same period increased only from 0.6% to 11.5%. In the case of Malaysia, a whopping 27.5% (8,770,336) people are fully inoculated, yet the daily cases and deaths continue to skyrocket.

Coronavirus - UK Covid-19 Vaccination Chart - Shifting From First To Second Doses

Actually, the “Operation Surge Capacity” introduced by Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on July 16 was nothing but a carbon copy of British’s innovative plan to administer at least 1 dose of Covid-19 vaccine to as many people and in the shortest time possible to provide some sort of protection. Whilst it worked wonderfully in the U.K., it doesn’t work in Malaysia.


Perhaps Muhyiddin was advised to blindly copy Singapore’s model, which is reopening its economy. But unlike Malaysia, the Singaporean government has done a marvellous job in contact tracing. From the beginning, Singapore has displayed consistency, efficiency, competency and discipline in monitoring, tracking, isolating and containing the pandemic.


The TraceTogether app provides an “important digital tool” that enable contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate close contacts of Covid-19 cases. Of course, that only works when the government is ready to conduct mass testing whenever there’s a new outbreak. At the very least, Singapore had managed to test all its foreign workers from April to August, 2020.

Coronavirus - Singapore Foreign Migrant Workers Dormitories Covid-19 Cluster

Singapore saw Covid-19 infections among its migrant worker population exploded in April – from just 10 infections among workers living in dormitories (April 1) to 60% of 4,427 infections on April 16 being foreign workers. Most of Singapore cases came from cramped dormitories that house more than 300,000 mostly South Asian workers.


More importantly, the Singapore government recognized the problem and fixed it within 4 months after authorities started quarantining and testing all the workers in their quarters. Malaysia, on the other hand, while claiming to also recognize the problem, was too lazy, complacent, incompetent and arrogant to fix the problem at the earliest stage.


For example, as early as April 2020, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said – “We are learning from Singapore, our migrant workers, we are embarking on a big scale screening of our migrant workers”. But there hasn’t been any mass testing since the empty promise. Instead, the Ministry of Health chose to wait and sit on its hands – until it’s too late today.

Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

When the regime had the chance for a mass testing in April last year, it ignored it. When it had the chance for a proper quarantine after the Sabah state election, it skipped it. When it had the chance for a full lockdown in January this year, it underestimated it. When it had another chance for a full lockdown in June, it again squandered it.


And now, with record daily cases, deaths and people in ICUs, the brilliant government of Muhyiddin suddenly decided to open the border. Is MySejahtera app contact tracing still working? Do you think the government can still monitor or track, let alone isolate and contain the potential new clusters of variants triggered by interstate travel or brought back by residents from overseas?


It’s too early to reopen, simply because there’s no guarantee the fully vaccinated will only mingle with the fully vaccinated. At the very least, the government should find out why the more people received their dose of vaccines, the more people get infected and died. There are still half the population -16 million people – not protected with any vaccine at all.

Coronavirus - Malaysia Covid-19 Pandemic - Pray


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