Dear Abah, we need answers, not fatherly advice

The country waited with bated breath for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s “perutusan khas” today as many expected the worst following a record number of 691 Covid-19 cases.

But once again, it was a case of “fatherly advice”.

Muhyiddin has made a series of speeches which are merely advising us about things we already know.

In his speech this evening, he also welcomed views by Malaysians which he promised to look into.

We have some views, dear Prime Minister.

As leader of the nation, shouldn’t a prime minister give televised speeches for major announcements instead of advice?

Tensions rose when Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed 691 new cases were recorded today and four deaths – including a one-year-old.

The deaths, especially that of the baby, mark the lowest point since the Movement Control Order kicked in as we convey our condolences to the family.

It would have been good if Muhyiddin had spared a thought for those who lost their loved ones during his speech.

It was also baffling to note how two major announcements – one by Dr Noor Hisham and the other by Muhyiddin – overlapped at one particular moment.

The lack of coordination was apparent and the announcements should have been timed better.

Muhyiddin once again highlighted that the influx of undocumented migrants caused the spike of Covid-19 cases.

It is a known fact that our borders are porous. But why the sudden influx?

What happened? Was it a case of certain quarters getting complacent? Malaysians need to be assured. They need to know.

Muhyiddin admitted the Sabah elections contributed to the increase of cases.

One of the reasons was because the people didn’t follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the campaigning period.

So will the organisers of the events and those in charge of crowd control be hauled up? Will politicians also be hauled up for not practising what they preach?

Muhyiddin stressed there have been no double standards with regards to SOPs for VIPs and this includes them being quarantined.

If that was the case, then Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri wouldn’t have attended all the events he did so soon after returning from Sabah.

This has even led to Muhyiddin, several other ministers and Dr Noor Hisham being in self-quarantine.

What about the politician whose wife, a teacher, tested positive for Covid-19 and as a result 600 students had to have a swab test? Why wasn’t he or his wife quarantined?

The Kedah Consumers Association plans to sue the politician for starting a new cluster in Kulim as they found him to be “negligent for failing to get himself tested”.

What about the Melaka assemblyman who “didn’t have symptoms” and went to the state secretariat building at Kompleks Seri Negeri only to test positive?

What about Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali who broke the 14-day home quarantine ruling when he returned from Turkey on July 7?

The prime minister also said he may use the ‘rotan’ if things don’t improve. It was clearly a “warning” that he will now come down hard against those who defied the SOPs.

But dear sir, the authorities should have ‘caned’ many people – including politicians – since the start of the MCO.

Muhyiddin should be direct in his narrative. He is the prime minister.

We don’t need people speculating what will or will not be done. That is how fake news spreads.

Please lay your cards on the table.

Here are some ideas for Muhyiddin to ponder:

  • Consider reintroducing a ban on interstate travel for two weeks to contain the coronavirus – not a total lockdown as businesses need to continue, we get that.
  • Consider closing schools nationwide for up to two weeks. Many parents are still afraid of sending their children to school.
  • Ensure no double standards in SOPs. We have had enough of seeing politicians get away scot-free while the ordinary folk get hauled up, fined or jailed as evident throughout the MCO.
  • Only have a “perutusan khas” if there’s a major announcement. Otherwise, the people will take such announcements lightly.

And here’s a gentle reminder – you are not just an abah, you are the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

You are a leader. Malaysians want answers more than any piece of advice from the Prime Minister.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

SABAH TRAVEL BAN FROM OCT 12

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today there will be a travel ban between Sabah and the rest of the country from Oct 12 to 25

However, exemptions will be made for emergency cases, deaths, essential services and other reasons which will require police permission.

ROUND 5 OF PETRONAS MALAYSIAN CUB PRIX POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

Round 5 of the Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix Championship which was scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed indefinitely.

Due to the spike in Covid-19 cases, Safe Aim Mutual Sdn Bhd, event promoter of the 2020 Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix Championship, has not been able to get the final approvals for Round 5. The new dates will be announced once the situation has stabilised.

SARAWAK SHOULD FORGET ABOUT ELECTIONS FOR NOW

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg recently said the state could hold elections “anytime soon”.

Sarawak held its last state elections on May 7, 2016, and the next is due by July 2021. The state usually holds its elections a year early.

We learnt from the Sabah elections that we are not ready for safe elections, what more a snap general election.

While it is important we uphold our democratic rights, are we prepared to risk the health of millions by having the elections during the pandemic?

ONE MORE CASHLESS PARKING APP IN KL BUT NO PLACE FOR BOOST AND TOUCH ’N GO

Kuala Lumpur City Hall has announced it will add Jom Parking to the list of applications for cashless parking in the capital.

Only four apps – EZ Smart Park, Flexiparking, Wilayah Parking and M-Cash – could be used before Oct 1 when cashless parking was implemented. All parking meters in the city are now “dead”.

However, there is still no news when two of the most popular e-wallets – Boost and Touch ’n Go – will be included in the new system.