While politicians sow division and play games, Malaysians unite

It all started in February 2020 when Malaysia reported its first Covid-19 case.

It was in the same month that the nation’s seventh prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, stepped down due to political in-fighting.

Many were shocked by his decision because he had garnered the majority votes in a bid to free Malaysia from a corrupt political system.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was named Dr Mahathir’s successor. He did a good job in his early days in office, and the number of Covid-19 cases were relatively low. But it wasn’t for long.

Early October 2020, Malaysia declared another Movement Control Order (MCO) as the number of cases started to increase. This was partly because of the Sabah election, which was held without proper planning.

The rakyat was left frustrated with the sudden MCO.

Everyone thought their lives would return to normal in 2021 as the new year started. That was when we made a big mistake – some of us disobeyed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and moved freely.

That has resulted in the country registering more Covid-19 cases today, putting Malaysia among the nations with the highest number of Covid-19 cases to date.

This made me think about the state of affairs in the country. In June 2021, the number of cases spiked. Data showed a large percentage of Malaysians had been vaccinated, but the number of daily infections continued to rise. It’s ridiculous.

Despite the high number of cases and hundreds of people dying daily, the politicians continued playing their dirty political games.

Opposition leaders criticised Muhyiddin for his poor leadership as he implemented yet another lockdown. What’s funny about the latest MCO was that while movement was “controlled”, the number of vehicles on the roads did not reflect that fact. Factories, meanwhile, continued to operate.

Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians lost their jobs because of the MCO. Some were driven to despair and committed suicide, but the politicians didn’t seem to care.

I grew cynical of politics. I felt that the government was making excuses to avoid reconvening Parliament so that the ministers could remain in power and pocket their high salaries.

As a student, I’m depressed as I’ve been stuck at home for the past five months, attending classes online. SPM is next year, and the government has now said that schools would only be opened in October, instead of next month, as per its earlier announcement.

Those who voice out the dissatisfaction of the people are hauled up instead. Is this democracy? When the Dewan Rakyat’s special sitting was held last month, the MPs were just yelling at each other and finding fault.

Many have said that if there were a change in government, things would get better. But I beg to differ.

It would be the same old story, whoever takes over Putrajaya. People are suffering, while the politicians fight for power.

Politicians seem to forget about the real issues, such as police custodial deaths, mainly involving Indians. None of them has used their influence on social media to speak about this.

Contract doctors recently staged a protest as they were left unsure of their future within the public service. The irony was that doctors save lives, yet they seemed to be the ones sidelined.

I see these things happening around me and I feel worried and outraged. If this does not improve, the nation’s youth will be severely affected.

If there was a silver lining from the Covid-19 pandemic, it would be that this crisis had somehow united Malaysians. People of all races and backgrounds have come together to support each other.

They stepped out from their homes to help the needy. Some even volunteered at vaccination centres to speed up the vaccination process.

The contrast could not be more obvious. On one side, the politicians are engrossed in their games, while on the other, the people are working together to make the best out of a difficult situation.

To those facing tough times, the uncertainty and challenges will come to an end. There will come a day when we can leave our houses and move freely, just like the pre-Covid-19 days.

In order to accomplish this mission, Malaysians must continue to follow SOPs and care for each other.

We should prove to the world that by being united, we can overcome this pandemic. Through unity, strength.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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