The first item of business of Dewan Rakyat when it reconvenes on Oct. 25 for the 2022 Budget session is to amend the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders to allow the parliamentary special select committee on health, science and innovation to hold weekly public hearings on the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic
The Australian Parliament has a Select Committee on Covid-19 pandemic since April 2020 which had held over fifty public hearings in the last 18 months on the Australian government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and this is a parliamentary best practice which should be adopted by the Malaysian Parliament.
May be, if there is such a parliamentary best practice to provide a more effective parliamentary check on the Executive, the government would have been kept on its toes, and Malaysia would have been spared the disastrous last 10 months of the Covid-19 pandemic since the proclamation of an emergency on January 11, 2021 to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The declaration of an emergency and the suspension of Parliament and the State Assemblies on January 11 were such disastrous decisions that Malaysia had not been able to return to the pre-emergency days of the Covid-19 pandemic after nearly two months of a new Prime Minister.
We had a cumulative total of 138,224 Covid-19 cases and 555 Covid-19 deaths on January 11, 2021 which has increased to the cumulative total of 2,361,529 Covid-19 cases and 27,593 Covid-19 deaths yesterday.
On January 11, 2021, we had a 2,232 daily new Covid-19 cases and four daily Covid-19 deaths. Yesterday, we had 7,950 daily new Covid-19 cases and 68 daily Covid-19 deaths.
Will we be able to return to the pre-emergency days of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of daily new Covid-19 cases and daily Covid-19 deaths on the First Hundred Days of Ismail Sabri as the ninth Prime Minister on Nov. 28, 2021?
There should also be public hearings as to why Malaysia is the worst-performing nation in ASEAN in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yesterday is another day when we continue to lose out to Indonesia in daily new cases and daily deaths, with 1,233 new Covid-19 cases and 48 deaths in Indonesia as compared to 7,950 cases and 68 deaths in Malaysia.