It is incontrovertible that the Sheraton Move and the ensuing political turmoil resulted in the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak and the imposition of the MCO and CMCO as there was no Cabinet in Malaysia for 15 days from February 24 to March 9, 2020

It is incontrovertible that the Sheraton Move and the ensuing political turmoil resulted in the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak and the imposition of the movement control order (MCO) and CMHO, as there was no Cabinet in Malaysia for 15 days from February 24 to March 9, 2020.

I am surprised that there are people who are so dense and obtuse as to want to argue this point, but I believe thinking Malaysians know what is the truth.

The effect of this absence of a Cabinet for 15 days is reflected in the epidemiological curve of Covid-19 in Malaysia, where in the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak from January 25 to February 26, cumulative Covid-19 cases recorded 22 cases and no death, and there was no new case in the eleven days in the period from Feb. 16-26.

The second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak started on Feb. 27, beginning with an increase of two cases that day, till the imposition of movement control order on March 18, which registered 227 new cases in the previous 24 hours and recorded a total of 790 Covid-19 cases.

According to a model used by JP Morgan, the epidemiological curve was to peak in mid-April with 6,300 cases, but thanks to MCO, it peaked on April 3, and was flattened and on a downward decline. Yesterday, there was a daily increase of 50 Covid-19 cases, bringing the grand total in Malaysia to 7,059 cases.

After the peak on April 3, which saw an increase of 217 cases in the previous 24 hours, the daily increase had been below 200 cases, and in the past 16 days, the daily increase had been in two-digit figures. I am looking forward to the day when there will be no daily increase of Covid-19 cases and no Covid-19 death.

Malaysia should have avoided the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak when the Covid-19 outbreak was contained at 22 cases and no death, and in the ten days from Feb. 16 – 16 when there were no new daily cases.

But because of the Sheraton Move and the ensuing political turmoil resulting in no Cabinet for 15 days, there was a resurgence of the Covid-19 outbreak resulting in a second wave, which fortunately have now been brought under control to yesterday’s 7,059 cases and 114 deaths.

I have seen the video made by American dentist, Dr. Dustin Pfundheller praising the government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, and I agree with him that thanks to the dedication of the frontliners and the cooperation of Malaysians, Malaysia had done a good job in bringing the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak under control since the imposition of the MCO and CMCO.

As Dustin Pfundheller pointed out, Malaysia in March had three times more cases than any country in Southeast Asia but is now quite a safe country in terms of Covid-19 outbreak.

In fact, Malaysia was the world’s top 18th country in terms of the number of Covid-19 cases when the MCO was imposed on March 18, but now we are ranked No. 57 in the world, and we performed particularly well when compared with the world’s top five countries in terms of cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, as seen from the following figures for March 18 and May 20:

Total number of Covid-19 cases:

March 18 May 20 Number of Times Increase
USA 9,269 1,618,822 175 times
Russia 147 317,554 2,160 times
Brazil 529 310,087 586 times
Spain 14,769 280,117 18.9 times
UK 2,626 250,908 95.5 times
Malaysia 790 7,059 8.9 times

In another video made on 25th April, Dustin Pfundheller focussed on “Top 15 countries fighting Covid-19” which excluded Malaysia completely. Malaysia was also omitted in the “Honourable Mention” of 10 countries at the end of the video.

This caused him on May 9 to make a video on “Malaysia’s coronavirus Incredible Success story – Covid-19” to make up for his omission to recognize Malaysia as “one of the safest countries in the world” after having three times more Covid-19 cases than any country in Southeast Asia in March.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global phenomenon, and I have always advocated that Malaysia must learn from the successes and mistakes of other nations so that we can develop one of the best practices instead of pursuing the worst practices in the pandemic.

But if an incontrovertible fact that the absence of a Cabinet for 15 days caused by the Sheraton Move and the ensuing political turmoil had led to the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak and the CMO and ECMO in Malaysia could be disputed, how are Malaysians to move forward in the next two to five years to learn to live with the coronavirus until an effective vaccine is developed and widely available?

We must now move forward to the next phase of the invisible war against Covid-19 pandemic – to contain the Covid-19 outbreak and ensure that there is no resurgence while quickly effecting a bounce-back of the Malaysian economy and ensure that no one in Malaysia is left behind in the post-pandemic era.

To do this, the government must have an exit plan strategy and blueprint which is a “whole-of-society” programme which takes the people into confidence, ensure fullest transparency and where Parliament can play its constitutional role of oversight and scrutiny of government actions to prevent abuses of power, rampant corruption, revival of kleptocracy and widespread violation of human rights.

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 22nd May 2020