A Drastic Action Is Needed To Cure Malaysia

The average Malaysian with illness other than COVID-19 now find themselves with almost nowhere to go to seek treatment (Photo courtesy of The Straits Times)

Let me just start this posting off with a few numbers to remind us of where we are right now.


Today is 3rd August 2021, Day 504 since leaving the Old Norm. It has been 228 days since we had seen ZERO deaths due to covid-19 in a day. Never mind the one million plus accumulated number of recorded cases since the pandemic hit our shores on 25 January 2020. We look at the harder numbers: with today’s 17,105 new cases, we have 203,664 people undergoing treatment or quarantine for being COVID-19 positive. 9,598 have died. 3,854 of those (40.15 percent) died in the month of July 2021 alone. We have lost 219 in the first three days of August 2021. In the same corresponding period in July 2021, our worst month, the first three days saw 107 deaths, less than half that of August 2021’s. And today, 1,066 are being treated in ICU wards nationwide, 537 in need of breathing assistance. That is 50.4 percent of those in ICU wards. Things do not look like they are going to get any better.


The government had worked very well during the second wave of the pandemic in Malaysia. We had only 337 cases recorded in July 2020 from a peak of 3,236 cases in April. Only two deaths were recorded in the month of August. Politics spoiled the whole effort with the Sabah state elections. Ministry of Health frontliners were fighting raging wildfires and still are. The first in a series of strategems in fighting wildfires should be the establishment of control lines: natural or man-made boundaries employed by firefighters to contain wildfires. That had worked to contain the spread during the second wave (March 2020-August 2020), but it was the politicians that had let us down (Sabah state elections). Things spiralled downwards from then on.

It was hoped that the Proclamation of Emergency sought by the government from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would have provided both the frontliners as well as the rakyat with the same boundaries, but that never happened. From 12 January 2021 through July 2021, thousands of private vehicles were still allowed to cross state borders, giving rise to clusters outside the Greater Klang Valley. By the time the government reacted and put a stop to those abusing MITI letters to go back for both the Hari Raya, thousands were infected. It is unfortunate that it is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s image that has to absorb the flak.

The only good things to have hatched from the Emergency were the ability of the government to procure medical equipment including the various types of vaccines without having to go though the debates in Parliament. The Opposition has not been able to contribute anything worthy of mention, other than its hunger to wrestle back power from the PN government. That is all the interest that it has shown thus far, just as UMNO, unable to swallow its pride after the trashing it received three years ago, is not in favour of being led by a smaller party


Statutory Declarations and press statements do not determine who gets to govern. The only way is through a vote on a motion of no confidence against the sitting Prime Minister in Parliament. That can be determined when Parliament assembles again. The worry is that if the Prime Minister loses support and his government imminently resigns, this vicious cycle of struggle for power will not end here. We have not yet achieve herd immunity to safely call for elections.

If the Prime Minister loses support and there is no one clear candidate with enough support to stymie an opposition to the formation of the candidate’s government, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has a way out as per Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution, where only His Majesty has the right to proclaim an Emergency if His Majesty is satisfied that ‘a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the federation or any part thereof is threatened.’

A MAGERAN headed by a Director of Operations and supported by members chosen by His Majesty could administer and manage the country while politicians observe a cooling-off period. They can be professionals, economists, ex-military, ex-police as well as ex-judges, while the civil service shall continue to be headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government.

If there is a need to amend the Federal Constitution to reinstate measures previously removed so that the Executive does not have too much power as it does now, this is the time to do so. Only when things have stabilised will general elections be allowed to be held again to choose a civilian government. The mechanism of this MAGERAN and which parts of the Federal Constitution that need to be suspended, will have to be carefully thought out.

I find that the feeling on the ground is for such a council to come into existence. Everyone is now looking at a strong leadership by people who actually know how to handle the situation. We can take a cue from this call for the fight against COVID-19 to be given to the Army to handle. We cannot go on like this, locked within the four walls of our homes with our savings dwindling very fast, while our frontliners bathe in their sweat on a daily basis without an end in sight, and our politicians fight each other for power without giving so much as a hoot to the perils being faced daily by the people.

Someone asked me if it would be constitutionally legal for such a thing to be done. It has been done before. It worked then. And it is provided for by the Federal Constitution. How unconstitutional can that be?

PATI: Kebajikan Bermula Di Rumah Sendiri

Kapal-kapal Tentera Laut Myanmar yang digunakan dalam misi membawa pulang PATI Myanmar semalam. Dari kiri: kapal sokongan pelbagai guna UMS Moattama, kapal friget UMS Sin Phyu Shin, dan kapal hospital UMS Thanlwin

Kebajikan bermula di rumah sendiri. Ungkapan tersebut mula digunakan oleh seorang ahli fasafah Inggeris bernama John Wycliffe pada tahun 1382. Namun, konsep tersebut wujud dalam agama-agama utama dunia. Dalam Islam, sebuah hadis daripada Abu Hurairah R.A, Nabi S.A.W telah bersabda yang bermaksud: “Dan dinar (harta) yang kamu belanjakan di jalan Allah dan dinar yang kamu berikan kepada hamba (untuk membebaskan) dan dinar yang kamu sedekahkan kepada orang miskin serta dinar yang kamu sedekahkan kepada keluargamu. Maka, yang paling besar ganjaran pahalanya adalah yang kamu sedekahkan kepada keluargamu.” (Hadis riwayat Muslim No. 9855).

Dalam kitab Injil King James, 1611 pula disebut: “Sekiranya ada yang berbelanja bukan untuk keluarganya sendiri, terutamanya yang tinggal di rumahnya sendiri, dia telah membelakangkan agamanya, dan adalah lebih teruk dari yang kafir.” (1 Timothy 5:8).


Semalam, tiga buah kapal tentera laut Myanmar telah belayar dari Pangkalan TLDM Lumut membawa 1,086 orang pendatang asing tanpa izin Myanmar. Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia (JIM) dalah suatu kenyataan berkata kesemua 1,086 warga Myanmar yang dihantar pulang tersebut adalah merupakan PATI dan tidak ada di kalangan mereka yang merupakan pelarian Rohingya atau pencari suaka. Kesemua mereka telah bersetuju untuk pulang secara sukarela dan tidak dipaksa oleh mana-mana pihak.

Penghantaran PATI Myanmar ini adalah merupakan sebahagian dari proses penghantaran PATI berterusan yang diusahakan oleh JIM.

Berikutan penghantaran pulang PATI Myanmar, NGO-NGO yang memperjuangkan hak asasi manusia mula berbunyi kerana mendakwa ada terdapat pelarian Rohingya dan pemegang kad UNHCR di kalangan PATI Myanmar tersebut. Satu perintah mahkamah juga telah diperolehi pada hari pelayaran untuk memaksa kerajaan menghentikan sementara penghantaran pulang PATI Myanmar tersebut sehingga menerima arahan mahkamah selanjutnya.

Masalahnya ialah, jam berapa perintah mahkamah tersebut diperolehi dan pada pukul berapa pula perintah tersebut diterima oleh pihak JIM? Apa yang NGO-NGO ini mahu JIM lakukan sekiranya PATI tersebut telah diserahkan kepada pihak berkuasa Myanmar dan telahpun menaiki kapal-kapal perang tersebut? Sebaik mereka jejakkan kaki ke atas kapal-kapal tersebut, mereka telah pun berada di bawah bidang kuasa Myanmar dan bukan lagi Malaysia. Pada ketika tersebut, hanya peperangan boleh menghalang pelayaran kapal-kapal tentera laut Myanmar.


Pada tahun 2019, seramai 192,260 orang PATI yang telah tampil untuk menyertai program ‘Back For Good.’ Jumlah kompaun yang telah diperolehi kerajaan ialah sebanyak RM134.6 juta. Dalam tahun 2020 pula, setakat 2 November 2020 JIM telah membuat pengusiran terkumpul Pendatang Asing Tanpa Izin (PATI) seramai 30,452 orang. Jumlah ini adalah jauh kurangnya berbanding pada tahun 2019 kerana penutupan sempadan antarabangsa akibat pandemik COVID-19.

Justeru, kerajaan memperkenalkan program rekalibrasi PATI yang memberi PATI peluang untuk bekerja di Malaysia dengan sah. Program ini berbeza dengan program-program pemutihan PATI yang dijalankan sebelum ini kerana majikan hanya perlu berinteraksi dengan JIM dan bukan lagi melalui pihak ketiga untuk mengurangkan kebarangkalian berlakunya jenayah rasuah.

PATI yang ada dalam depoh-depoh tahanan Imigresen boleh memilih untuk menyertai program rekalibrasi ini ataupun pulang ke negara asal masing-masing. Setakat 13 November 2020, terdapat 20,000 orang PATI yang ditahan di depoh-depoh tahanan Imigresen.


Menahan 20,000 orang PATI bukanlah sesuatu yang murah. Mengikut kiraan, kerajaan membelanjakan sebanyak RM800,000 sehari untuk memberi mereka makan. Ini bermakna sekiranya tempoh tiga hingga empat bulan diperlukan sehingga mereka dihantar pulang, rakyat menanggung sebanyak RM96 juta. Ini tidak termasuk kos-kos lain seperti utiliti (elektrik dan air), penyelenggaraan bangunan kompleks tahanan. Di era pandemik ini pula, kos calitan saringan COVID-19 dianggarkan sekitar RM300 seorang sekali calitan. Ini menjadikan kos calitan seorang sebanyak RM900 atau RM18 juta untuk kesemua 20,000 PATI dalam tahanan. Sekali lagi, ini tidak termasuk kos rawatan bagi mereka yang bukan sahaja menghidap penyakit COVID-19, tetapi lain-lain sakit yang memerlukan rawatan. Maka, jumlah kos yang ditanggung oleh kita semua, rakyat Malaysia, untuk menahan 20,000 orang PATI dan memberi makan serta ujian saringan COVID-19 sebanyak RM114 juta, tidak termasuk kos rawatan, utiliti, senggaraan dan lain-lain.

Kalau kita pergi balik kepada konsep Islam dan Kristian mengenai kebajikan yang sepatutnya bermula di rumah, RM114 juta boleh digunakan untuk menyaring seramai 380,000 orang rakyat Malaysia untuk penyakit COVID-19. Dalam konteks vaksin HPV yang berharga RM600 di hospital-hospital swasta yang disuntik secara percuma oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia untuk mengekang barah serviks, seramai 190,000 orang wanita rakyat Malaysia dapat diselamatkan dari menghidap barah serviks. RM114 juta juga bersamaan dengan 950 unit rumah kos rendah di Kuala Lumpur.

Berbalik kepada 1,086 orang yang dihantar pulang ke Myanmar semalam, kita rakyat Malaysia tidak perlu lagi menanggung sebanyak RM5,212,800 kos makanan untuk empat bulan, RM36,000 kos calitan ujian saringan COVID-19. Sebaliknya kos tersebut boleh digunakan untuk memberi tiga kali saringan untuk 5,832 orang rakyat Malaysia atau menyuntik vaksin HPV kepada 8,748 wanita rakyat Malaysia dan menyelamatkan nyawa mereka.


Kita sememangnya bersimpati dengan pelarian yang terpaksa tinggalkan negara mereka demi keselamatan dan kelangsungan hidup. Tetapi, kita perlu berpada-pada dalam simpati yang ditunjukkan. Bukanlah sesuatu yang menghairankan sekiranya ada di kalangan PATI Myanmar yang dihantar balik ini sendiri dengan secara sukarela memohon untuk pulang ke negara asal mereka.

Pengalaman Malaysia menerima seramai 250,000 orang pelarian Vietnam bermula bulan Mei 1975, sebulan setelah jatuhnya Saigon ke tangan Vietnam Utara adalah pengalaman yang amat pahit sekali. Malaysia terpaksa menanggung bukan sahaja pelarian-pelarian tersebut serta jenayah berat dan masalah sosial yang dilakukan oleh pelarian-pelarian tersebut, tetapi juga kecaman hebat oleh negara-negara barat yang cakap tidak serupa bikin. Beban ini telah Malaysia tanggung selama 30 tahun sebelum saki-baki pelarian akhirnya diterima oleh negara-negara tersebut dengan tidak rela. Dari jumlah tersebut, seramai 9,000 orang telah secara sukarela minta untuk pulang ke Vietnam yang mempunyai sistem politik yang tidak mereka kenali.

Kita kena ambil kira juga takrif pelarian dan pencari suaka. Apabila seorang itu lari dari negara sendiri akibat ditindas ke kem-kem pelarian di Bangladesh, maka dia adalah seorang pelarian. Apabila dia melarikan diri dari Bangladesh untuk datang ke Malaysia, dia bukan lagi pelarian yang melarikan diri dari ditindas. Sebaliknya dia menjadi seorang PATI yang cuba untuk masuk ke negara ini dengan cara haram.

Kos yang tinggi yang perlu ditanggung untuk menampung kehidupan PATI dalam tahanan juga adalah tidak adil kepada rakyat Malaysia. Bagaimana NGO-NGO yang sering menyalahkan kerajaan dalam hal-hal berkaitan dengan PATI dan pelarian boleh mengutamakan kebajikan orang luar berbanding dengan hak rakyat negara ini sekali? Maka saya ajukan soalan ini kepada anda para pembaca: apakah hak 20,000 pendatang asing tanpa izin ini mengatasi hak dan keperluan 190,000 orang wanita rakyat Malaysia yang berkemungkinan menghadapi barah serviks, atau 380,000 orang rakyat Malaysia yang memerlukan saringan COVID-19, atau 950 buah keluarga miskin rakyat Malaysia yang memerlukan rumah?

Siapa yang anda sokong? NGO-NGO yang memperjuangkan hak PATI untuk ditanggung oleh kita, atau rancangan kerajaan untuk terus menghantar PATI pulang ke negara asal?

Tepuk dada, tanya selera.

Darurat? Kenapa Tidak PKP?

Gambar ihsan Malaya Post

Dulu kita dapat meratakan graf penularan wabak COVID-19 hanya dengan PKP tanpa perlu isytihar darurat sebab pada 18 Mac 2020, jumlah terkumpul kes COVID-19 ialah sebanyak 790 kes, kes baharu sebanyak 117 kes, 728 orang sedang dirawat dan purata kes sehari bagi 10 hari ialah 82.625 kes.

Kerajaan kerugian RM2.4 billion setiap hari semasa PKP dikuatkuasakan.

Kemudian kita laksanakan PKPP dan benarkan rakyat Malaysia teruskan dengan kehidupan dengan mematuhi norma baharu.

Shafie Apdal mengambil langkah drastik tidak menunggu keputusan mahkamah dan berjaya mendapat persetujuan TYT Gabenor Sabah untuk membubarkan DUN Sabah untuk memberi laluan kepada PRN Sabah walaupun terdapat banyak bantahan akibat khuatir kes COVID-19 akan naik mendadak.

Pada 13 September 2020, 13 hari sebelum PRN Sabah, Ahli Parlimen DAP Teresa Kok persoal cadangan kerajaan untuk kuarantin individu yang pulang dari berkempen dan mengundi di Sabah ( https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/542448 ).

Ada yang bertanya kenapa perlunya darurat sekarang sedangkan pada 18 Mac 2020 kita laksanakan PKP dan berjaya mendatarkan graf?

Jawapannya ialah keadaan tidak lagi sama. Jumlah terkumpul kes COVID-19 ialah 144,518. 2,985 kes baharu berbanding 117. 32,377 orang sedang dirawat berbanding 728 manakala jumlah kematian Ialah sebanyak 563 berbanding 2. Purata kes sehari bagi 10 hari ialah sebanyak 2,544.1 berbanding 82.625 sehari pada 18 Mac 2020.

Kita akhiri tahun 2020 dengan kadar 3,455.96 kes bagi setiap satu juta orang penduduk. Semalam (13 Januari 2021), kadarnya meningkat kepada 4,419.51 kes bagi setiap satu juta orang penduduk.

Katil-katil hospital semakin penuh. Sistem perubatan kita kini mengalami tekanan hebat. Kita tidak ada masa lagi untuk berbincang atau berdebat. Kita perlukan tindakan serta-merta.

Ada juga yang bertanggapan bahawa darurat ini diumumkan oleh Muhyiddin Yassin untuk memelihara kedudukannya sebagai Perdana Menteri. Persoalannya ialah, memandangkan kuasa eksekutif negara ini dan hak mengisytiharkan darurat adalah kuasa, hak dan mengikut budi bicara Yang di-Pertuan Agong, adakah suara-suara ini menuduh bahawa Seri Paduka itu bodoh dan hanya menjadi Pak Turut milik Perdana Menteri?

Kita baca apa yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh Istana Negara mengenai hal ini:

“Setelah memperhalusi penjelasan YAB Perdana Menteri dan sembah taklimat daripada Ketua Setiausaha Negara Tan Sri Mohd Zuki bin Ali; Peguam Negara Tan Sri Idrus bin Harun; Panglima Angkatan Tentera Tan Sri Haji Affendi bin Buang; Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Abdul Hamid bin Bador, Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham bin Abdullah dan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Datuk Abdul Ghani bin Salleh, maka Al-Sultan Abdullah berpandangan bahawa penularan wabak COVID-19 di negara ini berada di tahap yang amat kritikal dan adanya keperluan Pengisytiharan Proklamasi Darurat berdasarkan Fasal (1) Perkara 150 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Perlu dimaklumkan bahawa perkenan ini juga telah mengambil kira rundingan Seri Paduka Baginda dengan Raja-Raja Melayu.”


Bukankah sebelum ini Muhyiddin, disokong oleh ahli-ahli Majlis Keselamatan Negara, pernah memohon agar Yang di-Pertuan Agong isytihar darurat, namun ditolak oleh Kebawah Duli Tuanku?

Keadaan di hospital-hospital kerajaan amat kritikal. Tidak bolehkah kita bendung dahulu penularan wabak ini?

Untuk yang tak sabar nak jadi Perdana Menteri, kenapa tak ambil masa 24 bulan sebelum PRU15 ini untuk berkhidmat sebenar-benarnya untuk rakyat dan menangi semula kepercayaan rakyat? Sudahkah anda pelajari sebab-sebab anda ditolak rakyat tiga tahun lepas?

Mereka Mengundang Bahaya Agar Kita Dapat Lena

Salah sebuah pesawat Bombardier CL-415MP dari dua buah yang dimiliki Maritim Malaysia, bersiap sedia untuk melakukan rondaan maritim malam.

Setiap hari selama lima hari dalam minggu pertama bulan Disember 2020, secara puratanya kapal Maritim Malaysia KM Malawali telah mengusir sebanyak 36 buah bot nelayan Indonesia dari perairan negeri Perak. Begitulah cabaran yang dihadapi oleh pihak Maritim Malaysia negeri Perak khususnya dalam era pandemik COVID-19 ini.

Di sebelah Barat Laut Semenanjung Malaysia pula, kemungkinan para penyeludup gunakan laluan laut untuk menyeludup masuk dan keluar barangan juga kian bertambah setelah Agensi Keselamatan Sempadan Malaysia (AKSEM) ketatkan lagi kawalan di sempadan Utara Semenanjung berikutan kejadian tembak-menembak dengan para penyeludup yang telah mengorbankan seorang anggota Pasukan Gerakan Am, Polis DiRaja Malaysia akhir bulan lepas.

Pandemik COVID-19 telah mengakibatkan pengangguran pada skala yang besar bukan sahaja di negara ini, malah juga di negara-negara jiran. Dalam bulan Ogos 2020 sahaja, seramai 2.67 juta orang pekerja di Indonesia telah hilang pekerjaan, menjadikan keseluruhan jumlah pengangguran sejak bermulanya wabak ini kepada 29.12 juta orang.

Dalam bulan yang sama, sebuah laporan yang dihasilkan bersama oleh Bank Pembangunan Asia (ADB) dan Pertubuhan Buruh Antarabangsa (ILO) menyatakan bahawa wabak COVID-19 akan menyebabkan di antara 1,117,000 dan 1,675,000 orang akan hilang pekerjaan di Bangladesh dalam tahun ini sahaja.

Perairan Malaysia bukan sahaja terbuka kepada cabaran Pendatang Asing Tanpa Izin (PATI) dari kedua-dua buah negara tersebut yang ingin mencari peluang pekerjaan serta mengambil kesempatan ke atas program Rekalibrasi PATI yang diumumkan baru-baru ini, tetapi juga kepada para penjenayah serta penyeludup dari negara jiran.

Buktinya jelas apabila Maritim Malaysia Negeri Pulau Pinang berjaya menahan satu percubaan menyeludup masuk dadah jenis Methamphitamine dan Ecstasy pada jam 8.20 malam, 3 Disember 2020 baru-baru ini.

Pengarah Maritim Pulau Pinang Kepten (M) Abd Razak Mohamed berkata ini merupakan rampasan dadah terbesar di negeri Pulau Pinang tahun ini. Setelah berlakunya aksi kejar-mengejar di laut selama lebih kurang 30 minit, dua orang individu ditahan bersama sebuah bot yang dipacu dua buah enjin sangkut dengan kekuatan 500 kuasa kuda bernilai RM150,000, manakala hablur kristal dadah yang dirampas adalah di anggar seberat 240 kilogram dengan nilai anggaran sebanyak RM10.53 juta. Ini menjadikan nilai rampasan pada malam tersebut berjumlah RM10.68 juta.

Pada 1 Disember 2020, sebuah pesawat sayap kaku jenis Bombardier CL-415MP milik Maritim Malaysia telah melakukan rondaan malam di perairan Utara pantai Barat Semenanjung Malaysia. Kawasan rondaan pesawat ini yang dipandu oleh Leftenan Komander (M) Yusni bin Sari dengan dibantu oleh Leftenan Komander (M) Mohammad Azli bin Razali selaku pembantu juruterbang merangkumi perairan negeri-negeri Perlis, Kedah (termasuk Pulau Langkawi dan Pulau Perak), Pulau Pinang, dan Perak (termasuk Pulau Jarak) iaitu sebuah kawasan berkeluasan 7200 batu nautika persegi.

Rondaan seumpama ini dilakukan untuk mempertingkatkan Kesedaran Penguasaan Maritim (Maritime Domain Awareness) – atau MDA, pihak Maritim Malaysia khusunya, dan seluruh pasukan keselamatan amnya. Peningkatan MDA hanya boleh dilakukan dengan mengumpul maklumat mengenai semua jenis kapal, bot dan apa jua aktiviti maritim yang berada dalam perairan Malaysia, dan kemudiannya dirujuk bersama maklumat yang dikumpulkan oleh lain-lain agensi keselamatan, dianalisa dan dijadikan asas serta rujukan untuk operasi-operasi yang bakal dilakukan di masa hadapan.

Pengumpulan data dan maklumat serta rakaman video dan gambar-gambar dilakukan oleh Leftenan Komander (M) Mohd Hafizi bin Mohd Nor selaku Air Surveillance Operator (ASO) atau Pegawai Sistem Operasi Udara penerbangan tersebut. Dua orang anak kapal iaitu Bintara Kanan (M) Jamaludin bin Masri dan Laskar Kanan (M) Mohd Faizul bin Mat Yamme membantu pengoperasian pesawat.

Ternyata perairan Malaysia menjadi tumpuan bot nelayan asing (BNA) apabila pesawat mengesan kehadiran 43 buah BNA yang sedang rancak melakukan aktiviti penangkapan ikan lebih 8 batu nautika ke dalam perairan negeri Perak, lebih kurang 31 batu nautika ke arah Barat Laut dari Pulau Jarak. Leftenan Komander (M) Mohd Hafizi dengan segera berhubung dengan kapal ronda KM Malawali yang dinakhodai oleh Pegawai Memerintah Bertugas, Leftenan Komander (M) Fadzliana binti Fadzil, yang kemudiannya telah berkejar ke lokasi untuk tindakan pengusiran. KM Malawali telah mengiringi kumpulan BNA tersebut sehingga mereka kembali berada di dalam perairan negara mereka sendiri.

Kapal Maritim Malawali menjadi benteng utama penghindaran PATI dan lain-lain anasir di perairan negeri Perak

Walaupun merupakan para juruterbang yang amat berpengalaman, Leftenan Komander (M) Yusni dan Leftenan Komander (M) Mohammad Azli tetap berhadapan dengan risiko-risiko penerbangan malam seperti kekeliruan ruang (spatial disorientation) dan persekitaran penglihatan yang merosot (degraded visual environment) ketika membuat penerbangan waktu malam walaupun dalam keadaan cuaca penglihatan (Visual Meteorological Condition atau VMC). Ini adalah kerana amat mudah untuk terkeliru di antara kegelapan laut dan langit. Biarpun terdapat bintang-bintang di langit, namun lampu-lampu bot-bot dan kapal-kapal juga boleh mengelirukan keadaan, terutamanya apabila juruterbang perlu terbang dengan rendah seperti pada malam rondaan tersebut, iaitu sekitar 300 kaki (91 meter) dari paras laut. Hanya pengalaman dan kecekapan para juruterbang sahaja yang menjadi benteng di antara kejayaan operasi dan tragedi.

Begitu juga dengan para pegawai dan anggota Maritim Malaysia negeri Pulau Pinang dan KM Malawali yang terpaksa berhadapan dengan kemungkinan bahaya serangan balas daripada para pelaku kesalahan yang terdesak untuk meloloskan diri. Anda lihatlah sendiri aksi kejar-mengejar pada malam 3 Disember 2020 di perairan Pulau Pinang dan perhatikan sendiri bagaimana mereka sanggup membahayakan diri supaya kita dapat lena diulit mimpi.

Kejadian kejar-mengejar di antara bot penyeludup dadah dan bot Maritim Malaysia di perairan Gertak Sanggul dan Teluk Kumbar, Pulau Pinang pada 3 Disember 2020.

The Unnecessary 260

Among the idiot politicians during the recent Sabah state election

Politicians don’t seem to have an inkling as to the reason people are angry. That’s because they’re selfish and greedy for power.

There was no real need for an election to be held in Sabah. It was the Governor’s call anyway whether or not to dissolve but only after the CM had made such a request. The request could have come only when the CM no longer has the confidence of the members of the Dewan.

There was no need to downplay the real dangers of COVID-19. But they did, and went ahead with it. They had programmes and ceramahs attended by definitely more than 250 people. No physical distancing by attendees and party people alike. Lots of handshakes.

There was no need for hundreds of campaigners from Malaya to flood Sabah to lend support. Were the Sabahans handicapped? Or were they incapable of winning the hearts and minds of voters there, in which case it underscores the notion that those parties did not have the support from local voters?

In this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, campaigns should be done digitally. And if the politicians have been doing their job, servicing the voters continually, there is no need to campaign even. And we would not have seen these 260 cases yesterday. Do you think by apologising you can cure the sick, turn back time and stop the virus from spreading?

Equally fast spreading is the IDIOT-19 virus where, again, politicians and their supporters are calling for a snap general election. If there’s anything that needs to be snapped really would be their neck that holds their redundantly empty head.

What does he expect by making this statement? That everything will be dandy?

Why Are We Purposely Losing the COVID-19 War?

COVID-19 patients in a High Dependency Unit (courtesy of Bloomberg)

On Day 1 MCO: our 10-day average number of cases was 146 cases per day.
On Day 10 it was 159 cases per day.
On Day 20 it was 170.
On Day 30 it was 69.
On Day 40 it was 40. All the above were during the full MCO.

On Day 50, we introduced the Conditional MCO. The 10-day average number of daily new cases was 39 cases per day.

On Day 60 it was 22.
On Day 70 it was 15.
On Day 80 it went up to 37. And on 10 June 2020 we allowed interstate travel.

On Day 90 it was 11 cases.
On Day 100 it was 6 cases.
On Day 110 it was 5 cases.
On Day 120 it was 3 cases. We were winning the war. Or so we thought.

On Day 130 (26 July 2020) we allowed the Tourism industry to reopen. The 10-day average daily new cases was at 13. The Sabah State Assembly was dissolved on 29 July 2020.

On Day 140 it was at 21.
On Day 150 it was 26.
On Day 160 it went down to 11.
On Day 170 it was still at 11. Unofficial campaigning in Sabah was in full swing. 8 days later (12 September 2020) the Benteng Cluster was identiified.

Day 180 it was at 31. 8 days later on 22 September 2020, MOH announces three clusters in Sabah and one in Kedah (Benteng, Sungai, Pulau and Selamat).

On Day 190 (24 September 2020), it is already at 71 cases per day. 777 people were under treatment. 3 days later (27 September 2020), the number of cases under treatment was 950: an average of 58 new patients per day in three days. In September 2020 till yesterday, we’ve had 7 deaths bringing the total to 134 deaths.

The Ministry of Health for some reason has not quarantined those returning from Sabah at quarantine centers; instead, relying on Malaysians who are lazy enough to turn on their signal indicator before changing lanes on the roads to be disciplined enough to perform home self-quarantine.

On Day 113 (9 July 2020) we had only 63 people nationwide being treated for COVID-19. Yesterday, 80 days later on Day 193, we were treating 950. I shudder what the numbers will be like in the next two weeks following the conclusion of the Sabah State Election.

COVID-19: When the Government Goofed

MCO Day 141 (5 August 2021):

We started MCO with a 10-day average of 146 cases per day, followed by 159 cases per day 10 days later, and peaked at 170 cases per day 10 days following that. The number of those being treated peaked at 2,596 on 5 April 2020. The highest number of daily new cases was 235 on 26 March 2020 (MCO +9).

The numbers went down to 37 cases per day 4 days before the commencement of the current RMCO (PKPP). 36 days after the RMCO came into effect, the number of cases per day on a 10-day average dropped to 3. The number of those being treated was 1,551. Everyone was happy.

56 days after the RMCO came into effect, the average number of daily new cases on a 10-day average has increased to 21. 8 people have died since. The number of those being treated went down to 63 on 9 July 2020. It is now at 196.

Things became too relaxed too soon. The government goofed when it trusted people who cannot even signal before changing lanes or turn into an exit, to do self-quarantine at home.

Now, Kedah police say they cannot fully enforce the lockdown of those areas affected by the Sivagangga cluster because of the existence of ‘jalan tikus’.

Re-Think The Conditional MCO, Please

A stretch of vehichles queue for inspection at a police roadblock ereted to combat the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak at Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh – RONNIE CHIN/The Star

Locking down a country is an expensive exercise, no doubt.  After 45 days and almost RM63 billion loss made, the government has decided to loosen the Movement Control Order (MCO) a bit to kickstart the economy.

The announcement of a Conditional MCO (C-MCO) by the Prime Minister was made as part of his Labour Day speech.  Most sectors of the economy will be allowed to operate again on Monday 4 May 2020, except those that involve services where physical contact cannot be avoided, or where crowd control is virtually impossible.  Restaurants are allowed to operate as long as they meet requirements such as checking the body temperature of customers, prepare a registry for customers to leave their contact details in case contact tracing is required, maintaining a 2-meter distance between tables, and place lines on the floor for customers to queue before paying their bill.

Offices, too, should produce their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and prepare physical health risk mitigation measures such as providing body temperature checks, separating cubicles, common area and items cleaning procedures, flexible working times so that workers do not all come to the office at the same time, and so on.

For those who are health-conscious, they can now resume jogging, or riding their bicycle, play tennis, badminton or even golf – as long as social distancing is maintained and not done in a large group.

Some say it is high time that the government returns the responsibility of not spreading the virus back to the public.  After all, it is not like the virus is going to go away in such a short time.  It will take another two years before the war against COVID-19 can be won.  Therefore, we should learn to live with it.  Just follow the recommendations: maintain your social distance and wash your hands thoroughly more frequently.

The only problem is rules and regulations to Malaysians are like bicycles are to fish.  They just don’t care.  Almost immediately after the announcement was made, traffic on the road increased, parents took their children out to do groceries, some are already without face masks.  Wet markets no longer see social distancing.  Videos and photos of the Batu Berendam Wholesale Market, the Sumayyah Market in Tumpat, and the Taman Maluri Wet Market showed that it was free for all again.  That night and even last night, cars were back on the roads while motorcycles raced through the wee hours of the morning. And to top that all off, a policeman was killed by a speeding Toyota Hilux driven by a drunk driver!

I understand that it is costing the government in the region of RM2.4 billion for every day that the economy is under a lockdown.  I understand the need to kickstart the economy so that money could be made and jobs could be saved.  But pray tell, how does playing tennis or going jogging help kickstart the economy?

The announcement of the implementation of the Conditional MCO was made on a Friday, such wrong timing, because the implementation starts the following Monday.  There is not enough time for companies to have SOPs and physical health risk mitigation steps in place.  I do not know why is there a rush to get things done but this is just like that stupid decision to allow barbers and hairdressers to operate – a decision that was rescinded the following day.

The government should have given time between Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May for these measures to be in place first and announce the first day of work as Monday 11 May instead.

It is also good that restaurants are allowed to open, but dining-in is really not necessary.  Most restaurants have remained open since the start of the MCO to allow operators to deliver food to customers or for them to do self-pickup.  Yes, sales must have been a lot less than normal then, but how many tables and chairs can a restaurant have with social distancing being a prerequisite?  The whole idea of an MCO is to reduce exposure to the Coronavirus.  People will be going back to work and will definitely need to eat.  Therefore, I think it would be wiser to maintain restaurant operations for takeaways and deliveries as the volume of sales will go up anyway.  That would help reduce the exposure to the Coronavirus.

According to Dr Phillippa Lally, a Senior Research Fellow at the University College’s Behavioural Science and Health department, it takes more than two months before a new behaviour becomes automatic – 66 days to be exact.  What it means is that it takes 66 days for this new habit of wearing face mask, washing of hands for more than 20 seconds, social distancing and so on would take 66 days before it becomes a habit.

For that reason, during the first three months of military training no recruit or officer cadet are allowed to have visitors or go on outings because new values are being grinded into them.  Once these values have become a new habit, they are allowed some freedom.  These new habits will only become a lifestyle in six months, the time that they are allowed to graduate.  For officer cadets, they spend another six months being turned into officers from mere soldiers.

Even Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Lam Sai Kit agrees that the Conditional MCO has been introduced too early.  Citing the 95 local transmissions out of 105 new cases on Saturday, the Nipah virus expert said that there are still too many local transmissions for the government to relax the MCO.

The academician who was involved in the discovery of the Nipah virus in 1998 said in a press statement that he does not object to the loosening of MCO, but the relaxation is far too much and too soon.

“With the relaxation of MCO, there is every likelihood of a surge of new clusters and cases. Can we really cope with increased testing and contact tracing?

“Can we empower and engage the community to do their part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus?” he asked.

He expressed concerns that if the country faces a resurgence of cases, the MCO would have to be reinstated and what had been undertaken would be wasted.  Already on Sunday 3 May, we are seeing 122 new cases, with only 52 imported cases while 70 others are local transmissions.  There were two deaths as well.

The government should seriously re-think this Conditional MCO and not bow down to any pressure given by any quarter.  It was doing very well with its way of handling the COVID-19 crisis and citizens sang praises for it, until the PM decided to announce the Conditional MCO.

(This article was first published by The Mole )

RMO Day 26

Graph showing COVID-19 total cases, daily cases, total recovered, daily recovered, and total deaths in Malaysia from 11 March 2020 till 12 April 2020

Every day at 5pm I would listen in to the daily briefing by the DG Health Ministry. Although I applaud the efforts being done by the Ministry, I should caution against any form of optimism. Today, 12 April 2020, is no different. It is the 26th day of the Restricted Movement Order.

In the first graph, the blue line at the top represents total number of cases while the grey line beneath it represents total number of those who have recovered. Optimally, we should see the blue line tapering and flattening, the grey line showing exponential increase whilst decreasing the gap between the two. It is only when the blue line flattens and the grey line crosses it could be breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.

Graphs showing daily COVID-19 deaths and recovered cases in Malaysia from 11 March 2020 till 12 April 2020

In the second graphs, you can see that the number of daily deaths is showing a steady increase while those who have recovered daily is going on a downward trend. Our percentage of deaths have increased from 1.58 percent to 1.62 percent of total cases. 

Sure, today we also saw a drop in the number of daily new cases, but we are still getting at least 150 new cases daily. And there still are thousands of results pending, and I am sure a huge number of those with the virus still undetected.

If anyone is optimistic that we are winning the war, that certain sectors of industries ought to be allowed to operate, or that internal borders should be re-opened to allow movements, think again.

This war is far from over.