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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.