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THIS October 2020 is when the chickens come home to roost in Malaysia. Where the mistakes of all these years and everything that can go wrong unsurprisingly does go wrong.
A minister is let off the hook for breaching Covid-19 quarantine because he was not handed the quarantine order form. It took more than a 100 days of police investigations for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to stamp “NO FURTHER ACTION” on the file.
The International Trade and Industry Ministry issues guidelines to restrict the number of workers with the hours and days of working in stricter locked down zones due to the Covid-19 pandemic with no rationale for the limits.
The Finance Ministry unveils a logo for the coming Budget 2021 to publicise a budget by a government under threat of collapse by angry allies.
This is 2020. The year Malaysia was to achieve all nine points of its Vision 2020 set out by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his Way Forward speech in 1991. But not many remember those nine points.
Surprisingly, Dr Mahathir is prime minister again, only to resign in February and be replaced by a government without a mandate from the people. Instead his replacement is Muhyiddin Yassin, who proudly says he has a mandate from the king.
This in 2020, in a country that is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy but with a prime minister who soldiers on without any electoral mandate.
Instead of being a developed nation where everyone is equal and has equity in the nation, we now have a government that would only thrive and prosper in a feudal system.
Is it any surprise then a minister can be so ignorant of quarantine rules set by his own palace-endorsed government? Is it a surprise that civil servants can ignore or bend the rules for ministers?
After all, this is feudalism. The rich and powerful are above the rules while the poor and underclass suffer.
Is it any surprise the government enact rules for the public and private sector workers where the management stays at home while the underclass works?
With working hours and limits that have no logical explanation except being plucked from nowhere and now set in stone?
Are viruses active on alternate days but not between 10am and 2pm daily? Is there a lesser chance at the golf courses, gymnasiums and restaurants due to stricter procedures there?
Is this all easier than actually implementing and enforcing rules for hygiene and safe distancing in workplaces? Or is everything a divine revelation and by fiat?
And what can a logo do to make things better? It is a harbinger of good news? Do we console ourselves with the colours and font and wait for the news weeks later?
Will this government even exist by the time Budget 2021 is slated to be tabled?
Perhaps it will while we quibble about all this and forget the wider scheme of things.
That we have a government that came into being without any manifesto and is not answerable to the people.
That we have a government refusing to prove its majority or right to run the country.
That we have a government of the people and above the people.
And in 2020, we finally realise what losing honesty and integrity means. It means no further action.
UMNO has called for a ceasefire from all politicians as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party decided on a truce as the economy was hit and the people were badly affected.
“The party is calling for a political ceasefire, helping the people who are being affected by hardship and anxiety due to economic obstacles should be given priority,” he said in a statement today.
The Bagan Datoh MP added Umno will support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government during these trying times.
The former deputy prime minister also urged for all parties in PN to reconcile and work together to ensure the stability of the country.
“The cooperation between all parties in the PN government should be enhanced to ensure the political stability of the country to face the Covid-19 threat and the economic instability,” Zahid added.
He also ordered all Umno ministers to stop politicking and focus their full efforts in helping the people at this point.
Umno offered Bersatu to officially join the Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact in August and was accepted by the party. But Monday’s decision by Umno and PAS, the other partner in the pact, did not include Bersatu.
This means, when the next general election is called, Bersatu will contest alone with other PN parties.
It is also unclear if Umno’s Barisan Nasional allies like MIC and MCA will also follow suit and pull out of PN.
Tensions between Umno and Bersatu are at an all-time high, with the former considering to withdraw from PN unless its new terms of cooperation are met.
Party insiders told The Malaysian Insight the new demands include a cabinet reshuffle in which more pertinent portfolios are given to Umno leaders and, possibly, a demand for the deputy prime minister post.
The move comes after Umno lost out to Bersatu in Sabah for the chief minister’s post where Hajiji Md Noor was sworn-in instead of Umno Sabah chief Bung Moktar.