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Stop the politics during times of crisis

Louis Matthew / The Sun Daily Share:
People wearing masks walk in a metro station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Oct. 5, 2020. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Monday that he will self quarantine for 14 days after a cabinet minister attending a recent meeting he chaired tested positive of COVID-19. The announcement came when Malaysia reported another daily record high of 432 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing the national total to 12,813. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)

The country is now at a momentous point in history as we face the twin challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic fallout. We must stand together as a nation as we sail through the choppy waters or risk being capsized in the sea of uncertainty.

But old habits die hard. Come what may, some of us just cannot rid ourselves of the tendency to politicise just about anything, and the deadly pandemic is no exception.

As surely as night follows day, the recent spike in Covid-19 cases saw some people jumping at the opportunity to score brownie points by blaming the government. Klang MP Charles Santiago beat the drums last week, castigating the government for allegedly failing to enforce the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP), especially in Sabah.

In a social media post, he criticised Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the police and even the beloved Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Santiago chose to gloss over the fact that there was no breach of SOP.

For those who flew to other parts of the country from Sabah, there were already existing rules depending on whether one had shown any symptoms, had come into contact with a Covid-19 patient or was asymptomatic.

Whether by chance or design, Santiago also chose to ignore the fact that most of the new cases were from only a handful of identifiable locations, including a prison where social distancing was next to impossible.

As clusters emerge, aggressive contact tracing is carried out, resulting in a heightened number of new cases.

There is absolutely no need to fan hatred and fuel panic by cherry-picking facts to score brownie points.

There is a time for politics, and there is a time to stand together as a nation, and now is the time for the latter.

And lest Santiago forgets, the coronavirus is blind to political affiliation. It infects Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri as it did Pakatan Harapan assemblymen Shatiri Mansor (Kota Damansara) and Lim Yi Wei (Bukit Tunku).

Even Santiago’s service centre in Klang was closed after one of his staff was suspected to have contracted the virus.

Contrary to Santiago’s insinuations, it’s not only ruling politicians who were spreading the virus.

There is no need for the pot to call the kettle black. What we need now is to spread love and kindness and get through this together as a nation. Let’s stop the politics.

Note. As of Sunday at press time, Malaysia has  reported 14,722  infections and 152 deaths. Surely these are not figures to gloat over or to pick on to score political points and create more political instability. First published in The Sun Daily


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