Forget The Law Manage Covid 19 Now Says Dr M
Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the emergency should be used to quickly implement measures to overcome the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.PETALING JAYA: In a strange twist, both Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Rafidah Aziz are seeing the emergency as a blessing – to push through measures needed to handle the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
“In Malaysia, on the one hand, the government doesn’t respect the law, but on the other hand if you want to do something, they (the government) would say it is against the law,” former prime minister Dr Mahathir said.
“Because of that, I think we should forget about the law. We should do things under this emergency now, by getting the King to approve or disapprove of a situation,” he said during a RESET Malaysia forum this evening.
During the forum, he again proposed setting up a body or council of experts similar to the National Operations Council (Mageran) in 1969, which he said should be apolitical.
He added that suggestions by the council should only require the King’s approval, instead of needing to go through the Prime Minister.
On the same note, he said the government does not seem to have a sense of urgency in the Covid-19 management although many Malaysians are suffering economically and losing family members.
Former minister Rafidah Aziz agreed with Mahathir, saying that the emergency must be used to implement important decisions.
She said that with the emergency, the King could make the decision to implement whatever is necessary.
“I am sure the public will support, because it’s not political, it’s not about who gets what. It is about the benefit to the country and the people. Whatever needs to be done, whatever would benefit the country, let’s do it now.”
She warned that with the incoherent government and its “patchwork” Covid-19 management, the country may continue to face the same problems for the next few years.
Like Mahathir, she observed that there was politicising at every level of the Covid-19 management, adding that the people are “exasperated” with the failures of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Meanwhile, public health expert with University Malaya Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman suggested paying attention to worst-hit communities, such as industrial areas, where cases are the highest.
She said the areas must be prioritised for vaccinations and contact-tracing efforts, which is being poorly done.
“If we want to break the chain, we have to find as many infected Malaysians as possible and we have to isolate them.”
She added there must be data-sharing and automated systems to streamline the testing, contact-tracing and isolation process.
“If not, when we open things up, we’d fall into the same trap where cases go up and up until we may need to impose another lockdown again.”
Meanwhile, she said overcrowding and poor ventilation at detention centres and prisons are also among the factors why the country has not been able to completely bring the cases down. - FMT
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