Kerajaan Gagal A Fact Admit It And Stop Covid 19 Now Says Najib
Najib Razak says it is a waste of time debating on the failure of the government. (Bernama pic)KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need to waste time on debating whether the government has failed because the facts speak for themselves, former prime minister Najib Razak says, in calling for Putrajaya to act against the rise in Covid-19 cases.
“The first step to solving a problem is to admit we have a problem,” said Najib in a speech that was supposed to be delivered in the Dewan Rakyat today. He has posted the speech on his Facebook page, as the sitting was suspended.
He also hit out at the government’s “obsession” with its recovery plan and its over-reliance on vaccinations as a solution.
In his speech, Najib highlighted the government’s failures, including the fact that Malaysia has the highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world per capita, a rate 10 times higher than the Asian and world average.
“This is twice the worst rate experienced by India,” he said.
On the economic front, he said Malaysia attracted the least amount of foreign investment in Asean and that the performance of Bursa Malaysia was the worst in Asia-Pacific and fourth worst in the world after Venezuela, Peru and Colombia.
He also cited the fact that hospitals were operating beyond capacity and that they had to request donations of containers to store the bodies of Covid-19 victims.
“We are the only country in the world that declared an emergency to suspend the constitution and Parliament to fight Covid-19 but Covid-19 became 10 times worse.
“What’s strange is that when other countries go into lockdown, their cases dip, but in Malaysia, we do one lockdown after another, but the longer we are under lockdown, the higher the number of Covid-19 cases,” he said, adding Malaysia has been under lockdown for 63% of 2021.
Although vaccinations are important, Najib said, the government needs a Plan B because it takes time for vaccines to take effect.
He cited the example of Chile, which has a high number of Covid-19 cases despite 50% of its population being vaccinated some time ago.
“The government cannot be too rigid and just follow its playbook without looking at the current situation.”
Najib said the health director-general has forecast that Malaysia will record 24,000 cases a day in September before dropping to 1,000 cases a day in October.
He said many have doubts over how the cases could drop so fast over a one-month period.
“The question is what will happen to our hospitals and how many deaths a day will we see when we have 24,000 new cases a day?
“Will 200, 300 or even 400 deaths a day be acceptable? Imagine if these deaths continue every day for two to three months until October. This is equal to 15,000 to 20,000 new deaths. Can we all accept this?”
What a responsible government must do
Najib said a responsible government cannot allow daily new cases to go up to 24,000 a day and active cases to continue tripling, but must intervene to prevent reaching such “targets”.
He said the government must implement the “strictest lockdown” in states with high numbers of Covid-19 cases for a short period of time – be it seven,10 or even 14 days – to allow vaccines to take effect.
“Don’t repeat what was done before. Total means total, full means full. FULL, not FOOL,” he stressed.
To help people survive such a lockdown, given that the government does not have much money left, Najib proposed an i-Survive low-interest loan scheme, allowing people from the B40 and M40 to borrow up to RM5,000 from banks.
Applications should be approved automatically, and the loan disbursed within three days. “The loans are given by the banks but fully guaranteed by the government. The maximum interest rate is 3% or RM90 a year for a loan of RM3,000, with a repayment period of three years.”
He said this move will not impact the country’s debts and that banks can afford to give out these loans.
“If 10 million people apply for a RM5,000 loan each, this amounts to RM50 billion. This is not even 10% of the loans handled by banks today. Malaysian banks are still recording huge profits despite the pandemic,” he said.
The state and federal governments will then help pay off fully these loans provided by the bank over the next three years funded by a temporary Covid-19 recovery tax on luxury purchases and the rich.
“The people do not pay off the loans. The government will pay for them over the next three years.
“Even if a lockdown of seven,10 or even 14 days cannot break the chain of Covid-19 infections, it can at least reduce pressure on the public health system and avoid the loss of more lives.” - FMT
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