Kit Siang: If not for 'Sheraton Move', Malaysia's Covid-19 cases could have been halved

A man wearing a protective mask is seen at the Chow Kit market during the movement control order in Kuala Lumpur April 5, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
A man wearing a protective mask is seen at the Chow Kit market during the movement control order in Kuala Lumpur April 5, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today blamed the political crises and the ensuing ‘Sheraton Move’, that resulted in a change of government, for the second wave of local Covid-19 infections. 

The veteran lawmaker today claimed that Malaysia would be in a much better state and have had only around 3,000 local cases, as opposed to the current count, approaching 7,000 cases. 

He referred to Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s statement yesterday where he said nearly half of all local Covid-19 infections could be traced back to a religious tabligh gathering held at a mosque in Sri Petaling from February 28 to March 1, during the week of political turmoil. 

“The cost of the ‘Sheraton Move’ and the ensuing political turmoil has been a very heavy one for Malaysia.

“If not for the ‘Sheraton Move’ and the ensuing political turmoil, Malaysia would not have suffered the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak and would be spared the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO with their devastating effect on lives and livelihood in Malaysia,” he said in a statement. 

Lim claimed the new government is more concerned with consolidating its position and power, as it moved to lock down the Parliament and nullify the Dewan Rakyat of its constitutional roles of oversight and scrutiny of the government, in a clear reference to Monday’s one-day Parliamentary sitting. 

“I shudder to think of the disastrous outcomes that await the country if it had to depend solely on the political leadership in government for action and direction, going by the farces, buffooneries, and abuses of powers which it had caused. 

“Like the ‘warm water cure for Covid-19’, ’15 states’, ‘500 countries’, ‘Doraemon’, “Menteri TikTok, serious allegations of discrimination of food aid parcels for needy B40 families in Opposition constituencies and the rotten Riza Abdul Aziz plea bargain,” wrote Lim.

This was in reference to the recent blunders by those leading the government, namely referring to Health Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba’s questionable advice that by drinking warm water, one is able to prevent Covid-19, along with his claim of having met representatives from 500 countries to speak about steps in handling the pandemic. 

Additionally, Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, during the MCO, had advised wives to speak to their husbands in a perky and high pitched voice to avoid domestic violence, which was ridiculed by the public. 

Also drawing the public’s ire was Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad, who had during the MCO launched a campaign encouraging students to record videos on the smartphone app TikTok to be submitted to the ministry, a move that was slammed for showing displaying poor priorities and lacking a sense of urgency to matters related to her portfolio in the face of a pandemic.

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