JANUARY 5 — Political commentary feels pointless in a country where every other kopitiam uncle is a pundit now, thanks to Facebook.

Just the other day my eyeballs threatened to abandon me while I was reading this really long Facebook screed blaming Young Syefura for overlogging in Pahang.

I must have logged into Facebook in an alternate universe because said screed writer insists Young Syefura is in PKR (she's in DAP). 

Considering Pahang is a BN state, she must have had some magical pull to have apparently been granting timber concessions willy-nilly.

Environmental disasters and their causes aside, January seems to be yet another month of "have they learned nothing from last year?"

I am talking about the booster rollout that was dropped on us with little thought about crowds, SOPs and accessibility.

Get the booster, the health minister says.

How, we ask? Somehow we are apparently supposed to know just how and where to go despite communications being poor.

People wait to receive their Covid-19 booster shot at the Perak Community Specialist Hospital in Ipoh January 3, 2022. — Picture by Farhan Najib
People wait to receive their Covid-19 booster shot at the Perak Community Specialist Hospital in Ipoh January 3, 2022. — Picture by Farhan Najib

I think I should send a bill to the Health Ministry for the time I've spent explaining to friends, acquaintances and random people on social media how the booster rollout should work. 

In the end, I myself got my booster from seeing a tweet by a person who had gotten hers from a place less than three kilometres from my house.

Like the Malaysians who helped spread the word for disaster relief efforts on Twitter, Malaysians also used it to share booster clinic addresses as well as "live" updates on crowds and queue lines.

Since when has the vaccination drive just become a crowdsourced effort? 

It is 2022 and still we have to rely on each other for vaccine information and Twitter, again, being used by creative Malaysians to encourage the use of AstraZeneca.

The latter bit might have worked a little too well because I now see Malaysians who insist they will have nothing but AstraZeneca for their booster jab, while some say they will even settle for Sinovac if they have to.

Again, it is 2022, how is our vaccine messaging so terrible?

By right we should be sending a strongly-worded memorandum to the Chinese Embassy for their perpetuating vaccine misinformation and making our messy vaccine rollout even harder. 

It has gotten to the point where the government, which had previously said it wasn't getting any more Sinovac, and that Pfizer would be the main vaccine for us, now has to have stocks ready. 

Sinovac was good enough when everything else was too hard to get or people were still terrified of AstraZeneca but now Delta and Omicron are here, as well as enough Pfizer stocks for the adult population.

I personally have my reservations about making use of adult vaccine supply and converting it to use for children by just manually reducing the dose as the risks of such an approach, instead of just waiting for pre-packaged kids' doses.

At the same time I do not see a clear roadmap or blueprints to make schools safer for kids. Whither the ventilators? Are we making sure the underprivileged kids get masks too?

I know the prevailing joke is that 2022 sounds like 2020-too but by God, is it really too much to ask for a government that learns from mistakes made in the last 24 months?

If so I think it is time to just declare the independent republic of Kelana Jaya and I shall busy myself then, dear readers, by making sure the constituents vote for my cat as president. 

A cat is many things but at least it learns not to keep jumping back onto a hot stove. I wish I could say the same of our politicians. 

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.