With the prime minister in hospital and the battle against Covid in disarray, the nation has gyrated from one form of ‘movement control order’ to another with each passing week.
Bankruptcies have soared while the middle class are rattled.
Many businesses have thrown in the towel. Others flout the rules to keep their factories running in the absence of a vaccination programme for their workforce.
People are flying white flags (signalling they need aid) out of desperation. Black flagscalling for Prime Minister Mahiaddin Yasin’s resignation have flooded social media.
Meanwhile, a durian party went ahead; a surprise meteoric promotion made the news; and land clearings and sand sales have gone unnoticed.
A fourth or fifth wave could swamp the nation as deadly virus variants engulf other lands.
“What is going on in Malaysia?” is the question haunting many people. Doctors, nurses and hospitals are struggling to cope with new patients while the number of dead-on-arrival cases is rising.
Is there no one in the seat of power who can put the brakes on a fast-crashing nation? Hello, is anyone at home?
Every day is getting messier than the previous day. The number of suicide cases has risen. The nation appears to be in a political limbo amid a health crisis that is wreaking havoc.
Hindsight is 20-20
In hindsight, the following holds true.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad should not have resigned. He should have just stuck to the 2018 general election understanding and handed over the baton to Anwar Ibrahim.
The Sheraton Move violated democratic norms. The gang’s promise to “save Malaysia” evaporated within a year.
There was no basis for a state of emergency.
Parliament should never have been shut down.
The Covid battle failed owing to the absence of sound leadership. Forming the world’s biggest cabinet was not in the best interest of Malaysia.
Is there anyone who thinks otherwise?
Farm produce wasted
Reports now claim that farmers in Cameron Highlands are unable to harvest their crops because they cannot go to work owing to the enhanced movement control order there. Hence tons of fruits and vegetables are left to rot daily.
This is happening at a time when many across the country are unable to buy enough food, and so, white flags are being raised. The rising cost of vegetables is also forcing some people to eat processed canned food.
Imagine, when so many people cannot afford the rising cost of food prices, we are forcing farmers to dump their produce. When the people need more fresh vegetables and fruit to boost their immune system, they have to resort to canned food.
What a paradox. If this is not a failure of a government, then what is?
The farmers have also pleaded that home quarantine for their migrant workers is a high-risk option as their workers live in hostels. Their request to have the growing numbers of positive cases to be moved away from the farm hostels is not being heard.
In the first place, why did the authorities not even think of it before imposing tight lockdowns there? How can farms be treated like office work with restrictive movement controls? You can’t do harvesting of crops online, can you?
Why are we witnessing so many unfathomable situations that are making life more and more difficult and dangerous?
What more needs to collapse?
The news about deteriorating hygiene and services at a Covid quarantine centre shows we are collapsing in several areas.
How can a quarantine centre be allowed to suffer like that? Mind you, this is not the first time we are hearing of such neglect and failure.
How can we trust the process of importing, transporting, storing and dispensing of fragile vaccines if we cannot even be assured of basic health and hygiene at quarantine centres?
Worryingly, hospitals are overflowing with patients, the death toll is rising and healthcare workers are struggling to cope.
Dare we wonder what the health and hygiene situation is like in public hospitals across the nation with new patients now having to lie on floors and corridors in some places. Where are our leaders?
Not only is the political frontier in limbo, we are also buckling under socioeconomic pressure.
How much more of the burden can civil society groups shoulder as they scramble to respond to the many white flags fluttering nationwide?
And how many black flags must flood social media before the nation is rescued from multiple crises?
All we are seeing are knee-jerk responses to public complaints and stop-gap measures haphazardly introduced to patch horrible failures highlighted in the media.
Where are the 72 well paid, well-protected cabinet appointees? Where is the prime minister in the first place?
So how well prepared will we be if the Delta variant engulfs the land? Each day is turning into a nightmare laden with fear and worry.