Admit failure in handling Covid-19 with 8,000 new cases looming by March, Guan Eng tells PN govt

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Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng today launched a scathing attack on Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, accusing them of failing to address the Covid-19 pandemic with the recent spike in cases.

Lim cited Health Ministry (MoH) director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s prediction that the country could register up to 8,000 new daily infections as early as March as a sign of the government’s failure and incompetence in handling the pandemic.

The DAP secretary-general also condemned the government’s handling of the procurement process of Covid-19 vaccines, saying the delay in securing the vaccine doses could cause more lives to be lost due to the virus.

“Petty excuses that Malaysia cannot afford a paltry sum like RM2.1 billion to purchase urgently needed vaccines is unacceptable. Malaysia can definitely afford not just RM2.1 billion but RM5 billion would be available in an emergency crisis like this,” he said in a statement.

“At a time when Singapore had obtained delivery and began mass vaccinations, Malaysia still has to wait another two months.

Sayuti Zainudin

“Is Tan Sri Muhyiddin keeping silent and not going to claim responsibility for his Cabinet’s failure, when he had claimed credit previously for managing the Covid-19 crisis well?

“Not just the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his health minister, but the entire Cabinet should be held responsible, especially for losing control of the surge in Covid-19 infections and delay in securing the vaccines,” Lim added.

This after Dr Noor Hisham said yesterday that if the Covid-19 infectivity value (R-nought or R0) increases to 1.2, Malaysia could see up to 8,000 new daily infections by the third week of March.

He said with a current R0 reading of 1.1, the country could see up to 5,000 new infections by the second week of April if the situation does not improve, with the aim to keep the R0 value below 1.0 to avoid an exponential surge in cases.

Additionally, Lim today also took aim at the country’s economic performance since PN came into power, alleging that a downgraded sovereign credit rating by Fitch Ratings from A- to a BBB+ was caused by the ‘chronic’ political instability and poor governance.

The Bagan MP and former Penang chief minister also targeted PN’s broken promises, namely the automatic extension of a bank loan moratorium, bulk withdrawals from the Employees’ Provident Fund, increased welfare aid, abandoning the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail, and killing the iconic Penang ferry services.

Lim also managed to take aim at Muhyiddin’s PN coalition partners Umno, which he claimed would have left the government if the party is one that holds on to its founding principles.

He was referring to the ongoing internal squabbles between Umno and Muhyiddin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, with both parties openly criticising each other despite being allies in the same government.

“If Umno is a party of principle, it would have already left the government. Or Muhyiddin would have sacked Umno from his government for insubordination.

“However, the fact that Umno remains in government underlines the fact that Muhyiddin has lost his parliamentary majority and needs Umno to sustain his tenuous grip on power,” Lim added. – MMO