Former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye has lambasted the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government of prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin saying that his administration risks losing crucial trust if public health measures are determined by a political agenda.
“One of the key components of successful Covid pandemic control is trust. Trust will be eroded if public health measures are tainted by political considerations.
“In January 2021, Covid was cited as the reason for the proclamation of emergency. And yet the daily new cases climbed exponentially from less than 3,000 in January 2021 to more than 17,000 now!
“Then Covid was used again to delay the Parliament sitting for months while in the meantime nothing was done to improve the safety level of the Parliament building,” said the Gopeng MP.
“Now Covid is used to postpone the ongoing Parliament sitting at a critical time when the prime minister is under tremendous pressure, following the revelation of the statement from the palace in Parliament on July 29,” he said in a reference to the rebuke by the King.
Lee recalled that the Parliament sitting was adjourned four times on July 29 to 12.45pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, and 5.15pm while awaiting a response from the government.
“Finally, when the sitting resumed at 5.15pm, it was adjourned to 10am, Monday, Aug 2.
“But now Covid was again used as a reason to postpone the ongoing Parliament sitting. This excuse is an after-thought and it is baseless,” he said, not pulling his punches.
He reminded Muhyiddin that the Parliament compound is not under the enhanced movement control order.
“It should not be anyway because Parliament is not a residential area and the physical structures in Parliament should be rendered virus-free within 72 hours with or without sanitation.
“Secondly, none of the MPs present was a close contact (with a Covid-19 patient) and none was given a quarantine order! They are not at high risk of transmitting viruses. The ministers especially are still having meetings and attending programmes.
“Thirdly, almost all the Parliamentarians are vaccinated and all of them had two consecutive negative Covid-19 tests, i.e. RTK-PCR on July 23 and RTK-Ag saliva test on July 29,” he added.
Lee said the risk of spreading Covid or getting infected in Parliament is far lower than going to mega vaccination centres and is even lower than going to local grocery stores.
“Science and public health should not be compromised by political expediency. The prime minister cannot instruct the speaker to adjourn an ongoing Parliament meeting under standing orders without having to give any justification!
“Allowing the prime minister to cite Covid again is bringing the whole public health team into disrepute,’ fumed Lee. – Malaysiakini