Mariam Mokhtar on the Minister of Health.
He wanted to score political Brownie points, but he failed. Actually, he was trying to distract us…
The Coronavirus pandemic is a time when everyone, including politicians of all political persuasions, must unite in the face of an unseen enemy – the virus.
However, the Minister of Health, Dr Adham Baba, thought he could score political Brownie points from the scores of deaths from Coronavirus and thousands of people who are suffering with the disease.
So what is the real reason for Adham’s claim that the previous Pakatan government had failed to contain the tabligh cluster, which spread Coronavirus?
Adham made his remarks during a conference call on 18 April, with the president of Umno-Baru, Zahid Hamidi, which was later uploaded to Facebook. Instead of getting the desired effect, Adham has been vilified by the public.
The minister should be more morally and politically astute. He has not learnt from his mistake of announcing the ‘tepid water cure’ for Coronavirus, and he comes across as a clueless, careless and conceited person.
Adham told Zahid that he had chatted with various world leaders and said, “I believe what I have done has been acknowledged by the world.
“I have had video conferencing with the World Health Organisation (WHO), I did a live (video conference) with the health ministers from China, Singapore and also a live conferencing, along with the prime minister with Asean ministers and Asean plus three which are Korea, Japan and China.” (sic)
Self-praise is no praise and only shows that Adham is conceited.
Contrast the words and actions of the Director-General (DG) of Health, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who was recently named by the China Global TV Network (CGTN) as one of the top three doctors in the world, who is involved in the handling of the pandemic.
When asked how he felt about being a “national hero”, the DG said, “It is not about me, but what we (citizens) can do as one to fight Covid-19.”
It is also about style and delivery. Noor’s matter-of-fact bulletins on the latest Coronavirus developments, which he presents in a calm and reassuring manner, are in striking contrast to the excited, false jollity of his boss, Adham, who is infamous for his claim, that drinking tepid water will “flush” the virus into the stomach to be killed by digestive acids.
Was Adham envious of his Director-General?
Adham must find that the accolades heaped upon his D-G hard to bear. The D-G has been singled out for praise not just by Malaysians, but also by CGTN.
Did Adham consult the timeline of the pandemic before he made his unprecedented attack against Pakatan?
The Tabligh Sri Petaling gathering took place between 27 February to 1 March. The Sheraton Hotel coup was hatched on 23 February, and from the 24 to the 29, there was no official government in Malaysia, just an interim caretaker PM.
Did Adham ask why PN did not ban the Hindu religious event at Batu Ferringhi, Penang?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) only declared Coronavirus a pandemic on 12 March. Before that, each nation was told to enforce stringent personal hygiene measures and practise social distancing.
The Minister blames Pakatan for allowing public events to proceed, so why did the Perikatan Nasional (PN) allow the Hindu religious event that took place in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, two weeks after the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering?
The Minister knows that Pakatan will be accused of being anti-Islam if they stopped the tabligh gathering
Adham said that Pakatan should have stopped the tabligh event, but he knows that if Pakatan had done that, there would have been a public outcry with accusations that the DAP in the Pakatan government, or the non-Malays in the administration, were anti-Islam.
He is aware that the PN government is averse to announcing a ban on Friday prayers, lest they upset the Muslims, and it was only when people started dying from Coronavirus, that the authorities were compelled to act.
Most people did not hear about the tabligh event until a man from Brunei, who had attended the event, fell ill with Coronavirus, on 3 March. The Brunei authorities alerted their Malaysian counterparts because five other people had also fallen ill, in the first week of March. PN could have banned Friday prayers, but they didn’t. The Minister of Religious Affairs said that sermons could be shortened as a compromise.
Did Adham forget Muhyiddin’s treachery against the rakyat in Opposition-held states?
If Adham had wanted to politicise the pandemic, he should have accused his boss, Muhyiddin Yassin, of betraying the rakyat, in the Opposition held states. Their leaders were not invited to the Coronavirus briefings organised by the prime minister. The Chief Secretary to the Government, Zuki Ali, was made a scapegoat for this failure.
The real reason for Adham’s attack is the political fall-out and anger because of his deputy’s complete disregard and disrespect for the MCO
The real reason for Adham’s attack on the Pakatan government was because he had discovered that his deputy, Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali had fallen foul of the strict rules of the Movement Control Order (MCO), and all hell would have broken loose, when the revelation was made public. Noor had been photographed eating with thirty people at a tahfiz school in Lenggong, Perak.
Malaysians have been fined, jailed and humiliated for breaking the MCO. So, it is a very serious matter, when the Deputy Minister for Health is responsible for breaking this law.
In Scotland, the chief medical officer, Dr Cathering Calderwood, resigned and New Zealand’s Health Minister, David Clark, was demoted, for flouting the lockdown laws. They knew their positions were untenable.
In Malaysia, two sets of laws exist; one for ministers, and another for the rakyat.
The Deputy Minister has no respect for rules, and perhaps, thinks that the law only applies to the common man. He probably believes that as a minister, no-one would report him, and he can go unpunished. He may even subscribe to the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
The real reason Adham distracted us with the jibe against Pakatan, was to distract us from the real news, which is the fact that his deputy had broken the law and he fears our reaction.
He is right! The Deputy Health Minister should resign or be sacked! – Rebuilding Malaysia