Backdoor Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has decided to reopen business effective Monday (May 4), hence lifting the lockdown which has been enforced since March 18.
The first bootlicker who came out to praise the PM was Deputy Federal Territories Minister Edmund Santhara, one of the traitors who toppled his own Pakatan Harapan government.
Santhara claimed it was his boss’ leadership that the country is so well managed, especially the Coronavirus outbreak. He gave the example of the appointment of Dr Jemilah Mahmood as special advisor on public health as proof that Muhyiddin is a great leader who listens to advice. Perhaps Santhara was impressed with Jemilah’s advice that the pandemic may last two years.
Actually, it was research done by foreign universities. A study headed by Dr Kristine A Moore, medical director at the University of Minnesota, which included pandemic experts from Harvard and Tulane universities, says that if Covid-19 follows the pattern of the 1918 Spanish flu, the Covid-19 pandemic will most likely last up to two years. And its second wave could be worse.
Apple polisher Santhara even gave credit to Muhyiddin for not taking a holiday since he took over as the new prime minister on March 1. Seriously? Is this the best he could do sucking up to his boss? Santhara, son of Ramanaidu, should be ashamed of himself for not being able to tell if it was PM Muhyiddin or health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah who has been managing the pandemic.
Muhyiddin declared an extension of the MCO (movement control order) for the third time on April 23, five days before the second extension ends on April 28, effectively locking down the country until May 12. Speaking in a live news broadcast, he said that the reason for the third extension was because his government has yet to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control.
Yet, in his special televised address in conjunction with Labour Day on May 1, just a week after he told all and sundry that the pandemic has yet to be brought under control, the clueless and incompetent leader suddenly announced that the lockdown will be lifted. Why did he declare a third extension in the first place if he was already planning to relax the lockdown?
Heck, can you even say the MCO is still in effect when more than 90% of businesses can operate as usual tomorrow? Interestingly, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the announcement to allow most businesses to reopen on May 4 did not mean everyone should rush to restart work – suggesting that the health director-general did not fully agree with the sudden lifting of the lockdown.
Yes, the fact that Muhyiddin decided to extend the lockdown for the third time for two weeks, only to lift the lockdown days later, speaks volumes that he is not only a weak, confused, clueless and incompetent leader, but also under tremendous pressure to choose between economy and health. And he had chosen wealth over health, simply because the national coffers are as dry as a bone.
Unlike his initial drama when he announced the extension of the lockdown for the third time, projecting a fake perception of a caring government who put the health and life of the people above everything else, Muhyiddin has twisted a new story to justify the relaxation of the lockdown. He whined and bitched that the country was losing an estimated RM2.4 billion daily during the enforcement of the MCO.
The PM argued that the country had already lost RM63 billion since March 18 and will incur another RM35 billion of losses if the MCO is extended for another month, bringing the total losses to RM98 billion. But did not he realize that on the day (April 23) he confidently announced the extension for the third time, the country had already lost tens of billions of ringgit?
Still, it’s quite a mathematical challenge to figure out how the backdoor government’s genius finance ministry arrived at RM2.4 billion of daily losses from March 18 to May 1, considering the 43 days of lockdown would have incurred RM103 billion, and not RM63 billion as claimed (even if Saturday and Sunday were not taken into calculations, the figures still do not match).
But even if the country were to incur a total loss of RM100 billion, what’s the big deal? Did not the “Malay only” government proudly announce a jaw-dropping RM250 billion stimulus package to benefit all the people and all types of business under the sun? Was the finance ministry admitting that the huge and sexy figures were nothing but marketing gimmicks, hence the rush to reopen business now?
Can the backdoor prime minister make up his mind whether he wants to combat the Covid-19 or the economy? He can’t have the best of both worlds, which he appears to be trying to achieve. If he treasures human life, the country will be plagued by recession, social unrest, unemployment and whatnot. If he treasures economy, infected cases and death toll would hit the roof.
In truth, Muhyiddin Yassin had no clue whatsoever how to manage the country, despite having a bloated 72 ministers in his Cabinet. The shortage of food, which leads to skyrocketing prices, is still happening. Senior Minister Azmin Ali, who was tasked to ensure sufficient supply of food during the MCO, was still struggling to understand the basic concept of food supply chain.
Another Senior Minister, “turtle egg” Ismail Sabri Yaakob, was cracking his head, trying very hard to understand as to why the Coronavirus cases refuse to go down to single digit despite having arrested more than 20,000 people for violating the lockdown. Like the police, the backdoor government still hadn’t figured out that those defaulters did not contribute to the clusters of Covid-19.
Between April 23 and May 1, the incompetent Muhyiddin became more confused as there were two schools of thoughts giving conflicting advice. One group said the country needed more time to tackle the pandemic. Another group argued that it was not worthwhile to sacrifice the economy just to bring the Coronavirus cases to single digit. Already, the effects of the lockdown have started.
From budget hotels to 5-star hotels like GTower Hotel located near the KLCC, hundreds of employees have been left jobless due to hotels shut down in the country. According to the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), the hotel industry is looking at potential losses of RM3.3 billion from room revenue alone if the MCO lockdown ended on April 28, and more if extended indefinitely.
About 47% of self-employed workers had lost their jobs. Even for those who were lucky enough to keep their jobs, 35.5% had reported salary slash by over 90%. That would translate to 1.34 million people having lost their jobs and almost 540,000 saw their income cut by a whopping 90%. The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) estimates that about 2.4 million people will lose their jobs.
And those estimates were based on one-month implementation of the MCO lockdown, which means the free cash initiative and stimulus package announced by Muhyiddin were not effective at all. More importantly, as admitted by the prime minister himself, the country will not be able to collect taxes from jobless workers as well as companies that have to close down due to horrible business.
Obviously, without taxes, the backdoor government might find it difficult to even pay the salaries of its largest vote bank – civil servants, of whom 90% are Malays. To make matters worse, the bearish prices of crude oil and palm oil deliver double blows to the government. Not only it’s harder to milk money from state energy giant Petronas, the palm oil settlers may need bailout very soon.
But the inability to collect taxes from employees and companies was just the beginning. All the 72 ministers and warlords from the backdoor government of Perikatan Nasional were increasingly hungry for contracts and projects. If Muhyiddin did not reopen economy and business, the parasites won’t be able to grab new projects or contracts to enrich families or cronies.
From hawker centres to underground gambling dens, the side income of every government agency and authority have been severely affected due to the Coronavirus. Even durian sellers by the roadside can’t pay their protection money as usual to the relevant authorities if the lockdown continues. Already, traders have been pretty upset after the cancellation of the annual Ramadan bazaars.
The only reason oppositions UMNO and PAS had agreed to throw their support behind Muhyiddin was to get the gravy trains restart again. In the same breath, all the warlords of Muhyiddin’s own party Bersatu (PPBM) haven’t gotten a bite of the gravy train since they defected. Besides, even if Coronavirus cases or deaths hit new record as a result of the lifting of MCO, none of the VIPs will be affected. – Finance Twitter