Muhyiddin Yassin’s first 100 days

Raja Sara Petra

A president or prime minister is judged by his or her first 100 days in office. If I were asked to judge Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s first 100 days, which ended yesterday, this is how I would see it.

Muhyiddin rarely talks about politics but focuses most of his time and effort on the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that is facing the country (in fact, facing the whole world) due to the disruption to the economy.

Experts say the impact to the economy is going to be more disastrous than the deaths from COVID-19. Very soon we may see a cure or vaccine for coronavirus but the economic disaster is going to remain with us for a long time to come, and many more may die from that than from the disease itself.

So, while the Pakatan Harapan leaders keep harping on “the numbers” in parliament and other empty rhetoric, Muhyiddin just quietly goes about doing his work to make sure that the lives and livelihood of Malaysians are protected.

The result of what Muhyiddin is doing today will not be seen immediately. In most cases it will take three years or more to see the fruits of any government effort. That was so in the 1974, 1985, 1997 and 2008 recessions and financial crises. So, it may take until 2023 before we can see things come back to normal. Even then, we are talking about the “new normal”.

Sometimes, when something is about to crash, there is very little you can do about it, as it is beyond your control. However, even if you cannot prevent the crash, you can always try to make sure that everyone survives the crash with as little injury and loss of life as possible.

And this is what Muhyiddin is doing. Muhyiddin wants Malaysia to survive COVID-19 with as little damage as possible while Pakatan Harapan wants Malaysia to crash and burn so that Muhyiddin can be ousted from power. But Pakatan Harapan’s way would mean many Malaysians would become victims of the worst economic crisis in 150 years.