Let there be no Covid-19 cluster if Parliament is reconvened

Malaysia Hari Ini

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s aides just don’t seem to be able to move on and accept the fact that the two-time prime minister should stop dreaming of holding onto the coveted position for the third time.
Or that, he was the one responsible and had caused the collapse of Pakatan Harapan (PH).

PH’s brief 22 months in office before Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin of the present Perikatan Nasional (PN) government took over, must have been such a thorn in the flesh that to them, nothing good or beneficial had derived from PN’s administration since it took over power early last year at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, it didn’t take me by surprise when I read that piece by Dr Mahathir’s aide (I don’t wish to name this person) in an all-business daily two days ago, headlined “An impasse by any other name” which ridiculed and insulted our prime minister in entirety.

Nothing could be further from the truth that neither this writer nor Dr Mahathir’s other staunch supporters would take every single opportunity to bash or undermine our PM and his cabinet members through their jottings or on the social media platforms.

Right from our prime minister’s real name to what the writer described as Muhyiddin’s failures to follow Dr Mahathir’s wisdom and his so-called scheme of things, the full contents of the article, right from the start until the end, reeked of vindictiveness and vengeance.

Expectedly so because the writer who is the daily’s editor, from the little homework that I did, is formerly Tun Mahathir’s special officer of more than 17 years.

And so, to counter each and every of his allegation would be pointless and a mere waste of time.
Without doubt, he would go all out to defend his former boss while trumping up the expectedly negative ones against this country’s helmsman.

I feel obliged to express my views on our prime minister who has been accused as a betrayer by this writer.

I remember reading the whole truth about this leadership crisis as disclosed by Datuk Dr Marzuki Mohamad in his facebook postings months ago.

He revealed that after Dr Mahathir resigned suddenly on Feb, 24, 2020, there was an attempt to name Muhyiddin as the PM candidate.

However, Muhyiddin downrightly rejected it, saying that only Dr Mahathir should be named, not him.

On the night before they had an audience with the King, Marzuki stated that only Dr Mahathir’s name was picked but true enough, the next day, neither Dr Mahathir nor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had the majority support from Members of Parliament.

Marzuki wrote, “it was at this moment that Tan Sri Muhyiddin was called into action to save the situation.
After Tun Mahathir failed to get the support of the majority, he finally agreed that Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s name be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Prime Minister candidate.”

Out of respect for Dr Mahathir, Marzuki wrote Muhyiddin went to see the 95-year-old former prime minister at his office and requested him to support his nomination as PM.

Marzuki also disclosed that Dr Mahathir did not object to the proposed nomination and said Muhyiddin could proceed with it if he could get enough support from the MPs.

“But later, Tun Mahathir refused to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin and instead, nominated himself as the PM candidate. Against all odds, Tan Sri Muhyiddin managed to garner enough support from the MPs and was sworn in as the 8th PM on March 1, 2020,” Marzuki wrote in his revelation.

Even after he was accused of betraying Dr Mahathir, Muhyiddin, from reports, had asked for Dr Mahathir’s forgiveness through a letter where he had expressed his apology to Dr Mahathir if any of the “events” had hurt his feelings.

In the letter, Muhyiddin also expressed his wish to meet the elderly statesman to seek his endorsement of the PN government.

Instead of accepting the apology in good faith, Dr Mahathir had rejected it, saying there was no necessity for him to meet Muhyiddin.

Suffice to state here that even though Muhyiddin is sitting in the all-powerful PM’s chair, he is still humble enough to apologise in asking for an end to all animosity.

But Dr Mahathir being Dr Mahathir – his rejection of Muhyiddin’s good gestures is reflection of his unforgiving attitude and bitterness.

The writer’s other accusation of Muhyiddin getting the “pious brand” after his doa (supplication) was aired repeatedly, is just too much.

Uncouth and rude, I would say.

Several friends of mine working in Putrajaya had sighted Muhyiddin at the mosques there during Friday prayers before the lockdowns.

On a few occasions, they said they saw him sitting among the congregants at the back, sandwiched by his bodyguards.

I strongly believe that if he had wanted that “brand,” he would have gone straight to the front row where the mosque imams were seated so that everybody could see him!

From available reports and stories, despite being kept on his toes in managing and handling Covid-19, Muhyiddin’s humility and qualities of a good leader has earned him that nickname “Abah.”

Clearly, our prime minister has managed to capture the people’s attention.

He also makes it easy for the public to understand his messages and speeches relating to the pandemic, broadcast live from time to time.

Remember those snippets of his speeches turned into a rap remix “ke sana ke sini”?

It brought smiles to a lot of people but that is Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Instead of being annoyed, he was completely okayed with it, saying Malaysians’ creativity would encourage people to just stay at home during lockdowns.

The writer’s other claims that a large segment of the society was excited when the Malay Rulers and the King decided for Parliament to be convened as soon as possible is delusory and fallacious, to say the least.

Nobody in the right frame of mind would want such a “gathering” to be held, albeit a hybrid one, with the MPs, wasting most of their time, shouting at the top of their voice, insulting and ridiculing each other at any opportune time!

Even without parliamentary session, it was reported that several Parliament staff had come down with Covid-19.

Such a need must be defined and refined realistically.

The hybrid or virtual session definitely requires a secure, state-of-the-art online system for all the MPs. Methods of voting and sharing of documents, for instance, have to be upgraded while questions on the order or rule of the meeting, too, will form some posers.

There are just too many things to be finalized.

The PM has pledged his commitment that parliament could reconvene either in September or October.
Why the rush, then?

The words “as soon as possible” must be seriously and realistically discussed before any decision is made, with no compromise at all on people’s lives and safety. We don’t want a Parliament cluster to emerge and join in the hundreds of other existing ones.

𝐌𝐨𝐡𝐝 𝐀𝐳𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐙𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐧
𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐠, 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐨𝐫