Because even if they wrest power
from the current government, it is pointless ruling a sick and weak
country which is the breeding ground for further political instability.
Harapan does comment about the pandemic, it is normally about how the
current government - or should that be wannabe dictatorship - is
mishandling the pandemic. This is fine up to a point but if Harapan is
really paying attention, people are beginning to ask, what would Harapan
do differently if they were in power?
So far, the PN government
has been more interested in grabbing power on the excuse of battling the
pandemic but shown very little aptitude as to how to exercise such
power beyond warning folks not to question their power.
plays out in the press and on social media but what is lost is the fact
that the rakyat does not have an alternative strategy when it comes to
battling this pandemic.
reason, of course, is because this emergency issue is better optics
than actually telling the people who would vote for you how a Harapan
government intends to handle the pandemic.
For someone like me,
and maybe for you too, I would rather Harapan present a strategy which
highlights the difference between their approach to handling this
pandemic and the failing bungling strategy of the present government. It
would also reassure the rakyat that Harapan has a plan which could see
them out of these dark days.
The biggest question I get from
people is not how the current government is screwing up the handling of
this pandemic. The question I get is, what would anyone else do about
handling this pandemic?
In Musa’s piece mentioned at the
beginning of this article, he lists the various areas where the
government needs to intervene to ensure a holistic approach to this
This makes sense and covers the major bases when it
comes to a response. I would argue that beyond worrying about the virus,
the rakyat are interested in the relief measures of any government.
PN government is saying that the emergency will allow them to co-opt
private healthcare to ease the burden of our national healthcare
Reportage on this issue indicates that private healthcare
was always open to the idea of collaborating with the government. The
big point here is not of the use of emergency powers but what is
Harapan’s agenda in working with private healthcare.
Do they have
an agenda beyond saying that private healthcare has always wanted to
work with the government as some are saying now? Harapan says it wants
the emergency lifted. Fair enough, we all do or should want it to be
lifted but what is the framework that a Harapan administration would
work with the private sector?
In its brief time in power, we saw how Harapan worked with the private sector, remember?
folks - supporters and detractors - of the government, have one thing
in common. That is confusion. Confusion as to what exactly the movement
control order (MCO) means. Confusion as to rules and regulations that
are undefined or worse creates the impression that it would worsen the
travel is banned but arbitrary exceptions are made for specific groups
that feel like pandering. Certain businesses are closed but others are
allowed to operate, well, just because.
Nobody has any idea if
this MCO will work because it is not as strict as the first one that did
bring down the curve but subsequently because of the political class,
we are back to square one.
There is a strong mistrust for what the
government is doing and the statements and strategy coming out from the
occupants of Putrajaya does nothing to allay those fears and mistrust.
Take the issue of testing. The Health director-general claiming that the
system is under such a burden has decided to scale down on testing.
Musa and Mohammad Farhan Rusli in an op-ed piece
wrote: “The key element in the blueprint of action to mitigate this
Covid-19 national emergency must surely be a well-executed 'Find, Test,
Trace, Isolate and Support' (FTTIS) system recommended by the WHO which
has fallen terribly short in its national implementation.”
what can the average rakyat make of this? Think of it this way. If the
government feels that it is “safe” for whatever reason to scale down on
testing, how do you think the reaction of people when it comes to paying
for their workers to be tested?
If the narrative - rightly or
wrongly - that the government is not too concerned with asymptomatic
cases, don’t you think that this would contribute to spreading of the
infection because of Covid fatigue?
understand that the Selangor state government has decided to ramp up
testing and this no doubt is a better strategy than the national one
when it comes to testing. However, it is important to remember that a
national strategy is the only effective means of containment.
Harapan government in waiting beyond offering criticism has yet to
unveil its strategy in combating the virus. Its strategy in dealing with
the welfare of the most disenfranchised during this pandemic. Its
strategy on how to revive the economy. Moreover, this is important
because what the Harapan government is not is a stable coalition.
have seen what an unstable coalition can do when it comes to this
pandemic. The main reason why the handling of the pandemic by the PN
government has been dodgy is that they are a dodgy alliance of political
operatives, who put their political survival over the healthcare of the
The problem is that Harapan is also a dodgy alliance of
political operatives and the fact that it is busy fishing for more
unlikely partners to form the government, indicates that their response
to the pandemic could be as problematic as PN’s.
This is why it is
vitally important that Harapan demonstrate that they are cognisant of
the issue involved and that they have a detailed strategy as to how to
handle this pandemic.
What is the Harapan financial relief
strategy? How are they going to deal with the private sector? How are
they going to reform the healthcare system to ensure that frontliners
are taken care of and are able to sustain during this trying time?
we need are fewer articles by Harapan political operatives on why the
PN regime is atrocious and more on how a Harapan government intends to
get us out of this quagmire.