PM should get his priorities right with vaccine queue - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Friday, February 19, 2021
Malaysiakini : “Is the prime minister saying that their lives are less important than politicians who get to jump the vaccination queue?” - Bukit Tengah assemblyperson Gooi Hsiao Leung
| Of course, politicians are going to jump the queue and get vaccinated
while the rest of us schmucks are going to have to be at the mercy of a
bureaucracy which is attempting to navigate this pandemic without any
transparency and accountability.
Of course, politicians who
engineered a coup think their lives are more important than everyone
else's, especially since the system is predicated on privileging their
lives, be it in the way they flaunt SOPs or the way how their crimes are
handled by the justice system.
this pandemic has done is merely illustrate how the political elites
are cut off from the people they claim to serve. Sure, there have been a
few bright spots. There have been politicians and their proxies who
attempted to mitigate the ravages that this pandemic has wrought on the
There have been grassroots activists
collaborating with politicians who actually want to further their
agendas but end up having some positive effects on the ground. But for
the most part, politicians have done as much damage to the health
security of the rakyat as the virus itself.
time in the hospital recently, I understand firsthand how dire the
situation is. I am not only talking about the doctors and nurses but the
various support staff right down to the cleaning service personnel who,
if you have been reading the news, have their problems with the management firms that hire them out.
some people, being infected with Covid-19 means a permanent loss of
income at worst, or a reduction of daily income at best. They will also
be putting the lives of their families in danger because they do not
have the resources to follow the quarantine standard operating
procedures (SOPs) easily. This is unlike rich politicians and their
families, who can shelter in resorts or have access to state and federal level amenities and funds.
When Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh responds to
Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa's SOP violation, saying: “Why
is Annuar’s case so different to the point that it needs to go all the
way up to the Attorney-General?'', this tells us everything we need to
know about why politicians think their lives are more important than the
rest of us.
a political ecosystem such as this, does anyone really think that
political operatives were thinking of the Covid-19 virus? Of course not.
Their rank and status meant they had other things to think about. But
more importantly, they would not be subjected to the same kind of
consequences for breaking SOPs because the state is too busy cracking
down on the average Joe Rakyat.
What this pandemic has
demonstrated is that here, and elsewhere, politicians do not think rules
apply to them. The fact that it could reasonably be concluded that the
third wave of the virus could be traced to the fallout from the Sabah
election fiasco is evidence that politicians really do not give two
hoots about the rakyat they claim to serve.
Neither do they care about those whose work the state attempts to spin as "essential" to the running of the country.
is just laughable that the average rakyat, when it comes to breaking
SOPs, are fined on the spot, but when a politician does it, the state
security apparatus has to talk to witnesses and go through the rigmarole
of an investigation when the average citizen is left to merely complain
on social media.
Bukit Tengah assemblyperson Gooi
Hsiao Leung correctly points out that the prime minister's rationale
for vaccinating MPs because they have to meet their constituents is
I would add that not many MPs actually
meet their constituents, unless it is close to election time and all
those supposed "meetings" are a part of the diseased feudalistic
mentality that has screwed up this political system for decades.
said, "As elected representatives, we can still carry on with our daily
responsibilities just like everyone else by strictly following the
SOPs. Just don't flout the SOPs."
This is absolutely true. I know
of one DAP MP who “meets” her constituents through all sorts of
innovative ways, either via online chats or calling certain groups and
handling their issues through video calls. The latter is especially
effective because she gets to see first hand what the issue is and the
people will also perceive that she actually is interested in their
This is a state-level political operative, and she has
not been caught holding “dinners” or flaunting SOPs but works just as
hard as before, when there was no Covid-19.
Perikatan Nasional government is shameless in the way it does not seem
to care about queue jumping when it comes to the vaccination process.
Maybe they are secure in the knowledge that this feudalistic system can
endure the hypocrisy of politicians who claim their lives are more
important because of the "work" they do.
If Pakatan Harapan
political operatives, or any political operative, believe they should
not be jumping the queue, they should sign a public declaration that
they will consent to be vaccinated only after everyone else who is
determined to be of higher priority is vaccinated.
It may be just a
political stunt, but at least it would be an honest response, probably
the most honest response we will get from politicians since the start of