We do not need an emergency in Sarawak

By Francis Paul Siah

I AM not just being diplomatic or masquerading niceties. I honestly believe that even if we do not support Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, none of us would wish to see him stricken with health issues.

That is just not us as a nation and people. We, Malaysians, can curse and swear at anything, but we are still a people of compassion and conscience. We all know what acceptable social behaviour is.

At the end of it all, we would still wish one another well, despite and in spite of the multitude of differences we might have. I like to believe that is true for the most part.

Well, I was glad with the clarification from the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday refuting speculation that Muhyiddin was undergoing cancer treatment again.

The statement said that such claims were made by those with bad intentions, adding that doctors treating the prime minister have certified that he is cancer-free.

So, all is well with Muhyiddin. He had since appeared on TV to announce MCO 2.0 and details of the national emergency declared by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. We continue to wish the prime minister well, on the health part, at least.

However, while the prime minister is not sick, the nation is. Malaysians are sick, both physically and mentally.

There is a long list of grievances, discontentment and unhappiness which Malaysians are griping with, and for valid reasons. We all know the issues, so I will not repeat.

Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down

However, just to skim the surface, Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down, poverty is real and widespread, jobs are lost and unemployment is shooting up the roof, businesses have shuttered, the economic situation is on a downward spiral and worse, there is non-stop politicking. In short, we are facing a national crisis of epic proportion, with the worst yet to come.

Is that enough to lend credence to my statement that “Malaysians are sick or Malaysia is gasping for breath”?

Khairuddin Aman Razali, who has been widely criticised for not adhering to the SOPs on Covid-19

Khairuddin Aman Razali, who has been widely criticised for not adhering to the SOPs on Covid-19
In my article here on Jan 8, I declared that I have zero confidence in the current crop of political leaders to pull us out of this pandemic. Today, I am even sorry to claim that I was correct.

Since then, three ministers were tested positive for the coronavirus. We know who they are. Add in the Sabah leaders and a number of lawmakers in the same boat and the picture is clear.

When ministers have not been adhering to the SOPs themselves, perhaps thinking that the coronavirus will spare VIPs, and got infected themselves, can we expect them to fight the pandemic on our behalf? I don’t think so.

Cases of the blind leading the blind will only spell disaster in the end. As for the sick trying to heal the sick, death must surely beckon on the final lap.

I may not be a Sabahan but I share the pain of Sabahans. I find it extremely difficult to forgive those responsible for staging the Sabah state election last September, which took the lives of more than 250 Sabahans with the emergence of the third wave of Covid-19.

Any of the political parasites care for the dependents left behind by the victims of the pandemic? Yes, many would like to know whether these so-called leaders bother to shoulder any responsibility for the trail of suffering and miseries caused by them.

Needless to say, I am sick of them – both sides of the divide – to the core.

Much has been written about the Emergency, barely 12 hours after the announcement.

Why drag Sarawak, too, into the Emergency?

I will not add to the debate, but I have this important poser: Why drag Sarawak, too, into the Emergency?

I will not hide my rage over the necessity for Putrajaya to drag my homeland into this Emergency, which I think is preposterous.

So far, Sarawak recorded less than 2,000 cases. If the Pasai Siong cluster is one reason, it is simply ridiculous. An emergency for the whole of Sarawak, just because of a few significant clusters, is just outrageous. The CMCO announced earlier should suffice.

I am very disappointed. It seems that some idiots in Putrajaya think that Sarawakians were only born yesterday and would take a matter of such grave importance lying down.

With this opportunity, I implore my fellow Sarawakians to stand up for what I would describe as unending “bullying” by Malaya. Important decisions have been made all too often without consulting Sarawak leaders.

We can guess why this is happening – the Emergency is called due to political problems at the federal level; Covid-19 is just a guise, an excuse. I support MCO 2.0 for badly affected states, but the Emergency is a different matter.

To Muhyiddin (who is as fit as a fiddle) and your backdoor outfit, please do not drag Sarawak into your purported plan for an emergency exit. We don’t need an Emergency in Sarawak

I say leave Sarawak and Sarawakians out of your political polemics. Solve your own problems, whether it’s with Umno or other groups. Don’t drag us in. We, Sarawakians, want no part of it.

Just as we wish you well, Mr Prime Minister, return the favour by not turning Sarawak into another sick man of Malaysia, like Sabah.

I wouldn’t want to be a sick Malaysian too.

Francis Paul Siah is the author of Hijack in Malaysia: The Fall of Pakatan Harapan. This piece first appeared in Malaysiakini