The prime minister has indicated that for parliamentary democracy to function, we need to have herd immunity from the Covid pandemic.
Mahiaddin Yasin said that “once the country has achieved herd immunity, the country’s parliamentary democracy system can begin functioning again”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) dictates terms to countries across the globe on the unified fight against this devastating new coronavirus with ‘new normal’ measures, coupled with a range of patented vaccines. With some governments quietly making these vaccines compulsory for their citizens, we need to seek WHO clarification on the following:
- Is Covid also attacking parliamentary democracy so much so that as a ‘new normal’ procedure, parliaments must also be shut down?
- Must herd immunity be achieved before parliaments can safely resume?
- Is the much-touted vaccination process not good enough to ensure parliamentary sittings can convene?
- Is it true that even vaccination and strict rules for face masks and face shields, hand sanitisers and physical distancing are not enough to protect parliamentary democracy?
Hopefully, the council of experts at WHO can help dispel the confusion in Malaysia, which may even spread to other democratic nations if left unchecked.
More worrisome is the Malaysian government’s insistence that parliamentary democracy should be curtailed by this terrible virus and it needs herd immunity before Parliament can function normally.
It seems like it is not just our health and economy that are under threat but so too the nation’s democratic governance.
Over to WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and his team of experts.
‘Chicken and egg’ predicament
Sooner or later, the Emergency Ordinance now in effect will have to cease. And Parliament will have to be reconvened if we are to escape the wrath of the democratic trading world.
The pandemic has laid bare our hopeless economic engineering patchwork stitched over the past decades.
So as Parliament has to be jumpstarted soon, be prepared for the proverbial “chicken and egg” debate – which has already started with Deputy Speaker Azalina Othman’s appeal to politicians to bury the hatchet.
- Do we pass a motion of no confidence on Muhyiddin’s leadership first and then change the government to fight the pandemic and resurrect the economy?
- Or do we instead join hands and fight the pandemic and failed economy first and only after succeeding, address the morally illegitimate leadership of the country?
It looks like karma has returned to haunt our beloved nation’s future. It is this chicken and egg dilemma that will test our political maturity, resolute will and, above all, integrity.
To shelve Parliament further to avoid this predicament would be akin to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. And this, Malaysia can ill afford.
The Covid crisis offers us a last opportunity to prove to ourselves, our future generations and the democratic world that, when the going gets tough, Malaysians have what it takes to get tougher.
We cannot have a failed leadership securing support to succeed and eventually claiming credit for it. Leadership that has failed must own up, step aside and pay the price for the love of the nation’s future and let those whom the people anoint lead.
For that to happen, all those who are opposed to the morally illegitimate leadership must put nation before party ambitions and choose among them one person to lead the country until such time we can safely go to the polls and determine our future.
This is the ultimate test of our times. We either succeed by choice or fail miserably.