This withering deconstruction of our government's dismal efforts in handling the CoVid-19 pandemic by @NatAsasi highlights the unsustainability of intermittent lockdowns and the devastating effects of such vicious cycles on the citizenry and economy.…
"I am not a public health expert, but there’s the slightest possibility that it does not take an expert to see a few patterns with regards to how we have been battling this crisis."
"From a public policy perspective, the problem is most frequently couched in terms of balancing public health versus economic priorities."
"If we shut down sectors of the economy, we reduce crowds, and – as we have seen many times in Malaysia – we bring the Covid-19 numbers down.

The flip side of this of course is that this exerts pressure on Malaysia’s economy."
"In order to relieve that pressure, as soon as we see numbers going down a little, we start reopening the economy.

The flip side of that, meanwhile, is that the Covid-19 numbers invariably go back up."
"Someone once told me: In life, there are two cups of tea – one bitter and one sweet. One way or another, you will have to drink both. You only get to choose which tea you drink first."
"It feels like we are choosing to drink the sweet tea first, only to find ourselves thereafter drinking the bitter tea of climbing Covid-19 numbers."
"The impression I get is that countries that have successfully contained Covid-19 are those that have really gone all out – countries that have imposed the strictest lockdowns, for the longest periods of time, at the earliest possible stage."
"In such countries, restrictions are finally eased when the numbers become little to nothing, but are then very quickly reinstated at the slightest hint of trouble.

This strikes me as the kind of vigilant, disciplined approach that has clearly been proven to be successful."
"In Malaysia, our problem seems to be one of half measures.

We seem to only be willing to impose strict measures for very short periods of time.

Even the economic arguments for reopening so many things so quickly seems to have a fatal flaw."
"If we half-heartedly implement half-measures and reverse those measures before the cases are brought down to a sufficiently low number, we are in fact perpetuating both the public health and economic crisis."
"Our approach is like insisting on discharging a sick man from the hospital before has fully recovered, and forcing him to work. This results in him falling sick again, and eventually being put back in hospital.

This cycle is then repeated again and again."
"Other countries wait for the sick man to fully recover, no matter how long and difficult the process is. When that man is finally discharged, however, he is genuinely recovered and does not keep ending up back in hospital."
"I am also wary of the idea of believing that “sufficient adherence to SOPs” will allow for safe reopening of certain sectors."
"From my observations, SOP guidelines are ineffective. Partially because they don’t go far enough, and more so because compliance is essentially impossible to properly enforce."
"Perhaps the only way to really bring numbers down is to prohibit almost any activity that involves big crowds."
"I won’t be happier than anyone else about measures like these, but this is exactly the type of bitter tea that we need to swallow, if we ever want to get out of this see-saw Covid-19 numbers, and bring the numbers down to levels that are sustainable over the long term."

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More from @IMMikhailHafiz

3 May
In this excoriating critique, Dr Sharifah Munirah Alatas dispels the various "myths" that have characterised our description of independence, expounds on the marked difference between freedom and independence, and delineates how true love for one's country is best expressed.
"We Malaysians may love our country for its history. The popular phrases used are, we “overcame” colonialism; we were “liberated”; we “struggled” for independence; we negotiated for “freedom”; independence was handed over to us on a “silver platter”."
"So which is most accurate? In my opinion, none.

We did not overcome colonialism. Read the Myth of the Lazy Native by Syed Hussein Alatas."
Read 23 tweets
5 Apr


We are truly living in a decadent age of abject moral decay, one that is exacerbated by the toxicity of racial and religious polarisation, and where integrity has been so corrupted that it has lost its intrinsic value.
Instead of upholding values, ideals and principles (VIPs), some Malaysians choose to prostrate themselves at the feet of (allegedly) Very Important Persons (VIPs) in a demeaning display of servitude that only reinforces how elusive a "Merdeka of the mind" remains for them.
Is it any surprise then, that Malaysia's putrefying political swamp is teeming with unsavoury characters who bear more than passing resemblances to well-known Shakespearean villains: King Lear, Brutus, Iago, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, just to name a few.
Read 10 tweets
5 Apr
In light of H2O's recent embarrassing diplomatic faux pax, @MohdFaizalMusa1 , in this pertinent and potent reminder, asserts that our foreign diplomats, even going as far back as the Malaccan Sultanate, never subjected themselves to this kind of obsequious, subservient fawning.
"SAYA betul-betul tidak mengingat, sejak pernah membaca Hikayat Hang Tuah, jika Kanda Tuah pernah memanggil Maharaja Cina, sebagai ‘Abang Besar’. Betul-betul tidak mengingat."
"Saya membaca Hikayat Hang Tuah sejak belum sekolah menengah, dan hampir setiap tahun; samada atas tujuan seni mahupun alasan kerja, memang saya tidak mengingat yang Kanda Tuah ada memanggil negara benua Cina itu sebagai adik beradik."
Read 18 tweets
4 Apr
In the latest round of local political shenanigans that can best be described as tiring and tiresome, @philipgolingai (aided by political analysts), brings insight and clarity to "silat pulut", "langkah sumbang", "matikan gerak" and "kluster mesra bunga" wrt the recent UMNO AGM.
"THE recent 2020 Umno annual general assembly (AGM) was like a silat pulut exhibition.

During his winding-up speech at the end of the Umno AGM on March 28, deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan cautioned that (cont'd below)
the party should not waver and immediately withdraw support from the Perikatan Nasional government once it decides to do so."
Read 26 tweets
4 Apr
Our nation building initiative is a Dickens-esque "tale of two narratives", with ethnoreligious nationalist parties pursuing a tone deaf, tribalistic "Malay unity" approach, while civil society opts for a more inclusive #BangsaMalaysia conceit. @NatAsasi…
"LAST weekend, most eyes were on the Umno General Assembly, where we saw a lot of fierce rhetoric that began full of fire and brimstone, and ended in the tepid waters of the status quo."
"Despite all the posturing, Umno decided that it would keep all the benefits it had reaped from supporting the present government instead of resigning in protest and focusing on battling Bersatu in the next general elections."
Read 24 tweets
3 Apr
In this cogent and comprehensive analysis, @dririshsea examines, in great detail, the three Rs of Malaysia's political polarisation - race, religion and reform - as refracted through a chronological lens, and how it is influenced by various socioeconomic factors.
"Polarization over race, religion, and reform has afflicted Malaysia for decades and powerfully shaped its electoral politics."
"Since the country’s independence in 1957, its ethnic Malay majority has enjoyed a constitutionally protected special status, while ethnic minorities have been treated as second-class citizens."
Read 30 tweets

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