Thursday 2 September 2021

Malaysians need to be focused as Covid-19 deaths surpassed that of communist insurgency

 I'm busy now.

So, for today, I just cut and paste this commentary by my good friend again.

By Shahrum Sayuthi

Malaysia's Covid-19 death toll, as I am writing this now, is 16,664, which is higher than the official count of 15,981 deaths suffered in the war against the communists during the 1948-1960 Emergency period..

It is a grim reminder of how serious the crisis currently faced by the country really is.

Perhaps because there were no shootings or bombings, many Malaysians, particularlly those who were less affected by the pandemic and its economic fallout find it hard to really comprehend the deadliness of the situation.

Of course they say they know that Covid-19 is very bad but in all truthfulness, they do not actually feel it in their heart how truly bad it is.

That is why there are still those who could quarrel and quibble about matters which by right should for now be regarded as inconsequential.

In all seriousness, what was all that recent political storm was really all about? Does it really matter to the politicians that hundreds die of Covid-19 everyday or were they just using those numbers of deaths as soundbites to further their political ambitions?

Then there were those who went out of their way to beat the movement restrictions standard operating procedures to accommodate their self convenience.

For instance, do we really need to go back to our hometowns for Hari Raya or New Year at a time like this?

It is highly unlikely that anyone would try to lie to the policemen at the roadblocks in order to cross the state border if the government said there are communist insurgents planning to ambush anyone foolish enough to travel now.

Since it is not such a dramatic image of imminent danger, many do not feel it is too bad to try their luck to cross the borders by any means, including forging travel documents. Never mind that they may in fact be carriers of the deadly coronavirus which could infect their elderly parents and loved ones in the kampung.

Malaysians need to truly realise that this pandemic is actually the worst crisis this country has ever faced, with the economic devastations caused by it to be felt for many years to come.

Nonetheless, the light is already showing at the end of the dark tunnel, despite the continuing hundreds of daily deaths and ten of thousands of new cases. 

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on Monday pointed out that of the 20,897 new cases recorded that day, 98 per cent of them were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases.

He also noted that 73.6 percent of the newly infected had yet to complete their vaccination.

This has actually been the trend since the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme started gaining momentum over the past weeks.

It shows that the vaccination effort has started taking effect as the overwhelming majority of new infections were not of the serious categories.

As more Malaysians receive their vaccination in the coming days, we would likely be able to see the situation further improve and less deaths recorded daily.

The right thing to do now should be for Malaysians to stay the course and be focused on beating the pandemic as soon as possible.

We should not be distracted by especially claims of better remedy by those who felt that they know better on how to handle the crisis.

True, the handling of the pandemic as it is now may not be perfect, but we cannot afford to change the existing strategy, just to experiment with other suggested solutions which may after all likely be flawed too.

Back during the communist insurgency, the handling of that crisis was criticised too, with the forced relocation of some 500,000 rural people of mostly Chinese descent  into internment camps called "new villages" being described by some as inhumane.

However, that strategy under the Briggs Plan was so instrumental in cutting off food and medical supplies for the insurgents in the jungle that it led to the collapse of their fighting capabilities and eventual capitulation.

As it is, once a strategy during a crisis already shows that it is working, as in the case of this fight against Covid-19, we should concentrate on supporting it until its ultimate success.

Indeed, whatever mistakes done or issues arising during this crisis should be addressed now, but not to a point of causing distractions  that may affect the immediate objective of overcoming the pandemic as soon as possible. 

(Shahrum Sayuthi has been a journalist for 24 years of which 18 were with New Straits Times before quitting as its political editor in 2015 to join The Mole.)


  1. if govt no banned communist and allow them to participate in election, there will be no insurgency, dont believe try ban pas and see what happen.

    if govt now handle the pendemic like how they handle communist, perhaps there is much less dead.

    dumb govt do right thing at wrong time and wrong thing at right time. dari dulu sampai sekarang.

    1. Communists ban other parties. Communist countries have no real election.

    2. Aiyoo HY ...
      Ekau ni ado dimentio ko ...
      ● PKM .. ditajo oleh CCP ..15k mati.
      ● Covid-19 berpunco diWuhan .. ditajo oleh CCP ..berjuta mati.
      ● isu maritim SEA 9 dash line .. ditajo oleh CCP .. nak rampas perairan negaro jiran asia.

      So so ... nak biarkan ko ..?


  2. Wht are the kawasan Aduns and MPs doing actually? Why cant they help control c19 from spreading? Tak turun padang ke?

    Clusters factory rata2 (Kelantan byk cluster komuniti). Hantaq Adun dn MP semua pi belajaq fm Singapore gomen how they enforced their SOPs bole tak??

    Jangan marah ya bila sebut Singapore. My kids n many of their friends are working there.. Mereka sgt2 kecewa dok peghati whts happening here. Just look at our C19 performance chart!

    Professor Nasi Lemak

  3. Are we really focused.Friday prayer are limited to 50pax at surau with double mask all the time. While dine in at mall food court with no mask limited by space.

  4. Japan PM to resign after failure to contain covid19 surge
    .Honour integrity responsibility and accountability is are important to them. We teach our peoples to break or bend the rules.

  5. Muhyiddin dilantik Pengerusi Majlis Pemulihan Negara bertaraf menteri.

    Tahniah Mahiuddin dan Tun Mahathir sila berambos. Tumpukan kuasa blok ke tiga bersama Parti PejWang.

    Muhyiddin dilantik Pengerusi Majlis Pemulihan Negara – KSN

    Muhyiddin dilantik Pengerusi Majlis Pemulihan Negara bertaraf menteri – KSN

    Bekas perdana menteri Muhyiddin Yassin dilantik sebagai pengerusi Majlis Pemulihan Negara bertaraf menteri, maklum Ketua Setiausa Negara Mohd Zuki Ali yang juga setiausaha kabinet.

    “Jemaah menteri dalam mesyuaratnya pada 1 September 2021 telah bersetuju untuk melantik Muhyiddin Yassin, mantan Perdana Menteri ke-8 sebagai Pengerusi Majlis Pemulihan Negara bertaraf Menteri.

    “Pelantikan ini telah disembah maklum kepada KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

    Pada Parti Pejuang yang bercita cita jadikan Tun sebagai Pengerusi MKN lupakan saja mambazir masa. Tumpukan pada kuasa blok ke tiga yang dicanang Tun selama ini.

    1. Pi mai pi mai tang tu jugak! Nampak sgt tujuan sebenar Zahid, Najib & sekutu hanyalah rampas jawatan pm.

      Biggest loser ialah DSAI & ph..nombor x pernah cukup & anda telah menaik kan parti yg anda berpuluh tahun berusaha utk jatuhkan.

      Tak tahu nak gelak ke atau menangis...