HOW MUCH INFECTION AND FATALITY ARE WE AT EASE TO TOLERATE FOR POLITICAL SURVIVAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘For my diplomatic friend a veteran – no lives should be lost on the altars of economics, politics, power abuse and corruption.

She feels we are answerable to GOD for lives infected and lost through our indifference, incompetence and corrupt practices.’  

HOW MUCH INFECTION AND FATALITY ARE WE AT EASE TO TOLERATE FOR POLITICAL SURVIVAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

I asked a dear friend who is a diplomat in a foreign country the above question.

The answer I will highlight later!

As I write this piece I am aware that England’s third national lockdown has legally come into force.

The protocols include

  1. a stay-at-home order
  2. the closure of schools

As a result we can safely state that the UK is now under strict virus curbs, with Wales, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland also in lockdown.

The reaction though debated came after daily confirmed cases UK topped 60,000 for the first time.

Which mathematically means that one in 50 people in private households in England had the virus last week – with the figure rising to one in 30 in London.

And they acted and dear friend PM Boris made that bold and timely move!

Which translated means:

  1. People cannot leave their homes except for certain reasons, like the first lockdown last March
  2. These include essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work for those who cannot do so from home
  3. All schools and colleges will close to most pupils from Tuesday with remote learning until February half term
  4. For some inexplicable reason early years settings such as nurseries will stay open
  5. End-of-year exams will not take place this summer as normal
  6. Elsewhere, university students should not return to campuses and will be taught online
  7. Restaurants can continue to offer food delivery, but takeaway alcohol will be banned
  8. Outdoor sports venues – such as golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms – must close
  9. But outdoor playgrounds will remain open
  • Amateur team sports are not allowed, but elite sport such as Premier League football can continue

But what caught my eye was the move by the US Embassy’s latest health alert which instructs Americans in Malaysia to consider returning home in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.

This is no fake news as the advisory was released on the US Embassy’s official website on Jan 4, the alert says that Americans should “consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means available”.

The advisory tells Americans they develop a travel plan that does not rely on the US government for assistance.

That was not all as, Americans were also reminded that most routine consular services had been suspended due to the CMCO in effect in Kuala Lumpur where the embassy is located, but said emergency appointments could be requested.

No coincidence these as it comes just over a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a “Level 4 – Avoid All Travel” health notice for Malaysia.

The notice stated that “travellers should avoid all travel to Malaysia”, as it might increase their risk of contracting Covid-19.

Though Malaysia is currently in the thick of its third wave of infections, with new daily cases regularly breaching the 1,500 mark, interstate travel and many activities are not restricted, with planeloads of locals flew into holiday destinations like Langkawi, Penang and behaved irresponsibly!

How do you teach a recalcitrant community to adhere to Covid-19 protocols, to avoid congested super sales shopping outlets and restaurants?

How do you tell them that smoking in public areas is prohibited which includes restaurants and in front of pregnant women, children even babies?

A responsible and honest government will take all steps to protect her citizens.

And that is what the US is doing!

They do not play political games.

They do not in private put into motion a figure of fatality and infection acceptable to facilitate economic and political activity and games!

Even when it is now public knowledge that available healthcare response is stretched and now broken?

The US advisory is a damming statement and to me a veteran in public policy matters and deliberations a shock that raises the question whether the US intelligence had picked up something adverse?

That is not all.

The roller-coaster statements on vaccines are also causing concern!

I am sure the world over we do not need a repeat of what we saw in Poland where celebrities and politicians got Covid vaccine before being eligible!

I am again asking for a taskforce of respected public and people policy individuals to be roped in so that public interest is protected and any form or layer of abuse is prevented.

Both the UK and the US have shown the way forward and where their priorities lie!

While many globally, are still in a daze, maze and playing both political and greed filled war-games?

For my diplomatic friend a veteran – no lives should be lost on the altars of economics, politics, power abuse and corruption.

She feels we are answerable to GOD for lives infected and lost through our indifference, incompetence and corrupt practices.