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There is no “sense of urgency” from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in combating the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently wreaking havoc across the country, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Even the five-day special parliamentary sitting did not discuss possible solutions to handle the outbreak, he said.
Instead, he added, the government tried to stop MPs from entering Parliament on the last day of the special sitting, with the next sitting being in September.
“I am not interested in politics in this matter. I am concerned about the development of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They are still discussing who is going to become prime minister and when to have a Parliament sitting. It should have been held earlier, but even then, we didn’t discuss Covid-19.
“If you want to have a Parliament sitting in September, so from now to September, how many hundred thousand people will be infected?
“There is no sense of urgency. They do not feel the pressure of how important it is for us to act now,” Mahathir said in an interview with Astro Awani that was broadcast last night.
Insisting that he does not care about becoming prime minister again, the 96-year-old said he is also a Malaysian citizen who feels patriotic about his country and wants to help it succeed.
As someone who was a prime minister for 22 years in his first term, Mahathir said he was forced to handle several crises in the country and thus, he has some experience on how to do so.
The nonagenarian also described those governing now as “orang baru” (greenhorns) who are now overwhelmed when facing multiple crises in the country.
“I had to handle many crises and I had some success, so I have the experience. If I want to contribute my experience, people say, 'oh, I can’t because I am a statesman'. Why?
“On the contrary, we find in this new government, they have no idea how to govern actually (because they are) greenhorns.
“So, when faced with economic, financial, political and health crises, these are too much for these people who do not have any experience at all to take action,” the Langkawi MP said.
That is why the PN government had sent Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz to ask him for his advice on how to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, Mahathir added.
Malaysia yesterday saw record-breaking figures for both Covid-19 new cases and deaths, standing at 19,819 and 257 respectively.
Mahathir had previously reiterated many times that he is not interested in discussing politics right now, but is instead focused on the rakyat’s welfare amid the pandemic.