DURING Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) time in government, former health minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad actively championed the war against Covid-19.
He was always at the forefront, giving Malaysia the strong leadership and direction it needed in the face of an unprecedented crisis.
Now PH may have been overthrown, but it doesn’t change the fact that our country still needs strong leadership and direction, if not more than ever before.
Why is our health minister not leading the fight against Covid-19? More importantly, why isn’t Dr Adham Baba delivering?
Back when PH was still in power, there were only 22 cases and no fatalities then.
Dzulkefly handled the outbreak so well that he was even praised by the World Helath Organisation (WHO) itself. The gentle fatherly figure knew exactly what he was doing, what needed to be done, and this was evident to all.
In addition, we never saw our Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah having to fight this war all by himself. He and Dzulkefly were always working side-by-side, neither had to carry such a heavy burden alone.
Malaysians could go to sleep at night knowing we were in safe hands.
But ever since the gut-wrenching coup of February 29, we no longer have that same peace of mind. Adham has shown glaring inadequacies, with his half-baked conduct earning him ridicule both at home and abroad.
For the past two months, Noor Hisham is the one who has risen to the occasion instead, showing both commitment and leadership where his own minister has failed spectacularly.
Furthermore, he has had to make up for the latter’s exasperating blunders. Yet despite being noticeably worn out, he has maintained nothing but a calm and professional front throughout.
Noor Hisham’s tireless efforts certainly haven’t gone unnoticed. In a 20-minute video he recorded with Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself paid tribute to our director-general, expressing gratitude and appreciation for Noor Hisham’s dedication in leading the war against our invisible enemy.
Likewise, netizens have also lauded him a national hero. What’s more, Noor Hisham has also been chosen as one of the signatories to a new international coalition formed to tackle the pandemic, the Covid-19 Clinical Research Coalition.
So here’s the nagging question. While Noor Hisham has been very diligent, what has Menteri Air Suam been doing? What about his two deputies?
We don’t even hear from Menteri Air Suam’s right hand men, should we be thankful? The nation is going through such a distressing time with cases going through the roof, yet they have been notably absent.
From comments suggesting that the virus was showing signs of a plateau to warm water killing Covid-19, Adham’s ignorance has done nothing but harm and damage to our country.
His latest senseless antic was to ban Malaysians from seeking medical treatment at facilities beyond 10km from their homes April 1 onwards, which he had to retract yesterday after sparking outrage in patients and healthcare providers.
Malaysia needs a health minister who can help us weather this storm, and it’s not Adham. While Dzulkefly has shown us just what a competent and effective gentleman he is, Adham on the other hand, has shown us that he isn’t just shockingly unqualified, he’s a clueless clown too.
Health is a human right. Therefore, Malaysians deserve better.
The Health Ministry staff deserve better. Our frontliners deserve better.
Dzulkefly, we miss you dearly. And Noor Hisham, we’re so proud of you.
As for you Adham, shame on you. Please have the sense to resign before you cause this country even greater embarrassment. – April 5, 2020.
* Lara Ling reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.