As the nation faces the wrath of the world’s most severe health crisis in recent history, the Government, working closely with the rakyat and all the frontliners, are doing their level best to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

This battle is waged on both the health and the economic fronts as it is incumbent on the Government to protect lives as well as livelihoods.

Such an effort must therefore warrant that all right minded citizens including political leaders regardless of partisan divides must stand united so that we can pool our resources together and ensure that while public health is safeguarded, the economy remains vibrant and jobs are secured and that the people, particularly the wage earners and those in the informal sectors, can continue to have secure and steady incomes, protect their families and put food on the table.

In light of this, it is most regrettable that the leader of the opposition has chosen to stir up instability and sow hatred when he claimed to the whole world that he had obtained “a convincing and formidable majority in Parliament” to form a new Government and calling on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to resign.

This is clearly the work of a power crazy individual driven by selfish and egotistical motives with a pathological sense of entitlement as if the post of Prime Minister is his birthright.

In his relentless quest to become Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim has resorted to outright lies as well as subterfuge not only as against the nation but even as against His Majesty the YDPA.

With the pandemic having taken a turn for the worse with cases surging to record levels across the world, Malaysia included, the Government has been working tirelessly to deal with the new challenges.

For the record, since the extraordinary surge of cases with the onset of the third wave of transmission, the National Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister, has been meeting daily without fail for the last 24 days.

Together with our health experts, armed forces and internal security personnel as well as the economic advisors, the Prime Minister has been providing decisive leadership while actively deliberating on not just short term contingency measures but mid to long term plans to deal with the crisis holistically.

It cannot be overstressed that our counter and preemptive measures must go beyond health and economic issues to incorporate questions of border control and the safeguarding of our territorial security. Considering the porous nature of territorial boundaries, the Government will continue to provide all the support to our armed forces and police to conduct patrols effectively. At the same time, they must be empowered through constitutional process to execute swift action against all threats including illegal immigrants with high risk of transmitting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.

Under these circumstances, it is only right and proper that we stand united behind all efforts at mitigating the pandemic and flattening the curve while ensuring minimal disruption to the economy.

In light of this, opposition parties’ outburst yesterday about the nation descending into dictatorship should a state of economic emergency be declared is therefore an act of utter recklessness and irresponsibility most unbecoming of Members of Parliament.

Rather than standing with the Government’s efforts at battling the pandemic and saving and revitalising the economy for the rakyat and the nation, opposition leaders have again chosen instead to sow fear and resentment amongst the rakyat against the Government’s earnest efforts at securing public health and safety while ensuring economic recovery.

Let us be clear. Our real enemy is COVID-19 and we must appreciate the sacrifices and selfless efforts of our frontliners who have toiled day and night, and still continue to do so, to fight this battle against this deadly virus.

According to the Director-General of Health, our frontliners have been battling the pandemic for the last 10 months 24/7, and some are now at the end of their tethers. Mental and physical fatigue is setting in and some are prepared to throw in the towel.

I call on all political leaders across all partisan lines to join forces with the rakyat and the Government in this time of great challenge to stand as one, united and unified in the fight against this unprecedented pandemic, to put aside political and other self-interest for the greater good of the health, well-being and prosperity of the nation.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali

24 October 2020