Since Malaysia gained independence in 1957, only one government has ever been in power. That changed in 2018 during the historic 14th General Election (GE14) where for the first time ever, the opposition coalition overthrew the ruling government.
Unfortunately, though in hindsight, rather unsurprisingly, that euphoria didn't last. While the world was coming to terms with a global pandemic courtesy of COVID-19, some Malaysian politicians reverted back to their dirty ways, and power was seized by a new coalition, one that includes the previously ousted government.
Now, I don't usually get too political online, especially here on Cake, but recent events during the pandemic have just made me so frustrated that I felt the need to vent and at the same time, share with the Cake community the circus that is the new Malaysian government.
Our Ministry of Health is actually doing a remarkable job of handling the outbreak in the country, thanks to our Health Director General, Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah who was recently lauded as one of the top doctors in the world amidst his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only that, Malaysia was also selected as one of the countries to help trial a new treatment for the disease. Despite all this great work, the actual Minister of Health has been nothing but a buffoon since he was awarded the post.
First, he claimed on national TV that drinking warm water can kill COVID-19.
Then in a two-for-one special, he points the finger at the previous government for failing to contain the outbreak in it's early stages, and that the world consists of 500 countries. He seems to have conveniently forgotten that in the early stages of the outbreak the country was without a government because he and his political jokers decided the best time to perform a coup was during a global pandemic. And 500 countries? How????
Back when the outbreak was just starting to spread across the globe, our Deputy Women and Family Development Minister tried to downplay the severity of the disease by saying that the death rate is just 1%, yet death itself is 100% inevitable. The criticism she got was so brutal that she actually closed her Twitter account.
Meanwhile, our Housing and Local Government Minister orchestrated a publicity stunt, gathering a large number of people (defying the Movement Control Order) before conducting a large scale disinfection exercise of a wet market, sidewalks, and roads. She was so desperate for attention that she even had the word "Menteri" (Malay for Minister) plastered on her head so that even with the PPE, people would know she was a minister. Of course, our Health-DG later criticised her exercise saying it didn't follow proper guidelines, and she was also criticised for wasting precious PPE.
Speaking of publicity stunts, many ministers from this new government are serious attention seekers. They travel here and there under the guise of "official government visits", openly flaunting the MCO. Sometimes, they are even seen wearing (wasting) PPE just for photo ops. This has rubbed many people the wrong way. At a time when we're all told to stay home, when failing to abide by the MCO leads to fines, ministers are openly travelling and meeting people in large gatherings, seemingly immune to the MCO.
People are fedup with the double standards and have started submitting police reports to have the ministers investigated for violating the MCO.
That last tweet was by our Minister of Higher Education, and her visit to one of our universities wasn't the only time she was criticised. Her ministry organised a TikTok challenge during this pandemic, which led many to question why the Ministry of Higher Education was promoting a pointless social media competition instead of focusing on more important issues. You know, like education.
On a more serious note, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is apparently selectively providing aid, choosing to provide aid to constituencies that the government currently controls while ignoring constituencies under the opposition.
Lastly, in an extremely sexist and tone deaf move, the Women and Family Ministry released some guidelines for wives on how to keep their husbands happy at home to avoid domestic abuse during this MCO. These guidelines include not nagging, wearing makeup and presentable attire, and the icing on the cake, speaking in a tone that mimics popular Japanese character, Doraemon.
You know what makes all of this even more spectacular? The current (backdoor) government has been in power for less than two months, and already all of this has happened. The government is such a shambles that it has stopped being funny and is now seriously distressing. Malaysian's have not let the government hide behind the COVID-19 pandemic, making sure they are held accountable for every single statement, remark, and decision they make. A political coup amidst a pandemic is never a good thing, though if we were forced to look for a silver lining, it's that this pandemic is actually exposing the incompetence and dirty politics of the new government. Hopefully Malaysia will repeat the feat of GE14 and remove this backdoor government from power at the next general election.