KUCHING, Aug 22 — Democratic Action Party (DAP) veteran parliamentarian leader Lim Kit Siang has laid out four major tasks for Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was sworn in as Malaysia’s ninth prime minister yesterday.
The Iskandar Puteri MP, while congratulating Ismail Sabri on becoming the new prime minister, said the Umno leader must first reduce the country’s daily new Covid-19 deaths from three-digit figures to two-digit figures, and daily new Covid-19 cases from five-digit figures to four-digit figures.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed 13,936 lives and been on a runaway scenario since July 12, when we first recorded five-digit daily new Covid-19 cases.
“We must stop setting new dubious records in the Covid-19 pandemic — like breaking the 14,000-mark for cumulative total of Covid-19 deaths; breaking the 1.6 million-mark for cumulative total for Covid-19 cases,” he said in a statement today.
As of yesterday, Malaysia recorded a total of over 1.53 million Covid-19 infections with the death toll standing at 13,936.
Yesterday alone, the country reported 22,262 new cases and 223 new fatalities.
Lim asserted that Malaysia is in a race against time with the Delta and other variants.
He said although 38 per cent of the Malaysian adults had been fully vaccinated, the country must be conscious that vaccination is not the silver bullet to the Covid-19 pandemic as shown in Israel.
“Although Israel is the first country on earth to fully vaccinate a majority of its citizens against Covid-19, it is now experiencing one of the world’s highest daily infection rates.
“Among the reasons are that immunity from the vaccine dips over time and that the Delta variant breaks through the vaccine’s waning protection,” he observed.
Lim pointed out that Israel is the first country to offer a third booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“Preliminary research in Israel suggests booster shots significantly increase protection against the coronavirus a week after a person receives the third dose,” he said.
He said Ismail Sabri’s second task is to end the political crisis by initiating parliamentary, institutional and policy reforms, with the setting up of parliamentary select committees (PSC) for every ministry to play parliamentary ‘check-and-balance’ role.
He went on to say that the third task is for Ismail Sabri to lay the basis for Malaysia to recover economically so as to become one of the stars on the global firmament.
“Finally, the fourth task is for Ismail Sabri to be prime minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region and politics, and re-ignite the hope and confidence about the importance of unity among Malaysians, and that the Malaysian dream for Malaysia to be a world-class great nation is not a lost dream,” added Lim.
Ismail Sabri, an Umno vice president and Bera MP, was sworn-in as Malaysia’s ninth prime minister yesterday.
The former deputy prime minister was appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on the back of support from 114 MPs. — Borneo Post