By BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
Patriot thanks Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang DiPertuan Agong and Duli-Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja-Raja Melayu for their unanimous decision that there is no need for the state of emergency to be extended beyond August 1. The message is crystal clear.
His Majesty has decreed that parliament is to be convened as soon as possible. Anytime soonest, not in September or October. It should have been convened yesterday or last month. His Majesty had on February 24 said parliament could convene during the emergency.
Patriot on May 6 in a joint statement together with Gabuban Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) had stood in solidarity with the people to humbly plead with His Majesty and their Royal Highnesses for the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance implemented on January 11. We, the people are grateful that our plea is heard.
On the issue of Covid health emergency, Patriot is very grateful that the Conference of Rulers had been explicit and wanted the views of the people to be heard and be taken into consideration without creating any confusion. Patriot had on June 14 stated that our government lacked transparency and sincerity in leading the people to combat the scourge of this coronavirus epidemic. Fighting this ‘invisible’ enemy cannot be through labelling those who differ in views as conspiracy theorists.
Through the Keeper of the Rulers Seal Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, the Conference of Rulers had stated “The methods and procedures used to hold proceedings in several countries are proven to contain the spread of Covid-19 and should be introduced in this country”.
Reading into the lines and in between, it is obvious that Their Highnesses had opined that our government should learn to adapt and be open to the best and effective methods and not be overly dogmatic incapable of change. News in the past weeks had reported that several countries started mass distribution of ivermectin and had seen drastic reduction of the infection rate.
In our opinion Their Highnesses are fully aware of the happenings in the world and that Ivermectin had played a major role to help reduce the infection rate in some twenty countries. Their Highnesses are also aware that numerous people have been frantically seeking to get hold of Ivermectin that could not be officially and legally obtained. The problem with our government officials is that they treat the common people generally uninformed and unknowing. These officials are wrong.
Patriot and Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM) had been in the forefront of Ivermectin advocacy, suggesting the drug be included alongside vaccines in the strategy to overcome Covid-19. We are not alone, but are backed by the doctors’ groups, MAAFIM and SAHAMM, and other civil society groups.
Make no mistake that we are not anti-vaccine. Many among us have been vaccinated or have registered for the vaccination programme. However, we are firm in stating that the vaccines must be safe. Officials in the Health Ministry owe it to the people to ensure the safety of the vaccines. They must be aware of all scientific arguments, including recent reports that are fast emerging by the week. In short, they will be held accountable if they neglect to detect or suspect signals of danger that lead to future harm.
Patriot wants our Health Ministry to heed the advice of Their Highnesses. There is an urgent need to adapt and re-strategise against Covid-19.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan