A lopsided, misleading and imbalanced view

A lopsided, misleading and imbalanced view (nst.com.my)

By Dr Mohd Hazmi Mohd Rusli and Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan –

July 12, 2021 @ 4:28pm

Despite all the 1MDB drama and allegations of kleptocracy, Malaysia was able to come up with RM2 trillion savings – a fact that was admitted by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir himself before he voluntary stepped down in early 2020.  - NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH
Despite all the 1MDB drama and allegations of kleptocracy, Malaysia was able to come up with RM2 trillion savings – a fact that was admitted by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir himself before he voluntary stepped down in early 2020. – NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH

RECENTLY, a Bloomberg columnist, Daniel Moss, published an article entitled “Malaysia Is Staggering Down the Road to Failed Statehood’. We are here to provide a more balanced overview.

To begin with, a failed State is a nation in anarchy with dysfunctional health care system, extremely corrupted governmental agencies, dilapidating public infrastructures with very low Human Development Index (HDI). Malaysia has none of these thresholds.

The white flag initiative has got nothing to do with Malaysia failing as a State. The white flag initiative is a manifestation that Malaysians, regardless of race, are there for each other. Unity among its diverse population, is the main ingredient of nationhood of this proud nation.

If Malaysia really is failing, majority of its population would now plunge into abject poverty with the whole nation falling into the abyss of anarchy. But interestingly, the current government is still active despite several unsuccessful attempts to bring it down. Despite the pandemic, poverty rate in Malaysia remains under 10 per cent of the population in 2020.

The Malaysian government agencies are still running and operating effectively, particularly the healthcare system in battling the Covid-19 outbreak. Both Malaysia’s Health Ministry and the Health Department have worked hand-in-hand with various agencies and organisations to ensure all Covid-19 patients are well taken care of.

Malaysia has initially been successful in containing the virus. When first world nations like Italy, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States and France were overwhelmed by the might of the microscopic but deadly virus in July 2020, Malaysia had zero infections back then.

In November 2020, Reuters reported that the UK has failed to stop the outbreak as deaths climbed up to more than 50,000. Despite mass vaccination, the UK today has recorded 128,000 death tolls with active cases rising up to more than 545,000. Malaysia on the other hand has recorded 6,000 deaths with 81,000 active cases.

The UK remains one of the countries with the highest recorded Covid-19 cases in the world. The new variant is slowly causing yet another outbreak in the UK and possibly the rest of Europe.

According to a report in the Guardian last year, about 700,000 Britons were driven into poverty due to the pandemic. Based on these data per se, is it fair for one to conclude and gladly say that the UK is a failed State?

Despite all the 1MDB drama and allegations of kleptocracy, Malaysia was able to come up with RM2 trillion savings – a fact that was admitted by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir himself before he voluntary stepped down in early 2020. How could a failed state administered by an allegedly corrupt government came up with such massive amount of savings?

Although Malaysia is now swamped with higher numbers of daily Covid-19 infections, this nonetheless, has to be balanced with the immense number of individuals getting vaccinated each day.

Moss, has failed to realise that Malaysia has ramped up vaccination with more than 10 per cent of its population fully vaccinated within a time span of a month. The vaccination progress has been rather promising as of late.

Despite Covid-19 outbreak, a number of mega infrastructure projects like MRT2, LRT3, new highways in the Klang Valley, among others, are still being actively constructed.

According to data published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 2020, Malaysia has a very high Human Development Index (HDI), at par with other developed States. These qualities would not befit a state at the brink of failure.

Therefore, it is an overstatement or an exaggeration to state that Malaysia is going down the path of a ‘failed State’, just because of the white flag campaign taking place in the country. This campaign manifests to the world that Malaysians always look out for one another, come what may.

In conclusion, in our view, the Bloomberg columnist’s article is a lopsided, misleading and an imbalanced piece written against Malaysia.

Associate Professor Dr Mohd Hazmi Mohd Rusli is a lecturer at the Faculty of Syariah and Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia and senior research fellow at the Asian Institute of International Affairs and Diplomacy (AIIAD), Universiti Utara Malaysia

Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan is a lecturer at the Faculty of Syariah and Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

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