By Jocelyn Nya

UMNO supreme council member Razlan Rafii would do well to take note of the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia which has grown out of control in recent weeks and he should then ask himself who are the ministers in charge of the pandemic response.

Since he might be not aware, since he has the audacity to call the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) ministers in the Perikatan Nasional government, “incompetence” and since he is clearly not an individual who sees irony, let me list them out:

Minister of Health Adham Baba (Pandemic Control)
Minister of Defense Ismail Sabri Yaakob (MCO Management)
Minister of Science Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin (Vaccine Procurement)

Before referring to GPS ministers as incompetant, why don't you question these three ministers who are the prime movers of the country’s anti-COVID-19 measures?

One is famous for warm water and avoids the press at every opportunity, another keeps changing MCO SOPs and the final one has yet to explain why the vaccine roll out which started in February is still moving at a snail’s pace.

Bear in mind that GPS has had among its ranks the least controversial ministers at a time of great controversy. Bear in mind that they have been steady partners of any coalition they have been apart from Barisan Nasional or Perikatan Nasional, working diligently and without a fuss.

Besides the Bersatu ministers, Razlan specifically took aim at Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri who despite holding a troubled portfolio during this pandemic has managed to push forward initiatives and keep the discussion on tourism alive instead of consigning herself to a defeatist mentality.

External factors dictate that there will be no tourism for the foreseeable future, but you do not see her making remarks that would hurt the PN coalition nor court controversy. In fact she is a far cry from Pakatan Haparan’s Mohamaddin Ketapi who not only did nothing to advance the Tourism portfolio but stumbled from one faux pass to another.

It is telling that unlike the situation at the federal level, we can see that Sarawak has a stable, effective and well-functioning state political apparatus, something that the people of Sarawak appreciate and that is why GPS can count on the support of Sarawakians, through thick and thin.

UMNO needs to learn to work with its partners instead of slamming them if it is to be a team player. The backlash against Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was unanimous. It was not the decision of any single individual and Razlan should be supporting the move not using it as an opportunity to score political points against his own coalition.

*The views expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of INS.