National Recovery Plan sees no forest for the trees, buat tak tahu on ‘elephant in the room’

National Recovery Plan sees no forest for the trees, buat tak tahu on ‘elephant in the room’.

Moo Plan may not need Emergency for further six months from Aug 1.

The National Recovery Plan (NRP), announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on the eve of Agong’s meet with brother sultans, remains deafening in its silence on the Emergency, the “elephant in the room”.

It may be because the Moo Plan does not need Emergency for a further six months from Aug 1. The S’wak territorial election, and by-elections, in that case, can go ahead by Sept end.

The NRP “pre-empts” Agong’s Meet on Wed 16 June 2021. If the Emergency will be allowed to expire on Aug 1, the fizz has been taken out of the big pow wow.

The jury will always be out on whether Agong can appoint “another” minority PM after “informing” the incumbent. The incumbent stands automatically dismissed. The matter remains non-justiciable. No court will go against the Agong. Some things are beyond the Constitution, court and law.

Alternatively, in unchartered waters, the Agong can withdraw the executive authority delegated by Administration to the PM, and Council of Ministers, and exercise it directly until GE15 in 2023. Under the Federal Constitution, Article 39, executive authority in the Federation vests in the state and exercisable by the Agong.

Agong can call off the Meet or make no Announcement on it. The Agong, under the Constitution, stands advised by the Prime Minister.

Already, the Agong’s recent flurry of meetings with party leaders across the political Divide was unprecedented and raised eyebrows.

It could be said that he had to be seen doing something after former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sent a letter on the Emergency, the continued suspension of parliamentary sittings, the pandemic and related issues.

MPs want Parliamentary debate and oversight on the purchase of vaccines in particular, various aid packages and moratorium on bank loans.

Emergency has no connection with keeping a lid on hospitalisation and preventing the public healthcare system collapsing and imploding. In the absence of curfews, in a no questions asked move sanctioned by Emergency, the police could not simply shoot dead those who step outside the house wearing no mask and violating the SOP in other ways. Therein, lies the questions raised on the Emergency.

When push comes to shove, M’sia can cut the Gordian Knot on the pandemic by stepping up daily vaccination until the population attains herd immunity, estimated at between 40 per cent and 70 per cent at various stages.

The gov’t would know how many vaccinations should be done in a day before the country acquires herd immunity. How long immunity would last cannot be the issue if vaccination was all about buying time during the pandemic. Anyway, if the virus finds no place where it can relocate, it will die out.

The NRP appears a complicated exercise detailing at least four phases, with many exceptions, qualifiers, caveats, ifs and buts.

The NRP should recognise that lockdown in red zones was sufficient in keeping hospitalisation below critical levels. National lockdown, irrespective of the colour of the zones, would cause grave economic disruption. The NRP should address this glaring ommision.

Experts say the number of virus cases will not go down until there’s herd immunity from vaccination or the great majority has been infected and exposed for natural immunity.

Otherwise, if numbers are going down, it can mean that less testing may be taking place.

The more the testing done, the more the cases uncovered. A negative test today can turn positive tomorrow. So, on paper, the testing should not stop.

In fact, given the population, science can work out the right daily testing rate during the pandemic.

Author: fernzthegreat

Joe Fernandez holds a honours degree in management, majoring in economics, and has opted from academia in law to being a jurist. He was trained professionally on the job as a journalist. He's a longtime Borneo watcher, keen on the history and legal aspects of Malaya's presence in Sabah and Sarawak. He teaches the English language privately and has emerged as a subject matter expert in public examination techniques.

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