Back in May, when Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah first warned politicians against attempts to deflect attention from the war against the Covid-19 pandemic, our daily numbers still comprised two-digit figures.
Two days ago, we recorded our highest daily numbers yet: 2,234 more people needed beds and costly medical equipment on top of some 11,000 already being treated for Covid-19.
Yesterday was not far off with about 1,900 new cases and nine deaths.
And yet, a certain politician – or perhaps his supporters – appears to have missed the message.
When the media quoted “PKR sources” as saying that their leader Anwar Ibrahim is seeking an appointment with the king again to show that he has the majority support to become prime minister, not a single person from the party – whether the secretary-general, an official spokesman or Anwar himself – came out to dismiss the report as nonsense.
Not only does such a report show disrespect to the thousands of frontliners and Covid-19 victims – those fighting for their lives and those who have died – it also shows that some of our politicians don’t give two hoots about the Agong’s repeated pleas for political differences and ambitions to be put aside, just until we emerge from this crisis.
Let us not forget that Malaysia, like every other country across the world, is in a state of war.
How else would we describe the situation when more than 12,000 people and counting have been isolated in hospitals and we hear every day of someone’s parent or child or husband or wife succumbing to this invisible enemy?
Over the last two months, hundreds have died. Our concern should be the numbers brought to us each day by Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, not the numbers concocted by a certain politician or his supporters in the media.
The Agong has said it repeatedly: stop politicking and join the war with the rest of Malaysians. Clearly, though, the advice has fallen on deaf ears.
Under a constitutional monarchy, there is little else the palace can do when some grown men still cling to ambitions they had harboured from campus days.
It’s time that Anwar came out to deny speculative reports that he is seeking an audience with the Agong, or that he has gathered enough support to form a new government.
Not that the public is in a state of confusion. Malaysians, to their credit, have grown wiser especially since the Sept 23 press conference and Oct 13 audience with the king.
But any failure by Anwar to issue a denial will show the public which side of the war he is on, even if it does little to erase the image of the proverbial boy who cried wolf.