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We need a pandemic response reset

From Dr Amar Singh HSS

I am writing this for Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day. These two pivotal events in the history of our nation speak of change – a breath of fresh air, our people coming together for the collective good of the nation and leaving the past behind.

I say this to speak about the need for change in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a recent Covid Resilience Ranking, Bloomberg rated Malaysia as the worst place to be, out of 53 nations, to reopen the economy in the face of the Delta variant.

You have rightly said that taking the job of the health minister is a “very heavy responsibility”. In this pandemic, it is one of the most important roles that an elected representative of the people can hold and execute. As such, I wish you foresight, courage and endurance for the task ahead.

Allow me to share with you some perspectives on this pandemic that may be useful to your thinking.

Three areas to remove or repair:

1. Repair the trust deficit.
The public has an enormous trust deficit in the government. This can only be overcome with transparent leadership focused on the people’s needs, not on the needs of the leaders. Transparency builds trust.

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