Focus on tackling COVID-19, reviving economy, politicians told

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Politicians are advised to focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as accelerating the country’s current economic recovery as opposed to other issues, according to academics.

Universiti Utara Malaysia’s (UUM) School of International Studies, Politics and International Relations Prof. Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said the focus should be on urgent issues that needed to be resolved while other political issues should be reduced until the situation in the country stabilised.

“The COVID-19 virus is affecting public health, (resulting in) near-shrinking economic growth and unemployment problems … this is what they (politicians) need to focus on. Not to change the government and hold a general election (GE) again.

“The current ruling government still has a period of time until 2023, now is not the right time to hold the GE, with many constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a Bernama TV ‘Bual Bicara ‘ programme titled ‘Post COVID-19: Focus on National Recovery, Avoid Politics?’ here.

In concert with the recommendation, National Council of Professors (MPN) Fellow, Dr Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali said political actions deemed as ‘high politics’ such as the desire to become Prime Minister by certain politicians should be stopped first.

“It has been two years since the general election and the government has incurred costs up to billions of Malaysian ringgits. If we want to hold another election before the five-year term, I believe more government money will be spent.

“In this political situation, any political goal is to achieve national stability in many aspects, but is it possible that stability will be achieved by holding a GE?”

Muhammad Asri said the people could feel relieved at the effort of the government in solving the public health problems following the spread of the COVID-19 virus that had paralysed several business sectors.

Meanwhile, International Islamic University’s Law lecturer Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod said politicians understood the current situation of the country, but they did not consider it not the time to take any political action.

“They feel that politics should proceed as normal and that any opportunity for power available will be used in the best possible manner… so I don’t think they can run away from getting involved in politics.

“Although, there are no law that prohibits politicians from politicking during this crisis, but can’t they not temporarily hold a ‘political ceasefire’ to restore the country’s economy,” he said.

— BERNAMA

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