While Joe Biden, the President of the United States, may have declared the pandemic as over, the fact is the “breakthrough” variants of the original SARS Cov II virus continues to kill more than 3,500 in the US each week.
In the words of Edmund Yong, a Malaysian who moved to the UK with his parents at the age of 9, who studied the sciences at the United College of London then the Imperial College of London, who received the Pulitzer prize of 2021 for the “best scientific explanatory writing,” if anything else, the world must understand that other forms of pandemic are lurking to recur in future.
Thus, while Covid-19 may have already become endemic as the global climate changes, more and more animals will escape from their usual hounds to avoid the growing heat.
This is where the plausibility of more zoonotic diseases will happen, leading to more human to human transmissions.
All Malaysians can read about it in TheAtlantic.com, especially “The Next Pandemic.”
Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad is an eminent toxicologist, the discipline that looks into the effects of poison on human health and other living creatures.
His medical training is unparalleled. He graduated from the Imperial College in London, as the writer Edmund Young did.
Obviously Imperial College London has one of the best toxicology and scientific programs in the world.
By voting for Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, voters in Kuala Selangor are showing the world they do want an eminent world-class expert on public health in its midst.
Everyone may know Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad as the ex-minister of health in the Pakatan Harapan government, who also writes a regular column at The Edge Weekly.
In all his articles, one can see that he does not only have a clinical mind but an erudite style of capturing the fine dynamics of the issues on the ground.
Kuala Selangor is known for its seafood. It is also not far from Klang or Sekinchan, a fishing village that extends from the coast of Kuala Selangor. This is an area where the potential for tourism is already very high.
With Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim contesting for a seat in Tambun, Perak, Kuala Selangor would be connected to the development corridor of Selangor and Perak.
Just as crucially, while the statistics may show that there are more Malays than any other ethnic groups in Kuala Selangor, the fact is: Kuala Selangor is the location where different races work well together, whether in the palm oil plantation, the tourism sector, the many halal seafood restaurants that are tucked away at the seafront and river coast that cater to Malay, Chinese and Indian clientele, including international tourists too.
Kuala Selangor is more well known than many people tend to give it credit for. It is barely one hour away from Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, for that matter, Sungai Buloh or Kajang.
If the naval personnel in Lumut want to get their rest and recreation in Kuala Selangor, it is barely an hour and 35 minutes away.
This is an area that can grow when there is a Member of Parliament who understands the very potential Kuala Selangorians themselves have long understood, granted that Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad is wisely elected by the people of Kuala Selangor.
Tengku Zafrul is one of those candidates who have been parachuted to Kuala Selangor to enable a victory for Umno.
There is nothing wrong with that, but Tengku Zafrul sees himself a cut above all other races, even Malays, which is why he would have the mindset of what Umno itself calls “orang kayangan,” someone whose feet are never on the ground.
Zafrul may have all the funds being a finance minister, visiting Kuala Selangor, as he so proudly claimed, 200 times in the last six months, and ready to dish out cash!
But isn’t this a dereliction of his duty as a finance minister for all of Malaysia? What about those who need simple infrastructure and clean water in Sabah, Sarawak or Kelantan?
Look at his budget prior to the dissolution of parliament on October 7, 2022. RM97 billion is dedicated to the operational expenditure of the civil service or those who have once worked in this sector.
Once again, there is nothing wrong with trying to reward the civil service. They, too, are suffering from the ever escalating cost of living. But the increase must be realistic to prevent the world market from downgrading the ringgit further. Yet Tengku Zafrul increased the operational expenditure by a whopping 50 percent!
This is not only outlandish, but rather counter-productive in all sense of the word.
Why? When the capital expenditure is increased by 50 percent despite the fact that between 2005 and 2018 the public sector indeed took up 70 percent of all budget allocations of the Malaysian government, what we have is a bloated budget.
Tengku Zafrul has topped up the capital expenditure of the budget without increasing the even more important development expenditure.
Yet in an economy that is affected by the ramifications of Covid, where Long Covid implies that anyone can have lingering symptoms two weeks after recovery, Malaysia needs the voters of Kuala Selangor, just as Kuala Selangorians themselves, to vote for someone who can understand the importance of how to lobby the federal government to help Kuala Selangor and Malaysia writ large.
Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad can address all these issues at the state and federal levels as he was once the chair of Selangor’s Covid-19 commission too.
Unknown to many, Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad is an eminent authority on toxicology acknowledged by the World Health Organization.
Kuala Selangor is now a frontline state of not just Selangor but, God willing, Pakatan Harapan as the prospective federal government in Putrajaya.
Kuala Selangorians can grow further with the access that Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad has with both the state and Putrajaya.
Even more critically, Digital National Berhad (DNB) which sought to be responsible for the rollout of all future 5G in Malaysia compelled all telecommunication companies to come on board.
While four of them were willing, Maxis and Axiata refused. But even four joining DNB will cost the consumers billions of ringgit in future, especially now and 2030, as Tengku Zafrul has tried to free ride on this project without doing anything or paying anything, with the exception of using the government authority of DNB to pressurize others into accepting the role as first among equals.
This would raise the cost of 5G digital consumers and should the plan proceed as the essence of 5G is constant competition to broaden the bandwidth and speed with the attendant goal to make the cost of digital subscription hardly a burden at all.
Yet, Tengku Zafrul has flipped this principle completely in reverse.
ow can Kuala Selangorians or any Malaysians for that matter trust him? If anything, we should throw him and DNB project into the dust heap of another dubious project lack of transparency.
After all the DNB’s Single Wholesale Model has been an abject failure everywhere and anywhere it was deployed.
This project is worth billions of ringgit and it will once again be the people’s monies that will be tapped either through guaranteed debt by the government or through tax revenues!
It could have been all private sector initiatives, just like in all and every nation that have successfully deployed 5G.
Kuala Selangor can do a great national service by voting in Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad who will work tirelessly with a great passion and heart for Kuala Selangor, for Malaysia, and for the MANY!
(Dr. Rais Hussin is the President and CEO of EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.)