I DO not have a phd, I am just a regular Joe armed with nothing more than a diploma eking out a living during these hard pandemic times. Recently, I was told that unless I have a phd I will not be able to understand why we need to have elections. And the words came out of no less than an MP and a former deputy minister, Ahmad Maslan.I did not have the privilege to pursue an education higher than what I had already achieved. Maybe my lack of education has blinded me and millions of other Malaysians the ability to understand the complexity of why we need to have an election when the pandemic is at its peak with almost the entire country on lockdown.As far as I am concerned, the Sabah elections last year has sparked the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Malaysia and the spread has not stopped, and in fact, it has gotten worse. It doesn’t take a phd holder to understand that when it comes to SOP adherence, Malaysians have a tendency to take things lightly.In fact, I’d venture to say that those whose heads are in the clouds, including some phd holders and MPs, are not in touch with ground realities, preferring textbooks solutions and ideas.How Ahmad can theorise that an election is necessary when the pandemic is at its worst, is beyond me. But without holding a phd, I can understand why the king declared an emergency yesterday.And why shouldn’t his majesty? Just days after the Pulai MP, who obtained a CPGA of 3.85 in university (much better than mine), said the lower educated Malaysians cannot understand why we need to have snap polls, the backroom political manoeuvering shifted into high gear.Several Umno MPs soon withdrew their support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. In robbing the PM of numerical support, these legislators hope to trigger a general election, in the process repeating the Covid-19 SOP lapses during the Sabah polls, but on a national scale.His majesty did right when he acceded to the cabinet’s request to impose a national emergency, effectively suspending Parliament and preempting the need to hold a snap poll. Lives are saved and our healthcare upheld in one fell swoop.I don’t have a phd and I understand the logic of the emergency declaration. There is a time for politics and there is a time to prioritise our lives and wellbeing. Now is the time for the latter. Perhaps, this is something people like Ahmad, who also does not have a phd, cannot grasp. – January 13, 2021.* James Chai reads The Malaysian Insight. * This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.
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