We remind Malaysia to be prepared to strengthen its preparedness to face the clash of three crises simultaneously. Health, economic and environmental crises. This is a perfect storm for a national instability.
These three crises are already being felt in Malaysia. The signs of the crisis will increase in scale and the likelihood is high looking at some of the events that are happening now.
The projection that the future of an increasingly critical world will become more chronic has been predicted based on several trends that are being witnessed now worldwide. Outbreaks of new variants, the scramble for water, land, sea and natural resources, internal and inter -state conflicts, trade wars, the threat of nuclear weapons, are among the crises that are expected to make the planet now unsafe to inhabit.
As a result tens of millions died, hundreds of millions starved and became refugees. Hundreds of millions more lost their homes.
The health crisis resulting from this protracted Covid19 pandemic itself has crippled many sectors. We have struggled to survive at a time when the health system is almost paralyzed in the face of the Covid19 pandemic surge. Even to this day the daily figures of infections and deaths continue to be alarming. The crisis of obtaining vaccine supplies and launching vaccinations programs is a heavy issue to handle, plus billions of ringgit have to be spent to address this health crisis.
The movement of the people controlled by the MCO affects daily life. From ordinary activities such as going to mosques and suraus as well as children to school have been restricted causing abnormal conditions have put pressure on the lives of the people.
Consecutively when the crisis also spread to the realm of people’s economic standing. The economic crisis caused by the health challenge resulted in thousands to lose their income including small and medium entrepreneurs who went bankrupt. The emerging economic crisis has affected the lives of the middle and lower classes. Even more concerning and horrific when suicide cases become common news amid the increasing stress of life.
Coupled with the increasing number of natural disasters: floods, storms, landslides, water pollution, damage to water resources and various other environmental crises, the consequences are severe and sometimes horrific when it involves the loss of life and property.
None of these three crises can be justified as an Act of God as some politicians have the tendency to excuse the government from accountability . Most of the crises are the result of man’s own deeds.
The argument that natural disasters are God’s destiny is inaccurate, and can even be construed as an insult to God. Looking at the current global environmental crisis such as global warming and climate change, it is clear that there is a connection with human greed to exploit nature with the environmental havoc that is recognized internationally.
The opening speech of Antonio Gutares, Secretary-General at the 76th UN General Assembly now in New York revealed the issue of the environmental crisis as the world’s biggest threat now due to the policies of countries that allow high carbon-producing industries that lead to global warming and climate change.
Various natural disasters that occur in Malaysia cannot be separated from the cause from human hands and wrong policies in terms of preserving environmental stability.
This includes the hands that approve various mega projects that have a long-term impact on the environment such as sea reclamation, forest logging. In the name of technology and supposedly strict conditions , the authorities have the habit of approving mega projects under the pretext of economic growth. However the impending enviromental disaster will be burdened on the generation to come.
Unfortunately the authorities who are excited about investors and tempted by the figures projected by local and foreign investors normally ignore the impending outcome.
It must be remembered that the environment does not function in isolation but it is an interconnected ecology balance. Therefore every disaster that happens if examined scientifically is related to human activities that have upset the balance of nature. A catastrophe is a collection of factors related to the damage done on the balance of nature.
Malaysia has so far been through major natural disasters such as floods. Prolonged droughts often trigger serious water crises. If examined it has to do with the damage caused by human greed. Do the authorities still fall back to the reasons that all natural disasters are God’s destiny?
The question is whether the people and the government are ready to face the multi crisis due to negligence and mismanagement of the national resources.
The combination of the current three crises, health, economy and environment, is enough to have a devastating impact on the people and the country. There is no guarantee that this kind of triple crisis will not happen again in the future.
A reactive attitude to the crisis can no longer be the order of the day. Proactive measures by examining the causes of the crisis need to be taken as an approach. There must be a readiness to admit with all honesty that there are a myriad of negligence and wrongdoing in handling the crisis by the authorities.
We call on the government to hold discussions with experts in various fields so that a professional view can be presented to make a projection of what the nation will be going through and how the right preparations and decisions can be taken.
Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid
President of MAPIM