WHAT about #Justice4Adib? The hashtag made a swift return to social media, just as the spotlight was shifted towards Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over the recent fumbles of his Health Minister Adham Baba.
Just as former Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad pointed out in his response to successor Adham’s accusations of the previous Pakatan Harapan’s failure to curb the infamous Sri Petaling tabligh cluster linked to a major Covid 19 outbreak.
The accuracy of Adham’s claims were swiftly identified both by netizens and politicians alike, many of whom laid out the chronology of events during that fateful week, which if not for the tabligh gathering would have only been remembered for the infamous “Sheraton Move”.
The Sheraton Move was a political coup that commenced at the Petaling Jaya Sheraton Hotel on February 23, resulting in the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government the next day, with Dr Dzulfekly among the first cabinet ministers, along with Agriculture Minister Salahuddin Ayub, to step down following Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as Prime Minister.
Dzulkefly in his statement yesterday stated the Sheraton Move as the plot which also hijacked the nation’s efforts to curb Covid 19. And he had many backers.
“The Pakatan Harapan government officially fell when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned on February 24, due to the Sheraton Move on the night of February 23. Tun Dr Mahathir had to become an interim Prime Minister without a Cabinet until the appointment of a new Prime Minister at the Istana Negara on March 1. The Tabligh cluster which triggered the second wave happened from February 27 to March 2,” Bersatu’s Armada national exco member Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin responded almost immediately upon Adham’s much publicised accusations.
Former Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman added in his tweet that the responsibility to stop the tabligh gathering on that date fell under the purview of the Home Minister and not the Health Minister, and the Home Minister at that time was Muhyiddin who is now Prime Minister.
Dr Dzulkefly explained that Health Department director general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah confirmed that the Health Ministry’s preparations in the the face of an impending Covid 19 global pandemic had began in December 2019 under the PH government.
“As the then Health Minister responsible for the control of this Covid 19 outbreak together with the Health Ministry, I was responsible for reporting to the Prime Minister and cabinet each day since the first reported case on January 24,” said Dr Dzulkefly.
“If there was any minister who was more aware of this tabligh gathering, it was the Home Minister, who is now the Prime Minister. If the current Health Minister has any questions about the validity of his claims that the PH government had failed to curb the tabligh gathering, he should ask the 8th Prime Minister (Muhyiddin),” said Dr Dzulkefly.
“It is quite possible that the 8th Prime Minister was not aware because there was a more important agenda distracting his focus on his work at that moment,” Dr Dzulkefly added, pointing towards the Sheraton Move which Muhyiddin together with members of parliament from Barisan Nasional, PAS, some Bersatu and a rogue group of 11 PKR MPs, plotted the political coup.
“It is really disappointing that the focus on the Covid 19 crisis was hijacked by the Sheraton Move,” said Dzulkefly.
He said that Muhyiddin was appointed as Prime Minister of February 29 and sworn in on March 1, then only managed to form a cabinet on March 9.
“Thus for more that two weeks the management of the Covid 19 crisis went without any political or strategic leadership as it was prior to that. It also must not be denied that the leadership of the health services was excellent during those “dark days of Malaysian politics,” Dr Dzulkefly said.
Dr Dzulkefly reminded Adham to immediately stop playing politics at a time when the country was faced with a wave of crisis brought about by Covid 19, more so during the Movement Control Order (MCO) currently.
That drew attention to Muhyiddin’s shortcomings during his tenure as Home Ministry under Pakatan Harapan, when the then government was mired by a constant wave of opposition narratives particularly surrounding race and religion.
The blinding example was the death of fireman Mohd Adib Mohd Kassim on December 17, 2018 while on duty during riot at a temple in Subang Jaya.
Muhyiddin, as the Home Minister reponsible for the case, was spared much of the attacks as the Pakatan Harapan government was constantly bombarded with waves of graphics, posters and the hastag #Justice4Adib complemented the false narrative of a government dominated by “communist” and “racist” DAP.
However, netizens have began to highlight Adib’s case again, but this time as proof that much of the “concerns” from the then opposition bloc of Umno and PAS, were mainly political in nature.
“There are no more #Justice4Adib posts on Facebook. It used to be every related topic posted and all comments were on that. With copy&pasted comments, profile pics… Whatever, hope justice is served,” wrote netizen tg_haslinda on twitter.
“Pity Adib, being played out by PAS and fellow Muslims,” she said, airing her despair that Adib’s death had been merely manipulated and used as a political tool.
Such was the nature of shortcomings that – beyond meritocratic comprehension – brought about handsome rewards for the perpetrators.
In fact, virtually all those MPs or assemblymen ridiculed under PH rule, some examples being Azmin Ali for the alleged sex video of a person that looks like him, Redzuan Yusof of Flying Car fame, “pig shooter” Pengkalan Baru assemblyman Norhizam Hassan Bakti, Perak exco Paul Yong who was facing charges of rape and others, are now with Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional.