It’s becoming apparently clear that there are manyparties in Malaysia that are not happy with how the government has been handling the Covid-19 outbreak.
These parties have called for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step down over the failure to contain the virus and take accountability for their mistakes.
The Indonesian government took everyone by surprise when they decided to do what Malaysians have urged our own government to do-apologise for allowing the virus to rampage their country.
Based on a report by Kompas, ministers from the Indonesian cabinet have stepped forward to apologise for the implementation of their Jawa-Bali emergency community activity restrictions (PPKM) (Indonesia’s version of the MCOs).
It is understood that the first minister that was brave enough to step forward to make his apology was Jawa-Bali Emergency PPKM Coordinator, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
“As the Coordinator of the Jawa-Bali Emergency PPKM, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to apologise to all the Indonesian people if the handling of the Jawa-Bali PPKM is still not optimal,” he said, adding that they will continue to work hard in their efforts to reduce Covid-19 transmissions due to the Delta variant so that social assistance to community members can be processed smoothly.”
Another minister who stepped up to be accountable for his actions is the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Erick Thohir, who apologised for not handling his assignments in the effort to battle Covid-19 to perfection.
“The Ministry of SOEs humbly apologises as the assignments given to us were not perfect, because perfection belongs to Allah SWT,”
“But, believe me, with all the power we have, from both corporate and public services, we are trying our best and hopefully, this will be beneficial for all of us,” he said.
“Don’t be insensitive”
Before the ministers’ apologies, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had also reminded officials of the importance of public communication in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Don’t let any of us be insensitive to things like this. Don’t let the people get frustrated because of our mistakes in communication, our mistakes in implementing policies,” he shared.
Jakarta State University Sociology Study Program lecturer, Robertus Robet, has since praised the Indonesian government’s actions as they had good attitudes in regards to the situation.
In the beginning of handling Indonesia’s second wave of the Covid-19 virus, their government took more coercive measures by rebuking and punishing citizens who violated the emergency PPKM rules. Hence, Robet considered the apologies to be a positive change.
Apologies are not enough
However, apologies are not enough, as they must also show the sincerity of their apologies in their policies of handling the Covid-19 outbreak.
“The government must give a signal that they must act in honesty. With sincerity and honesty. In the intention to save their people to build benefits for the public,”
“The way is to get rid of all commercialisation motives, throw away all thoughts of putting business interests first. Get rid of all gestures that indicate that the government cares more about the economy than the people’s safety,” Robet said, adding that what the community needs, more than ever, is to be able to trust their government.
“If there is trust, it will be easier for the community to work together and the solidarity from top to bottom will be effective. The gesture must show that the government is sincere,” he added.
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