Marina Mahathir bengang

Marina Mahathir

Jika anda sangka penyanyi K-pop sedang lalu, anda dimaafkan

DATIN PADUKA Marina Mahathir adalah anak perempuan bekas perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Beliau merupakan kolumnis di akhbar the Star. Apa yang menarik, akhbar berkenaan enggan menyiarkan tulisan beliau untuk edisi hari ini.

Bengang juga di hati agaknya. Tulisan berwarna merah adalah petikan asal tulisan Marina Mahathir dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Tulisan berwarna biru adalah terjemahan ke Bahasa Melayu oleh Permadu Malaysia.

Jom kita baca apa yang Marina tulis :

So the Star declined to publish my column today. "Not suitable for the Star" it seems. The good thing is now you don't have to get past the paywall to read it. Here it is:

Jadi akhbar the Star tak mahu siarkan tulisan saya di kolum saya hari ini. Nampaknya "tak sesuai untuk the Star". Tapi tak apa, anda tak perlu bayar pun. Bacalah di sini:

Marina Mahathir for the Sunday Star

Marina Mahathir untuk the Sunday Star

I watched a video the other day, put out by the Prime Minister’s Office no less, where the PM is seen being greeted like a rock star by a whole bunch of women clad in pink. They screamed and jostled to see him through glass, their phones held high to record the moment. When you begin the video, you would be forgiven for thinking some K-pop star was passing by.

Saya menonton video baru-baru ini, semestinya dikeluarkan oleh Pejabat PM (PMO), menyaksikan PM disambut meriah bagaikan penyanyi rock oleh sekumpulan wanita yang dipisahkan cermin. Mereka menjerit keriangan macam nak serbu artis kesayangan. Jika anda sangka video ini memaparkan bintang K-pop sedang lalu, anda dimaafkan.

But there was something surreal about the scene. The setting was the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang (MAEPS) where people who test positive for Covid-19 but who are still well are sent to be sequestered from other people, including their families, friends and work colleagues. It is a 2-week quarantine in a facility where we have seen scenes of crowded halls full of bunk beds placed closely together and a lot of bored people trying to amuse themselves. 

Tapi ada sesuatu yang tak kena dengan adegan ini. Ia terletak di Taman Expo Pertanian di Serdang (MAEPS) di mana mereka yang positif Covid-19 diasingkan dari orang lain, termasuk keluarga, kawan dan rakan sekerja. Ia adalah kuarantin 2 minggu dan kita telah lihat suasana dalam dewan yang penuh sesak dengan katil dua tingkat sangat rapat antara satu dan lain. Ramai di dalamnya mereka yang kebosanan dan cuba menghiburkan diri sendiri.

It was strange to see women squealing at the sight of a politician, safely separated from them by glass, when he is the reason they are there in the first place. Unless the sound had been manipulated to seem joyful, I would have thought that curses would be the more appropriate greeting. Not that I don’t believe that quarantine is the best approach to protect the uninfected, but the fact that there needs to be airplane-hangar-sized facilities to house them only underscores the fact that we seem to have lost the plot. There must surely be some cognitive dissonance when people are cheering the guy whose incompetence made them sick.

Aneh juga bila tengok wanita memekik dengan penuh ghairah bila terjumpa ahli politik, yang dipisahkan oleh cermin dengan selamat, apatah lagi orang itulah yang menyebabkan mereka berada di tempat sesak lagi menyesakkan. Kecuali kesan bunyi suara riang wanita sengaja dimasukkan oleh juruteknik, saya rasa lebih sesuai wanita-wanita itu menyumpah seranah kepada ahli politik itu. Bukan saya tak percaya kuarantin adalah pendekatan terbaik, cuma keadaan dalam tempat kuarantin biarlah lebih selesa dan teratur. Seolah-olah kita sudah hilang punca. Sudah tentu nampak bercanggah dengan perasaan sebenar naluri perempuan bila seseorang itu meraikan sosok lelaki yang menyebabkan mereka jatuh sakit.

One year after the virus landed on our shores, one year of having to endure being kept confined in our homes, one year of a lot of people losing their incomes and businesses, people are still thrilled to see the leaders who got us here. Perhaps that aphorism ‘Melayu mudah lupa’ is very true after all. Apart from migrant workers and prisoners, the ones who have suffered most from the ad-hoc way our government has handled the virus are low-income groups, daily wage workers, Makcik Kiah and her stall and yet, if you believe that video, they seem to be the ones who are most forgetful of all. 

Selepas setahun virus menyerang, berkurung di rumah, hilang mata pencarian dan pekerjaan, orang masih menyanjungi pemimpin seperti ini. Sangat betul kata pepatah 'Melayu mudah lupa'. Selain pekerja asing dan banduan, orang paling menderita akibat kegagalan kerajaan menangani pandemik ialah mereka yang berpendapatan rendah, pekerja gaji hari, Makcik Kiah dan warongnya, dan jika anda percaya video itu bukan lakonan, bermakna mereka ini golongan manusia yang sangat pelupa.

While they were cheering, they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that those who are supposed to represent them, are no longer doing so. Apparently because of too much distracting ‘politicking’, the Emergency Ordinance was necessary. But the declaration of Emergency in itself was an act of politicking. It adds nothing to the Covid response except to stifle criticism of the way the government is (mis)handling the pandemic. Very tellingly, a senior government servant admitted that the Emergency Ordinance ‘was very useful in forging cooperation with private hospitals’. Apparently, this cooperation could not be done through discussion and negotiation, only through strong-arming them. In fact, an Emergency is a akin to a bludgeon, the resort of those who know they’re standing on very wobbly ground.

Ketika bersorak riang, mereka dalam keadaan tidak sedar, orang yang sepatutnya mewakili mereka tidak berada di situ. Ternyata, kerana banyak sangat gangguan politik, Ordinan Darurat menjadi wajar. Malangnya, darurat itu sendiri adalah permainan politik. Tak bantu apa-apa pun untuk menyelesaikan pandemik Covid-19, selain menjadi perisai supaya mereka tidak boleh dikritik atas kegagalan menangani pandemik dengan betul. Boleh percayakah seorang pegawai tinggi kerajaan berkata darurat sangat membantu dalam memaksa hospital swasta bekerjasama dengan hospital kerajaan. Mereka tidak akan bekerjasama melalui perbincangan dan perundingan tanpa dipaksa atas nama darurat. Sebenarnya, darurat umpama penawar kecelakaan bagi mereka yang sedang berdiri di atas tanah bergoyang.

Much has been made of the supposed recalcitrance of the Malaysian public to follow SOPs, hence the reason why our numbers are increasing. Yet for almost a year we have become well-versed in the wearing of masks, signing in with QR codes, having our temperatures taken and staying far away from people whose Covid status we are uncertain of. We know that the largest numbers have come from people who are unable to protect themselves through these same measures such as in prisons and in factories. It’s not their fault, nor is it that of the rest of us. We’ve done our part as best as we can and for a while the fruits of our sacrifices were apparent. But that was also the time when our leaders should have been looking ahead at where the hotspots were likely to arise, that is, anywhere crowded where people have no option to socially-distance and taken preventive measures.

Banyak usaha telah dilakukan bagi mengatasi kebimbangan awam terhadap pematuhan SOP, tetapi mengapa jumlah mereka yang dijangkiti terus bertambah. Malah selepas setahun, kita dah jadi terbiasa pakai pelitup muka, daftar masuk melalui kod QR, memeriksa suhu badan dan menjauhkan diri dari orang lain. Kita tahu yang ramai terjangkit adalah mereka yang menghadapi kesukaran untuk mematuhi SOP, seperti di penjara dan kilang. Bukan salah mereka dan bukan salah kami juga. Kami dah cuba yang terbaik dan hasil pengorbanan kami sudah dapat dilihat seketika. Kenal pastilah kawasan yang sukar dan sesak supaya langkah pencegahan dapat dilakukan.

Marina Mahathir is wondering what Malaysians did to deserve such incompetent leaders. Oh ya, we didn’t vote for them.


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  1. Did Marina wonder why we have such incompetent leaders, its due to your father's selfish, arrogant indispensable attitude and betrayal of voters. Now we the innocent rakyat are suffering with half baked government.

  2. Sorry to say Marina what you are going on today is all bcoz of your father, if he would past to Anwar Ibrahim we won't be facing all this half baked PM pintu belakang.


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