Are Malaysians Really on the Road to Recovery from Covid-19? | The Full Frontal

Are Malaysians Really on the Road to Recovery from Covid-19?

It’s been awhile since our Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made an official address. In said announcement on Monday, he shared his love for Muar laksa as well as some updates on how the country is doing in terms of our road to recovery post MCO amidst the Covid-19 madness.

PM Muhyiddin
PM Muhyiddin Yassin in his official address to the country on the latest updates.

The Good Fight

First, the good news. Under the government’s PRIHATIN and PRIHATIN Plus packages, approximately 2.75 million jobs have been saved under the Wage Subsidy Programme with RM7.4billion given to a total of 834,000 employers to be channelled to a total of 6.7million employees under them. Both of these packages have also benefited about 800,000 businesses including our local SMEs and mum-and-pop shops. Keep supporting local guys!

Remember the morning we woke up and received RM250 (or more, depending) in April and May respectively? You can thank the Bantuan Prihatin National scheme for that, with a total cash aid of RM11.14 billion given out to recipients. E-hailing drivers received a cash allowance of RM500 that totals to RM34 million while taxi drivers, bus drivers and tour guides received RM600, totalling to RM28.8 million.

For all the Malaysians in the house, and I mean that quite literally as all of us have had to spend a lot more time at home, our electricity bill prayers were answered. Muhyiddin highlighted that about 7.7 million consumers received a 50% discount on Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) electricity bills that totals to RM312.32 million, and 1.4 million consumers received a discount of 15% that amounts to RM185.75 million.

So, overall, I’d say we’re doing pretty okay, no?

And the Other Shoe Drops


PM Muhyiddin then addressed how Malaysians are becoming more relaxed in terms of the SOPs and guidelines set by the government. As someone who has severe anxiety and a slight inclination to being a hypochondriac, it’s pretty scary to see how many of us out there are taking things for granted. Remember, just because things are better, doesn’t mean it’s over! Being the observant individual that comes with being a writer, here are some things I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks.

1. Getting up close and personal

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Look, guys. There are markers everywhere that specify you should leave at least a 1 metre gap between you and another person. And for the most part, Malaysians are still practicing good social distancing measures. But recently, I’ve seen a number of places (trains included) where social distancing just flew out the window. 

2. Self-quarantine? What’s that?

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A Malaysian woman with a home-quarantine band on her wrist seen enjoying a cup of coffee at an eatery in Ipoh. Photo from Twitter.

In recent news, there have been several instances of Malaysians wearing quarantine bands being out and about like they own the place. The quarantines are put in place for a reason, you know. Even if you don’t care about your own wellbeing, it’s not just your life at stake in this. Positive or not, you never know if you’re an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.

3. Putting your mask at home instead of on your face

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A clear example of how not to wear your masks; like a bracelet on your wrist. Photo from Daily Sabah.

I think this one’s pretty self-explanatory. Wear your masks, and wear them right. Masks are supposed to be worn over the nose and mouth, covering the entire lower part of your face from the eyes downwards. If you have no need to wear it like say, when you’re about to eat, remove the mask completely to avoid contamination. And please, when you’re done using them, dispose of them properly. Do you know how much germs and bacteria are collected at the end of your usage?

4. Treating hand sanitisers like ornaments or shop decor

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Use the hand sanitisers as they were intended: to sanitise, not as an ornament for the table. Photo from Twitter.

The hand sanitisers provided by businesses aren’t like the ornamental tea cups your grandmother keeps on the cupboard because it’s nice to look at. It has an actual use: to sanitise

5. Forgoing the QR code scans or check-in books

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Most establishments provide the QR code to the SElangkah or MySejahtera app. Photo from Facebook

Contact tracing is equally as important as practicing good hygiene and social distancing. So much so the government developed several apps just for this purpose alone. And yet, there are loads of Malaysians out there who take it for granted with excuses like:

“I’m going in to tapau food only”

“I already scanned when I entered the mall, what’s the use in scanning again”

“I eat very fast. I’m in and out in no time” 

6.‘I just checked my temperature, no need to check again’

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Shoppers and patrons are required to scan their temperatures and record them before entering the premises. Photo from The Star.

This is pretty much a follow up to the point on top. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already done it, a lot can change in a matter of minutes when it comes to your health. Of course, this isn’t only directed towards patrons or visitors. I’ve personally seen a number of stores that don’t much care for taking temperatures or leaving one out for customers to self-scan.

7. Following procedures ‘only because you have to’

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Only through strict enforcement will Malaysians give in to following the guidelines set by the government. Photo from FELDA

I think we know this attitude all too well. Admit it, you and I both know that we’re guilty of the ‘tidak apa’ attitude sometimes, doing things only because we’re under scrutiny from the powers that be.

What this really boils down to, is Malaysians not taking the issue of their health seriously. 

How We Can Be Better

As a start, I think we all have to remember that these SOPs were put in place for our own good. And while things sure are looking up, it’s important that we continue fighting the good fight by following the SOPs to a T, instead of taking things for granted and relaxing our efforts. Just think, we’ve gone from ONE new case to double-digit cases within a few weeks. If we continue down the road of this ‘tidak apa’ attitude, it could get worse and we’d go back to the days of the MCO. 

So from one Malaysian to another, please wear your mask and keep on practicing social distancing, because I really don’t think I can go back to staying at home 24/7 again. That being said, most of us (myself included) haven’t really experienced what a full-on lockdown is like. And to that, I am truly thankful for.