It does not matter whether our government acted too slowly or too quickly in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have nonetheless, and we as the people they are trying to protect must give them our fullest cooperation and support their measures.
The 14-day “Movement Control Order”, as it is called, must be obeyed regardless of our opinion, political affiliations or how much inconvenience it causes us.
We should all stay at home and go out as little as possible so that the outbreak doesn’t spread and those already infected can easily be identified.
In other words, if we do not stay at home, the virus will easily spread, and more people will get sick and people will die.
As citizens, we must follow the instructions under the order—regardless of how well thought out they are or not—to save the lives of our loved ones and, yes, ourselves.
I also have questions about the measures taken by the National Security Council (NSC), but I must admit that they are trying. The NSC holds meetings every day to address the different situation that the previous day has thrown up.
No one is an expert in this because it has never happened before in living memory. We can bitch and complain but we must stick to the big plan—stay at home and don’t allow COVID-19 to spread.
This semi-closure will hurt our pockets and that of all companies. Several big firms may go under because of all this, but the most important thing is that Malaysians will survive and stay healthy.
We will have time after this emergency—or war against this virus as French President Emmanuel Macron calls it—to try to rebuild and that’s what I hope the government is doing now, which is planning for the future after this crisis is over.
As for us common people, we should be thinking of how we should spend the next 13 days. Be grateful we have the internet and our mobile phones that keep us in touch with the world.
For the selfish ones who are taking the closure as a holiday to wander around and have their meals at hawker stalls, you are forcing the authorities to take harsher steps in order to contain this outbreak.
A complete lockdown where one cannot leave the house at all will be terrible. Let’s not force them into doing this.
If the disease spreads, our health system may collapse and those with other chronic diseases will be squeezed out and receive no treatment.
So, stay home as much as possible and spend time with your loved ones. Learn to bond again as a family. Finish that book you bought a year ago or that DIY project that’s been gathering dust in the storeroom. Learn to knit if you have to. Just don’t go out.
Stay home Malaysians, stay safe.
This opinion piece was contributed by Datuk Wong Sai Wan, editor-in-chief of Malay Mail. If you have an article or opinion that you would like to contribute for the benefit everyone, share it with us here.