Deja Vu

By Sarawakian

Like Déjà vu, as feeling of being there before is apparent. This time it came about two months early. Malaysia has confirmed her entry in record breaking weeks of Covid-19 positive cases. At this point in writing we had already breached the 5,000 cases daily mark. Compare that with last year’s March 26th highest in MCO1 of 235 cases. Daily cases were manageable. Where MCO1 began as the response to 2nd wave, we are now with MCO2 in response to the 3rd wave.

As a record, from what I found on Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah’s statements in the 1st wave of Covid-19 began on 25th January 2020 and ended on 15th  February 2020. We then had the 11 days from 16th till 26th February 2020 without cases. The 2nd wave began on 27th February until 1st July 2020. From then on, the cases observed were considered controlled. However, the 3rd wave began on 20th September 2020 and still ongoing.

Malaysia again implemented the Movement Control Order  ie MCO2 from 13th January 2021 in red zoned states and further extended to the whole of Malaysia except Sarawak who continued with the CMCO (Sibu only division under MCO) from 21st January 2021. There is a strong likelihood that the current MCO expiring on 4th February 2021 would be further extended till the end of the month.

What is frustrating for the general public at large is not so much about the control orders but the repetition of indecisiveness by the government. We seem to read and hear how the same rules are meted out differently depending on various circumstances. At times, it seems politicians and those with power get to bend them and not be punished as much as the common folk. That is the perception which needs to be changed or else it would provide the very reason to compel a change yet again.

The Standard Operating Procedures seem to be again provided at the last minute and never right after the announcement by the Prime Minister. This again threw many businesses and employees into a dark room. Yet gain, the wait was until the day itself for any SOPs to come out. This is unbecoming especially when someone once said enough time would be given. Examinations and school seemed to have been given more questions than answers. The internet remained as crappy as ever. Telco companies who provide data thought it was good enough to give out free 1GB for productivity. This is when what you really needed were connectivity, consistency and speed at an affordable price.

This comes after nearly a year of experience and it is really ridiculous to find the same mistakes done. All I can say is that we have consistently been thrown to be on our own. I guess this is what it means to be in a #newnormal and surely a situation of #kitajagakita. We are definitely looking at a really cautious year again. At the end of this year, it would be close to two whole years living like this.

The hospitality industry I fear would not survive being open. It is time for a re-evaluation of their business model. The way people consume hospitality would change forever. This is the same with shopping centres. As you walk around them today and any day since last year; you would see how thin the crowds are and were.  Opening the shopping centre from 10am till 10pm daily is now no longer feasible. There is simply no one around until about noon and after 7pm people would return home. The argument that people would need to go to the shopping centres later in the evening due to work is no longer a plausible reason as many as 70% in management would be working from home. Essential employees would be on shifts. I think shopping centres and retailers should stop being in denial. Have a single shift. It saves costs. Period.

Cinemas have not been opened for nearly a year except for a few weeks last year since March 18th 2020. People have begun to watch more Netflix, TV Boxes, Apple TV, IQYI and TVB Plus.  Football matches and even wrestling are shown on TV with scant numbers of spectators watching at the venue. What covered the silence when watching on TV live was the ability to add sound effects to every movement to mimic reality. Cinemas would find it hard to come back. This is due to the fact that content is now getting more accessible and technology provides the ability to churn out content remotely.

We should really look at the reason why a capable government is voted in and to those who have betrayed the trust at any side given to them by the rakyat; you should better step down. I think it is as clear as anything now that this is a global problem and what we find back home here can no longer wait. It is important now for the Government to self reflect and start working for the people and not for themselves. We have seen how some of them think nothing of stoking tensions just to remain popular. It is quite astonishing to note how we can easily spot hypocrites amongst us.

We are heading towards a full year as a new city. We do hope the public infrastructure improvements continue to be carried out. At least now we see pedestrian walkways being built and the physically challenged as well as those with sight challenges are considered. We would also need a conclusion on the Subang Ria Park. It cannot just remain as is. Perhaps the Selangor Government and MBSJ would care to step in.

Here is wishing you a Kong Hee Fatt Choy and a Happy Chinese Niu (Ox) Year!