WHITE FLAGS have started popping up in Subang Jaya. It can only mean someone needs help. If you are a neighbor, spare a minute to call on your neighbor to find out what help is needed.

Check on your neighbours. You are not being a busybody for doing so. It’s about caring for one another in these trying times during the pandemic. Your neighbor could have put up his white flag because he has run out of food for his family, and has no money to replenish his supplies. Or it could be a neighbor at a brink of emotional breakdown needing someone to talk to.

There will be many reasons behind what drives a person to build up the courage to put up a white flag. Extraordinary times like this call for extraordinary measures to respond to the call for help. Chip in; get the other neighbours together and pool some resources to help the neighbor in distress. This is the time to show our “sekampung, sejiran” spirit in Subang Jaya, where no one gets left behind. And most importantly, no one goes hungry in Subang Jaya.

I would like to extend my thanks to Dr Selvam Shanmugam for responding to our request to help us with the handmade figurine holding a white flag for our ongoing initiative. Although busy with his work and family commitments in Sarawak, he jumped straight into creating his masterpiece for us and photographing it for us to use.  A big Thank You also goes out to our creative resident Victor Loo who helped us design the logo for the campaign. Combined, the figure and logo symbolises what the Subang Jaya community is all about – We are Here for You!

The Enhanced MCO which has landed on our laps in Subang Jaya came as a surprise. I had personally expected us to continue in Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan. But does any MCO or Plan make any difference to our road to recovery if we ourselves do not take great pains in abiding by the SOPs laid out?

There were still people out there enjoying football, basketball and futsal during the MCO 3.0 (now dubbed the NRP). Some continued to “curi-curi” cycle around their neighbourhood when it was very clear that they cannot. At the time of writing this, people were spotted walking the park in USJ13 while a group was seen playing badminton on the road in USJ1. Do they do these because they are ignorant of the SOPs; or are they just plain defiant? Surely there must be some grey matter in their heads to comprehend what they can or cannot do, right?

In recent weeks, we’ve had Covid-19 positive outbreaks in coffeeshops and eateries. It took many by shock to find out their favourite go to eatery has been affected and that workers or stall owners had contracted the virus. Many customers had to carry out a Covid-19 screening just to check if they were exposed and infected.

I have a question. How many people must be infected in a shop before it is necessary for the shop owner to close it to send the workers for screening and to sanitise the outlet? I am curious as this weekend, word was going around that an employee and an employer of an outlet had tested positive for Covid-19 but the shop remained open. What are the criteria for closing or keeping the eatery open? Isn’t it the responsibility of the owner of the eatery to immediately close their shop, screen their workers and sanitise the place?

Failing to do so would expose customers and delivery boys to immeasurable risk of infection. Failing to do so would also expose neighbouring businesses to Covid-19 as well.

The pandemic is no longer something to be looked at lightly. It is claiming lives every day and turning them into statistics. People are dying from the virus; sometimes even people you know and love.

It’s time to step up. There’s no time to waste. Help the needy; and abide by the SOPs. To give is a blessing, to give is divine.