After all the rhetoric heading into June, we have had experienced the so called Full MCO which had 3 phases as announced on 28th May 2021. It began on 1 June 2021 and was supposed to end on 15th June 2021 but was extended from 16th June until 28th June 2021.
With cases surging still and infectivity rates not seeing constant solid downtrend, the Government decided with a new one. This was called the National Recovery Plan. The FMCO acronym was dropped because it seemed the cases were slowly flattening out and a new catch phrase was required. Apparently this was concocted because it was supposedly better to show how we would move from Phase 1 (June) to Phase 2 (July/August) to Phase 3 (September/October) and then lastly to Phase 4 (November/December) this year. I thought it was just another Marketing effort.
The key criteria for moving out of Phase 1 included having less than 4,000 daily positive cases; 10% of the Malaysian population FULLY vaccinated and the ICU facilities available are at moderate level. June came and gone. At the tail end of May and early June, we had cases between 8,209 (3 June) and 9,020 (29 May 2021). We have since seen cases above 6,500 a day. FULL vaccination was at 7.5% as at this time of writing. Hence, Phase 1 remained until further notice.
July came and in Selangor, we were all jolted with the announcement of the EMCO (Enhanced MCO) beginning 3rd July 2021 for 2 weeks until 16th July 2021. This would affect all major economic districts in Selangor. Daerah Petaling, Klang, Hulu Langat, Sepang, Gombak, Kuala Langat, Hulu Selangor and Kuala Selangor. The SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) looked to be similar to the MCO in March last year. Only 1 person a car is allowed up to 10km for supplies. Businesses allowed can only trade from 8am till 8pm. Many of us in Subang Jaya would remember that we had to endure the MCO since 6th May 2021. Cumulatively, it has been about 2 months already. This is by far the longest stint with no end in sight.
Somehow, we are all stuck in this rut without a distinct stable hand to lead the country out of this storm. It must be serious when you are now allowed to dip into your savings as part of the economic stimulus plan. One wonders if there should have been a better way to spend monies to help the Rakyat instead of asking them to dip into their savings. From a common person’s standpoint, there is no choice if you need funds. For those who could afford, it is not an issue. How would the money be used is up to you.
Yet, some people think that it was a brilliant way to package it as an aid. Perhaps it is so, as it could be interpreted as an aid to allow early withdrawals from Account 2 when it was harder to do so before. Moratoriums on loans are another. It is merely a suspension of payment. You do not get charged an extra interest. But you still pay interest. After the fuss has settled, have you ever thought of the serious repercussions of both these plans? Can you afford the aftermath? Sounds more like an enslaving scheme.
Lately, there were also plans that the National Recovery Plan (NRP) could be used on a state defined basis. Something is seriously wanting here. How would you close the borders better now when in the past it did not work? It would only work if the borders are water tight. The states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak and Perlis have been earmarked to be the experiment for this new definition of the NRP. Let us watch with fear.
One really wonders if those in power know what they want to do. They seem to make decisions with such dynamism that you think you are in a circus event. Rudderless. We are listening to spin masters. We are constantly circling around. They play a tune, we are expected to follow.
It is very important now that people understand the need for compliance. However, it must start with the top. Those in Government have publicly admitted that they have not complied. They await fines. Fines which taxpayers would likely pay on behalf as taxpayers pay their salaries. How does it feel knowing that those in power screw you around and you still think it is okay?
Have you seen the white flags? The sentiment is so low now. Psychological and emotional levels are at tipping points. The Rakyat is suffering. Those eking out a living fare worse. Those who are in school still continue to struggle. It is not easy learning online when your internet connection remained status quo since last year. Just as bad. What use is it to highlight when you do not see the rush to improve connectivity?
Many urbanites and those who can afford do not see the same level of helplessness as those who are urban poor or in smaller towns and villages. Yet, everyone is concerned about 5G when even hardware is not available to each school going child who is already deprived of a proper learning environment. You still need to pay for internet service. You still need a device. You also need a place. Imagine two children trying to study and in different classes occurring at the same time. Internet connection, devices and the environment to focus.
We really need a more comprehensive united front especially with the medical resource. We should use all our medical staff including those under contract or have just graduated to help where they can. They should be treated the same as those in permanent positions. There is no time for red tape talks anymore. It is also time for the private sector hospitals and medical centres to give more. The failure lies within our system. Greed is the problem. Cash is king. It has reared its ugly head. I do not clap my hands when I read of people going over to another country offering assistance when the dire need is in your own backyard. Hypocrite. Do not coat your deed with the blanket of humanity. Your own people left unaided.
Rudderless. We have to pull through this. The failure of our representatives is clear. We have a bloated cabinet that we still pay salaries to eat durians, chicken rice and pose with instant noodles. Show them out the door come next election. No. This article is not politics. It is about Lives and Livelihoods…of OUR OWN PEOPLE.