HURRAH! THE GATES ARE OPEN!

By Sarawakian

Hurrah! The gates are open! The 1st of April 2022 marks the real show of possible normalcy since the movement control orders of 18th March 2020. After 2 year and 14 days, we feel as if we have completed our jail sentence.

The most anticipated land crossing allowance was the one between Malaysia and Singapore. It was easier before via air though with restrictions. The previous VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) via land was limited to designated bus services. Pedestrians and travellers via other mode of transport were subject to the non VTL requirements.

There would be more testing entering Malaysia and Singapore for either citizen via land. This would certainly boost the tourism industry in Johor as well as Melaka. I am pretty sure Genting would start buzzing yet again.   The past few days since 1 April 2022 saw a steady by cautious entry at the southern causeway. On the domestic front, many of us have started to discover the long-lost freedom away from temperature checks and mandatory spacing. Most of the rules have been relaxed to be just as recommended.

Shopping centres have seen a good flow of people coming back. The patronage of cinemas should be seeing an increase soon once the new movies come about. There would be no doubt. Would this impact upon the streaming models? No, it would not because the content would be different. The airports have started to get busy again. People would start flying domestic especially to Sabah and Sarawak. Langkawi was the first to be opened as a bubble before and was quite successful.

Very soon, there would be no need for MySejahtera to scan-in and this would further ease the entry to many premises. I am very sure many of us now seem to be wary about the data collected within this app. It has in fact, everything including health data and personal information. It has the blue-tooth function, where if you had chosen to activate provide more data. This is very much like the Google function or your other applications.

In the next few months, we would wonder when the World Health Organization declares Covid-19 an endemic and such, the need for vaccinations would no longer be necessary. The booster shots required would soon wane off as we enter each new month. It does not matter what brand you were given before. All vaccines would wane. I am very sure that by the time it hits July 2022, this requirement may be retired.

The Government should really prepare for the future. They should put more emphasis on the need for better health infrastructure and improved healthcare. That was the reason and root cause for the whole world to get as many vaccinated. The health system could not cope, hence this stop gap measure to slow down the infection and its critical effects. It is common sense for anyone to place higher budgetary importance to ensure the health system in the country is improved within the shortest time possible. Malaysia had 2 years and 14 days from 18th March 2020 till 31st March 2022 to plan and execute. However, despite that and the MOU made between the ruling coalition and the alternative coalition, nothing seems to have really given justice to this need. Instead, we hear of the possible cancellation of the health clinic facility in Subang Jaya. This was supposed to be ready by 2024.

Throughout the past over 2 years, we have been led by restrictions and gathered in groups to get vaccinated to help each other. We have been fed facts and opinions about the types of vaccines. We have in majority complied. Yet through those times, we see no real steps to improve the health infrastructure. Private hospitals do not count. We need the public infrastructure improved quickly. This is not a 10 year plan anymore. You would never know when we get hit with another variant or even worse, another virus.

Not every state in Malaysia looks like the Klang Valley. We must know that each place have their constraints. Many remote villagers have been suffering without adequate health care. So much for ‘Kita Jaga Kita’ or “Keluarga Malaysia’ when it is only true for those who can afford. We need to know what is important, but we wonder if those who sit in Cabinet actually know what they need to do other than saving their positions? It is very much the same disease in corporations as with in many associations.

Schools have started to reopen and suddenly you hear of children below the allowed vaccination age infecting parents. Those below 5 years are not within the program. This is a typical scenario, kid sent to Nanny. Nanny infected. Kid infected. Mum must take care of infected kid, so Mum though boosted, gets infected. Mum cannot work as Mum takes care of kid for 7 days at least. Both are infected. Husband is close contact and Husband reports, Husband self isolates for 5 days.

The scenario just now shows you that you CAN get infected THOUGH boosted. It shows you that it AFFECTS jobs. This is the last hurdle required removed. Remove the self-isolation, the livelihoods improve. Fix the healthcare system, you get a protected healthy workforce. Do the Ministers and the Prime Minister know this? We all hope they do. Time is running out for this Government as the tenure ends next year and the General Elections required by July 2023.We all hope though thin, that they focus on that rather than on their political survival.

Hurrah! The Gates Are Open!