THE CAGE HAS REOPENED

By Sarawakian

The past month has seen a huge gathering of souls in many places. Cinemas finally opened again on 5th March 2021. That is after being shut from 14th October 2020. It is quite a sad state for cinemas as they first closed on 18th March 2020. They were first allowed to reopen on 1 July 2020, being forced to close again on 14th October 2020 after operating for just over 3 months. Shopping centres suddenly saw a surge of crowds faster than the last MCO exit in May 2020. The cage has reopened.

As of today, pubs, night clubs or bars have yet reopened in Klang Valley since 18th March 2020. That is a long time without alcohol in establishments. I wonder when the restrictions would ever be lifted. Only time will tell. Schools have restarted and the government has lifted the mandatory requirement to restrict up to a maximum of 30% of management in any office for work. This has caused an interesting situation where many have gotten used to working from home.

I found it rather interesting to note that based on conversations; there is a sudden gap in adopting technology for remote working. Most of those who are in senior management do not seem to adopt well as they as usual would rely on their office colleagues to help them with. Those who adopted have suddenly grown closer to the age of technological advances. Online meetings and presentations have become a norm. This would surely jolt the office spaces as many would now be able to rotate their manpower using half the space of seating. The days of possible clean and safe shared spaces may become a norm.

As we all start to go about our normal routine, complacency has yet again shown up. No one is really adhering to the 1 meter physical distancing. Neither is the food and beverage operator ensuring this is complied with. Β No one wants to wait for the elevators and would rather squeeze in. No one heeds the requirement to avoid confined spaces. Look at the shopping centres and you would find it crowded just like before.

Perhaps everyone wants to take that chance before the next possible movement restrictions yet again. The inter-district travel has been lifted in Selangor. You are also allowed to travel to Kuala Lumpur. This is enough to turn the local economy around at least. Inter-state travel is still restricted and one would hope that this uplifting should consider the current situation. I do hope we have some sane minds in ensuring what is required must never be the necessity to be pitiful of casual travel. Many have not been able to go home. This is even so for many who have not been home to Sarawak and Sabah. Going home would mean a sure quarantine duration regardless. The luxury of being able to travel inter-state if necessary with approvals would not require you a mandatory quarantine in any state within Malaya.

The political outlook in Malaysia is one which is fluid. It has become a surety now that we all do not need to worry about politicians as no one party now rules the parliament. There seems to be a disease where elected representatives have been able to jump here and there without wanton care of their roots. They would normally claim freedom of association. We should mark these frogs who love to jump. Most of them are not fit to be elected.

Currently, many of us have been utterly disappointed and disgusted for the past year. It is time to put that anger into the hands of voters. The current group of politicians would want you to continue to whine and eventually not go out and vote because they know. They know that if you do that, they would surely win. Do not give them this opportunity to believe that you are stupid. The very least is to make sure they do not get off easy whatever the result.

The future surely lies with the young. I believe in Undi18. There is nothing wrong to believe in this idea. Let us look at the facts. You can get a car driving license at the age of 17. You can get a motorcycle license at 16 years of age. You can also be legally married at the age of 18 years. Yet, in Malaysia today, it remains that you must be 21 years old to vote.

It is time to gazette the new age of 18 years in law. The initial approvals and agreement has already been gotten. Why is it so difficult? People do not stay 18 years of age all the time you know. Each year they grow older. It takes 3 years for them to attain 21 years of age. That’s at the furthest, the next General Election no 16. I believe the 15th General Election would be held this year. It is a high possibility.

I am ready to again vote and I know whom and where my vote would go. That is a fact. The fear mongering and the ridiculous nonsense we are forced to live with today would just be part of the history books. Maybe when we read about this in a few years time we would remember how funny it was.

Time waits for no man. The old will pass. The new would take over. It is a fact. You do not live forever. Neither would ideologies. It is time to start erasing hate. It is time to stand up against poisoned chalices and forked tongues by leaders who are old enough to retire. There is no concrete evidence that experience alone makes one successful. Neither is academic excellence. Only passion can pull you through.

Let us put the clowns of politics back in the cage. Do stay safe and really #kitajagakita!