By Hang Kasturi
Let me be the first to say this. Another national lock down will ‘kill’ many Malaysians. The problem is without another MCO, the result is the same – more Malaysians killed by COVID-19. It’s a bloody conundrum for the government and the citizens. Who is to blame for the spike in cases? The government or the people? Listen to yourselves first.
Whenever the government falters, the citizens are always quick to condemn their actions and decisions. Yet, I always also hear the people claiming to be the ones who control the government – the one that the government has to listen to. The rakyat (citizens) is king, many say.
But what if the rakyat is flawed? They are the ones flouting the MCO SOPs, aren’t they? The rakyat are the ones spreading the virus right? But then again, the rakyat turned around – the government is not strict…the government is weak….the government is fighting the wrong battle.
Tell me, what have they done wrong exactly? Didn’t they listen to all of you to end the MCO? Didn’t they allow everyone to go back to their lives, jobs and work, as you urged? Didn’t they allow everyone to cross borders and visit their parents, as you pleaded?
All they (the government) asked of us is to follow the SOP… is it that difficult? How difficult it is to cut down on your social activities? Is it difficult to wear masks and adhere to social distancing? Is it really that hard to disinfect your hands regularly?
Do you really think that you are amongst the lucky ones who would never be infected? On what basis have you made that assumption? Don’t you know that even if you don’t have symptoms or are not sick, the chances are you will infect others who are healthy. It is this stubborn and irresponsible thinking that has caused the new wave of infections to spike.
You really think it’s cheap for us to go around taking COVID tests monthly? Dammit, some of us can’t even afford to buy groceries. Times are really bad. Projects cancelled or postponed. Companies cutting down on staff, and some even closing down. Work from home? Online classes? Some can’t even afford to pay for the outstanding Wifi bills!
You can’t expect all of us to get a permit to jual goreng pisang (sell banana fritters) by the roadside … Why? There’s too many already. And you also need people with money to be able to buy these small luxuries in life. And when these luxuries become unaffordable, opening roadside warungs (food stalls) and pop-up stalls is not the answer.
You think the pilot is happy that he has to wear his uniform at his pop-up stall? You really thing that was his purpose in life? No.
We need to get our country back on track NOW. Not in 2022 and not in 2023. The majority of us cannot see beyond the next month, what more the next year.
What about our frontliners? They are beyond fatigued, so are our hospital facilities.
And the government is NOT to be blamed. For 22 months from May 2018, the previous government did hardly anything but politicking and carrying out vengeful acts instead of making the already great economy greater. No, they said our economy has been shattered by the previous government and we are nearly broke. And that, my friends, set the whole lousy economy that the current government had to correct. And they are trying their best even with their hands tied behind their backs. The country was not broke when PH took over, but they successfully broke it within the 22-months they were in office.
No, I am not a supporter of Bersatu. Never will be. But they are the valid government of the day and should stop wasting so much time and energy politicking and bickering about who has more posts, who should be controlling this and that, who should jump over, who should resign, who should be sacked. We are all tired of this.
Don’t you realise we are under nature’s siege? The COVID and the floods … and what else? These are the more pressing things that both the government and the rakyat should unite on. Nothing else. Work together, support each other. Help one another. We are desperate and we need guidance. If we, the rakyat are stupid, that the government should tell us that … and tell us also how not to be stupid. But would we listen? I doubt it.
And once our intelligence returns hopefully after the end of the pandemic, we can start again to rationalise who we want to govern us. And the key word is govern – not to give us never ending K-drama quality politics.
We Should Listen To The Civil Servants
For once, I think the powers that be should also listen to the civil servants. Like they say, governments come and go, civil servants don’t. And maybe these people up there should listen to the civil servants for once. Because, unlike most of those in power, the rakyat comes into contact more with the civil servants. We are not the politicians’ crony or kakis. We cannot call the Minister or Deputy Minister or KSUs as if we are friends. No. But we know most of these over-worked civil servants who understand how the country works. So listen to them, because these civil servants listen to us too.
I’m just fed up because my 2020 plans all screwed up. Come 2021, which is now, nothing seems to be happening too….and yes I was one of the few who could survive for one year …. but that one year has ended and now, I too, am staring at a blank wall.
Something needs to happen and happen fast. If the government wants us to tighten our belts for another round of MCO that will squeeze one month of our lives again, so be it. But during that time, release the vaccines as fast as possible and as cheaply as possible, if not free.
And when lockdown ends, we the rakyat should be the vigilant citizens – a more disciplined people. Janganlah terus jadi macam lipas kudung (running fast like a cockroach) or like a buffalo in a china shop. We really need to get our act together.
So bite the bullet. Both of you: The government and us.
As for the third entity called politicians – can you please use your tiny brains and become true leaders for once! – New Malaysia Herald