JOHOR BARU: Johoreans are looking forward to a better year in 2021, leaving behind one that has been blighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pharmacist Hafiz Mos@Mohsin, 49, hopes the pandemic will be contained soon so that life can go back to normal for Malaysians.
“2020 has been the most difficult and challenging year for all of us, ’’ he said, adding that no country was spared by the ravages of Covid-19.
He said previous virus outbreaks such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) had occured but their effects were no where as damaging
Businessman Michael Tay, 58, hoped Malaysians would continue to support and have confidence in the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our country’s economic fundamentals remain strong as our government at both the federal and state level is doing its best to take care of Malaysians, ’’ he said.
Tay said the government had done a good job in handling the pandemic and it was up to Malaysians to play their part to flatten the curve.
General manager with an organisation for the disabled, Joseph Roy Arputham, 43, hoped 2021 would be a better and happier year.
“Pray to God Covid-19 will go away, the sooner the better for all of us, ’’ he told StarMetro.
Joseph said the economic slowdown brought on by the pandemic and the movement control order had impacted Malaysians from all walks of life.
“Johor Baru has been badly affected as Johor and Singapore are economically interdependent on each other, ’’ he said.
Joseph said Johoreans need to spend to help boost the local economy, especially since the border between Malaysia and Singapore has not been reopened fully.
Sales assistant Nooratikah Mohd Rifin, 30, had high hopes for the new year and the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
“I’m looking forward to going out again to attend gatherings with family and friends without having to wear a face mask or observe physical distancing, ’’ she said.
Nooratikah said what she missed most in 2020 was the open-air Ramadan bazaar with the stalls selling Raya delicacies.
She also missed attending Hari Raya open houses and prayed that things would improve in time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which falls in May.
Clerk Tan Choi Lian, 55, hoped 2021, which is the Year of the Metal Ox in the Chinese zodiac, would bring good news to the people.
The Year of the Ox starts on Feb 12 and will last until Jan 31,2022.
“According to predictions, the year is going to be lucky, ’’ she said, adding that the Ox was a hardworking animal.
“Hopefully, the hard work and efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic will bring positive results and the economy will get better, ’’ she said.
NGO supervisor S. Rajaletchimy, 68, believes 2021 will herald a turnaound in people’s fortunes.
“2020 was a difficult year for all of us and hopefully 2021 will be better, ’’ she said.
Rajaletchimy said economic uncertainty had a negative impact on the wellbeing of the rakyat, including NGOs working with the disabled.
She said NGOs that were dependent on donations from individuals and corporate bodies as well as financial assistance from the government, were finding it difficult to serve the people.
She hoped things would improve once the economy recovers.
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