Malaysians taking RMCO extension in stride

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are taking the extended recovery movement control order (MCO) in their stride, despite having to forgo their travel abroad or midnight trips to the mamak shop.

To them, the extension to Dec 31 is for the greater good.

“The rakyat must stay safe and healthy. Concerts can wait, events can continue with a limited number of people, ” said Rowena Ang, who works in the hospitality industry.

Ang, 27, said it was a good move to extend the recovery MCO since a vaccine for Covid-19 had yet to be developed.

Business owner Hafizh Rahim, 27, is pleased that eateries are only allowed to open till midnight during the recovery MCO.

“No more late night outings equal less crime, I hope, ” he said.

Hafizh added that the situation was gradually returning to normal during the recovery MCO where his work was concerned.

“But things are more expensive now, with suppliers using Covid-19 as an excuse, ” Hafizh said.

Civil servant Ahmad Razif Razali, 35, is happy with the extended MCO as infections had yet to subside.

“I feel safer that way. We all need to cooperate to stop the chain of transmission, ” he said.

A teacher, who only wanted to be known as Emma, 37, said it was good that the recovery MCO had been extended although she was personally impacted as her wedding had to be postponed.

“I can’t have another date or start planning anything because my wedding is supposed to take place outside of Malaysia, ” said Emma.

Digital marketing executive Natasha Young conceded that she missed the freedom she enjoyed before the pandemic.

“I miss music festivals and such events. But it’s better to play it safe for now. Flattening the curve is definitely better than having to re-implement a stricter MCO, ” she said.

These days, she would spend time with friends at home.

“Instead of drinking outside, we just drink within a safe space. The vibe is different as everything has changed since the pandemic hit us, ” said Young, 28.

As for New Year’s Eve celebration, she said she would likely be counting down to the new year at home with close friends and family.

(Under the recovery MCO, entertainment outlets such as nightclubs and pubs are not allowed to operate. However, an exception is granted for restaurants in such premises that have the licence to serve food and liquor.)

Senior executive Sue Lee, 26, pointed out it that it might not be helpful for places which serve alcohol to have shorter operating hours.“This is because most people would hang around at bars from 8pm till midnight. I’ve been to bars in the past month, and they’re mostly crowded, ” she said.

A content writer, who only wished to be known as Melanie, said she would only go to the bars once in a while.

Even then, she would just choose places that are not too crowded.

“If not, I’d just go for house gatherings, ” she said.

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