The Covid-19 battle is everyone’s responsibility


LIKE most Malaysians, I keep tabs on the number of new Covid-19 cases daily and the breakdown according to states. I live in Selangor so I am very concerned that my state has been topping the charts for weeks now. However, numbers have also been rising in all states, leading to a nationwide movement control order (except in Sarawak) beginning today.

Human nature being what it is, the finger-pointing and blame game has become more rampant, not only among politicians but also the rakyat. But to me, it’s simple: Battling Covid-19 is everyone’s responsibility and we can overcome the virus only if every one plays his/her part.

If we are honest with ourselves, the daily numbers of SOP flouters reported in the media – especially those flouting the most essential ones, ie not wearing a facemask and not keeping enough distance – are only the tip of the iceberg. We cannot be expecting enforcement teams to be everywhere all the time. These are the basic safety measures that every individual, irrespective of age, must take. Thus I disagree with the notion that raising fines is the answer moving forward, when the reality is that enforcement is a challenge.

I would like to stress to the authorities as well that EVERYONE, regardless of who they are, must adhere to the SOPs. I can understand why many people were disgruntled with our director-general of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham, when he asked on social media recently whether people understand what he stresses daily, because many situations have come to light indicating that some politicians are still going about doing things “as usual” instead of adhering to SOPs issued by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council. Now, some may say this is debatable, however to my simple mind, it’s obvious that the SOPs apply to all of us. The SOPs have been laid down to reduce the surging number of Covid-19 cases in our nation and successfully doing that depends on everyone playing their part. This is vital.

I would also urge all politicians to stop squabbling, put aside your differences and work hand-in-hand to overcome the pandemic. Your battles can be revived once we find ourselves on an even keel again in all aspects and it is safe for us to hold elections, if that is what is required. The wellbeing and safety of every single Malaysian is of paramount importance now.

Let the #KitaJagaKita hashtag prevail in our hearts and minds.

SHAL THARUMALINGAM

Petaling Jaya

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