TO MOST of us, the soaring number of those down with Covid-19 infections and fatalities may form mere statistics, but please, do remember that they are also human beings with families. Such statistics should prompt us to be more alert and to comply strictly with the standard operating procedures.
Whether we like it or not, we must try our level best not to be in the statistics by ensuring our own self and loved ones fully adhere to strict regiments whenever you are outside, or even at home. This virus is already in the community, as the legal experts say, and so, we must really conform to strict regiments of the dos and don’ts. Don't make those restrictive measures a laughing stock as and when you please. The incident on the eve of Hari Raya on Thursday (May 13) night, where over 200 residents of apartments in Sentul had gathered simply to play fireworks, poke fun at the system, thus endangering and opening themselves up to the virus. Who in the right frame of mind would do this, we may ask, but the high cases of non-compliance prove that some selfish people among us would just throw caution to the wind.
By now, we should have learned and stopped putting the blame on the government just like what is being concertedly done by the opposition bloc and the likes. We only have ourselves to blame if we continue acting like opposing quarters who continuously point fingers at the government without giving any concrete inputs or ideas as solutions.
Take for instance, the issue of solat sunat (non-obligatory prayer) Hari Raya which many Malaysians, including some friends of mine, have accused the government of being plain lazy and not resourceful enough to implement it in a few sessions. I read their postings and comments on this issue with disdain, knowing well how this present government would go the extra mile to accommodate the needs of its people and assist them who have been badly hit by the pandemic.
Some citizens and these so-called learned friends of mine compared Malaysia to Singapore, where its handful of mosques were allowed to conduct the prayer in three sessions. Of course, this issue has been overtaken by events since this prayer is conducted only in the early morning of the first day of Hari Raya but probably, they need to be enlightened.
These keyboard warriors should be fair to the government. Before anything else, just consider the big number of our Muslim population against those in our neighbouring state. Then, please, consider the number of mosques or surau we have in Malaysia against those in Singapore.
From reports, there are some 6,311 mosques in this country, registered with Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, or JAKIM in short, to serve more than 61% of the total population in this country. And the administration or management of each mosque comes under the authority of the respective state religious council. Meaning, each state has its own enactment in running Islamic religious matters, including the mosques.
Pardon me that I don’t have the figure for the number of surau (smaller than mosques in size) but do you think that it is easy to handle and manage the huge number of congregants in times of crisis such as the one we are facing right now? And so, are such comparisons and comments made about our government being plain lazy and having failed in as far as this matter is concerned, sensible and justified?
Understandably, many were sad and disappointed but the emergence of new and more contagious variants should serve as a grim reminder that we are still very much in a pandemic crisis. The Perikatan Nasional-led government wants to make this Hari raya, as with other days to come, a safe one for each and every one of us. And we should reciprocate that by remaining vigilant and resilient.
All the safety measures introduced are to keep our people and our country safe, and we should be thankful indeed for whatever measures, incentives and other forms of aids that the government has done for and given to us until today, since those days of the outbreak in the early of last year. Simply blaming the government for everything under the sky won’t help at all. They should shift the blame on politicians, opposition members in particular, who have been largely responsible for this prolonged political instability.
Many of us initially bemoaned the implementation of travel restrictive measures and all that, but believe me, we now see it as a silver lining through the emergence of so many ways to help the people such as e-commerce and digitalisation.
The endless measures, incentives and other forms of assistance by the government have made more of us to be more creative and resourceful in doing all kinds of business, for example, online. People now sell things online and delivery is also arranged online. Aren’t all these a blessing in disguise? By now, we should realise that despite the difficulties we encounter and our shortcomings, the government’s aids and assistance keep streaming in and that is the best thing that has happened. Undoubtedly, the government has turned this misfortune into an advantageous situation for all of us to re-focus on essential things in life.
Mohd Amirul Haziq , Kuala Sungai Baru, Melaka.