COVID 19: A nation on its knees and laughing

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It’s the fifth day of the Movement Control Order (MCO) issued by the government and Malaysians, being grounded by travel restrictions and the #StayAtHome directive, have been no less amused by the muzzle movements of both politicians and a sudden burst of Facebook video “activists”.

The death toll in Malaysia as of today stands at 10, while the economic crisis deepens with the Malaysian ringgit well set on a downward spiral that began as soon as the current Perikatan Nasional government were in the midst of their coup meetings at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya on February 23.


Malaysians while in lockdown mode, have been entertained by the antics of the new Health Minister (Dr.) Adham Baba, whose first act of public speaking came on 17 March with his well-trolled modelling of guidelines on how to put on a face mask.

Adham continued to amuse the public with his eagerness to appear on television and added to that achievement by announcing to the world on March 19 that drinking warm water would clear the throat of the deadly coronavirus which would be destroyed by bowel acids once it arrived in the stomach.

To Adham’s disappointment, his own ministry dispelled his brave attempts and adding to misinformation, citing the ministry had always upheld the practice of evidence-based medicine. Hours later, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also sent out a statement confirming Adham’s warm water theory held no water.

With Health Minister Adham Baba merely providing entertainment for the masses, many found this public announcement by Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist at the ParkCity Medical Centre Dr Salehuddin Samsudin more informative and useful. Parents, especially, appreciated the message.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government has not disappointed in providing amusement either, when first launching a Covid 19 donation drive calling for the people to help with the government’s efforts to combat the pandemic, against the backdrop of people asking the government to help them out in times of dire economic embarassment.

Muhyiddin’s office continued in that tone today, with the minister in his office, in charge of economic affairs, Mustapa Muhamed today announcing a democratically brilliant idea of seeking the people’s ideas to alleviate the economic impact of the economic crisis. All while the people were waiting on the government to announce plans to alleviate the impact of the crisis on them.

A usually busy petrol station in SS14 Subang Jaya, with its popular car wash, is left deserted as is the rest of town. – Pic:

While the MCO itself seems misunderstood by sections of the public as well as the government, with the military roped in to help clear stubborn citizens off the streets, ghost towns appear across the nation, nearing the image of a lockdown rather than MCO.

The streets of Klang Valley, usually swarmed by mopeds, are just about empty, bar the few that contribute to the total of 3 million Malaysians counted by Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his announcement this morning as still defiant and continue to roam the streets.

Just about the only mopeds on the roads are the dedicated and spirited Foodpanda and Grabfood riders, who continue to do their part for the country in this times of crisis, almost unappreciated.

A line of Grabfood riders wait patiently for a thunderstorm to subside before continuing to deliver food to the nation. – Pic:

The MCO ends on March 31 and could even be extended beyond the initial 14 days should the pandemic show no sign of subsiding within Malaysia’s borders. Which leaves questions of how much more of both the MCO and home-bound entertainment from the politicians Malaysians are willing to put up with, let alone the killer virus.

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