by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
WITH the Movement Control Order (MCO) in its third phase, Bukit Bintang, the country’s busiest and most vibrant metropolitan area, has become like an abandoned town.
It is surreal to see the quiet, empty streets of Bukit Bintang but this shows that the people are obeying the MCO which was imposed on March 18 to break the chain of COVID-19 infections.
Inspector Mohamad Kushairy, 37, from the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, who was on duty at a nearby roadblock in the area, said he himself has never seen Bukit Bintang like this, the emptiness making it seem like a scene in an apocalyptic movie set.
“I have been here since the first MCO started, and there are now less and less vehicles coming through, especially at night. It shows that Malaysians are taking this MCO seriously, especially with the stricter punishment meted out on those who disobey the order.
“Normally, this place would be full of people, even at 4 am. But now, after 10 pm you could even lie down in the middle of the road,” he told Bernama.
However, although there was nobody around, Bukit Bintang remained bright as colourful lights shone from the buildings, the flashy billboards and the streets lights.
A lone hotel security guard who was walking home, Mustafa Ibrahim, 56, said he was sad to see the shops and businesses closed because of the pandemic.
“This place would always be full of people and entertainment, there would be musicians in the streets jamming to songs, drawing the crowds, it is sad to see how this place which was so full of life has now fallen silent,” he said.
Mustafa added Malaysians will never forget this experience but all must remain calm to get through this episode.
Bukit Bintang has always been known as a vibrant metropolitan area which never sleeps, attracting throngs of shoppers, tourists and business workers to its modern shopping centres, five-star hotels, restaurants, and nightspots.
The COVID-19 virus has affected more than two million people, causing more than 150,000 deaths worldwide, and in Malaysia, more than 5,000 people have been infected, with 88 deaths reported.