by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by BLOOMBERG
AS THE country braces for another two weeks’ extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) that fell into the holy month of Ramadhan, fasting at home themed Twitter discussion among netizens last week.
As the holy month observed under unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, worshipping in mosques and having iftar that usually takes place in a communal environment are restricted this year.
However, some Twitter users deemed the prolongation of the MCO not only timely but for greater good of safeguarding Malaysians against the spread of the virus.
User @carmenitaneete tweeted that the MCO must be enforced until Malaysia records zero cases for 15 continuous days.
“Humans tend to become more relaxed when things get better and need to remain alert. All hard work, effort and sacrifice will be for nothing otherwise,” she said.
Another user @tyashatirah encourages others to appreciate and make the best of their situation during the holy month.
“Salam Ramadhan everyone! Let’s make this year the best Ramadhan ever. Don’t take this Ramadhan with MCO for granted,” she tweeted.
While confining religious celebration at home might sound sombre, Malaysians found comfort and cheered on satirical online community groups dedicated to ridiculing cooking experiments that go awry.
Facebook group “Masak Apa Tak Jadi Hari Ni” managed to gain 1.6 million users through pictures and comments of cooking that didn’t turn out the way it should.
The group has also gathered a notable mention by Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who joked about pictures of their spouses’ dish falls flat.
Created on April 14, the group was meant as a safe space for people to share their hilarious culinary mishaps and have a good laugh.
Last Thursday, PM announced the MCO will be extended for another 14 days until May 12.
In his speech televised nationwide, the PM said he is sure we will win the war (against Covid-19) and did not rule out the likelihood of an additional extension of the MCO after May 12.
“This means you may not be celebrating Hari Raya in hometown villages,” he said.
He stressed that gradual relaxation measures under clear and strict guidelines will be introduced and that the government is studying short-, medium- and long-term strategies to resurrect the economy once Covid-19 is curbed.
Separately, Twitter users also fumed over several reports involving Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid and her husband of not being arrested by the police for violating the MCO.
Twitter user @normsaid mentioned the different treatment received by high profile individuals compared to normal citizens.
“High profile MCO violators get different initial treatment. If you’re marhaen (ordinary person), off to the lockup you go. VIP, we will be in touch. #doublestandards,” he said.
Another user simply said the unresolved issue has irritated the people.
“This unsolvable issue of VIP and children of VIP failing to abide by MCO by @PDRMsia is annoying the rakyat already,” tweeted @apex1210.
As reports of a student being jailed for defying the MCO to meet her boyfriend making rounds on the web, user @ayshardzn juxtaposed the student’s excuse against Nurulhidayah’s.
“Police said her (the student) excuse was unreasonable. The authorities want to make a statement by jailing people but meeting a minister to say sorry is reasonable?” she said.
On Saturday, the governmant launched the Gerak Malaysia app for people to apply for an interstate travel permit to return to the city or urban areas where they are working.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said applications are already opened yesterday and applicants have until May 1 to apply for permission to return.
He added that no time had been set for them to actually return as it is still being discussed.