The price of defiance

Still, Malaysians will continue to serve the nation and help flatten the curve once again, for sure


TODAY, the nation seems to be paying for the recklessness of some of us, while we struggle to curb the Covid-19 infection.

It is rather unbelievable for Malaysia, a country that managed to record zero locally transmitted cases in July, to have its capital city under a semi-lockdown once again.

Someone said in a jest recently that it is unthinkable that the R in Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) actually stands for relapse.

To date, Covid-19 has infected almost 40 million people and killed more than one million globally.

On paper, Malaysia is combating the virus better than other nations with only 1% fatality rate from its total positive cases.

However, with more than 160 deaths, it is still one death too many for us, especially when the deaths could have been prevented in the first place.

The recent surge in cases also does not help to alleviate the people’s concerns over our health and the economic state.

The people are now quite agitated and not without a reason. Just when we thought that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, and life as we know it will resume “normally” under the new normal, we are caught in the third wave of infections.

Worse still, when we know that this wave could have been prevented should cooler heads prevail, but there is no point crying over spilt milk, is there?

This explains why any precautionary reminders from the authorities and health officials on all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are somewhat greeted with hostility.

While Malaysians mainly would accept any instruction from the authorities on the implementation of MCO in the past, the people are now more vocal in questioning what is perceived as a double standard by the government that supposedly upholds the rule of law.

People are beginning to question the number of political leaders who have been reprimanded for “flouting the SOPs and MCO regulations” as they go about their business publicly or on camera.

As for now, it would be a rather tone-deaf request to ask Malaysians to remain calm and do the necessary, because in truth, that is what the people have been doing, especially for the sake of the frontliners.

Make no mistake, the people’s anger is real. It is no longer a political issue when it involves their health and livelihood.

The repercussions that have been brought on by Covid-19 could be much worse than we’d anticipated.

It is taking its toll on our physical and mental health whether we realise it or not.

For those without a steady income, the dwindling economic activities will only compound their struggle in this trying time.

Still, Malaysians — being such a peaceful lot — will continue to serve the nation and help flatten the curve once again, for sure.

But that does not warrant anyone or any politician to take advantage of this goodwill now, does it?

Azreen Hani is the online news editor of The Malaysian Reserve.