Its been 484 days since the first case of Covid-19 was found in Malaysia.
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“Should Malaysia go into another total lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19 nationwide?” seems to be the question on many people’s minds this week as the outbreaks continue 484 days after the first infection was detected in the country.
Yesterday (17 May) saw 4,446 people confirmed positive for the virus as well as the tragic death of 45 people from the disease in a single day – the highest death toll we’ve recorded from coronavirus thus far.
Faced with fatigue, many Malaysians chose to make a stand on social media to argue the merits of a total or complete lockdown.
Some even took to hitting up the Health Ministry’s (KKM) official channels voicing their request for the enforcement of a total lockdown nationwide.
So, total lockdown is coming??— Sir kamarul (@kamarul14) May 17, 2021
MCO 4K plus? pic.twitter.com/D7EBzf05y0
In response, KKM said that it had ‘forwarded’ such pleas to the National Security Council (MKN) for consideration.
Merujuk kepada tweet yang sedang tular, tujuan admin tag dan mention MKN supaya perkara yang dibangkitkan dapat dicari jalan penyelesaian dan keputusan bersama dalam mesyuarat MKN.— KKMalaysia🇲🇾 (@KKMPutrajaya) May 17, 2021
Discourse on Twitter reveals that netizens share the opinion that a complete shutdown of all non-essential economic activities for a minimum period of 21 days would do the country well.
Sorry if I sound selfish, but tbh I'd agree for a total lockdown just like we did during March 2020. This PKP, PKPD doesn't seems to work.— Nisha (@anisazulhazmi) May 17, 2021
Much like what we experienced during MCO 1.0 back in April 2020, they concurred that a total lockdown coupled with mass testings and other efforts is the way to go for the country to bring infection numbers down and put a stop to outbreaks.
21 days lockdown with:— jimiecheng (@jimiecheng) May 18, 2021
– loan moratorium;
– renters protections;
– wage subsidy;
– direct cash transfer;
AND important to:
– revamp current process for SOPs;
– increase capacity & speed for testing;
– new contact tracing system;
– vaccinate as many with 1st dose
However, figures like the Health Director-General (DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah seem to hint at a different direction for the country.
Referencing an article from World of Buzz, the DG pointed out how empty the streets of Taipei in Taiwan were, as its denizens stayed home during times of Covid-19 outbreaks and practised ‘self-lockdowns’ without needing their government dictating for them to do so.
Empty Streets In Taipei As Citizens Practice “Self-Lockdown”— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) May 17, 2021
Sunyi sepi jalanraya di Taipei apabila warga Taipei menjalankan “lockdown” kendirihttps://t.co/3a3Sq8wcwv
Though there are those who agree with the DG’s perspective of self-imposed lockdowns, others however seem to disagree.
The subtle messaging is good and all but what would be more effective is you facilitating a full lockdown. Time for fun and games and politics is kinda over I'd say.— Farhan (@lamkanahraf) May 18, 2021
Time for those in power and responsible enough to act. https://t.co/pUjqV7ipsl
In their rebuttal, netizens pointed out that without the government providing oversight and aid, it has proven difficult for Malaysians to simply stay at home.
Self lockdown di Malaysia efektif jika;— Anwar Ahmad (@anwarrrrahmad) May 17, 2021
1. Semua sektor ekonomi dihentikan kecuali, essential services eg; groceries, courier etc.
2. Bantuan dari kerajaan kpd rakyat, BPR, GKP or Moratorium.
3. Sambungan pengeluaran KWSP.
Dan akhir sekali, mentaliti rakyat itu sendiri.
Many argued that ‘self-lockdowns’ were impossible with people needing to go to work as the economy continues to operate as usual.
Well, good for them. Now how are we even going to practise self-lockdown when we are required to go to work as usual & eventually all sectors will claim to be under the “essential services”, all offices will issue letters & then we are back to square one, with or without PKP. https://t.co/y7Q1I9liIJ— mary margaret (@marymargaret_e) May 18, 2021
Kami bukan tak self lockdown Tan Sri. Tapi kami kena pergi kerja. Tak pergi kerja kena pecat pulak nanti. Dah pergi kerja, anak pulak kena hantar tadika/sekolah/pengasuh sebab tak ada orang nak jaga.— jimsays (@victoriousjim) May 18, 2021
Some also stated that the confusing SOPs and double standards in the enforcement of Covid-19 rules are to blame for people’s exhaustion.
MCO tahun lepas, mostly semua duduk rumah, ikut arahan, walaupon ada segelintir rakyat yang masih degil. Dah setahun, tapi masih rakyat salahkan kerajaan, kerajaan salahkan rakyat. Belum lagi kes SOP tukar setiap hari, double standard. Rakyat pon pening, pihak berkuasa pon pening— Nurul Ain (@nurulainithnin) May 18, 2021
Malaysian must practice this self lockdown since the government policies keep changing (fail to cope with current issues) and no end towards it. Anyhow, citizens still need to go to work! So no point 😣 https://t.co/DVPWF4AWuW— Shakir (@shakey_naim) May 18, 2021
We are exhausted of lockdown pkp thingy. Case still tak turun turun. Takkan lagi 5 tahun nak hadap pkp or benda yang sama lagi?— 🇵🇸 (@wawahamsah) May 18, 2021
Typing out trending topics and walking the fine line between deep and dumb.