In the measure to control the Covid 19, the Malaysian government has imposed a lockdown or known as Movement Control Order (MCO) since 18 March 2020. Originally it was for 14 days and the latest news is that it is extended to 12 May 2020.
At this point of time, like in most countries, tourism is no longer applicable. Both borders connecting Peninsular Malaysia to Singapore at the south and Thailand in the north have been closed for travelers. Malaysia is also closed for tourists at the moment.
Malaysians are required to stay indoors. For those who are venturing out, there cannot be more than 1 person in a car and the radius cannot exceed 10km from their registered address. Roadblocks are placed in various places and fine would be imposed for private cars with more than 1 occupant. The fine is RM1000 each per extra occupant.
How do officers certify that the person is travelling within 10km radius of their home?
Those who are stopped during roadblocks are required to produce their NRIC where their address would be checked. You may wonder what would happen to those who is not staying at their NRIC address. For example:
- a person from Ipoh or Kuching and working in Kuala Lumpur with the NRIC permanent address stating from their hometown, or
- a person who is renting a place closer to their workplace,
- a person who married and moved in with their spouse to another address (in the same town) who is more than 10km difference
In all the cases above, you would need to show supporting documentation, for example bank statements, TNB and mobile phone bill indicating your current address which is less than 10km from where you are going. If you have yet to change the address and everything is sent to your NRIC address, then you are strongly advised not to venture out unless you are prepared to go through the hassle of being fined.
Employees are required to work from home. For those who are required to go back to their office to work, they need to produce a letter from their Human Resource department with the information. In the case of my brother who needed to go back to office, the human resource emailed him the letter indicating he is required to show up to work on a certain date.
The economy worldwide is already taking a plunge with most SME and small businesses closing down. Shops are closed but rent, utilities and salaries still had to be paid. Businesses are having a hard time with cash flow because there is no income and they are not able to collect money back from customers, also with creditors coming after them for payment.
Those who are surviving on ‘kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang’, ie barely scrapping by on daily wages are the ones who are most affected by this outbreak. It is said that now the ones with the most stable income would be the delivery guys as many people are now ordering online for food, groceries and other items.
As a business, they will need to do their best to bring their business online. I heard from my mom’s friend that even roast duck could be ordered online and it only cost RM70 (if you buy from the store it would also cost about RM60+ so the price is reasonable).
I know this is a tough period for us all, but we really need to stay united and go through this difficult time together. I am the type of person who could not sit still in my home. This had been a tendency I had since I was very young. The moment I was old enough to take a bus on my own, I used to take the minibus and Srijaya buses to go out wondering on my own even in my young teens (those days there was not much of kidnapping or lost cases).
Even as a fulltime caregiver for my mom, I used to get time off to sneak out example at night or during weekends when I could get my family to relieve me. It is also because of my restless nature that I was able to keep this blog going with contents because I ventured out.
Therefore I fully understand it is not easy, especially for those who really cannot sit still at home that would make them defy this order. But if we want this nightmare to be over, we should not defy the order. You really would never know if you happened to visit a place where you came into contact with someone who has Covid but appears to be healthy. You would then come back and infect the rest of your family with the disease. The old, young, sick and those with compromised immune system are very vulnerable to this disease and the chances of recovery for them are much lower compared to a healthy adult.
There is always 2 sides to everything. Now you find yourself suddenly having a lot of time facing the four walls in your home. Rather than spending literally all your waking hours in watching Astro (since they are giving away a lot of the free channels during this time), play video games, watch YouTube….. why not use this time to constructively to learn something new.
After all, with the current economic situation, our jobs may be at risk. There may not be a job left waiting for us once this pandemic is over. The company may need to let us go and we really need to diversify with plan B.
How about the dream that you have always talking about but never have time to explore, now you have all the time to learn up. There are online courses…. both free and paid available all over the internet. Or maybe learn a new hobby. Wholesome things that add value to your life, keeps your mind occupied and make you feel good about yourself.
And, if it is possible, put aside sometime for prayer based on your respective faiths. Start with 5 minutes of prayers, chanting, meditation each day and slowly expand based on your comfort level. You can buy insurance for lots of things but you cannot pay someone else for ‘spiritual insurance‘ to keep you safe and give you a peace of mind.
You can read more on the MCO guidelines for Malaysia in Wikipedia.