On 18 Mar, Malaysia started a lockdown within the entire country.
All houses of worship, businesses and schools are to close, except supermarkets, markets, minimarkets and convenience stores.
All Government and private premises will be closed except those in essential services.
People in Malaysia wouldn’t be able to leave the country. And foreigners can’t enter the country, either. Yes, even those who enter Singapore to work daily.
On 22 Mar, the Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the lockdown, or the Movement Control Order (MCO), could be extended by another two weeks.
He said that the National Security Council will monitor the situation and decide if the MCO needs to be extended, or not.
Well, The NSC Has Decided
They will be extending the lockdown by another 2 weeks until 14 Apr 2020.
The reason? Because the situation in Malaysia has not improved even after the lockdown.
On the first day of the lockdown, Malaysia had 790 cases, but that number has doubled in less than a week, with a total of 1,624 infections, the highest number of reported cases in Southeast Asia.
So by extending the MCO, they hope to flatten the curve, just like what Singapore is currently doing.
He commended Malaysians for (mostly) abiding by the MCO so far and said he understood it was “not easy”.
“You know that this is good for you, your family and the people around you. Your awareness and sincerity in abiding by the rules imposed by the government during this Movement Control Order period is highly commendable.”
During the lockdown, Malaysians are only allowed to leave their homes for groceries, emergencies or to go to the doctor. Social visits, on the other hand, are banned.
Please Don’t Panic-Buy
Yes, it doesn’t make sense but people do panic-buy in times of crisis. Here’s an analysis we wrote about the toilet paper phenomenon.
The prime minister of Malaysia urges for Malaysians to not succumb to “panic-buying”.
He assures them that “supply is sufficient”, and that there is no need for Malaysians to stock up on food.
He added that he has no choice but to extend the MCO for the safety of Malaysians.
Yes, S’poreans, Please Don’t Panic Buy
While the MCO restricts movements between Singapore and Malaysia for humans, it doesn’t restrict the flow of food and other supplies between the two countries.
So no need to make a trip to NTUC to buy as many eggs as you possibly can after work today, okay?
Previously, Singaporeans swarmed the supermarkets after news of Malaysia’s shutdown broke the internet, despite Singapore revealing its months’ worth of stockpile of food.
So buy only what you need and leave the rest for people who might need it more, yeah? After all, we all know that Fairprice has no mercy for hoarders.
Let’s All Be Socially Responsible
Governments have taken decisive (and incredibly-painful) actions in efforts to curb the Covid-19 outbreak within their own nations.
And yet, as we’ve said before, it takes two hands to clap.
The authorities might be the ones to try and design the system for recovery, but if the people are not willing to obey the rules and regulations like this dude:
There’s no way the situation will improve.
It’s kind of like your father sending you to university. If you don’t study hard, no matter how good a school you go to, you’ll probably not do very well anyway.
So let us all do our part and try to follow Singapore’s new measures, okay?
And pray for Malaysia because, well, we’re practically brothers and sisters, aren’t we?
The sooner they can resolve their situation, the sooner our stranded Malaysian friends who are retrenched in Singapore can return home.