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LETTER

LETTER | SOPs for Hari Raya do not make sense

TK Chua

Published
Modified 5 May 2021, 3:43 am

LETTER | For goodness' sake, if ever we want to do something, let’s do it seriously and comprehensively. Why all the half-baked and unthinking measures?

We were impatient and so we opened up the economy in the hurry. But now we want to shut it down again. If we continue to oscillate in this manner, I think in no time the whole economy, our health, and wellbeing will eventually kaput.

Sorry, I am not against the Hari Raya celebration. It is just the way we handle the pandemic vis-à-vis the celebration.

We impose movement control order (MCO) to shut down certain businesses and travel. But under the standard operating procedures (SOPs), we allow visits during the first day of Hari Raya for those in the MCO areas and for the first three days in CMCO areas.

Depending on the size of the house, the number of people allowed to gather in MCO areas is 15 whereas those in CMCO and RMCO are 20 and 25, respectively.

Why are we treating the Covid-19 virus so mechanically? Why are we treating the virus as if its behaviour is known and it can be regulated and controlled?

In MCO areas, the virus is expected to work only from the second day of Hari Raya onward. On the first day, it is expected to take a holiday just like us. In the CMCO areas, the virus is expected to take a break for three days. It will only resume infecting others on the fourth day.

Is this not what the government is telling the people – go ahead, visit and mingle and do whatever you like during the first day in MCO areas and for three days in CMCO areas?

With regard to the number of people allowed to gather, I think the concern is not just the number but how risky or contagious some of them may pose to others. The high-risk groups can go anywhere, not just in MCO areas. Therefore, allowing larger numbers in CMCO and RMCO areas does not really make sense.

Please understand, I think if we are more disciplined and willing to make sacrifices, I believe we will be able to put this pandemic under control faster. I know it is difficult, but this is the choice we have to make.

I am saying all this not because I am non-Muslim or a non-Malay. I would have said the same thing if it is Chinese New Year. One year without celebration will not kill us but a continued pandemic will kill the economy, decimate our healthcare and kill many of us.


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