Why is the movement control order not working?

JD Lovrenciear

Modified 25 Mar 2020, 10:30 am

LETTER | The Malaysian authorities have not succeeded in ensuring that we plateau early in the fight against the Covid-19 attacks.

So from "carrot" to "stick" is the government's repeated announcement.

But let us have the humility and courage to address the underlying problem.

Why are people not able to stay home 24 hours/seven days especially in the cities and federal capitals?

They need fresh food supplies. And so you continue to see the crowds in the supermarkets and wet markets.

Malaysians are not partying like the westerners in Miami beach right now.

But we need vegetables, poultry and fish to feed our families. How much canned food can a family consume, seven days at a stretch?

And our markets are designed and operated for decades without proper infrastructure like in Australia.

So how can you do your crucial marketing by keeping to social distancing?

Sending enforcement units with loud hailers and officers hollering marching orders into wet markets and supermarkets is all so foolish.

This is where the government failed miserably.

Why could the authorities not quickly mobilise a door-to-door wet market delivery service?

There are many housing areas that have this service as a routine.

The government could have pooled these traders, the Transport Ministry, the local councils, the police and armed forces to mobilise quickly a fresh food delivery system with help from the middlemen that most unfortunately till today monopolise and control our farm-to-table food chain.

This would have ensured that every village and taman gets its weekly supplies or at least over a four days interval their supplies without the people having to run to wet markets and supermarkets for the essentials, causing the contagion risks to rise even higher.

Face the facts squarely if you truly cared for the people. Admit that the government did not think outside the box.

It is just like telling the people we bring you relief; you can now withdraw your compulsory savings to tide over this difficult phase.

Integrity and religiosity (or spirituality) will tell you that we have been a nation that thrived on profiteering and greed. And with Covid-19 our soul is being exposed.

Yes, the truth hurts. Cowardice will not even let see this letter be published.

So if you want to impose a curfew please go ahead. But remember thousands of families would starve and suffer from malnutrition over a three or four week period.

How many can afford to stock up RM300 to RM500 of food supplies for a family of three to four for a three to four week period?

How much of vegetables, fish and poultry can a family stock up really without seeing the greens rot?

And what social distancing can you truly enforce in wet markets other than sending the people scurrying away with stress?

In short, we do not have a practical system to enable social distancing.

We do not have the capacity to set into motion alternative mechanisms that can address and meet people's survival needs in the wake of emergencies.

Government is suffering from the asymptomatic syndrome. 

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker. Malaysiakini is providing free access to the most important updates on the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here

Share this story


By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here


Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.


Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.