There have now been two major MCOs for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, but proper, understandable, and standardised regulations are still missing.
Like its previous tenure, SOPs for the MCO were doled out last minute, with new stipulations sending all service industries scrambling to accommodate.
On the other side of the equation, the general public also had their own set of struggles, attempting to balance home and work lives.
With the newest guidelines stating that eateries could only operate from 6am – 8pm, with delivery apps’ last call at 7pm and takeaways having a cut-off time at 7.30pm, many took to social media lamenting such tight windows to feed themselves and their families.
One netizen commented on this upset, wondering why people couldn’t just order in advance.
Out of frustration, a response birthed a catchphrase that was snapped up as the most iconic and poignant response a Malaysian could ever utter.
“Si bodoh, kau dengar sini” or “Listen here, you idiot” was Tun Laila’s moment in getting the critics to empathise with people missing meals due to not being able to get their orders through. She explained in a following thread of tweets that this SOP was nationwide, and many eateries’ app reception threatened or already faced disruptions and app hanging with the mass orders coming in to avoid the closing hour.
Many who were supporting families also couldn’t shoulder on additional solutions of cooking at home instead, as by the time they got off work, exhaustion was overpowering, and they needed time to rest and get ready for the next day.
Netizens picked up on the serious but hilarious response, creating a hashtag that trended for nearly three days on Malaysian Twitter, with over 66,000 mentions. The widespread tag garnered the attention of a few politicians, such as Syed Saddiq and Mazlee Malik.
As this statement was so powerful yet so simplistic, its usage soon expanded to other issues the country was also facing.
From criticising the notion that EPF withdrawals and temporary tax relief could be taken as governmental aid, to the LGBTQ+ community being targeted yet again by the religious department calling for harsher mandates against them – many embraced the hashtag to express their concerns of the government apparently attempting to divert actual concerns about the handling of the newest pandemic outbreak.
No word has yet emerged of the Syariah court’s decision to make anti-LGBTQ+ correctional punishments harsher, but the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) condemning the statements in line with international human rights laws was a surprisingly positive response.
As of January 22, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri has since announced that all eateries are to continue providing meals only via takeaway, drive-thru, and delivery, but now with hours from 6am – 10pm.
Food trucks, roadside hawkers, street vendors, food courts, and food kiosks will also be allowed to operate according to the SOPs released.
The MCO however, has been extended from its initial end date of January 26 to February 4 in the states of Penang, Selangor, Johor, Sabah, Melaka, and Kelantan, and the federal territories of Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, and Labuan.
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