KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad advised all Malaysians to maintain their discipline during the movement control order (MCO) period that has been extended to April 14, saying that this too, shall pass.
In an Instagram Live interview with celebrity entrepreneur Neelofa, the Langkawi MP said that if Malaysians give in to their base desires and do not control these, especially in this time of crisis, it will only lead to misfortune.
“We must be disciplined. We must control ourselves and our emotions. If we follow our emotions and our heart, it will not bring any benefit to us.
“But if we are disciplined, if we control ourselves and our emotions — then we can accept the MCO and we will stay at home. In the end we know that this will all end but it will take a long time.
“If we have the strength to control ourselves, everything will be settled,” he answered when asked what he thought about the MCO and how Malaysians have been behaving themselves so far.
However, despite being cooped up, Dr Mahathir also advised the public to try and keep healthy and physically active in the confines of their own homes through light exercise while keeping their mind occupied through reading or debates.
Neelofa then elaborated by saying that there is still a smattering of Malaysians, around 5 per cent, who are adamantly stubborn and refuse to comply with the MCO. She then asked Dr Mahathir what sort of advice he would give to the recalcitrant citizens.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that the MCO is to benefit the public, including the hard-headed individuals.
He explained that the order is meant to stop the virus from spreading further and the irresponsible actions of these few can have an adverse impact on their respective loved ones and the public as a whole.
“Please follow instructions, it’s good for you. If you refuse, you might become a victim — infected by someone else. Once you have this illness, you will spread it to your family and they will suffer because of your actions,” he said.
At the same time, he also noted that entrepreneurs should take advantage and come up with creative solutions to conduct their businesses from home.
He said with today’s communications technology, nearly all businesses can be run from home and the products can be sold online.
Although he acknowledged it may not be as comfortable as running a business from a company's own premises, at this moment in time businessmen should adapt and make the best out of a bad situation.
“At the very least, some aspect of your business is still running,” said Dr Mahathir.
Similarly, he also advised the average Malaysian to be careful in their spending throughout the MCO, especially if their income has been affected.
The veteran lawmaker said that unnecessary items should be avoided and any expenditure should be focused on food and other necessities.