KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — A survey conducted to establish effects of the movement control order (MCO) on Malaysians showed that more than 80 per cent of respondents felt that interracial relationships have blossomed during this period.
The survey, conducted among 788 respondents throughout the country from April 24 to May 9 and released last night, showed that 83 per cent of those surveyed agreed that measures taken to counter the threat of Covid-19 had resulted in better relationships among locals, while 97 per cent said they felt it improved their domestic relationships.
“Other positive effects were that they (respondents) were more appreciative of the time spent with their family, indulged deeper into their religions, managed to learn something new, and did more reading,” said International Islamic University of Malaysia's (IIUM) Department of Communications head, Prof Datuk Seri Syed Arabi Idid.
Some other positive takeaways from the IIUM survey include how 59 per cent of respondents said they felt confident for a future in Malaysia while 56 per cent expressed similar confidence for their family’s future here.
Concerning the country’s administration, 87 per cent of responses expressed confidence in the regime’s ability in coming up with an exit plan to overcome the problems caused by the pandemic, with 90 per cent agreeing the government are taking steps to ensure sufficient supply of essential items, while 72 per cent agreed that authorities are controlling the prices of goods.
Among some of the worries found through the survey was how 93 per cent of those quizzed said they feared the possibility of them or their family members contracting Covid-19, while others said they were troubled by the country’s economic situation (42 per cent) and future employment opportunities (51 per cent).
Another area of major concern of those surveyed was their family’s overall health and wellbeing (70 per cent), and their financial situation (58 per cent).
Also taken into account was the general sentiment behind the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, where 90 per cent of respondents had acknowledged that this year’s celebration is expected to be a watered down and relatively mellower affair as compared to previous years.
However a total of 44 per cent of respondents said they ended up bored during the MCO, with 20 per cent saying they experienced negative thoughts and 18 per cent admitted to feeling depressed during the MCO.
As for where new normals are concerned, 92 per cent of those surveyed said they were in the midst of familiarising themselves with new learning methods and working environments.
65 per cent of the respondents also said the MCO drove them to do more online purchases, while 17 per cent said they started to migrate their businesses online.
* A previous version of this story contained errors which have since been corrected.