It’s OK to complain, Malaysians!

MAY 26 — I think it’s rather unfair that Malaysians are characterised as complainers when the simple fact is they have a lot to complain about.

A celebrity was pilloried online for tweeting “We just complain and point fingers whenever things go wrong. But can we do better and help and assist people?”

Oh, honey.

You can tell someone did not suffer during the time of the earliest MCO because they would have known about the various measures being taken by Malaysians to get aid to those who needed it the most.

It haunts me, sometimes, thinking about when we were stuck at home and Facebook was full of desperate pleas from people with no food or money.

Remember when all those migrants were barricaded in blocks of flats with food aid not set aside for them, only for citizens trapped inside with them? Those were dark times.

I do not want to go back to those crazy days where I was afraid of even walking my dog — not so much about catching anything, but that overzealous neighbours might report me for walking a few metres outside to let my dog poop.

At least science has established that walking my dog is in no way endangering society unlike crowded indoor gatherings. 

The problem is that it just isn’t getting better. 

A senior citizen receives the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at the MSU Medical Centre in Shah Alam May 25, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A senior citizen receives the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at the MSU Medical Centre in Shah Alam May 25, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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We have people pleading with their parents to take the vaccine, we have people pleading with the authorities to get a chance to get the vaccine and I am just pleading with the government to start functioning already.

With cases rising, businesses being threatened, incomes being affected all we get in the form of reassurance is a glib, pre-recorded and probably pre-rehearsed interview where our prime minister blithely declares vaccines will save the economy.

I’m sorry but that’s our government’s job, not the vaccines’.

The thing is Malaysians are already loud on social media but I think we can be louder. We need collective action now more than ever.

First off we need better communication and transparency about the vaccine rollout — right now I hear the same desperate message from different people everywhere: “Why haven’t my parents been called yet?”

At the same time, we have people shunning vaccines, afraid of side-effects which made adding AstraZeneca to the main vaccination program impossible.

Fighting Covid-19 should be a task shared by all ministries and yet due to political differences, various ministries and departments are not communicating with each other.

Our communications ministry is also doing a terrible job at aiding the vaccination effort, putting all the burden on the Health Ministry to fight fake news.

Why is the ministry so obsessed with harassing journalists over, of all things, Palestine, when we have a war of our own against an invisible enemy to fight? 

Email bomb our politicians. Leave them so many voice messages their storage runs out. Pepper their social media with comments. We have so many resources we did not have before to annoy the heck out of them until they take their fingers out of their ears.

At the same time it is perhaps also time to make irrelevant those celebrities who belittle the suffering of Malaysians in this pandemic.

As always, even now, and perhaps even in the future, it will just be kita jaga kita because it’s pretty obvious there is no one else left.

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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