Complacency is the last hurdle standing between any team and its potential greatness.

– Pat Riley, American ex-coach of National Basketball Association

The rise in Covid-19 daily figures is causing anxiety. Some are speculating that there might be another movement control order (MCO) soon.

Worryingly, businesses are saying if there is another MCO, they will have to close for good this time.

Yet more speculate that there will be another MCO, but not really to contain the virus but to shore up a razor-thin majority federal government.

So, what’s happening?

At the time of writing, there are 293 new cases in Malaysia. It is the fourth continuous day with an increase of over 200 cases daily.

Globally, there have been 34,294,564 million cases. A staggering 1,033,469 million persons have died.

In Sabah where there is a surge, there are 1,257 active cases out of the total 1,961 active cases in Malaysia.

They have already imposed a ban on inter-district travel until Oct 16 after a targeted enhanced MCO in some areas.

Sarawak has banned arrivals from Sabah until Oct 18 and there is a 14-day quarantine period imposed on persons arriving from West Malaysia.

We have all had to endure various forms of highly challenging MCOs.

All seems to have been moving in the right direction with a vast reduction in cases.

Sarawak, especially, was staying in the green zone for decent periods, with the occasional time spent in the yellow zone.

What went wrong? Well, in Sarawak nothing really.

I am certain the majority of its citizens are satisfied with the overall performance of the Sarawak government and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) and the aid extended to mitigate the adverse economic impact.

However, I have on several occasions received feedback from the public that no one answers the five phone numbers at the SDMC operations room. There is always room for improvement.

On the whole, the SDMC’s proactive and people-centric approach has contained Covid-19 very well to date.

However, in recent weeks, there has been a rise in the number of imported cases. There are 16 active cases in Sarawak.

The authorities here seem to be on top of the matter and the intervention is quick. The latest SOP updates are good and generally fast.

The rapid spread of Covid-19 in neighbouring Sabah has been linked to some cases here with the recent election campaign being blamed for the spike.

Should our Sarawak leaders consider calling for elections anytime soon here?

If Sabah is to be used as a measurement tool, then the answer is obviously a big NO!

The old adage, prevention is better than cure, comes to mind. Except that in this case, there is still no cure yet.

Concerning the pandemic, we in Sarawak, have to date had a good and solid record of our chief minister and his team putting people first over and above all other matters, be it business or politics.

It would be better to prevent another wave.

I am sure when the decision is made, this would be taken into account. After all, the possibility of an election after Chinese New Year 2021 has been laid on the table.

Perhaps, even if there is a necessity for election due to constitutional requirement, we can make it a condition that campaigning will only be allowed on social media.

In the future, election laws could also be amended to allow for online voting.

On the other hand, how have we been behaving during these 118 days of the recovery movement control order (RMCO)? It is a mixed bag.

I know some friends who are still practising extreme caution and only commute between home and work, with occasional forays to markets. I think they are a minority.

Most of us are already gallivanting around — with our face masks on, of course.

Then there are those, both businesses and individuals who are a cause for concern as they are ignoring the hygiene SOPs. This lackadaisical attitude has to be curbed.

An example of the carefree attitude can be seen when a camera comes out at events. Point a camera and all present want to be in the picture. The desire to be in the picture makes physical distancing a distant memory.

Our enforcement and also the awareness campaigns need to be ramped up again.

In the meantime, it has been 203 days since the MCO started on March 18, with 86 days left to the end of the RMCO. 

Well, folks, it is time to buck up again. Don’t invite the next wave into Sarawak. Do stay safe.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.