Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

― Mark Twain, American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer

It’s not a lockdown but a movement control order.

I think Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is very clear on what he means by “movement control order”.

Malaysians can still freely go to the supermarkets to do their shopping, drive to work or take their dogs for a walk in the park.

Maybe you should consider wearing a face mask wherever you want to go, and make sure your dog too wears a face mask if you are really taking it out for an exercise.

But whether or not you and your dog are wearing face masks, it’s really up to you; no one is going to blame you if you don’t want to.

But when the authorities are worried for your wellbeing and doing everything possible to keep you and your family safe – and your dog, too – why would you want to take a risk pushing a trolley-full of designer clothes in supermarkets or jog in the park with your RM2,000 canine friend “unmasked”?

Why would you be so foolish to want to bring your lovely family out of the safety of your home now? Can’t that wait? Or do you really love them?

Or is it because you really hate this government so much that you don’t like the idea of being told what to do and what not to do?

Is that–your hatred for the PN government–the reason why you think that Muhyiddin’s “movement control order” is a lockdown?

Look at China’s Wuhan to know what a lockdown really is. The streets are empty, with hardly any vehicle on the road – the only ones moving are those ferrying emergency staff and workers.

People are made to stay indoors and monitoring them from above are flying cars…oops, I mean drones. The drones will make sure you stay inside or if you are in need of help – you or members of your family fall sick (although I doubt very much if they care about your dog) the authorities will come to your aid.

‘China coronavirus: Fear grips Wuhan as lockdown begins’’ – said BBC last Jan 23.

And the news, quote: A sense of anxiety is growing in Wuhan as the Chinese city goes into lockdown in an effort to control the spread of a new virus which has left 17 dead.

The authorities have suspended planes and trains in and out of the city of 11 million people, as well as buses, subways and ferries.

Residents have been told not to leave. Worried about a food shortage, one said it felt like “the end of the world”.

There are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus, which has spread abroad.

Wuhan is at the centre of the outbreak and believed to be where the virus originated.

The lockdown in the city comes as millions of Chinese people travel across the country for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

Another Wuhan resident said on social media site Weibo that they were on the “verge of tears” when they heard about the closures.

All outbound flights from Wuhan have been suspended as of Thursday. A handful of inbound flights still appear to be operating, though many flights have been cancelled.

Several regional airlines–including Malaysia’s AirAsia and Singapore Airlines’ budget carrier Scoot–have announced a temporary halt to flights to and from Wuhan. – Unquote

While Wuhan imposed a lockdown, what did Malaysia do?

Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, the deputy prime minister then, said Malaysia would not stop tourists from China from visiting Malaysia.

She was, of course, repeating Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s earlier statement that said, “Jangan halang mereka. Kita akan periksa mereka (pelancong), dengan memeriksa (mereka) ia akan membolehkan kita mengesan (sebarang tanda virus itu) pada peringkat awal.” (Don’t stop them. We’ll check them (tourists), by checking (them) will enable us to detect (whatever virus symptoms) at an early stage)

That was on Jan 25. The following day, apparently unhappy with the position taken by the government, Majlis Pemikir Melayu Muda Kebangsaan president Datuk Syed Mohamad Faiz Azemmant warned against ‘Jangan nanti apabila sudah terhantuk baru terngadah’ (Regret always comes later)

On Feb 22, the PH govt fell and that probably saved Dr Mahathir and Dr Wan Azizah the embarrassment of not heeding Syed Mohamad’s warning.

By contrast, Muhyiddin has not let up on the Covid-19 issue since becoming Malaysia’s eighth prime minister, and on Monday he showed that his government is not taking it lightly.

But on Monday, I couldn’t help think to myself how they–Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim–tried to upstage Muhyiddin on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before Muhyiddin spoke to the nation at 10pm Monday, hours earlier Anwar was gusar dan bimbang melihatkan muslihat politik masih menjadi rencana utama tatkala kerajaan ini terbeban dengan penularan wabak ini (worried by political machinations while the government is burdened by the spread of the virus), and told what the government should do.

Always the prime-minister-in waiting!

Sometime later, Dr Mahathir said “Saya nampak seolah-olah rakyat Malaysia tidak serius berkenaan menangani wabak ini.” (It seems to me Malaysians aren’t serious about containing the virus)

But two months back when he was prime minister Tun Mahathir said: “Kita nak simpan (kuarantin pelancong China) di mana? Nak bubuh dalam kandang lembu? (diikuti dengan gelak ketawa hahaha di latarbelakang).

(Where would we keep those quarantined Chinese tourists? Throw them into the cow pen? – followed by laughter in the background)

“(Buat apa nak sekat?), barang-barang itu bukannya demam (gelak ketawa hahaha di latarbelakang).”
(Why restrict when goods aren’t sick with the virus? – more laughter followed)

Who is serious, who isn’t?

I think Muhyiddin really deserves to be prime minister.

On Monday night, with poise, style and practical measures, he warmed up to more Malaysians and showed he is capable of leading the nation through Covid-19, and until GE15.