Time to end mandatory mask-wearing



KUCHING: Many Sarawakians opined that mask-wearing should be optional depending on the surroundings.

Recently, Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) should study other countries’ approach in handling COVID-19, including the removing of the face mask mandate.

He said Malaysia’s COVID-19 strategy seems to be more rigid compared with other countries despite the country’s transition into the endemic phase.

“Other countries such as Singapore and the United Kingdom had already partially removed the face mask mandate, with the public given the choice whether to wear their face masks or not.

“I hope Malaysia will follow suit,” he said.

New Sarawak Tribune met with a few members of the public on their opinions on this matter.

Fahmi Abdul Hamid



The use of face masks in public places needs to be re-evaluated. If one is in a confined space, then he/she may need to wear their face mask. However, if he/she is in open public space, as long as there is social distancing, there won’t be any COVID-19 transmission. The wearing of face mask should be optional and I believe that Sarawakians will choose whether they want to wear it or not.

Luther Vandras Linchis



I agree with the relaxation of the face mask rule as we are already entering the endemic phase, with 79.9 per cent of Malaysians are fully vaccinated. In my opinion, wearing it should be optional.

Joel Kyle Nixon



The relaxing of face mask rule should be taken into consideration. It could definitely lift some spirits knowing we’re closer to the end of the pandemic, however, the truth is more grim. As we are entering the endemic phase, it’s easy to assume that the spread of the virus will decline. But we can’t ignore the possibility of more dangerous variants coming after Omicron. We should always remain vigilant and avoid large crowds.

Terrence Ryker



At this current state, I still think it is necessary to wear a face mask as the number of cases is averaging at about 10,000 cases, although better compared to previous months. Nevertheless, I do believe that most Malaysians would still prefer to wear masks to avoid any unnecessary risks to their health. After understanding the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, almost everyone, especially those who had it before, would practice caution.

Elisabeth John



The wearing of face masks should depend on the situation. It is better to wear a face mask when you are in crowded places. I think that it is better that the face mask mandate be removed and made optional instead. Honestly, wearing a face mask is a bit bothersome to me.

Mohd Ilham Abdullah


(Administrative Executive)

Since most of us have received our jabs and booster shots, this is a good time to stop imposing face mask-wearing in public areas. It should be made optional according to one’s needs. If they part of the high-risk group, they should always wear their face mask in public. However, in any case that it is not mandatory to wear face masks anymore, I will continue to wear it in public areas for hygiene purposes.

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