Wise to make it compulsory


KUCHING: While we have only one month left before the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period ends in August, the emergence of four new clusters in Sarawak recently has raised the concern of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Worried about the Covid-19 positive cases that have been back to double digits since several days ago, Muhyiddin, in his special address live telecast last Monday, said the government is mulling to endorse wearing of face masks in public places as compulsory.

With the surgical face masks costing about RM1 to RM1.50 each, this may be burdensome for an average family to sustain long term.

Thus, should we and our children still wear masks in public places? Or is there any other best option?

Last Tuesday, New Sarawak Tribune had approached a few members of the public to seek some of their insights on whether the government should endorse the usage of face masks in public places as compulsory.

Eila Nadzila

Eila Nadzila, 33, housewife

“For me, personally, making the use of face mask in public places as compulsory is a wise move.

“Because we do not know if a person is a close contact of a patient. The impact of this pandemic is vulnerable. And I really urge Malaysians to be in solidarity to fight this pandemic together.”

Sariati Senen

Sariati Senen, 32, co-founder of Belalak Addicted Coffee

“Making the use of face mask in public places as compulsory may help us to break the chain of the virus. I think the chain could break even faster if we were to fight this together.

“And we must remind our fellow Malaysians that this pandemic is far from over and the violation of the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the government cannot be compromised. Show some respect to others!”

Fadhlul Hadi Hatta Ananol

Fadhlul Hadi Hatta Ananol, 32, founder of Belalak Addicted Coffee

“It is a wise move if the government make it compulsory for everyone’s safety, although I found the wearing of face mask is very uncomfortable because it makes breathing difficult.

“On the matter of face mask usage, in my view, the government should also consider those who cannot afford to buy face masks as prices of masks today are quite high.”

Darling Richard

Darling Richard, 35, TV Producer at RTM Kuching

“For me, it is compulsory to wear face coverings, in anticipation of further relaxing of coronavirus measures. 

“Face masks are one of a range tools that can reduce the risks of viral transmission and I encourage people to adopt everyday mask use, apart from practising good personal hygiene.”

Salyndra Anyta Stephen

Salyndra Anyta Stephen, 29, student

“Is there any other option? I don’t think so. If making the wearing of face masks compulsory is one of the effective ways to fight the pandemic, I totally support the move!

“Nevertheless, if using a face mask is required within a period of time, the government needs to find the best approach to provide adequate supply of masks for the needs of the people.

“Because not everyone can afford to buy face masks every month because there are other dependents, especially people from the vulnerable group, small kids, elderly and poor.”

Mary Jang

Mary Jang, 40, selling Penan’s woven handbag

“Wearing of face masks should not be taken lightly by all of us. I am sure that we do not want to be infected with the virus.

“It is better to endorse this as compulsory, rather than to impose a lockdown that could impact our economy, causing it to be more severe.”

Margaret Lunah

Margaret Lunah, 21, student

“It is worrying that Covid-19 positive cases have been back to double digits since several days ago. So covering the face with a mask should be endorsed as compulsory.

“But in my opinion, a face shield is much better than wearing a face mask because it is more comfortable and easier for us to communicate with people.”