On the 16th of March 2020, Malaysia implemented a Movement Restriction Order (MRO) on the whole of Malaysia from 18th – 31st March 2020. This order acts as a preventive action taken to curb and slow down the spread of the COVID-19. The federal government introduced this in hopes that the spread of this deadly virus can be stopped by restricting mass gatherings and public events. This order is considered a partial lockdown as no foreign visitors are allowed to enter Malaysia and no Malaysians are allowed to leave the country.
Implementing this Movement Restriction Order means all businesses and activities should be stopped except those of essential services. All eateries are also suspended except for takeaways and deliveries. Supermarkets, grocery stores, and all shops selling essential daily supplies can continue to operate but with restricted opening hours and preventive measures.
After the prime minister announced the partial lockdown, it caused great chaos in Malaysia. Many citizens rushed to supermarkets and did panic buying which emptied shelves. This was due to the fear of not being able to get daily supplies of food the implementation of the lockdown. Malaysians being Malaysians also took advantage of this partial lockdown as a holiday instead. Thousands of people went back to their “kampung” instead of staying put at where they are. This does not help the situation as this means there are high possibilities that the virus is being spread to the rural areas, which might cause massive spreading.
Citizens are advised to stay at home and to avoid places with many people. This acts as a measure to prevent the virus from spreading continuously. Despite many attempts from the government of trying to get people to stay at home, many citizens still continue going out. The Police made roadblocks in an attempt to get the Malaysians to go home. However, the enforcement did not work on some disobedient citizens. The government had to get the help of the federal army to enforce rules and to amerce the citizens who do not adhere to the order made.
The Movement Restriction Order (MRO) is implemented for the benefits of all Malaysians and non-Malaysians who reside here. The government is trying to reduce people’s contact in hopes that this will help curb the spread of the virus. They also did not implement a full lockdown to ensure people are still able to get their daily supplies and go out when they really need it. With this, I hope all Malaysians can work together and help to curb the spread of the virus.
Please understand that this Movement Restriction Order is done for the good of us. Obey it obediently and stay safe at home, because you wouldn’t know how scary this COVID-19 is until you’re on the sickbed yourself! Don’t underestimate it! Think of it as protecting yourself and your loved one! After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Thus I end my words, I hope you really listen and take my suggestion to heart!