Covid-19 attacked the world and continues to mutate. It is going to plague us for some time.
Ever since it arrived uninvited, our entire lives changed. Our personal, family, social, and working lifestyles underwent tremendous changes within a year.
The pandemic affected the way our children socialised and studied. The subsequent lockdowns to break the chain of transmission, undeniably, adversely affected businesses, forcing some to close shop for good.
Such a situation could have easily caused mass hysteria and depression.
The political leaders in government were seen to be incompetent, unable to cope effectively, and with compassion. They were instead seen to be more concerned with punitive measures, trying to score political points with the rakyat’s money.
With a surge in cases, the government was perceived to have failed to respond effectively to the Covid-19 crisis. This situation, to a certain extent, contributed to the ouster of the prime minister.
Luckily, Malaysians are a resilient lot who are able to bounce back, and cope as best as they can.
We must, however, not let the damage and suffering that had ensued (and is still continuing) to fade from our memory.
We must still do what we can to bring our nation back on track, economically, and health-wise.
Just like the Covid-19 onslaught, and its adverse economic effects, the recent massive floods had caused further damage to some of us, on a scale that is unimaginable.
Some of the flood victims lost their homes and possessions. Some of the properties destroyed were assets that had been accumulated over a lifetime, only to disappear in the blink of an eye.
It is a sad episode, as it appears no pre-emptive action was taken by the authorities.
If there had been pre-emptive action, surely there would have been authorities already on standby, ready to move in at a moment’s notice, as the downpour raged mercilessly in the affected areas.
As experienced by my friends, and based on social media postings, ordinary Malaysians were on hand to save and help their fellow citizens.
Non-governmental organisations and individuals forked out their own money and resources to assist the flood victims.
I know of people who rented boats to rescue those trapped in the upper floors, or rooftops of their homes. Many of my friends went to the ground to help in whatever way they could, without posting any self-aggrandising photos or videos online.
These ordinary folks were there not to carry out a “corporate social responsibility” (aka an advertising opportunity) but to help out those who needed help.
They did it out of compassion, and exemplified the truest sense of “kita jaga kita”, because the government did not seem to care.
Both Covid-19 and the floods laid bare many unpleasant things about our politicians.
The impression I get is that many of the rakyat feel that political leaders are inefficient, insensitive, and self-absorbed – by showing off videos and photos of their acts of “boundless charity” and “infinite compassion” – which they should not be doing in the first place.
Do we, the rakyat, expect ministers to wash our mud-filled houses? How many houses can the ministers wash? Why can’t the ministers use their positions and power to get the relevant agencies to carry out the cleaning process?
Again, and again, Malaysians show their resilient nature. The beauty of Malaysians is seen in times of crisis where their compassion and humanity are not stifled by artificial constructs of ethnicity or religion.
This is something that we have learnt through many crises.
Let us remember those lessons, and continue to help those who need help.
Let’s continue to do what we can and not allow politicians to mar our humanity, and love, for one another.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.