Malaysians hope to emerge stronger and freer after the darkness of 2020

It has been a horrible, forgettable 2020 to say the least.

The Covid-19 pandemic crippled nations as borders were locked and economies took a massive beating.

On the local front, the political instability was evident throughout the year as the average Malaysian struggled to get things moving amid pay cuts and restricted movements due to the Movement Control Order.

Lockdowns and fear also affected many mentally and emotionally.

As the world ushers in the new year today, Malaysians are hoping for a better and brighter 2021.

While being mindful that the fight against Covid-19 is far from over, many hope that standard operating procedures (SOPs) will continue to be practised stringently while others just want things to start moving and the politicking to be kept at bay.

Here’s what some of them told Twentytwo13:

Khoo Teng Kit, Tit Tar & Qi Healing traditional Chinese medicine therapist

“I hope everyone practise more self-care and care for others. Wear your masks, keep your distance. I also hope to get more customers and referrals for those who need deep tissue massage and posture realignment. More importantly, I hope I will be able to provide for my family, spend more quality time with them and that everyone stays safe, healthy, happy and keep on preserving.”

Muhammad Yunus Zakariah, managing partner of Linda Workroom; Twentytwo13 contributor

“My mum was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in early 2020. She’s fighting, going through chemotherapy and looks a lot more vibrant after each session. I know stage four is terminal, but I can’t help to continue feeling hopeful with 2020 giving me a new insight into hope. I know it only prolongs the agony but I am helpless. Hope is the only thing I can cling on to in 2021.”

S. Narkunavathy, Deputy Head of Division II (Civil Division) Attorney-General’s Chambers

“I hope everyone will be spared from Covid-19 and there be a new chapter in my career.”

Teoh Seet Heng, public relations consultant

“2020 was a huge lesson on holding power. My wish for 2021 is that we all could have a small window of respite to recover and brace ourselves for what is to come next.”

Datuk Kamil Othman, director Limkokwing Film & Television Academy

“2020 has been like a year of reflection. Stock-taking in some ways. Generally, in 2021, no one will take anything for granted and will acclimatise to big changes in life and in the society. For the film industry, 2021 will see technology breakthroughs in the production value chain and in content consumption. There will also be breakthroughs in the education sector.”

Reymenjit Singh, businessman

“I just hope 2021 will be a better year for the whole world. Many have suffered in 2020.”

Hannah Kam, lawyer; Twentytwo13 contributor

“Hopefully, a greater sense of certainty and calm, especially with the Covid-19 vaccine.”

Mohd Azriq Matzalan, business analyst

“Sports to resume as usual!”

Rita Jong, writer; Twentytwo13 contributor

“After a year witho many life-changing moments, my hope is simple – for life as it was pre-Covid-19. The times when we could take a walk in the park, freely enjoy the company of friends and acquaintances enter a shop without having to scan a barcode or scan my temperature, let my children roam free at a playground without the fear of hygiene, and to be able to travel freely to see loved ones. The past year has taught me it is not about what we want, but what we have. So 2021 will be a year I count my blessings for what I have and to friends and families who are still with us through this journey.”

Randhir Singh, retiree

“Let the Prime Minister and his Cabinet do their jobs. Keep politics at bay just as our health officials have kept the coronavirus at bay. Once the situation permits, politicians can continue with politicking and call for the general election. Until then, there are more important things for the government to focus on.”

Moh Siew Wei, former national hurdler; human resources business partner

“I hope that 2021 will be a more stable and positive year. I hope we will see the end of the pandemic, the global economy bounces back, our safety is ensured, world peace and for people to have a more positive life.”

Jacob Matthews, former Tokoh Guru Malaysia, Tokoh Sukan Selangor and Tokoh Warga Emas Selangor

“My hope for 2021 is that we will all be united with God’s presence among us, showing love, kindness, helping those in need with our eyes wide open looking for those who need our assistance. Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others that counts. So let’s all make a change. Let’s forget 2020 and hope 2021 brings change and joy for all. Let’s all keep each other in prayer, irrespective of race and religion for the unity of our country.”

Jonathan Chong, administration executive

“Hoping for a bright start to the new year despite the pandemic. Hearts and hopes still aglow for all. A kinder world without hatred and fear.”

K.Viji, Inner Wheel Club of Taiping immediate past president

“It has been a topsy-turvy and unprecedented 2020. Good riddance! We hope things get back to normal in 2021. I’m hoping for family and friends to gather more, to travel and for the children to go back to college with fewer online classes. More importantly, I hope many will get vaccinated against Covid-19.”

Professor Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan, doctor and educator

“The past year has indubitably transpired to be a disappointing, disillusioning and disheartening one in so many ways, affecting every individual in one way or another. Many plans were thwarted, abandoned or had to be postponed. It was adversity at its worst. But we have to survive and carry on. The advent of the new year does not look promising but rather ominous with an impending third wave. Anything would be better than 2020. Hopefully, all Malaysians will continue wearing face masks, practise social distancing and washing their hands to break the chain of spread. The cinemas, parks, malls, sporting arenas, gatherings and festivals should sprout to live again with the ringing of young voices along the corridors of schools, colleges and universities.”

Rheanne Wong, law student; co-founder of non-governmental organisation Standup Malaysia

“The past year has brought a strong sense of community among Malaysians, I hope this virtue continues. Our national identity goes well beyond our local cuisines. Let us continue to listen, support and engage with one another. I hope that political leadership (on both ends of the spectrum) puts an end to discriminatory slurs and narratives. Ethno- and cultural populism has led to increasing hate speech among Malaysians, be it in the hallways of Parliament or social media, discriminatory remarks. It must stop. The words of our leaders count, I hope that they too, realise this.”

Veena Endella, quantity surveyor

“It has been a devastating year, terrible, in many ways and we’re finally bidding adieu to it. Over 1.7 million people died because of Covid-19. The world was in lockdown, with people experiencing curfews, losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills. Despite all that, I believe that there is hope for 2021. If anything, 2020 has made us more resilient and grateful, teaching us the importance of staying connected with family, friends, co-workers, etc. Never take things for granted, be it health, family gatherings, weddings, trips, new skills or classes you always wanted to take and lastly, the freedom to be in public without social distancing and not having to wear a mask!”

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