Schools with Covid-19 cases can close

We have failed our children.

Wait, let me rephrase that. The powers-that-be have failed our kids by the delayed reaction to the spike of Covid-19 cases.

In the 23 days since Malaysia surpassed the grim milestone of 10,000 cases (10,031 on Sept 16), there has been a 47 per cent increase in the number of infections.

This culminated with the record high of 691 new cases on Tuesday.

Yet, it was only yesterday that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced schools with Covid-19 positive cases can close without waiting for risk evaluation from the Health Ministry.

As of yesterday, Malaysia had 14,722 Covid-19 cases, an increase of 2,951 from a week ago.

There were 16 new deaths, taking fatalities to 152. Worldwide there are nearly 37 million cases with almost 1.1 million deaths.

While it is true the majority of new cases in Malaysia are in Sabah and Kedah, infections are popping up all over the country.

Klang is the latest area to enter Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

So what took the decision makers so long to give schools the power to close on their own accord?

Did they come to their senses only because parents from SK Bangsar kept their children from school after two pupils tested positive for Covid-19?

Among the schools with cases either involving their students or their parents are SK Bangsar, SMK Taman Sea, SMK Mutiara, SK Presint 8 (1) Putrajaya, SMK USJ 12, Sri Selangor Subang Jaya, SK Seafield Subang Jaya, Pusat Perkembangan Minda Anggun Seri, Putra Heights and SK Permatang Janggus in Penang.

All schools in Sabah have also been ordered closed.

My son Owen who is studying in Sarawak suffers from asthma and didn’t immediately go back when schools were fully reopened in July.

For the past week, my daughter Carra stayed at home – partly because of the water cuts in Selangor and also partly because of the rise in cases, including in two nearby schools.

As such, I welcome schools having the power to decide if they can close immediately. This should have been the ‘default setting’.

Separately, it is bizarre that weddings in CMCO areas can still have 500 or more guests – if they follow standard operating procedures!

I pray there are no ‘wedding clusters’ later this month.

By the way, today is Day 207 of MCO and the 17th weekly version of the MCO Diaries.


Footballer Safawi Rasid who has signed a one-year contract with Portimonense SC in Portugal deserves praise for trying his luck in Europe.

Instead, the Malaysian international was criticised by some quarters for his broken English when he was introduced to the media on Wednesday.

Mohd Faiz Subri received similar brickbats after winning the 2016 FIFA Puskas Award for scoring the year’s best goal.

While English is important, Safawi and Faiz don’t depend on it to earn a living.

There are plenty of top-class athletes and officials who can’t speak a word of English. That doesn’t diminish their achievements.


Received this via Whatsapp. Genius!


Tasmanian Devil, the size of a small dog and made famous by the fierce Looney Tunes cartoon character known as Taz, returned to the wild on Australia’s mainland for the first time in 3,000 years.

The world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivore was listed as endangered on the United Nation’s Red List in 2008. Welcome back!


Aston Martin DBX, the legendary car maker’s first SUV, is finally in Malaysia. Retailing for RM818,000 before taxes and another million with tax, 11 models have already been sold.

I wonder how many more would have been sold if not for the Covid-19 pandemic?


Here are three sweetcorn recipes from Nigella Lawson aka ‘Domestic Goddess’.


It was hard to choose a song this week. I wanted to play a number by John Prine as today would have been his 74th birthday. Prine died on April 7, of complications caused by Covid-19. Friday was also the birthday of John Lennon, who would have turned 80.

Sadly, another legendary musician – Eddie Van Halen – left us on Tuesday after losing his battle against throat cancer.

He was recognised as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Here he is on all his glory with ‘Eruption’.

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