What happened to the SOPs, Mr Minister?

On May 11, Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin promised there would be a maximum of 17 students per class when schools reopened.

What a joke. Three days into Forms 1-4 students returning to school, more than 30 are packed in each classroom.

It happened in my children’s schools and having checked with several friends from other schools, that is the norm.

The MCO Diaries raised this issue on May 12, asking if there were enough classrooms and teachers to go around.

Apparently not.

And yesterday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said it is not compulsory for students to wear masks to school. However, many schools have said masks are mandatory.

These ministers can’t seem to get their act together – despite us graduating from the Movement Control Order (MCO) which started on March 18 to the current phase of Recovery MCO.

And now, some schools have changed the timing of their classes, some finishing at 5.30pm, others at 6pm and some 6.20pm. This makes it hard for parents to arrange for transporters, especially those who used to pick their children up before but are unable to do so now.

Sigh, let’s hope our kids stay safe.

Here’s how the rest of the week unfolded.

IT’S 14 MILLION NOW

Last week it was only 12.6 million and today we have surpassed 14 million Covid-19 cases in the world. There are nearly 600,000 deaths.

The United States has lost control and on Friday saw a record 77,300 new infections, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

In Malaysia, we still have things well in control with 8,755 cases and only 122 deaths but as we mentioned last week, people are getting too complacent – and this is a big worry.

No physical distancing at Gurney Drive on Friday.

WELL DONE, MAEPS

Back in April, Twentytwo13 highlighted how the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) took just four days to convert its convention centre into a temporary hospital to house Covid-19 patients.

On Wednesday, MAEPS was awarded ‘Fastest to complete interim treatment centre’ by the Malaysia Book of Records. The event was witnessed by Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and MAEPS COO Norafizah Rahman with the award.

MCO WEDDING

I attended my first MCO wedding last week and it was different. First, there was no grand entrance or ‘kompang’ group accompanying the happy couple. Second, the guests had to record their attendance and have their temperature taken – for contact tracing purposes.

Third, all the Malay weddings I’ve been to have been hives of activity but this one, while still merry, was quiet.

Here’s wishing the bride and groom a long and happy marriage.

THE NEW NORM

IPOH’S SINI-DRIVE NATION’S FIRST DRIVE-IN CINEMA 

The country’s first drive-in cinema, the Casuarina Sini-Drive, was launched by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu yesterday.

The cinema, however, started operating on July 14 with its first movie – Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – shown at 7.35pm.

Located in Downtown Meru, the outdoor cinema can accommodate up to 70 vehicles at any one time.

Tickets are priced between RM36 to RM42 for each vehicle, including snacks and drinks. Visit www.sini-drive.com.my for more information.

COLD SOUPS FOR A HOT DAY

Here are 12 versions of gazpacho you can try at home.

ARISE, SIR TOM MOORE

British World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore, who turned 100 on April 30 and who is a national hero after raising more than £33 million (RM175.5 million) for the health service, was knighted by the queen at an investiture at Windsor Castle yesterday.

Sir Tom walked 100 laps of his garden with the aid of a walking frame in April in the run-up to his birthday.

I COULD BE SO LUCKY

A man in Detroit was given the wrong lottery ticket – which won him US$2 million (RM8.5 million)

The unidentified man stopped at a gas station to put air in a tyre and needed change for the machine (it’s free in Malaysia!), so he bought a lottery ticket but instead of being given the US$10 scratch-off ticket was given a US$20 … which turned out to be the winning ticket.

He decided to take a lump sum of about US$1.3 million (RM5.5 million) instead of $2 million spread over many years.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

A song about what I need the most.