‘Father of the Year’ Santhara Kumar should be lauded for ‘strong family values’

Fathers Day is three months away, but we might as well present a ‘Father of the Year Award’ to Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri R. Santhara Kumar.

The Segamat MP should be ‘honoured’ for his dedication to his family, willingly sacrificing his income – even during these troubling economic times – as besides his annual leave, he took no pay leave just so he could travel to New Zealand where his wife and children are.

Of course, if he was only taking home RM1 as per his pre-general election promise, then perhaps it is not such a big monetary sacrifice.

Putting that aside, only a dedicated father would ‘suffer’ travelling 8,721km and then being quarantined in a foreign land, just to be reunited with his family.

After all, so many fathers ‘do not bother’ making the short journey from Singapore to Johor. Bad dads!

Santhara said he complied with all rules for his trip to New Zealand and was desperate to go there as he had not seen his family for nearly a year. Good dad!

Santhara’s ‘valiant’ effort puts me to shame.

Although the home minister and daughter are staying with me in Subang Jaya, I have not seen my son, Owen, for more than 14 months.

It makes me feel bad as a father – that I have not done all I could to visit him in Kuching, Sarawak, especially during Gawai last June and Christmas.

A trip from Subang Jaya to Kuching is less than 1,000km. The flight is less than two hours. A flight to New Zealand is more than 10 hours.

Santhara also did not let the fact that international borders are closed or restricted, stop him.

I should have the same ‘can-do spirit’ and not allow the fact that interstate travel is still prohibited from stopping me from flying to Kuching.

I should do better as a father, I guess.

To make matters worst, Owen celebrates his 17th birthday on Monday and I will not be there.

Happy birthday, Owen, we shall celebrate it next year (hopefully).

Anyway, today is the 354th day since the start of the original MCO and this is the 38th weekly edition of ‘The MCO Diaries’.


On Sunday, we surpassed 300,000 cases when we reached 300,752 infections.

As of Friday, the total number of cases in the country was 310,097 – an increase of 14,146 from the previous week.

During the first three days of March – Monday (1,828), Tuesday (1,555) and Wednesday (1,745) – we had less than 2,000 new infections.

Malaysia’s population is 32.73 million – 29.85 million (91.2 per cent) citizens and 2.87 million (8.8 per cent) non-citizens.

That means one in 105.5 people in the country has been infected by the coronavirus. Think about the next time you go to a ‘crowded’ area.

The great news is that once again, there were more recoveries than cases with 20,059 patients cleared of Covid-19.

That brings the total cured to 286,905 or 92.52 per cent of cases.

There were 48 deaths in the last seven days, taking fatalities to 1,159.

Worldwide, there are 116.3 million cases with 2.58 million deaths.


Malaysia last hosted the SEA Games in 2017. It’s 2021 and until today, the accounts have not been made public.

While we await the solving of that mystery, here is one more.

On Monday, after paying for petrol at a Petronas station, I received a gift.

I am a regular Petronas user but have not received such a gift from any of the stations I have frequented since 2017.

I wonder how many more of these gifts are out there and who is responsible for the accounting.


Want to know how to survive online classes? Here is a tip


Those living in Subang Jaya know how difficult it is to get parking, particularly at Taipan in USJ 10.

To make matters worse, you are only allowed a maximum of one hour of parking if you are using the parking apps.

On Monday, I had to use the counter service at the bank. With all the SOPs in place due to Covid-19, I had to queue for nearly 50 minutes before I could get in.

Luckily, I only needed to ‘revive’ a dormant account which took less than 10 minutes.

Thankfully, I found parking around the corner from the bank so I made it back before my allocated time was up.

Perhaps, Subang Jaya City Council should consider extending the parking hours in Taipan to two hours until any form of Movement Control Order (MCO) ends.


A friend, Julia Nicholas, is a pescatarian during Lent.

In case you are wondering, a pescatarian is someone who does not eat meat or poultry but adds fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet.

Some pescatarians consume dairy and eggs.

If you are reading this Julia, here are 40 recipes you can try now and beyond Lent.



Time for the monthly dose of the great John Prine with this lovely number. Only Love could also perhaps be the theme for what a ‘great father’ Santhara is.