Of dengue, elitists and kind-hearted souls

Dear Diary,

Birthday wishes to Health Director-General Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who turns 57 today. Thank you for your service, sir.

In other news, Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali has apologised for breaching the Movement Control Order (MCO) by visiting a tahfiz school in Perak.

Being a cabinet minister, he was not handcuffed or arrested.

Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s daughter Nurul Hidayah visited ministers in Putrajaya and has since challenged those unhappy to make a police report.

Anyway, enough talk about viruses. Here’s a reminder Malaysia has a big dengue problem with 38,011 cases from Dec 29 to yesterday.

There have been 63 dengue-related deaths this year.

Here’s how Day 35 of the MCO unfolded.

7.45am: ROCKBOTTOM – Crude oil prices plunged below US$1 per barrel. US crude oil futures fall below $0 for the first time in history.

We may soon get paid to buy petrol!

8.59am: LUNATICS RUNNING THE ASYLUM – Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick says “There are more important things than living” when insisting it is all right to start opening businesses. Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro joined hundreds of demonstrators to protest stay-at-home orders issued by state governors.


10.03am: WINGS FALL OFF – Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd is set to become Asia-Pacific region’s biggest victim of Covid-19 after succumbing to a third-party led restructuring that could lead to a sale.

11.32am: FINANCIAL MELTDOWN – Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers says 50 per cent of 419 companies who responded to a survey revealed revenue has dropped by more than 50 per cent. Some have started to cut salaries.

Separately, Genting Bhd is proposing a pay cut for the first time since its founding in 1965.

12.01pm: BLESS THEM – Received this via WhatsApp.

1.13pm: FREE SHOWS – Netflix releases more than 30 documentaries on YouTube.

2pm: FURTHER EXTENSION? – Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob said university students may be allowed to return home while those stranded in kampungs could be allowed to return to the city – under strict standard operating procedures.

Other highlights include:

  • Government has distributed 23.4 million out of 32.4 million face masks to households around the country. I’m still waiting for mine.
  • More rooms at quarantine centres being prepared in the event of a mass return of Malaysians from Singapore.
  • Kuala Lumpur City Hall will refund the RM120 licence fee to all registered Ramadan bazaar traders.

3.30pm: ONE HERO TO ANOTHER – Datuk Lee Chong Wei pens heartfelt and humorous birthday wish to Dr Noor Hisham. Hopefully, his boss doesn’t see it.

4pm: SO TRUE – Thanks Jeff Miranda for this reminder.

5.36pm: THREE MORE DEATHS – Number of new cases is 57, making it 5,482. The bad news is it is higher than the number of those discharged today – 54. The number of those cured is 3,349. Sadly, there were three deaths, taking fatalities to 92.

6pm: 500 NEGARA – Enjoy.