Ten months down the road, authorities still fumble over MCO rules

SSDD or Snafu are common acronyms most of us are familiar with.

Sadly, when it comes to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the Movement Control Order (MCO), I keep thinking about them.

We are into Day 4 of the latest MCO for six states and three federal territories – Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan as Kelantan entered MCO at 12.01am.

This is scheduled to end on Jan 26 but most likely will be extended beyond Chinese New Year.

Perlis and Sarawak are under the Recovery MCO.

With two versions of MCO plus the King agreeing to put the country under a state of emergency to curb the alarming rise of Covid-19 cases, no wonder many are confused by the SOPs.

None more so that our very own government officials who just like the first MCO on March 18, seem to “make up rules as they go along”.

One would have thought than 10 months down the line, the authorities would have got their act together.

Fat chance of that.

The latest “confusion” is about exercising.

On Monday, when Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the latest MCO starts on Wednesday, he said jogging and cycling within a 10km radius are allowed.

However, on Wednesday, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (KLCH) announced all public parks would be closed during the MCO period.

On Thursday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said public parks in MCO states would be closed for recreational and sports activities.

Yesterday, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa decided to reopen parks around Kuala Lumpur – but with strict SOPs.

The rules regarding exercise have even left the police confused.


Speaking about SOPs, we need to wear a mask but Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal was going around and doing activities without one.

Penat tapi kami gembira dapat bantu guru SMK Benta, Kuala Lipis membersihkan surau sekolah. Total loss. Kasihan kepada pelajar SPM aliran seni. Kerja khusus hancur. Tabahlah. 

That reminds me of a picture which I received via WhatsApp:

Separately, on Thursday there was some good news – self-service laundrettes in MCO areas are now allowed to operate if there is an employee at the premises to ensure customers follow SOPs.

Yesterday, more MCO rules were relaxed to allow opticians to operate.

That is definitely an essential service and it buggers belief that the government didn’t think to allow them to open, to begin with

Can you imagine what it would be like if someone were to accidentally break his or her spectacles?

Anyway, today is the 305th day since the start of the original MCO and this is the 31st weekly edition of ‘The MCO Diaries’.


Malaysia entered a state of emergency on Jan 11, but we only found out about it when Muhyiddin announced it at an 11am press conference the following day.

The emergency is to curb the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases which saw Malaysia record 19,958 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 151,066.

That is a seven-day high, up from the previous unwanted record of 16,030 set last week.

The country also recorded three single-day highs, including the highest-ever of 3,337 on Thursday. The second-highest on Tuesday (3,309) and yesterday (3,211).

The previous highest number of cases in a single day was last Thursday (3,027).

Malaysia rose three places to No 65 among the worst-affected countries. The number of active cases rose to 35,253 up from 25,140.

We also recorded 49 fatalities in the past week which brought the total to 586, including 15 on Thursday, one short of the record which came last Friday.

Only 9,796 patients were cured this week, taking the total to 115,227. That dropped the number of recoveries to 76.3 per cent.

Worldwide, there are 93.6 million cases, up from 88.6 million a week ago. Globally there have been just a little more than two million deaths.


A reader, who has two school-going children, shared this via WhatsApp. Sadly, this is so true.


Did you know there is a government portal to help you get information about 22 ministries, commissions and departments?

It’s called ‘Sharing Information Through Innovation’ or SITI for short.

Perhaps those in power should give it a try to align the rules and regulations so it won’t be so confusing for us normal folks.



Last week, The Independent published an article to help those working from home (WFH).

As it rightly pointed out, fatigue would have set in after nearly a year of WFH.

This has happened to some of my friends in Malaysia. Hopefully, these tips help.


Since many have lots of time to experiment in the kitchen during the latest MCO, here is a ‘cool’ recipe to try.

The plus side? It’s relatively healthy as you can skip dairy, fat and sugar.


Recently, a music video was uploaded on YouTube featuring 26 healthcare workers from the government and private sectors. It was recorded in isolation in December and earlier this month.

You can never go wrong with Man Bai’s Kau Ilhamku and these healthcare workers have done justice to the song. Bravo!