Bah, Abah! Just keep it short and sweet

My dad’s birthday was on Jan 22. He passed away in 1995 but one of the things he told me was to keep things short and sweet.

It is good advice but something I sadly don’t often follow.

I couldn’t help but recall his words as I listened to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s perutusan khas on Thursday.

The prime minister has made the special announcements his ‘thing’ since taking office on March 1.

Despite doing it so frequently that it has lost its importance, Muhyiddin still rambles on and on and peppers his speech with “fatherly advice” instead of getting to the point or instilling confidence in his leadership.

Readers of Twentytwo13 may recall an Oct 6 article ‘Dear Abah, we need answers, not fatherly advice’ where we asked the PM to give answers when he appears on television.

That was the day when we had a then-record 691 cases – how times have changed since with Malaysia now recording four-digit cases daily – but on that day we didn’t get an idea how we were going to win the battle against Covid-19.

We still don’t.

Fast forward to Thursday. It was still the same dross from Abah. What’s worse, this time he repeated a whole bunch of stuff we already knew.

It was a sheer waste of time. Several journalist friends joked that he could have sent an email or let the National Security Council send its usual Short Message Service instead.

So for once, I shall listen to my dad and keep the main entry of ‘The MCO Diaries’ short and sweet.

To end, I would like to paraphrase a paragraph from the Oct 6 article: ‘As leader of the nation, a prime minister should give televised speeches for major announcements, not advice.’

Anyway, today is the 326th day since the start of the original MCO and this is the 34th weekly edition of ‘The MCO Diaries’.


The past seven days saw a record number of deaths from Covid-19 in the country. That includes an all-time single-day high of 21 on Tuesday and another 19 yesterday.

All told, we have had 112 deaths in the past week, taking the total to 845.

That is the first time since the diaries began we had over 100 deaths in a single week.

Overall, the number of cases rose to 234,874 after another record-breaking week of infections. That means there were 30,941 new cases in the past week, including a record high 5,728 last Saturday.

We also broke the 5,000 barrier on Sunday (5,298).

The good news? The recovery rate is getting better with 27,556 patients declared Covid-19 free, taking the number of recoveries to 185,278.

Sunday (4,522) and Monday (4,280) were the highest and third-highest single-day of recoveries.

Worldwide, the number of cases is approaching 105.5 million, with the number of deaths close to 2.3 million.


With all the confusion over the standard operating procedures for Chinese New Year (and all the creative memes which followed), I thought this was the perfect description.


GB Gerakbudaya, the publisher of the memoir by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, has threatened legal action against anyone sharing a PDF copy of the book online.

A friend, Mohan, posted this on Facebook: “If you appreciate the author or his/her work, BUY THE BOOK. What you are doing is theft and makes you no better than the politicians you condemn.”

So true.


Captain Tom Moore, the World War II veteran knighted after raising almost £39 million for the British National Health Service (NHS) charities during the first lockdown in spring 2020, died on Tuesday, aged 100, from Covid-19.

The Guardian had a special picture tribute for this great man and you can read more about the man who inspired Britain here.



Yesterday was World Nutella Day. So here’s a recipe for Nutella Cheesecake. Enjoy.


Singaporean comedian Alvin Onn with the perfect song to describe the times we live in. It’s a parody of the great Dean Martin love song That’s amore.

Amore is Italian for love and the tune is a traditional waltz beat. I could listen to Martin’s version for hours. Enjoy this new take.