‘Dato’ at supermarket thinks he is immune to coronavirus

Does the title ‘Dato’ absolve one from submitting details as per the government’s standard operation procedures (SOPs)?

On Thursday night, right after work, I headed to a supermarket at Taman Tun Dr Ismail. It was about 7.30pm. Standing about a metre in front of me at the entrance of the supermarket was Mr Blue.

Mr Blue was asked to scan the barcode or jot down his contact details in a book. As he was adjusting his jeans that was almost falling off, Mr Blue replied to the security guard: “Saya Dato lah.”

He scribbled something in the book and entered the supermarket, leaving the Nepali security guard speechless. As I was up next, I saw the word “Dato”, minus phone number, written in the book. I told the guard this was unacceptable. He kept mum and shrugged.

The guard was clearly in a fix. The supermarket is frequented by those who claim to be the who’s who in society and judging by the guard’s reaction, I’m sure this was not the first time he has heard this “Saya Dato lah” line. And the last thing he needs is to be embroiled in a heated argument which is most unlikely to favour the foreign workers.

I brought up the matter with a staff member who was seated at the customer service counter just before I left the supermarket, informing him of what had transpired.

We should all be treated the same, regardless ‘Dato’ or not. The staff assured me he would speak to the guard and look into the matter.

As I was driving off at 7.51pm, I saw ‘Dato’ Blue, with bags of plastic in his hands, entering a black continental vehicle.

Writing “Dato” in the book is just as bad as writing “Mat Botak” or “En. Seluar Londeh”.

Such behaviour is simply unacceptable as it will frustrate the authorities’ task in tracing those who have visited a particular area if a Covid-19 case is detected.

In fact, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had in May warned Malaysians not to write Batman or Superman as their names when entering business premises.

Malaysians have been reminded to use the MySejahtera mobile application to record their presence at such premises. Alternatively, they are to write down their details.

For someone who claims to be a ‘Dato’ and drives a luxurious vehicle, surely he’d be able to invest in a belt and be holding on to a handphone or two. If he does not want to reveal his name and number, he should just use MySejahtera.

It is such people who tarnish the titles that have been awarded by our royal institution. If he is indeed a ‘Dato’, then shouldn’t these individuals set examples instead of behave like an entitled lot while breaking rules?

Malaysians, regardless of position in society, must adhere to the SOPs to ensure the nation wins the Covid-19 battle. Some nations are experiencing second and third waves and we can’t be nonchalant over this invisible enemy.

Premise owners must deny entry to those who don’t see the need to adhere to the guidelines.

And I do hope those manning entrances of premises will be trained to shoo away the defiant ones. If anyone were to say, “Saya Dato lah“, the only appropriate reply should be “Dato’ banyak besar ka?”