Prince or pauper, statesman or common man, the fight against Covid-19 is ours

Malaysia is in the throes of an unprecedented peacetime catastrophe – the Covid 19 pandemic. All are struggling to cope with this disaster.

An unstable government attempting to appease the different factions in its bid to remain in power is distracted from focusing on combating this pandemic.

To reduce politicking and to stave off challenges to its position, the government declared an emergency and suspended Parliament, purportedly to contain the pandemic. It has instituted several movement control orders (MCOs) and lockdowns that have so far been ineffective, as the infections spiral upwards and the number of deaths continues to climb.

To be fair, the government, although distracted by their own political agenda, has rolled out several aid packages to alleviate the plight of the people. Nevertheless, the people continue to suffer because of the government’s reactive posture, instead of using a more proactive and holistic approach.

During these trying times, we have heard and read how the common man has helped each other out without much fanfare. Neighbours, mosques and communities, as well as non-governmental organisations, have rendered much-needed aid, in cash and kind, to the less fortunate.

Even the 800,000 civil servants have been directed by chief secretary to the government, Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, to contribute varying amounts, based on their salary scale.

This silent majority do not seek any publicity, only the satisfaction of giving succour to the poor and destitute.

Even the royal institution has chipped in, mainly advising the people to strictly observe the standard operating procedures.

As the national symbol and protector of the rakyat, the royal institution can come to the aid of their subjects in these physically and emotionally challenging times. Then the adage ‘Raja dan rakyat berpisah tiada’ becomes more meaningful.

Together, we can fight this pandemic, each shouldering what he or she can bear; as the saying goes, berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dijinjing.

For no one is safe from this virus. It does not care about one’s social or economic position.

If one segment of this community is affected, the rest will eventually succumb to it, too.

It is in our best interest to fight this virus together, be it the prince or the pauper, the statesman or the common man.

Our lives are intertwined in this war, for no man is an island. We sink or swim or together.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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