April showers bring May flowers, as the idiom goes, and here we are, still under a restricted movement order (RMO) that will last until May 12th, 2020. This is of course, being hopeful, as many Malaysians see an extension lasting beyond Hari Raya.
If we began the first month under the RMO with great humour – the number of memes being viraled is proof of that – in the second month, we see Malaysians and the whole world facing challenges, not just economically, but also to their well-being. Among practitioners and researchers in the field, counter-terrorism and security trends remain on top of the radar, and we see ominous signs of soft infiltration.
Modern day Malaysia was built on the backs and blood of migrant foreign workers from poorer countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and India. In the face of the COVID-19, they see their livelihoods slashed, and their health jeopardised.
The new government has been aggressive in their efforts to assist Malaysians financially. The majority of Malaysians are applauding the strict measures demonstrated by the police and authorities, but will it end there? Observers all around the world are alluding that authoritarian leaders may use the COVID-19 crisis to tighten their grip.
This our new normal, our new reality. What is the roadmap moving forward?