Creating a positive environment during the Covid-19 crisis

The Movement Control Order implemented by the government is an unprecedented act necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Malaysians will be navigating into uncharted territory within the next few weeks. However, everyone shows one thing in common – the need to rid Covid-19 from the country so everyone can continue with their everyday lives.

How fast this country is purged of this “uninvited guest” depends entirely on all Malaysians. The authorities imposed the Movement Control Order (MCO) beginning March 18 with the intention to stem the spread of Covid-19.

However, even before the MCO came into effect, chaos had erupted. Because of this, instead of achieving the intended objective, the situation became worse.

First, swarms of people rushed to grocery stores and supermarkets to buy everyday necessities. This was made worse by the circulation of fake news created by an irresponsible few. In actuality, there was no need for “panic buying” as the country had enough everyday supplies for all.

Secondly, the sudden announcement of the MCO resulted in universities and colleges shutting down and students being asked to leave their campuses. With this, there was an exodus of students, rushing to their respective hometowns.

Panic buying is largely caused by false rumours spread by irresponsible parties on social media.

Along with the students, were office workers themselves who went against the order by travelling back to their hometowns.

This complicated the efforts of the IGP, who was monitoring the movement of people in the country, and taking proactive measures to trace the source of the virus.

Interstate travel was banned to stem the spread of Covid-19 to other parts of the country and by going against the MCO, these efforts were in vain.

Here is some advice: Please stay where you are, and worry not as Malaysians are all in this together. Focus on the positive side of the Covid-19 chaos instead like the country’s frontliners and the authorities, who have been proactive and agile in ensuring the safety of the people.

Like the managements of various supermarkets and grocers, who have given their assurance that they will be open for business every day, so that there are enough supplies to go about.

Like some universities and colleges that have agreed to provide accommodation and food to students who stayed behind.

Like the various state governments that provided busses and flight travel for students so they could go home in an orderly manner.

Travel restrictions are a compulsory measure to ensure that Covid-19 does not spread its reach.

And of course, the swift decision of the IGP to temporarily withdraw the requirement to fill up forms at police stations after witnessing the big crowds there.

What this means is that Malaysia is in good hands. The authorities are trying their best to contain any chaos that ensues. They have proven to be agile in times of crisis.

It is now up to you as a proud Malaysian to cultivate a positive environment in these testing times.

The first Dale Carnegie Principle of Human Relations is, “Do not condemn, criticise or complain”. This passage that the country is navigating through is new to everyone, including the authorities.

The brave men and women who risk their lives despite limited resources are doing their best to help the country out of its doldrums.

It is time to give them support, constructive feedback, ideas and not condemnation, criticism or complaints.

They too are parents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters who want to protect their families as much as you do yours. So seek to understand before being understood.

As Malaysians, provide a positive environment in these trying times, even at the very least to your closest family members facing the same challenges and sharing the same home as you.

Spread positivity in what you write and share on social media platforms. When everyone contributes to building positivity, the country will return to prosperous times together.

Continue creating a prosperous Malaysia.

Wan Hisham Wan Salleh is the CEO and President of Dale Carnegie Malaysia.

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