While we can blame the government for all of their shortcomings in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we as citizens have an important part to play as well.
Despite all the rules and regulations in place, some Malaysians would somehow ignore them and blatantly violate the SOPs, and when things take a turn for the worse, all fingers will be pointed at the authorities for letting it happen.
When it comes to that, we Malaysians can learn a lot from Taiwan.
Self-lockdown mode activated
On Saturday (15 May), the Taiwanese government placed the region
under Level 3, the second highest COVID-19 alert level.
This came after the country recorded 180 new domestic infections.
Under Level 3, its citizens are required to wear masks when they leave their homes, and the government has ordered bars, nightclubs and similar venues to shut.
The government has yet to declare a lockdown, but its citizens are already doing their part to ensure that the virus doesn't spread.
Several photos showing the deserted streets of Taipei have gone viral on social media as its citizens impose a self-lockdown.
The pictures, uploaded onto Facebook by user Tsungnan Yuan
, showed the busy streets and hotspots of Taipei almost completely devoid of human beings.
Even busy hotspots like train stations are noticeably quieter:
According to Yuan, the people of Taipei imposed a self-lockdown:
Another Facebook user by the name of Yao-Tung Leng
also shared several amazing photos of empty shopping malls and tourist destinations.
This is a stark contrast compared to Malaysia, where families are using shopping malls as a spot to gather for Hari Raya
during the movement control order (MCO)
"The streets of Taipei city, many districts, MRT stations -- the most crowded MRT station City Hall Station -- shopping malls, which were supposed to be lively on weekends, were almost super shockingly empty," Yao wrote.
The level of self discipline amongst the Taiwanese is remarkable, considering Taipei alone has a population of 2.65 million people.
Lockdown only when necessary
Despite recording 180 domestic coronavirus transmissions on Saturday (15 May), Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said they will only impose a full lockdown
if they record at least 100 new infections per day for 14 consecutive days.
On Monday (17 May), the number of new cases
rose to 335, which is the country's single day record. They recorded 207 new cases on Sunday (16 May).
Taiwan has long been a role model when it comes to the handling of COVID-19 cases, as the country only recorded 2,017 confirmed cases and 12 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
In fact, Taiwan went more than 250 days without reporting a locally transmitted case last year.
Despite having a population of 23.6 million, the island never went into lockdown - which is an impressive feat.
We hope that our government -- and certainly, our fellow Malaysians -- can learn a lesson or two from Taiwan.