On January 25, 2020, the Health Ministry of Malaysia reported its first confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan of the Hubei Province in China. As the death toll continues to rise in the country, spreading to every Chinese region, Malaysians everywhere are seen sporting masks.
As the virus spreads rapidly across the globe with countries like Italy and the UK suspending flights to China as a control and preventative measure, Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke on the other hand, recently said that no decision has been made so far to restrict flights from the country into Malaysia.
Earlier, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that there are no plans to stop Chinese nationals from entering the country. He said however that the screening efforts especially of those travelling from China would be intensified.
While Malaysia continues making unpopular decision in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, another incident further puts Pakatan Harapan (PH) under a bad light in facing global crisis.
Recently, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali received backlash after he posted on Twitter what seems to be a video of him enjoying horseback riding, just two days after Malaysia reported its first confirmed cases of the virus.
Azmin was criticized for portraying a ‘lavish life’ at a time when the country is facing numerous political and economic problems. Some implied he was not doing justice to the people by posting his high life on social media when many are suffering with problems such as the high cost of living.
Others said that Azmin was being insensitive at the time when the country is facing the Wuhan-spread virus, suggesting that he should be more empathetic.
Having said that, the criticisms have not led Azmin to delete the video from his Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, Azmin’s tweet also caught the attention of former Prime Minister Najib Razak who further added fuel to the fire with a reference to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Najib’s post received 13,000 likes and generated 386 shares.