From Malaysia’s Bersih to the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements, the use of social media has been a powerful tool in getting attention, ultimately leading to some form of change — no matter how big or small. So it’s no wonder that #KitaMintaLima blew up among the netizens of Malaysia on Twitter.
Seen this hashtag but don’t know what it’s about? It started off when a user on Twitter decided to collect and document complaints by Malaysians regarding the new government. He then proposed 5 important points for the government to consider when building a solid plan to fight COVID-19. Hoping to gain the attention of renowned authority figures, especially the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he started off #KitaMintaLima that points towards the needs and cries of Malaysian during these hard times.
With the ever-changing SOPs and lack of clear guidance, many Malaysians naturally supported him by retweeting #KitaMintaLima which amounted to more than 40,000 tweets. Though each point may only be a short sentence, there’s so much impact that each point has towards us and we should understand what all of them are about.
This is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? After months of going in and out of different kinds of MCOs, the meaning of it is getting lost.
Though, I’m pretty sure it’s not easy juggling between the health of the economy and the public, we’re in dire need of an effective and clear set of rules during the MCO.
A properly planned target would make it easier for citizens to follow them without unconsciously (or consciously) turning a blind eye due to the frequent u-turns of SOPs.
There’s no doubt that the frontliners of our nation deserve to be honoured, given the amount of sacrifices they’re making while putting their lives on the line.
So, the least the government could do is offer support in any form that would ease their burdens and guarantee their safety.
With the implementation of MCO 2.0, many businesses, both big and small, have experienced a form of loss — whether it’s completely closing down their only source of income to support their families, the volume of customers coming in for their services being affected, or even their freedom to run it.
Therefore, monetary aid should be given to them so that they can at least support their families.
I’m sure we're aware of the many double-standard incidents when it comes to SOPs being enforced, with the latest one being a 3-day quarantine for ministers instead of the standard 10-day quarantine.
So, it’s not a surprise when all we want is a set of equal and fair SOPs to be enforced. I’m sure us Malaysians would willingly comply if this is implemented.
With the new normal, many students have adapted onto e-Learning platforms.
While most of us have adapted to it pretty smoothly, many students, especially those who live in rural areas and low-income backgrounds, are struggling to obtain the necessary tools.
Remember how this university student climbed a tree just to sit for her exams? What about those in the B40 community?
A call to an immediate aid is needed for them to be able to not only be able to obtain their rights to an education but also access to it.
Though it has been a few weeks since #KitaMintaLima went viral on Twitter, and things may seem to have died down, the issue still persists. The worry now is that, like many trends and hashtags that die off over time, this is also happening to #KitaMintaLima even before these demands could be addressed properly.
This is a very crucial moment for us Malaysians.
As we share our cat videos or dance moves on TikTok, let’s also use our social media to change the course of our future for the betterment of our nation in this time of uncertainty. Being a part of a democratic country, this is our right to voice out the change we want — especially when we know the capacity of the change social media can bring. If we could change history after 61 years during the 14th General Election, we can do it now!
In this time of confusion and stress, we need to have each other's backs to win this battle against COVID-19 together. While we may not be as powerful in making nationwide SOPs and changes, we can still use our voice, through the power of social media, to make a difference, in hopes that our goal of keeping the well-being of our fellow Malaysians and flattening the curve completely can finally be accomplished.
Meanwhile, let’s do our part to the best of our abilities to help our fellow frontliners, flatten the curve, and sign the #KitaMintaLima petition here!
Alvina Gerard is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Taylor's University. She is also a part of her very own passion project of spreading awareness and educating people about self-care and body positivity!
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