Sunday, August 9

Mandatory face-mask use: Public generally compliant, self-disciplined


Visitors at the ‘Tugu Negara’ (National Monument) in Kuala Lumpur observe the government’s mandatory directive for everyone to wear a face mask at public places. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The public has been generally complying with the government’s directive to wear face masks in crowded public places, which took effect yesterday, to help curb further spread of Covid-19.

Bernama’s observation around the capital yesterday found that people seemed to have taken the matter seriously, especially in crowded public places, by using their face masks as soon as they alighted from their vehicles.

Salesman M Sri Mathavan, 18, views safety as a primary concern for his family as he hails from a large one and has a younger sibling at home. His family’s well-being is what motivates him to always wear a face mask while working.

“I have seven siblings and the youngest is still a baby; therefore, I am worried about bringing the Covid-19 home.

“Therefore, I follow all the recommendations set by the government such as washing my hands (with soap) and bathing before gathering with my family.

“What the government is doing is right – I will definitely comply (with the government’s directives) because I cannot afford to pay the fine. I take at least three face masks with me daily when I go out,” he said.

Watch shopkeeper, Ng Nam Fooi, 62, who was also on the same page with Sri Mathavan, said such enforcement was to ensure public safety.

“I need to wear face mask as I engage with customers every day. I have been using face masks whenever I go to work or public places even before the government’s implementation (of the face-mask rule),” he said.

Meanwhile, Puteri Nur Anisa Megat Ismail, 29, said she regarded hygiene and health as important priorities for herself and her family.

“Everyone has to remember, that this pandemic is very dangerous so we must exercise self-control. I take precautions too as my neighbour is a 65-year-old mother and I too have a four-year-old nephew who comes over often,” she said.

In Penang, a Bernama survey in George Town showed that the public complied with the government’s directives by wearing face masks and practising physical distancing in public places such as markets and food outlets. A visitor at Jelutong Market, Tan Lean Yee, 54, said she felt safer with all shoppers wearing face masks and practising physical distancing.

“Previously, I was a bit worried when visiting public places because there were many people who did not wear face masks – but today, I find that apart from food places, everyone has started wearing masks,” she said.

However, in Butterworth, police issued compounds to 20 individuals in Bagan Ajam for not wearing face masks at public places and not observing physical distancing.

Seberang Perai Utara District police chief ACP Noorzainy Mohd Noor said all the individuals, in their 20s, were detained at the Butterworth Outer Ring Highway Bagan Ajam rest-and-service stop at 1.50am.

On July 23, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government had made it mandatory to wear face masks at public places following the return of Covid-19 globally, including in Malaysia.

He was reported to have said that anyone could be fined RM1,000 under Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) for non-compliance with the rules. — Bernama