KUALA LUMPUR,  May 1  — Today, Malaysian workers observe Workers’ Day while still in the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, with a new atmosphere brought about  by challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are no gatherings planned by the federal or state governments to celebrate the day, and this is part of the new normal which Malaysians have to live with.

This year’s Workers’ Day is unique as it has boosted the spirit of employees to give their best to the country, directly or indirectly, especially the frontliners who have toiled tiredlessly to break the chain of infections.

Not to be forgotten too are the workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, such as those in the tourism sector,  while petty traders are still allowed to operate, but within the confines of the MCO.

Now that the curve of infections has been flattened and the daily figure of positive COVID-19 cases has been consistent at double digits for 16 consecutive days, Malaysia is on the right track to lift the lockdown order which has been extended to May 12.

According to Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, as of yesterday, the COVID-19 outbreak in the country has infected 6002 people, with 102 deaths. The good news is that the number of recovered cases allowed to be discharged has increased to 4,171,  or 69.5 per cent of the total number.

Today is the eighth day of fasting, and many Muslims surely miss performing the Friday congregational prayers at the mosque, as this is the seventh Friday when such prayers have not been performed due to the MCO.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said in a talk last night that the ministry was looking at drawing up guidelines to enable religious activities including congregational prayers to be resumed, subject to permission from the Health Ministry.


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