JOHOR BAHRU, June 4 — The Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah has urged the people to stop pointing fingers at any individual or authority over the increase in the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19, which resulted in the enforcement of the total lockdown.

Raja Zarith Sofiah suggested that they should instead focus on extending assistance to hospitals, frontliners or members of the community in distress.

She said finding fault alone would not reduce the number of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) or reduce the stress faced by families who had to be cramped in one-bedroom flats, or of those who had lost income and were unable to earn a living for their families.

“Although the people have the right to criticise and question the actions taken by the government, we should also reflect on our own capabilities. Do not forget that some of us also have to take responsibility for the current situation,” she said in a statement posted on ‘The Royal Johor’ Facebook page today.

She said not all citizens were certified accountants, economists or medical experts whose skills were required in managing the pandemic, and in fact, no one in the world had the experience of managing the pandemic on such a scale.

“The hospital is the most affected entity. Look at the containers that had to be converted into morgues as well as other challenges we have seen over the past year. What’s wrong for us to show even a little appreciation for all their sacrifices in treating or rescuing patients from the brink of death?

“My family will continue to provide assistance to the needy, those who have lost jobs or low-wage earners, whose salaries are sometimes equivalent to just a meal at a fancy Japanese restaurant. Maybe our assistance may seem small in the eyes of certain people but we still try to do our best,” she said.

Raja Zarith Sofiah said the pandemic had also created a gap between the wealthy and the less fortunate, besides highlighting the gap between those who were willing to help voluntarily and those who were more comfortable sitting behind the keyboard and finding endless faults.

“Fear, along with pressure and anger has provoked various reactions among the community – pointing fingers at various parties, from members of the public and restaurant operators to government officials, and even state government institutions and the Federal government itself.

“We must realise that everyone has a role to play. The bottom line is, the old adage ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ still applies in the current scary and uncertain situation,” she said.


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