What would have been a normal dinner scene at a
The Hong Kong police fired tear gas at people once more this evening in Yuen Long. Earlier in the day, people had gathered in that northwestern New Territories town (which I used to love having post-hike meals in) to commemorate the eight month anniversary of the attack by white shirted thugs on MTR passengers -- some, but not all, of whom were returning home from taking part in anti-extradition bill protests on Hong Kong Island -- and, equally shocking to Hong Kongers, gross dereliction of duty by the police that night.
Despite what some folks might think, the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have not ended. At most, many protestors have decided to use the past couple of months or so to try to protect Hong Kong against the Wuhan coronavirus (which we first got wind about in early January) -- by doing such as sourcing masks for people as well as pressuring the Hong Kong government to close the territory's borders and contesting the authorities' plans to set up quarantine centers in high density neighborhoods. But, truly, as long as Hong Kong has a government that is more inclined to do Beijing's bidding than that of the local populace, I am sure that many Hong Kongers will feel obliged to resist the authorities, and demand that their voice be heard, respected and obeyed.
Also, the way that Carrie Lam and co have responded to the Wuhan coronavirus threats (i.e., badly) has probably lost them more allies and supporters, and got more Hong Kongers realizing that they need as well as deserve a better government. A case in point: in recent days, lawmakers across the political spectrum have united to demand that Hong Kong ban all non-residents from entering the Big Lychee, unanimously passing a motion in the Legislative Council calling for such a move, as well as for tests for the Wuhan coronavirus of all locals arriving home from overseas; this after a rise of confirmed cases of infection in the past week, mostly as a result of a number of people flying into Hong Kong testing positive for the coronavirus, to bring the total of cases in Hong Kong to 273.
In addition, Hong Kongers were horrified yesterday to learn that only one third of the monitoring wristbands that new arrivals to the territory's were given by the authorities to wear to check that they were indeed self-quarantining for 14 days actually have been activated! And then today, came the news that a test sample mix-up at the quarantine center set up close to the airport had resulted in two people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus being allowed to make their way home rather than be sent to a hospital isolation ward!
To be sure, these screw ups can see rather minor to people in other countries where tens of thousands of people have been infected (including Spain and Germany) and even died (e.g., Italy as well as Mainland China). And, in all honesty, I actually have spent much of this week in greater shock over how badly Malaysia, for one, has been dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus onslaught. This is the country, after all, that went from zero deaths from the coronavirus at the beginning of this week to eight today, and whose number of confirmed cases of infection has now risen to 1,183 (from 428 just one week ago).
This past Monday, the leader of the backdoor government appeared on television to announce the placing of a "movement control order" from Wednesday through to March 31st. With his speech being short on details, the order sowed much panic, chaos and confusion. Days after implementation, there still appears to be disagreement about what it actually entails, with new details emerging -- including that today which apparently makes it so that only the head of each family is allowed to venture out to shop for groceries and other necessities (which then begs the question: what if the head of the family is elderly, incapacitated and otherwise not the best choice of person to go out to do such?!)
Truly, the more I hear about the "new" Malaysian government (which many Malaysians don't consider legitimate nor capable), the more I despair that it can steer Malaysia out of this crisis any time soon, and with fewer casualties than would be the case if, say, the Pakatan Harapan government were still in power and its health minister were in charge. At the very least, unlike the present incumbent, the much respected Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad surely would not have fallaciously suggested that drinking warm water can help to prevent infection by the Wuhan coronavirus!
And while I know this ridiculous pronouncement by someone who supposedly does have a medical degree is ridiculous, I really can't laugh about it because so many lives are at stake. We're talking, after all, about the dangerous enemy that Malaysia is currently having facing, along with Hong Kong and the rest of the world, is one that the last time I looked at the latest coronavirus pandemic statistics a minute or so ago, had already been confirmed as having infected 288,044 people in the world and claimed a reported 11,949 human lives. :(