Johor — In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, daily normal life has been upended, with even events such as funerals completely changed, as one Malaysian woman found out.
A 28-year-old Malaysian woman named Kailing Xiao who works in an electronics firm in Singapore has been living here since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented in Malaysia, which prevents Malaysian workers from traveling back and forth. Previous to the MCO, she had been able to commute from Kulai to Singapore daily, according to the johor.chinapress.com, which told her story on April 19.
Ms Xiao was informed by her family that her mother had died in the early morning hours of last Friday (April 17). She immediately returned to Malaysia the following day.
Upon her arrival in Malaysia, she requested the local health authority to be allowed to go directly to her mum’s funeral, but they denied her request and sent her directly to an isolation facility, where she was told to stay for 14 days.
Undaunted, Ms Xiao applied to be allowed to attend her mother’s funeral again.
This time, the health authority agreed. At 11:00 am on Sunday (Apr 19), she went directly to the Gulai Fugui Villa cremation site, where her mother’s remains had been bought.
Ms Xiao, in full protective gear from head to foot, was accompanied by two officers from the health authority, who brought her to the cremation site.
According to her sister, Xiao Kaili, “The two health bureau personnel and my sister put on protective clothing. When my sister moved toward my mother’s coffin, our other family members were asked to keep a distance and let her pay tribute.”
Her sister said Ms Xiao wept as she looked at her mother’s face. Ms Xiao was also allowed to attend the final part of the ceremony, standing at the back behind everyone else.
Ms Xiao stayed at the funeral for a total of 15 minutes and was then escorted back to the isolation facility by the officers. She will serve out the rest of her quarantine at the facility.
The family expressed their thankfulness to the health authority for allowing Ms Xiao to pay her last respects.
Malaysia’s MCO was implemented in the middle of last month, in an attempt to curb the rising number of cases of Covid-19. And while it was supposed to be for only two weeks, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has pushed it back twice already, with its lifting now scheduled to take place on April 28.
He announced in an address on April 10, “This is in line with WHO’s (World Health Organization) views requesting countries not to end movement control prematurely. As has happened in a few countries, the pandemic spreads again when the movement control ends.
We must be prepared for this situation for a few months. It might continue until we are truly sure we have overcome the spread of this pandemic 100 percent.”
Malaysia currently has 5,425 confirmed coronavirus cases. While 89 people have died from Covid-19, 3,295 people have recovered from the infection. —/TISG
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