2020 has been a whirlwind of a year for everybody. From a nationwide lockdown to staying indoors for months, there were so many unbelievable things that occurred this year – and it hasn’t even ended yet! One thing’s for sure, we will be talking about this year’s happenings for years to come.
With that said, here are some of the most memorable things to have happened in 2020 that our future grandkids will surely react with a, “for real ah???“:
1. We had no official prime minister for a few days
In 2020, our country made first-time history when our then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, officially resigned from his seat which pushed our Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to step in and elect a new Prime Minister. However, in the few days that it took His Majesty to come up with that decision, our country was left baffled without a permanent Prime Minister as Tun Dr. Mahathir only stayed on as the interim PM in that period.
Not only was he the eldest Prime Minister in world history (elected at the age of 92), he has also become our country’s prime minister twice (the fourth and the seventh) which is something that is pretty rare to come by.
2. The army assisted policemen in carrying out roadblocks
In order to really control the rakyat’s movement during this critical time, the Malaysian government launched the Movement Control Order (MCO) which included one SOP that prohibited people from going out of their houses except for necessary reasons.
To implement this order, our policemen set up roadblocks at every town throughout the country. It became almost too much to handle until the government finally decided to call upon our army to assist with these roadblocks. Shout out to all the abang polis and abang askar out there!
3. We celebrated Hari Raya for just one day
In another unfortunate incident of 2020, this year’s Hari Raya fell in the midst of the MCO when the interstate travel ban was still implemented. Due to this, most Malaysians were forced to celebrate eid away from family and their kampungs.
To make matters worse, the government also stated that we were only allowed to visit each other on the very first day of Hari Raya. There were even reports of policemen making rounds around neighbourhoods to ensure Malaysians were not leaving their homes to celebrate eid.
4. We were allowed to get married… online
As we know, Malaysians sure love our weddings. So when the interstate travel ban was imposed as part of the MCO, it brought a lot of problems to all the eager brides and grooms.
Therefore, our government came up with a genius solution to this problem by allowing Malaysians to perform their solemnization ceremony via video calls for couples who originated from different states. Talk about technology coming to the rescue, huh!
5. We were restricted to maintain a 10km radius from our homes
In the earlier phases of the MCO, the SOPs were definitely stricter as our country fought to flatten the curve. As part of that effort, our government only allowed one representative from each household to leave the house, and even then, it had to be for valid reasons.
To ensure that people didn’t take advantage of this rule, we were told to stay within a 10km radius of our homes. Any further than that, be prepared to get sent back home by the police!
6. We had to adhere to a daily curfew of 8am – 8pm
On top of the travel ban, we were also restrained by a daily curfew! As part of the SOPs, all business premises and shops nationwide were only allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm every day. This also meant that the public would have to be home by 8pm as they would have no other reason to be out (except for work of course).
Who would’ve thought, even bustling cities like Kuala Lumpur would turn into a ghost town come nightfall? This curfew posed a huge hiccup on most of our local businesses and it even caused a big number of premises to shut down.
7. It was a crime for two people to ride in a car together
The whole point of a car is to provide more room for people to ride together. But in 2020, there was a time where it was considered a crime for two people to be riding in a car together!
This was part of the MCO where only one representative would be allowed to leave the house and during this time, you could even get fined for riding together in the same car. Of course, there was an exception for public transportation and e-hailing services.
However, you might be thinking, “would it be safe to ride in e-hailing services during times like these?” Well, it turns out, this type of service is considered quite safe as you’re not exposed to that many people and you’d also have adequate distance from the driver if you ride in the back. Not only that, e-hailing services have been taking extra steps to ensure the safety of their rides during this time.
ICYMI, Grab has been running an initiative called GrabProtect since June this year which aims to provide safer and cleaner rides for all passengers!
But what does this GrabProtect entail? Here’s what you should know!
- Before booking a ride, both the passengers and drivers would be prompted to read through the ‘Personal Health Declaration’ and click “I Accept” to ensure they’re healthy.
- Passengers will get a reminder to wear a mask throughout the whole ride. Masks are mandatory for drivers as well!
- Don’t forget to sanitise your hands before boarding the car. For Grab drivers, they are advised to sanitise their hands and vehicle after every ride.
- Once passengers are in the car, you can request for a hygiene kit which comprises of a hand sanitiser and a disinfectant spray if it is available.
- Passengers also have the option to wind down the windows for added ventilation. Don’t worry, your drivers will surely understand if you do this!
- Lastly, passengers can always opt to go cashless and pay with GrabPay Wallet to minimise physical contact.
As you can see, Grab’s preventive measures are directed towards both the driver and the passenger to ensure that both parties can enjoy a safer and cleaner ride. The 6-step guide mentioned above will be available for all GrabCars but if you’re looking for extra protection, you can also opt for GrabCar Plus where the Hygiene Kit will be available!
This should serve as a reminder that if you’re responsible with your actions and you’re always aware of taking preventive steps, we can still live out our usual lives within these new norms. But remember, only go out if you really have to!
Do you have any other unbelievable moments from 2020? Tell us below!
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