Author: Aliza Shah Binti Muhammad Shah
I am writing you this letter to tell you that we are doing great now.
When I was a kid, I grew up listening to your bedtime stories. It is my favourite time of day. You told me how great Malaysia will be in 2020. It is the year where we will be a developed country.
I remember seeing images of a country with advance and sophisticated technology, and not to forget - a flying car, on the book that you used to read us.
I guess no one could see this coming. No one would expect that the whole world will be paralysed by an unseen virus.
But it happened and millions perished.
I was five then. I understand nothing. But I remember how strong you were.
How brave everyone is. I remember helping you packing food for those in need.
I remember how tired you were but you forced yourself to sew Personal protective equipment every night. You had no idea how to, but that doesn’t stop you and the other Malaysians to lend a helping hand.
After thirty-years, today, I wish to commemorate the hard work, and thank you and every Malaysians for what’s done, as it has shaped us for what we are now.
The strong bond that we have now were forged during our fight with the Coronavirus.
We now utilised social media to do great things. No more cyberbullying. Instead, we solve issues - from homeless, strays and even missing child within hours.
No more fake news. We knew the devastating effects of sharing without checking the facts.
The days when we rely solely on the government has ended.
We now have hundred if not thousands of people who are like you, Ebit Lew and Uncle Kentang. They work tirelessly and they do it sincerely.
No more sticker on donated goods and no more camera assigned to capture the giving ceremony.
Thank you for helping to keep our air clean and our environment, green.
It is scary to know that new wave of deadly pandemics could have happened should the whole world didn’t stop fighting and work together to minimize the impact of pollution, deforestation, intensive farming and globalisation, then.
Deforestation and land use for intensive farming, for example, can cause habitat loss and increase the possibility of humans to be in close contact with wild animals that might be carrying other unknown viruses. So we now engage in a more prudent development. Nothing is worth killing off our environment.
Malaysians are also healthier. Most of us have this small garden where we plant our own food. We spent quality times together watering our plants and harvesting our yield. We have so much fun, just like how we did when we were stuck at home during the Movement Control Order.
Every morning I woke up, I prepare breakfast and I kiss your grandchildren goodbye before they went on their school bus.
I remember how tough it is for you having to wake up at 4.30am to cook for us then leave at 5.30am just to make sure you arrive at work on time. You would reach home around 8pm every day, thanks to the traffic.
But we are better equipped now, mom, so we work mostly from home. We have good internet connectivity be it, either in the Peninsula or Eastern Malaysia. No one has to climb any tree just to get connected. Our productivity level increased by up to 20 percent, way higher from the result of a study conducted by Nicholas Bloom in 2013.
We saw how Covid-19 had impacted not only the government but the private sectors. So everyone is playing their role. We spent a lot on research and development. We equip ourselves with as much knowledge as we can so that we can be better at handling new waves of pandemic.
I think enough, for now, it is time for me to go to bed. How I wish you were here, reading me a storybook. Please send my regards to dad. I hope this letter will ease your worry. I love you, mom, to the heaven and back.
Your lovely daughter