The once globally praised and lauded country in its handling of COVID-19, soon fell under scrutiny among its citizens. The pandemic held Malaysia in a chokehold while the government's efforts were not enough to protect the people. The first case of COVID-19 on Malaysian soil was recorded on Jan. 25, 2020, tracing back to three Chinese nationals who entered the country from Singapore. Amid a political tug-of-war, the suspension of parliament, and an unstable economy, the light shone on the shell of an inherently broken system.
Despite cases rising nationally and internationally, the Prime Minister at the time, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad completely dismissed the idea of barring all incoming flights from China. He stated that it was not an urgent matter. Amidst global panic about what seemed to be an unknown, highly infectious virus, the Malaysian government did not put together an appropriate framework to manoeuvre the blooming pandemic. The lack of planning and implementation of a comprehensive strategy is an ongoing failure spread across two different governments and cabinet members. Millions of people are suffering nationwide, bankruptcy is rising, and the rate of poverty and unemployment is rising rapidly.