"If Govt Can't Do It, We'll Do It" — M'sians Cheer For Rakyat-Initiated Measures At PPV

The safety measure was set up after a crowd was seen lining outside a hotel in Kuala Lumpur without observing physical distancing yesterday, 11 August.

Cover image via New Straits Times & @sshakib.s (Instagram)

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A group of ordinary citizens were praised by Malaysians for spending their own time and money to ensure physical distancing measures were in place at a vaccination centre (PPV) in Kuala Lumpur

The rakyat initiative was organised by MC Plus founder Sir Shakib and his team who works at the online tuition class company.

In a series of Instagram Stories, Shakib said he passed by a PPV in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, 11 August, and saw a lot of people were "hugging each other" in a queue.

He claimed that the police officers present in the vicinity did not use their authority to ensure people observed physical distancing.

The series of Instagram Stories come after Shakib had earlier filmed a large crowd gathering outside the Grand Seasons Hotel.

In the seven-minute long video, Shakib can be seen repeatedly telling people there — whom he believes to be foreign workers — to spread apart and observe 1m physical distancing.

After he left the scene, he was seen crying as he expressed his disappointment at the Ministry of Trade And Industry (MITI) and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) for failing to use their power effectively when it needed the most.

"Why people in power don't know how to use their power during this period? From ministers to police and patrol officers, why don't they know how to use their power? These people are stupid," he said while tearing up.

"When are you going to realise that people are dying. People's father, mother, children (are dying)."

The video later shows Shakib turning back to the PPV, only to see that the crowding issue is still unresolved even though 40 minutes have passed.

In a separate post published today, 12 August, it is learnt that Shakib took the matter seriously as he recently lost his father-in-law to COVID-19

He shared his struggle to move on from losing his father-in-law, whom he deemed as his own father as his family does not distinguish between in-laws and direct family members.

The entrepreneur explained that he viewed the crowding issue outside the PPV as an opportunity to give back to the world so that fathers and husbands like him would not have to go through the same fate he experienced.

Feeling responsible, he and his team bought barrier tapes and traffic cones to create a simple setup so that queuers can observe physical distancing easily.

"If the government can't do it, we will do it," Shakib said in one Instagram Story, before adding that the rakyat does not protest with guns but with tapes

In a one-minute-and-30-second long video, it can be seen that Shakib and his team from MC Plus spent the night pasting barrier tapes on the ground and placing traffic cones 1.5m apart from each other.

Calling it 'Project SOP', the caption of the video posted on MC Plus' Instagram page reads, "Happy! We are happy! This is how MC Plus works. There has never been the term 'sambil lewa' (half-hearted) in our circle. If we do, we do it seriously. Let this be beneficial for many people."

At the time of writing, 'Sir Shakib' trended on Twitter with over 15,800 tweets.

Many netizens lauded Shakib and his team for going out of their way to contribute to the country.

Meanwhile, Grand Seasons Hotel — now renamed Rumah Prihatin — explained that the crowding incident that happened yesterday was due to a "misunderstanding"

"The clip was due to a misunderstanding and news that Rumah Prihatin provides a walk-in vaccine service for non-citizens, while walk-in vaccinations for foreigners is at the Bukit Jalil vaccination centre (PPV). As a result, an unanticipated 'rush crowd' occurred beyond the expectations of management and enforcement," Malay Mail quoted it as saying.

"At the initial stage, the Rumah Prihatin took action together with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to disperse the crowd, but they still did not want to disperse, despite being given instructions and warnings. The situation was rectified with the help of PDRM and DBKL."

Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Noor Delihan Yahaya also said the police took immediate action in response to reports of crowding at the PPV.

In July, Grand Seasons Hotel — which had closed two years ago — was turned into a welfare hotel called Rumah Prihatin:

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