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#MenangBersama or #MenangisBersama?

They say a family that laughs together, stays together.

What about a family that cries together? ‘Cos according to netizens in that hallowed space of unfiltered expressions, epic trolls and the birthplace of hashtags a.k.a. Twitterjaya, while our big, multiracial Malaysian family isn’t winning the war on Covid-19, we’re sure as hell crying together over it.

It all began after the health ministry incomprehensibly decided to accompany its post on the daily Covid case and death numbers on Thursday with the tag #MenangBersama (winning together).

Naturally, predictably, expectedly and rightfully, Malaysians on Twitter raised a collective digital eyebrow and began roasting the official health ministry account over its choice of hashtag. Tell us @KKMPutrajaya, which part about the 5,841 new infections and 84 deaths logged on June 24 did you feel translated to us “winning”?

Btw, do you follow us on Instagram? If you don’t, hit up our IG account and check out the sweet action there!

After all, the country’s been on various forms of h̶o̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶a̶r̶r̶e̶s̶t̶ lockdowns for over a year. The latest kononnya “full” movement control order’s been going on for nearly a month, preceded by 3-week long MCO 3.0. Plus we’ve been under emergency rule for half a year and began mass vaccinations 5 months ago. (You can get a more detailed breakdown of our national imprisonment here).

Yet our case numbers remain in the high 5ks, total active cases in hospitals nationwide over 60k, and daily fatalities in the upper double digits. We’re also almost out of ICU beds, AND our infectivity rate’s climbing! To get a sense of how bad Malaysia’s doing on a global scale, see this report. Hint: it’s uglier than a pug with failed plastic surgery.

Long story short, unless you’re a follower of the Annuar Musa School of BS, this is the opposite of “winning”. 

To borrow a phrase from netizens, “#MenangKepalaHotakEngkau (winning, your head)”! It’s more like “#MenangisBersama (crying together)”.

Those weren’t the only depressing hashtags trending as a result of this. Twitter saw the rise of the poetic #KerajaanBangsat (feel free to Google Translate the meaning) and the resurrection of #KerajaanGagal.

Part of this could be due to the emergence of more and more virulent Covid strains, the delays to our immunisation campaign (thanks, vaccine inequity) and our vaccine supplies, and insufficient testing.

Read our wicked Fahmi Reza x BTL commentary on the full, no-joke-this-time lockdown and the glorious #KerajaanGagal hashtag.

But many wonder if, despite PM Muhyiddin Yassin preaching a good game on the need for a total shutdown to avoid “catastrophe“, it’s also ‘cos we’ve not actually totally shut down?

Despite factories, construction sites and the manufacturing sector consistently being among the top contributors of Covid clusters in the country, many have been controversially allowed to operate.

In contrast, smaller businesses have had to shutter, and we plebs mandated to work from home (we’re looking at you, Moo and Senior Side-Parting Minister Azmin Ali!).

Now Azmin and his merry Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) crew have promised no company’ll get away with flouting the rules. But that hasn’t stopped the clusters from rolling in, has it?

So Moo & Co watching from B̶a̶r̶a̶d̶-̶d̶û̶r̶ your gilded Putrajaya tower, tell us. Are we winning together or crying together?

Picture of Illustration by Fahmi Reza

Illustration by Fahmi Reza

Fahmi Reza is one of Malaysia's most iconic political graphic artists and activists. Using his wizardry with the pen and his wicked sense of humour, he calls out government and political incompetence and deceit through graphics and posters.

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