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Sunday, 10 May 2020

Life after EMCO (Living in the Shadow of Covid-19)

It has been a week since the lock-down imposed on Menara City One and the broader Masjid India area was lifted.

Nothing much of note has happened, as we settled back to our (new) normal life. After 5 long weeks I was able to place an order for a new guitar amplifier that I had been eyeing for several months. The amplifier arrived in the afternoon and observing the new norm, I took the lift down to the car park and drove Puteh out to the condo lobby to meet the Grabcar driver.

He helped me place the amplifier into the boot of our car and made sure we were always a meter away from each other. I then drove back, up to our car park and brought our provisions up the lift and when I got home as usual, I proceeded to:

  • remove my gloves (using the pinch and hook method)
  • dispose my gloves and mask properly
  • remove all article of clothing, placed directly into the wash
  • had a thorough shower
  • then place my towel in the wash as well

The order was placed on Tuesday morning 5th May; it arrived after lunch; and I was a rockin' and a rollin' by 4pm. A big shout out to Jordan of The Guitar Store for making it all happen!

One benefit of the EMCO imposed on our condo was that with the money not spent (forced-saved) during the EMCO I was able to get my hands on a brand spanking new Boss Katana 50 Mark 2 guitar modelling amplifier:









Yesterday to give Brendan a break from home-cooked food we ordered out and gave in to his request for a triple cheeseburger from McDonalds. Still observing the new norm, I took the lift down to the car park and drove Puteh out to the condo lobby to meet the Grabfood rider.

He helped me transfer the packages of food and beverages into the bag we had ready at the boot of our car and made sure we were always a meter away from each other. I then drove back, up to our car-park and brought our provisions up the lift and when I got home as usual, I proceeded to:

  • remove my gloves (using the pinch and hook method)
  • dispose my gloves and mask properly
  • remove all article of clothing, placed directly into the wash
  • had a thorough shower
  • then place my towel in the wash as well

We apologise for the repeated points stated above. If anything it is to stress to everyone that as you can see, nothing has changed in so far as the way we carry on our “business” is concerned. There has been no let-up in our diligence towards ensuring that we minimise possible infection. Today we read with concern the news about the latest lock-down imposed in and around the PJ Old Town area:




PJ Old Town comes under virus lockdown


We then waited for news of the MCO that is set to expire on 12th May and waited for the special address by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at about 2pm:

Malaysians to find out if MCO will be lifted or extended on Sunday (May 10)

In his special address the PM annouced that the Conditional MCO (CMCO) has been extended beyond the expiry date of 12th May, for another 4 weeks until 9th June:





At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further additional positive cases at Menara City One for the 11th consecutive day, which remains at 55 cases.


the danger is still out there, still present, still imminent... stay home!


It has been more than a month since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We thank everyone for their well wishes, kind thoughts and prayers for our continued health, safety, and well-being.

Till the next post!

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 34/29 - Liberation at Hand!

| Day 47/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 34/29 of City One EMCO |

To recap, our Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) was first imposed on 31st March, for 2 weeks until 13th April. The EMCO was then extended by another 15 days till 28th April, which came and went. With no official word or announcement from the government we could be forgiven for assuming that it has expired. Barbwire and AK47s say otherwise.

We are therefore still in a state of limbo since 29th April, and we are yet again the forgotten people of the MCO.

The latest announcement by the Federal Territories Minister gives us some comfort, and all we need to do now is stay calm and be patient.

Enhanced MCO in Masjid India expected to be lifted in next few days, says FT Minister

At about 10am our security officer informed all residents through the chat group that the PDRM tent in front of the lobby is still in place and operational, and that KKM personnel are stationed there as well to tend to residents who were unwell:




At around 11am we received a report from our residents' chat group that the Immigration Department and PDRM were going around all the shops in Plaza City One (outside our condo) to check on the identification and/or travel documents of its occupants. Apparently there were some who were living in the shops at Plaza City One, presumably with no place to stay. The resident who reported this added that these people were mostly undocumented migrants who managed to evade the sting operation on 1st May.

Shortly after that videos and photos started flooding our residents' chat group of what looked like a 2nd sting operation by the Immigration Department and PDRM at the Masjid India area around Selangor Mansion:













We need to stress the fact that we have no way of verifying whether the videos and photos above are events from today, or from the sting operation of 1st May. So far no media outlet has reported of any activity in the Masjid India area.

Later another resident shared this disturbing video at the resident's chat group that purportedly happened at what appears to be Aria Fashion along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman earlier today:




Another raid on illegals in Jalan Masjid India area

Immigration Department raids Masjid India yet again for undocumented migrants under EMCO

Immigration Dept conducts another raid in Masjid India

At 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was still no mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 3pm reports began to trickle into the residents' chat group saying that the armed forces have began to remove the barbwire surrounding our condo. These reports are as yet unverified, so we wait with cautious optimism for an official announcement.




A while later our condo's security officer confirmed that the army have begun removing the barbwire around our condo, and shared these photos:





At 4pm our condo's security officer confirmed all barbwire around our condo have been removed, and shared these photos:








At 4.45pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further additional positive cases at Menara City One for the 4th consecutive day, which remains at 55 cases.

It has been 24 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 33/29 - In Limbo!

| Day 46/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 33/29 of City One EMCO |

We are officially in a state of limbo (again). The lock-down imposed on our condo would have expired two days ago (30th April), and with no announcement from the government it would seem that it should have been lifted. Barbwire and AK47s say otherwise.

We are again the forgotten people of the MCO.

Even if the lock-down were lifted and the worst is over this does not mean we can let our guards down. Even if we were allowed to leave our homes to run errands in search of essential items, we would still be masked and gloved like before. We would still avoid crowded places or confined spaces.

We would still pick and choose the times when we do go out for grocery shopping. During the month of Ramadan it would be ideal for is to shop during the hours of 7-8pm since that would mean most are at home waiting to break fast; which is why we wholeheartedly disagree with this news article:


It is one thing that the nation's infection rate is dropping, it is quite another thing if KKM is not able to ascertain if the infectivity has also been eradicated. The drop in infection rate only means that the virus has been contained, it is not an indicator that we are out of the woods yet.

Conditional MCO might cause third wave of infections, say health experts

It will only take 1 asymptomatic person infected with the virus to start another chain of infection.

The headlines today was dominated by the large-scale sting operation comprising the Immigration Department, PDRM and Malaysia Civil Defence Force (JPAM) that swept across the entire Masjid India hunting for illegal immigrants.






It will take a very, very long time for Menara City One to live down its infamy.

At about 2pm we received a video from our security officer shared at the residents' chat group reporting that the KKM base camp at the front of the Plaza has been dismantled; however the PDRM and ATM guard posts still remain.




Also at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was still no mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At about 3.30pm we received a video and photos shared at the residents' chat group of the swimming pool at the 7th floor foyer area being drained and cleaned by our cleaners. This was arising from the residents' earlier complaints of the rise in mosquitoes at the condo.







At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further additional positive cases at Menara City One for the 3rd consecutive day, which remains at 55 cases.




It has been 23 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 32/29 - May Day, May Day

| Day 45/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 32/29 of City One EMCO |

We read with great interest the article below and heartily welcome the government's latest stand on illegal immigrants found in areas where the EMCO is imposed:

As if on cue, at about 11am our residents' chat group was abuzz with news that the Immigration Department had arrived at Menara City One. Our security officer then informed us privately that a large task-force comprising the Immigration Department, PDRM and Malaysia Civil Defence Force (JPAM) are sweeping our condo in search of illegal immigrants.





According to the condo management office (COMC) the task-force teams are visiting units where illegal immigrants are known to be residing, based on a list provided by the COMC as well as KKM's list of screened residents.







We later heard from our neighbours the Punjabi family from the other side of our floor that between 8-10 illegal immigrants were seen lining up in front of their unit before being led down via the staircase. It is good to know that the task-force team was still mindful enough to ensure non-contamination as well as observe social distancing by avoiding the lifts.

Two hours later our security officer updated all residents through our residents' chat group that the task-force team were still hunting down illegal immigrants in our condo; residents were to refrain from accepting deliveries at this point in time or at least arrange to reschedule, she will inform us once the exercise has been concluded.






All throughout the morning through to the afternoon we heard yelling and the sound of chains rattling. Photos shared at the residents' chat group later shed light on the source of the rattling sound:






At about 2.30pm our security officer informed all residents through our residents' chat group that the task-force team comprising the Immigration Department, PDRM and Malaysia Civil Defence Force (JPAM) had concluded its sting operation.





Illegals held in major swoop at Menara City One

Police, Immigration trucks seen at Menara City One

Today there was no Press Conference by the Senior Minister (Defence), so as yet there is no official announcement made on the status of Menara City One's EMCO. We are officially in a state of limbo (again). The lock-down imposed on our condo should have expired yesterday (30th April), and with no announcement from the government it would seem that it should have been lifted. Barbwire and AK47s say otherwise.

We are again the forgotten people of the MCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further additional positive cases for the 2nd consecutive day at Menara City One which remains at 55 cases.

It has been 22 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 31/29 - Today's the Day?

| Day 44/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 31/29 of City One EMCO |

Today is the 31st day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference later in the afternoon.

To recap Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association inform us that KKM has:

  • decided against holding any further Covid-19 screenings
  • admitted the 2 suspected positive cases announced earlier were actually negative; therefore the total positive cases at City One is reduced to 51
  • recommended for EMCO to be lifted (but with possibly 2 extra days)
  • requested for us not to go to the press as DG has taken personal interest 

Therefore our EMCO should by right be lifted today!

In a separate incident, yesterday a resident shared this news article in the residents’ chat group:

‘It’s a nightmare’: Resident quarantined in Malaysia’s COVID-19 red zone worried over access to healthcare, fresh food supplies

Apparently a resident Mel Youlanda saw her friend giving birth at the lobby of Menara City One last Sunday morning the 26th of April. She contends that her friend was denied appropriate medical attention, a serious allegation and right after the debacle concerning the mass Covid-19 screening of the Friday before.







She is not in the residents’ chat group and is therefore not aware of the agreed embargo on residents with regard to speaking to the press. Notwithstanding this, her allegations are serious enough to warrant breaching the agreed embargo.

At about 11.30am we heard an announcement over the loudspeaker from the 7th floor foyer area that a team from the Fire Department will be disinfecting the entire Menara City One.






Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was not mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further additional positive cases at Menara City One which remains at 55 cases.

It has been 22 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 30/29 - Anytime Now

| Day 43/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 30/29 of City One EMCO |

Today is the 30th day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference later in the afternoon.

Yesterday Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association posted this blessed message on our residents' chat group:


Alleluia!


To recap KKM has:

  • decided against holding any further Covid-19 screenings
  • admitted the 2 suspected positive cases announced earlier were actually negative; therefore the total positive cases at City One is reduced to 51
  • recommended for EMCO to be lifted (but with possibly 2 extra days)
  • requested for us not to go to the press as DG has taken personal interest 

Therefore our EMCO should be lifted by 30th April!

Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was not mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 55 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.




It has been 3 weeks since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 29/29 - Good News at Last!

| Day 41/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 28/29 of City One EMCO |

Today is the 29th day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference later in the afternoon.

It has been drizzling the whole morning since we woke up. The weather is somewhat gloomy yet calming, the dark clouds an ominous sign of things to come later in the afternoon, perhaps?

After all that has happened throughout the EMCO, we would like to clearly state that while we regret the misfortune that has befallen our home, never once have we regretted staying here at Menara City One:


the view each and every morning.. we wouldn't want it any other way!


Then at about 11am Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association posted this blessed message on our residents' chat group:


Alleluia!


In a gist KKM has:

  • decided against holding any further Covid-19 screenings
  • admitted the 2 suspected positive cases announced earlier were actually negative; therefore the total positive cases at City One is reduced to 51
  • recommended for EMCO to be lifted (but with possibly 2 extra days)
  • requested for us not to go to the press as DG has taken personal interest 

Therefore our EMCO should be lifted by 30th April!

Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was not mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 54 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.




It has been 3 weeks since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 28/29 - A Recap

| Day 41/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 28/29 of City One EMCO |

After the intermittent rain throughout yesterday afternoon that lasted into the night, this morning was pleasantly cool and cosy. Today is the 28th day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference tomorrow afternoon.

To recap the events of the past few days, the media outlets had first highlighted the plight of Menara City One residents who were subjected to mass screenings on the night of the 24th of April. In response to this The Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah blamed the congestion on the convergence of both residents of Blocks A and B coming down for screening at the same time.

The residents then sent out this press statement to all media outlets to refute the claims that last night's congestion were due to the residents of both blocks coming down for screening:



In response to the residents' press statement  the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah took to his Facebook account:

"It is indeed our concern of mass gathering where social distancing not being observed. MOH have instructed the State Health Director to work closely with the police, residents and management to better improve the implementation in future. Thank you to all residents in all MCO areas and buildings for your understanding, patience and cooperation."

During yesterday's press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also accepted Menara City One's residents' suggestion that future Covid-19 screenings be done floor-by-floor:




So there you have it, we are all caught up.

On a separate matter, today being a Monday we are expecting delivery of our groceries and provisions from Ben Leow later this morning.

At about 10am we received word from Ben that his delivery partner from Lalamove has just left his grocery shop with our items. Ben said the same driver from before, Gunaraj expects to arrive at our condo by 10.30am. This time armed with a proper trolley I went down alone to meet Gunaraj.


waiting patiently at the lobby


Approximately half an hour later Gunaraj arrived. Since Ben diligently separates dry from frozen items, Gunaraj again had to make two trips back and forth from his car to the lobby to collect two boxes. God bless you always Gunaraj (and Lalamove)!

As always as soon as I got home I proceeded to:

  • remove my gloves (using the pinch and hook method)
  • dispose my gloves and mask properly
  • spraynitised the trolley handle
  • remove all article of clothing, placed directly into the wash
  • had a thorough shower
  • spraynisited my IC, phone and glasses
  • then place my towel in the wash as well

We then inspected the items delivered and informed Ben that all the items ordered were present and accounted for, and thanked him for his help.

As always, a sealed polystyrene foam box filled with ice was used to pack all our frozen foods, and another sealed cardboard box  was used for the rest of the items. God bless you always Ben!

Anyone interested in arranging for delivery of groceries and provisions can reach out to Ben at +60125213577. You can find details of his grocery shop in a previous post.

Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference it was announced that the EMCO on Simpang Renggam has been lifted. There was not mention about Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 53 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.




It has been 20 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 27/29 - A Little Quiet

| Day 40/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 27/29 of City One EMCO |

After the tumultuous events of the past 48 hours we hoped for a little peace and quiet on this fine Sunday morning. Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association had shared the following message at the residents' chat group which we received with mixed feelings:




While we were relieved that KKM will no longer be imposing their will on us and herd us around like cattle to slaughter in total disregard for our well-being and safety, we were also awash with a feeling of neglect and abandonment.

Then again, when we recall the events of the past 48 hours we were reminded of how we felt about KKM's  screening procedures: No matter. The damage is done. Hundreds of residents are potentially infected. Lifts and common areas contaminated. Our trust in KKM evaporated.

To recap, the media outlets had first highlighted the plight of Menara City One residents who were subjected to mass screenings on the night of the 24th of April. In response to this The Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah blamed the congestion on the convergence of both residents of Blocks A and B coming down for screening at the same time.

The residents then sent out this press statement to all media outlets to refute the claims that last night's congestion were due to the residents of both blocks coming down for screening:



In response to the residents' press statement  the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated this vide his Facebook account:

"It is indeed our concern of mass gathering where social distancing not being observed. MOH have instructed the State Health Director to work closely with the police, residents and management to better improve the implementation in future. Thank you to all residents in all MCO areas and buildings for your understanding, patience and cooperation."

In another development at about 3pm a resident shared at our residents' chat group a few photos of (presumably KKM) buses parked alongside Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion:




Selangor Mansion has been recorded an unhealthy growth for the past 3 days:

  • 22 cases reported on 23rd April 
  • 39 cases reported on 24th April 
  • 20 cases reported on 25th April

With these latest developments we now have little hope of the lock-down imposed on our condo being lifted on 28th April, since our condo (together with Selangor Mansion, Malayan Mansion and its surrounding vicinity) form part of the Masjid India area.

At 4.00pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 52 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.





During the same press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also accepted Menara City One's residents' suggestion that future Covid-19 screenings be done floor-by-floor.




It has been 19 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.