We need to clean up our act amid COVID-19 pandemic

I was at the annual perayaan to join in on the festivities of the 74th birthday of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and I was utterly dismayed by the lack of social distancing practice among fellow celebrants.

I get that we haven’t had new COVID-19 cases in months, which is largely thanks to the hard work of frontliners and volunteers under the guidance of our government.

But should we be repaying them with total disregard for precautionary measures issued by the Ministry of Health?

To top it off, littering remains a contentious issue in this country.

What I saw that night was people leaving rubbish everywhere, when we should be taking this pandemic as an opportunity to clean up our act and assume individual responsibility in ensuring cleanliness in public spaces.

It’s like the saying, ‘we can’t have nice things’; it’s absolutely true in this case.

The government has been working tirelessly to get us to the stage of containment so we can resume normalcy that is still elusive in certain countries.

We should be grateful for their commitment to keeping us safe; we should do everything in our power to make sure that the efforts they have poured into the COVID-19 fight are not in vain. Instead, we show up at a public event and leave our civic duty at the entrance. We rub shoulders with one another and drop trash at our feet.

We as Bruneians really need to start pulling up our collective socks and work towards bettering the country.

We need to stop being selfish and think about other people who share the same public spaces.

Imagine someone ignoring your house rules and leaving trash at your home. That’s not a pleasant thought, now is it?

Disappointed Bruneian