Low usage of masks at Merdeka celebration

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 (Bernama) – Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai on Monday said that Parliament Square, the site for the nation’s 52nd Merdeka Day celebrations, was an open area and as such there was no strict ruling on the use of masks to prevent the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.

He said the situation would have been different if the area was a closed one.

“We did provide masks for the participants, especially the students, but the area is an open one, if it had been closed we would have carried out screening. Still, we reminded everyone to take preventive measures,” Liow told reporters after the event here on Monday.

He said this after being asked why many participants and members of the public did not take preventive measures against the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak like using masks.

Asked about public transport operators who had been called upon to provide sanitizers, including masks, for passengers, Liow said it was encouraged of them to do so by the government but it was not compulsory.

“As of now we encourage them and are not making it compulsory. The operators can help us fight the outbreak.

“We need the support of all quarters and they all have to be responsible,” he said.


The Health minister must be telling the truth, right.

Let’s get some evidence from the Star picture archives, shall we.


Yup, no masks here.

One finger, 1Malaysia?


Nada here too.

Hmmm .. why are their hand signs totally different from those by the big guns in the first image.



But lotsa JGs though.


Masks would have spoilt the ethnic look, I guess.


Errr .. never mind.


Ahem ..


OK, you got the idea.

Looks like they all had a lot of fun yesterday, doesn’t it.

Sooo .. I’m wondering if the BN government didn’t want anyone else to gatecrash their Merdeka Day bash when they announced a few days earlier


  • Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim had said that the main Merdeka Day celebrations, earlier scheduled to be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, would be moved to the Parliament house compound, following the increase in cases of Influenza A(H1N1) and also to respect the month of Ramadhan.

Ho hum.

I’m just looking forward to the real Malaysia Day on 16th September.