JOHOR BAHRU: Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor, commonly identified as Neelofa, and her husband Muhammad Haris Muhammad Ismail (greater known as PU Riz) are common movie star influencers.

Still in latest months, they have been in the information for the wrong good reasons, and now produced notorious for continued breaches of Common Operating Procedures (SOPs) below the Malaysia’s Motion Regulate Orders (MCO).

From a wedding day ceremony that obviously violated social distancing requirements, a questionable “work trip” to Langkawi, to crossing condition traces for a carpet purchasing excursion and web hosting a loved ones gathering on the 1st working day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, they not only dedicated multiple infringements but also blithely posted these on social media.

This 7 days, they pleaded not responsible to prices of failing to sign-up with the MySejahtera tracing app at the carpet store in Negeri Sembilan. Police introduced that they would not be pressing rates for crossing point out borders, on the suggestions of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Promptly soon after the hearing, netizens pointed out that Neelofa did not put on a mask below her niqab at the Seremban Justice of the peace Courtroom as demanded by the COVID-19 ordinances. Investigation into this most up-to-date saga has begun.

Examine: Commentary: Malaysia’s nationwide MCO – denial, uncertainties and divisions threaten effectiveness

Superstar SLIP UPS?

Unfortunately, Neelofa and PU Riz are not the only celebs breaking COVID-19 regulations. Even though early on in the pandemic, Malaysian celebrities experienced occur collectively to remind Malaysians to abide by the SOPs, a lot of have been witnessed blatantly disregarding them.

Law enforcement have began investigations into Siti Nurhaliza, a single of Malaysia’s most preferred singers, for keeping an celebration to commemorate the start of her newborn infant. Quite a few of her attendees and other dignitaries were being documented to have crossed point out traces to attend the occasion.

This disregard for rules go further than the inadequate behaviour of a few people and appear to be somewhat commonplace.


Siti Nurhaliza gave beginning to son Muhammad Afwa on Apr 19. (Photo: Instagram/ctdk)

Above the previous couple of months, a quantity of Instagram influencers have been fined for providing bogus details in their vacation apps while others had been fined for Hari Raya video clip greetings without having a mask.

A manner clearly show by nearby brand Leeyanarahman Collection in Kuala Lumpur held in March showed lots of fashion present attendees without having their masks on.

Read through: Commentary: Some pain even as Singapore rises to the problem of tighter COVID-19 measures

DOUBLE Expectations

Anger toward movie star breaches of SOPs has bubbled in excess of. A countrywide petition to place Neelofa and her partner in jail collected 25,000 signatures in less than 36 hours, but the demands consist of a halting of the double-benchmarks in regulation enforcement and understandably so.

On the exact working day in April that Neelofa, her partner and her family members customers were being fined a overall of RM60,000 (US$14,500) for keeping a marriage ceremony with out social distancing and masks, a road vendor in Kelantan was fined RM50,000 for holding his burger stall open up beyond 10pm, sparking indignant comparisons. No ponder Neelofa promptly made available to pay out the burger seller’s wonderful.

Examine: Commentary: Najib Razak’s high-quality and a tale of double standards in Malaysia

The stress over the double standards also seem to revolve around a perceived greater burden of evidence for famous people. Most famous people and dignitaries caught on digicam breaching SOPs are termed in for investigations ahead of they are charged.

Some standard citizens, nonetheless, are specified speedy summons on the location perfectly past their monetary implies with out the need for even further investigations. Some have invested time in jail since of their incapacity to pay the great or charm from the rates.

Do these personalities consider they are higher than the legislation? Do they not know they’re breaking the law?

Read: Commentary: Combined messaging, misinformation in Malaysia are complicating compliance with COVID-19 rules

It may well be a couple lousy eggs but it is tough to shake off the experience of injustice. Although everyday Malaysians are manufactured to continue to be home, stars could not only wander around without their masks, they could also hold functions like the Iftar get together on Apr 29 in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Even worse, celebs feel extremely fixated on how the MCO will impression them and are unbothered with the extensive difficulties confronted by the state thrown up by the pandemic.

Kamal Adli and Uqasha Senrose, an additional movie star couple, introduced in stop-March strategies to have 3 wedding ceremony celebrations. They claimed they hope that SOP limits would be eased by then. Netizens have been speedy to place out that they need to hope COVID-19 figures arrive down rather.

Displays OF EXTRAVAGANCE

In truth, the most painful realisation is how extravagantly these famous people stay though the rest of the nation suffers.

FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 vaccination in Kuala Lumpur

A health-related employee receives a vaccine for the coronavirus sickness (COVID-19) for the duration of a vaccination system at Kuala Lumpur Clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Mar 1, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng)

Many on social media have pointed out how the brazen displays of wealth and luxury are offensive at a time when other people have lost employment, are suffering sharp drops of earnings, or are unwell.

Specified that a range of these superstars tap Islamic hijabi developments to interact their followers, there have also been thoughts about how pious they in fact are and whether they are the type of position models people today should really be on the lookout up to.

Some have pointed out too that Neelofa’s wife or husband, PU Riz, is an Islamic preacher. However, the couple’s demonstrations of self-indulgence and outright disregard of SOP breaches operate counter to the moderation and honesty envisioned of religious spokespersons.

Browse: Commentary: Disappointed with tightened COVID-19 limitations, Johor people hope this MCO is the very last

Concentrating ON Preventing THE PANDEMIC

When famous people who regularly flout SOP constraints with no regard for the dangers of COVID-19 have come below substantial criticism, there are a handful of enthusiasts who appear to be to unwaveringly aid their Insta-heroes.

Neelofa, for instance, carries on to have a large subsequent on Instagram, with some calling her a “strong girl” for beating the controversy all over her. That far too is problematic if such behaviours are environment the requirements for youthful Malaysians and sending the completely wrong signal about the seriousness with which COVID-19 policies should really be treated with.

When artistes hold breaking the law with impunity and appear to be to get away with mere slaps on their wrists, general public stress can fuel resistance from the rules and divert desired interest on breaking the chain of transmission.

This deficiency of aim on combating the pandemic is even additional harmful now that Malaysia’s new every day an infection quantities have reached 6,000 scenarios, with ICU beds promptly filling up and the range of dead increasing.

Hospitals in Kedah have by now declared they will no for a longer time permit continual people into the ICU. A clinic in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, has even established up a special air-conditioned tent just to shop bodies of the lifeless.

The problem is progressively dire and Malaysians have to have to concentration on the pandemic to reduce its spread, as an alternative of acquiring distracted by incessant celebrity dramas.

Celebs like Neelofa as well can do their portion – by obeying the law.

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Dr Serina Rahman, Browsing Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, writes from Johor wherever she’s in lockdown with the relaxation of Malaysia.