Looking back at Malaysia in 2020 ― in pictures

Danial Dzulkifly And R. Loheswar
·4-min read

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 ― The year 2020 had been the stuff of dreams for many. But the reality could not have been more different.

The much talked about flying cars did not materialise. Instead, a virus named Covid-19 turned up, and Malaysians finally got a taste of what living in a pandemic really is like.

As we get ready to bid goodbye to 2020 and say hello to 2021, let’s revisit the pictures taken by Malay Mail, and remember all the ups and downs in the last 12 months. And if there’s only one takeaway from this year, it’s #KitaJagaKita.

JANUARY

People rubbing shoulders took to the streets of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur to greet January 1. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
People rubbing shoulders took to the streets of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur to greet January 1. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

The scene seems incongruous now, but as the clock struck midnight, mask-free people rubbing shoulders took to the streets of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur to greet January 1 with high hopes for the new year, and a whole new decade.

FEBRUARY

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali at Sheraton Hotel, February 23, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali at Sheraton Hotel, February 23, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

The prelude to curtains on the Pakatan Harapan government, or what has been dubbed the “Sheraton Move”, started with a bipartisan dinner meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Selangor on February 23. Pictured here are Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (left) and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (behind) before their exit from PH and the rise of the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

MARCH

People walk by near empty shelves are seen at Tesco Ampang, amid panic buying following the restriction of movement order announced by the government, in Kuala Lumpur March 17, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
People walk by near empty shelves are seen at Tesco Ampang, amid panic buying following the restriction of movement order announced by the government, in Kuala Lumpur March 17, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Panic buying of groceries, including toilet paper started as Malaysia locked down following the second wave of Covid-19. The country’s first super spreader event was triggered by a four-day mass religious gathering of some 16,000 Muslims at a mosque in Sri Petaling, Selangor from February 27-March 1. This became known as the Tabligh Cluster.

APRIL

Health officials swabbing for Covid-19 at the PKNS Flat in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur on April 12. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Health officials swabbing for Covid-19 at the PKNS Flat in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur on April 12. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Health officials swabbing for Covid-19 at the PKNS Flat in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur on April 12. Contact tracing and virus screenings marked the start of the “new norm” in the first 100 days of the Perikatan Nasional government.

MAY

A man collects his food basket through barbed fences encircling residential areas placed under an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Petaling Jaya. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A man collects his food basket through barbed fences encircling residential areas placed under an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Petaling Jaya. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

A man collects his food basket through barbed fences encircling residential areas placed under an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor on May 12 to prevent the virus from spreading. Hari Raya Puasa, which also fell in this month, was quietly celebrated at home with gatherings capped at 20 people per visit.

JUNE

Muslims are spaced out at one-metre intervals to perform the compulsory Friday prayers at the Al-Hidayah Mosque in Kampung Sungai Penchala, Selangor. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Muslims are spaced out at one-metre intervals to perform the compulsory Friday prayers at the Al-Hidayah Mosque in Kampung Sungai Penchala, Selangor. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

Religious worship in public was allowed again as Malaysia shifted into the recovery phase of the movement control order. Here, Muslims are spaced out at one-metre intervals to perform the compulsory Friday prayers at the Al-Hidayah Mosque in Kampung Sungai Penchala, Selangor on June 12.

JULY

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on July 28, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on July 28, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on July 28 for the verdict of the first of his criminal cases related to 1MDB. He became the first former prime minister of Malaysia to be convicted of stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd and was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210 million. Thousands of his supporters thronged the courthouse, many ignoring Covid SOPs to keep a minimum physical distance of one metre and wearing their face masks covering their noses and mouths.

AUGUST

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announces his newest political party, Pejuang on August 12, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announces his newest political party, Pejuang on August 12, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announces his newest political party, Pejuang on August 12, after being unceremoniously expelled from Bersatu, the party he co-founded with Muhyiddin in 2016.

SEPTEMBER

Sabahan wearing face masks line up at SK Pulau Gaya to cast their ballots on September 26, 2020. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Sabahan wearing face masks line up at SK Pulau Gaya to cast their ballots on September 26, 2020. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

Sabahan wearing face masks line up at SK Pulau Gaya to cast their ballots on September 26. The 16th Sabah state election would see the third wave of Covid-19 in Malaysia as thousands became carriers of the virus from Borneo and spread them to cities in the peninsula, resulting in the daily spike of cases crossing the 2,000-mark.

OCTOBER

Over one million people across the Klang Valley faced numerous water cuts throughout the month due to the pollution of Sungai Selangor. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Over one million people across the Klang Valley faced numerous water cuts throughout the month due to the pollution of Sungai Selangor. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

Residents in Kuala Lumpur fill up buckets from a water dispensation point in Keramat AU2 on October 20. Over one million people across the Klang Valley faced numerous water cuts throughout the month due to the pollution of Sungai Selangor, the raw water source that forced the shutdown of all three treatment plants run by Air Selangor to facilitate their massive clean-up.

NOVEMBER

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz leaves the Treasury in Putrajaya. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz leaves the Treasury in Putrajaya. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz leaves the Treasury in Putrajaya for Parliament on November 6 where he will table a whopping RM355 billion Budget for 2021 ― Malaysia’s biggest spending ticket to date and meant to kick start the economy post Covid.

DECEMBER

Umno’s Datuk Saarani Mohamad has vowed to keep the Perikatan Nasional government intact. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Umno’s Datuk Saarani Mohamad has vowed to keep the Perikatan Nasional government intact. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

Perak Umno lawmakers moved a no-confidence vote against Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu in the state legislature on December 4. However, his replacement, Datuk Saarani Mohamad from Umno, vowed to keep the Perikatan Nasional government intact, effectively preventing a potential shake-up of the federal government as well.

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