KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — With the country well into its third week of a movement control order (MCO) to stem the rate of Covid-19 infections, the Health Ministry has regularly shared wellbeing tips — both mental and physical — via its various social media channels.
Today’s tip posted on Twitter revolves around what parents of young children can do to alleviate the boredom that comes with being cooped up indoors all day.
Suggested activities include animal charades, the jump rope game ‘Helicopter’ and cup stacking.
However, it is the accompanying caption that has raised a few eyebrows.
“Suitable home activities to prevent boredom among small children or their parents. Perhaps you can try mimicking ‘Doraemon’s voice’ to keep young ones entertained,” it read.
Aktiviti sesuai bersama anak-anak kecil di rumah untuk mengelak mereka atau ibu bapa kebosanan.— KKMPutrajaya (@KKMPutrajaya) April 2, 2020
Mungkin boleh buat 'suara Doraemon' untuk hiburkan anak-anak kecil. pic.twitter.com/Ucvc0Mq78d
This appeared to be a reference to a poster released by the Women and Family Development Ministry on social media earlier this week.
It offered suggestions on how wives can educate their spouse on doing household chores, to presumably avoid quarrelling, among which was the advice that they adopt a “Doraemon-like” tone when speaking and giggle coyly as opposed to “nagging”.
Although the post had only been up for 30 minutes at the time of writing, it didn’t take long for social media users to respond.
“Wow can feel the sarcasm,” user @merryrjay tweeted in reply.
Another user @stnazf_ responded, “Pandai melawak eh admin (Good at making jokes eh admin).”
User @derrickchongyk, meanwhile, seemed to suggest that some Malaysians want to move on from the whole debacle. “Still doraemon??” he wrote, together with a ‘facepalm’ emoji.
After mounting criticism over its poster, the Women and Family Development Ministry issued an apology, saying it wanted to spread positive daily tips and messages on social media with the theme #WanitaCegahCovid19 (women curbing Covid-19) to share information with the public.
“We are sorry if some of tips shared were inappropriate and touched on the sensitivities of some parties, and we will be more careful in the future,” its director-general Datuk Saidatu Akhma Hassan said in a statement.
The ministry also said it was taking the approach to share methods and practices to sustain positive relationships within a family during this time.
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