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ISIS Focus 12 (Special Edition – 2) continues to examine the progress and fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. Titled “The Race Against a Raging Virus”, this edition delves deeper into the various aspects and policy implications of the Movement Control Order, particularly on the most vulnerable sections of society. Issues covered in this edition include the impact of disinformation, rising incidents of domestic violence and the growing adoption of emerging technologies. Several articles tackle various themes influencing the policy responses in managing this pandemic, including the risk of securitising a public health crisis and the legal basis of some policy decisions. Looking further ahead, we also examine the “new normal” that could shape a post-pandemic society. As this pandemic rages on, ISIS Malaysia aims to continue contributing to ongoing, informed discussions on multiple narratives, influences and impacts of the pandemic, and the resulting restrictions on movement and businesses. Articles published in this second Special Edition include both original works and those previously published in external news organisations.


A Healthy Frame of Mind for National Security
By Izzah Khairina Ibrahim

Malaysia’s national response to the pandemic should not be constricted to security framework only

A Post-MCO Mental Health Landscape for Malaysia
By YAM Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah and Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin

The MCO gives us an opportunity to reflect on ways to improve the mental health community.

Locked Down and Locked Up: Domestic Violence during the Pandemic
By Tengku Nur Qistina

Domestic violence cases are worryingly rising where movement restriction measures are implemented.

Making the Invisible Visible: Faces of Poverty in Malaysia
By Bridget Welsh and Calvin Cheng

Malaysia’s government assistance to vulnerable groups potentially leaves out a huge chunk of the community.

Health Insecurity and Its Impact on Refugees in Malaysia
By Tengku Ilisha Ameera and Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin

Tengku Ilisha Ameera and Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin on how the MCO highlights the plight of the refugees

The Pandemic, the Constitution and the Laws
By Shad Saleem Faruqi

What is the legal basis of the drastic measures undertaken by the Malaysian Government during this crisis? Shad Saleem Faruqi explains

Preparing for a New Normal
By Ryan Chua

The pandemic necessitates the need to revisit our institutional capacity and reform, highlights Ryan Chua

Expanding the Military’s Role?
By Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin, Muhammad Sinatra and Thomas Daniel

Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin, Muhammad Sinatra and Thomas Daniel look at the possibility of the MAF’s expanded role in a prolonged MCO period

Digital Trade: A Boon During the MCO and Beyond
By Juita Mohamad and Farlina Said

Juita Mohamad and Farlina Said consider the opportunities for MSMEs, informal workers and digital trade during the MCO

Has the Pandemic Accelerated the Growth of Technology?
By Moonyati Yatid

Technology could play a bigger role in assisting the fight against COVID-19. Moonyati Yatid illustrate

Media Freedom and Fake News During the Pandemic
By Harris Zainul

The fight against COVID-19 should not impinge on media freedom and free speech. Harris Zainul addresses

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