TOTAL LOCKDOWN in Malaysia From 1st June 2021

The government has just announced an hour ago that a total lockdown will be implemented in Malaysia, nationwide, starting 1 June 2021 to combat the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases. We are registering above 8000 new cases daily now. For the sake of staying out of prison, I will refrain myself from commenting on the political issues or questioning the authorities on their decisions concerning the country. In case you do not know, freedom of speech is pretty much dead in this country, everything is censored, and if I speak against these people I will end up in prison, or worse, just made to "disappear". What I can safely do is to make observations and comment about me - how I am coping and how I intend to get through this lockdown period. 

Image shot with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and 14-150mm II

Screenshot from the newspaper site, The Star

Here is a quick history of different levels of restrictions, partial lockdowns and what the government calls Movement Control Order in the past one month:

7 May 2021 - Kuala Lumpur is placed under MCO 3.0 city-wide. All businesses are still allowed to open. No inter-district and inter-state travel allowed. Bans on public gatherings and social activities. However, there is limit to operating hours. "Public filming is not allowed". 

12 May 2021 - The whole Malaysia is placed under MCO 3.0, similar conditions to the 7 May MCO for KL. No restrictions on businesses, but local parks, outdoor areas are now prohibited, except for individual exercise or runs. Some businesses and locations are directed to be closed (tourism, art related). 

25 May 2021 - MCO 3.0 is tightened with stricter measures, limiting business hours to 8pm, cut of transportation capacity, and out of nowhere, a specific ban on outdoor photography is added. I have talked about his recently here (click). 

Now the latest news, just in...
1 June 2021 - TOTAL LOCKDOWN, not even MCO anymore, but lockdown will happen nationwide. All economic sectors and social activities are not allowed to operate, except the essentials (healthcare, pharmacy, groceries, etc). 

The government officially announced the total lockdown for 14 days, but from the history of how they run things, I doubt it will be 14 days. It might be at least 2 months, minimum, or at least until the numbers of new daily Covid-19 cases drop down significantly. 

What does this mean for me?

Again, all my photography jobs, whatever little bookings that I have managed to secure for the coming month or more, are all gone. The calendar of jobs is effectively wiped clean, and I can also pretty much prepare for empty July and August too. I can't just magically make job bookings happen once the lockdown is lifted, it takes time to build up momentum, same goes for any service type of business. 

I am not against the total lockdown. The healthcare in the country is overwhelmed, we are running out of hospital beds and the medical personals are being stretched thin everywhere. This move is completely necessary. However, that does not mean the people won't suffer the consequences. I just hope there is something to look forward to when all this blows over. 

Strangely, I am deriving my income from YouTube now, I guess it is not a surprise, and thankfully I managed to build that up in the past one and a half year. I have worked really hard creating new content week after week, and I am getting consistent inflow of ads revenue from Google. It took a lot of time, hard work and resources to make it work, and I am glad I did. It has saved me from unforeseeable problems, and at least now I can still pay rent, put food on the table and indulge in small luxuries, like the USD20 camera bag I just bought and shared in my latest blog article (click here). 

One thing I did not anticipate was the tremendous support from the community - without all you beautiful readers, I will not be here now. You all continue to watch, like, comment and share my content (video on YouTube, or blog articles here), that has helped me significantly to grow my platform and make it somewhat sustainable at this point. On top of that, I never expected the generous contributions - both coffee and direct PayPal donations to come in, they have certainly eased my difficult times over the past year of multiple partial lockdowns and movement control orders. 

I do want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. There is no Robin Wong, without your support. I am only here and still can continue to keep the camera clicking because of you. I genuinely appreciate each and every one of you. 

As for now, the best thing I can do for myself and the country, is to obey the rules. I will stay indoors during the lockdown period as mandated by the Malaysian government. 

The good news is - I have stock-piled content (it is predicted that the lockdown will happen any way, honestly) from the beginning of this month, before the nation-wide MCO on 12 May, and before outdoor photography was banned, and I do have videos in the pipeline ready to be published. I am not running out of content, at least not yet. I acted ahead of time, and it paid off. I trusted my instincts, and I made all the necessary preparations anticipating the inevitable lockdown. Should the lockdown continue dragging on for the coming months, I will run out of content. By then you will see me making videos in my miserable little room, but I will still continue to fight on. 

I will continue to blog, share my thoughts, and there will be more videos, and maybe some photos to come. I do apologize in advance for not having my usual supply of street photographs, insect macro or all those dramatic singer/theatre live stage shots. or even urban landscapes during day or night. I can't do any of those, but rest assured, I am a photographer, I have been doing this blog thing for more than 10 years, and the best part - I have not run out of ideas just yet. 

Thanks again for being here with me. That means a whole world to me. 

Please support me & keep this site going:


  1. Robin, you are genuinely positive person who also clearly understands his daily reality. I feel for you. Please persist!

    1. Thanks Marriott, appreciate that. I will survive this, for sure.

  2. again, respect & solidarity. We've been through a total lockdown here (Italy) last year, and if it will really last 2 months it's pretty hard. However after 2 weeks you should see the benefits, and daily cases should start to lower. Then if your authorities are a bit more enlightened than ours they could start gradually easing the restrictions... hopefully. Vaccinations are very important too, I see your country has vaccinated only about 5% of the population. Hopefully there will be a boost to get vaccinations now...

    1. Yeah Vaccination is slow here, and the authorities are making too many mistakes, leading to recent problems and need for a total lockdown.

  3. You have a great outlook on all that is happening Robin. We are getting back to a more open country thanks to vaccinations, but even those will be ineffective if 75% or more of the populations does not get them. Less than that will allow variants and still more death. Best thing is to stay home, stay safe, and obey the health protocols.

    1. Thanks BIll, appreciate that. Glad that things are more open in your location now.

  4. Stay safe, Robin - I really appreciate your content, both here and on YT.

  5. Stay safe, Robin - I really appreciate your content, both here and on YT.

  6. Robin, my thoughts are with you. I taught English to a lovely group of model makers in Petaling Jaya, KL in the 90s. They worked on a large model of the Disney-style resort being built in 1996. Lessons started with the text book then soon moved on to what they liked watching on TV - the X-Files! I recently watched a very good documentary about the making of The Wolf on Wall Street on BBC iPlayer. You certainly won't see it on normal TV there.

  7. Robin - Your knowledge and the sheer joy that you typically radiate in sharing this knowledge - has inspired countless Oly folks around the world. Only a few days ago I credited you and your idea of "shutter therapy" to lifting my spirits and "getting me out of the house" to see the world anew. It pains me to read of the duress and challenges you currently face - I sense this in your written voice. Please know that your many fans/followers have you in their thoughts and wish you strength as you get through these challenging times. Which you will! As I've written before: your smile and warm nature shine like of beacon of humanity. Be safe and be well!

  8. Robin- always enjoy tour videos and you have enabled me to get more from my Olympus cameras than I normally would.Perhaps you could do some indoo shootsas we often need inspiration for subjects.I do as I am on the 365 project so taking a shot a day is sometimes difficult.Have another coffee on me !