Shacind Ananthan, a first-year Economic student in the United Kingdom, shared in his Facebook posting about his journey back home, which began in the UK and ended at the Impiana KLCC Hotel, where he and 73 others are currently under quarantine.
"It all started on the plane from Doha to KL, where I had transited from Manchester. With a mere 50 people on board, we were all fairly separated to sit in isolation from one another," the 18-year-old wrote on April 10.
Upon landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on April 8, they were warmly greeted by two uniformed personnel, who constantly reminded them about the one-metre social distancing and guided them to the sky train.
"A recurring theme you'd find is that at every checkpoint, there were at least one or two who did their job so diligently that there was no hold-up, making the process very smooth. It felt as if this was an extremely well thought-out procedure that has been going on for years," said Shacind, who is from Johor.
He said that after passing the Immigration counter, an officer gave him a home assessment form where he had to monitor and report his symptoms daily.
"The constant glee on her face as she referred to me as 'adik' made me feel like I was in safe hands," he wrote, adding that the question on everyone's minds the was: 'where are we being taken to?'
"I overheard people praying that it would be to a five-star hotel in KL. However dire the circumstances, the innate Malaysian tendency to always expect luxury never fades, does it?
"The policeman politely replied that he was not sure where we were going to be quarantined, but assured us it was going to be a good place, nevertheless," Shacind said, adding that he was left awestruck by each official's efficiency.
"My mind was still in a state of disbelief, and I kept wondering how much manpower and logistics it must have taken to make the process as smooth as possible and to achieve this insane level of efficiency.
"Before we got off the bus, a man in PASKAU (Air Force Special Air Service) uniform briefed us on the next course of action. Upon reaching the hotel, dozens of people in full Hazmat suits were standing by a long table for screening and registering purposes," he said.
He added that each of the rooms they were quarantined in had two boxes of bottled water, plastic bags for contaminated clothes and a huge bag filled with coffee and snacks, plus they were served nutritious food three times a day – all for free.
The quarantine team also added them into a WhatsApp group, where they were instantly flooded with messages of hope, optimism, and gratitude for the frontliners who have no qualms putting their lives at risk.
"Why am I writing this? This is a primary account of someone who has experienced the plight of leaving a foreign country overnight with an uncertain future. This is to counter the fake narratives online that seek to defame our great nation.
"It is not an overstatement when I say that Malaysia has been one of the most proactive countries in tackling the menace of COVID-19. Therefore, I urge the 'armchair economists' at home – the constant naysayers – if you cannot acknowledge the good our government is doing, at least don't stand in their way," he said.
Thus far, his Facebook post, where he attached several images to support the note, has garnered over 12,000 likes, 8,600 shares and thousands of comments.
"Thank you again, Malaysia, for keeping me safe. I have always been, am always, and will always be a proud citizen of this country that has given me so much. Tanah tumpahnya darahku!" said Shacind in ending his posting.