Like it or not, face masks are compulsory to be worn in crowded public places in Malaysia, or we risk a fine of up to RM1,000. If you are taking public transport, it is also compulsory. Exception would be those who are exercising, those who have breathing issues (non-viral), those who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, as well as children younger than two years old.
This ruling came into effect from 1st August, 2020, following a new wave of COVID-19 infection in the country. We can’t just wear any mask; it has to comply with World Health Organization (WHO) standards for masks. Besides 3-ply surgical and N95 masks, reusable fabric masks with filter insert are also allowed.
I have been using washable face masks with reusable 5-layer filter inserts for some time now. However, with this new ruling, my personal opinion is to just use the 3-ply mask as it can be easily identified. Who would know if there was a filter or not in your cloth mask? If you were requested to remove your mask for checking, you would then expose yourself to the virus, if any. Right?
On 15th August, the ceiling price for 3-ply surgical masks is RM1.20 per unit, down from RM1.50 each. I remember that my purchase price was RM1.80 each back in February; it became RM2 per piece after adding courier fee from KL to Ipoh. So, at least this is some good news, eh?