Exmothian living abroad on how coronavirus is affected life in Malaysia

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 April 2020

David Leyman, born in Exmouth, but now living in Malaysia. Picture: David Leyman

David Leyman, born in Exmouth, but now living in Malaysia. Picture: David Leyman

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An Exmothian now living in Malaysia has revealed how the country’s movement control order (MCO) is affecting him.

David Leyman, born in Exmouth, but now living in Malaysia. Picture: David LeymanDavid Leyman, born in Exmouth, but now living in Malaysia. Picture: David Leyman

David Leyman, a retired lecturer turned author, born in Exmouth, moved to the south east Asian country in 2003 for work and has lived there ever since.

Speaking to the Journal, he has revealed how non-essential shops are closed and travel between communities is heavily restricted.

Malaysia imposed the MCO in March, but it has since been extended until May 10.

According to Mr Leyman, anyone caught contravening the order could get a fine or spend six months in prison, once convicted.

He said he had become used to eating out, so the restrictions have had an impact on his life.

Mr Leyman said: “It is quite possible and easily accomplished to order in cooked food.

“My wife generally cooks but we have ordered in Arab food twice and a pizza once. The mail service still works and the rubbish is still collected on a tri-weekly basis.

“It is neither comfortable nor easy because a big part of our normal lives is going out to eat in the local stalls and restaurants.

“Getting a delivery is not the same as going there and enjoying the atmosphere.”

Travel between states in Malaysia has been affected too, according to Mr Leyman.

He said a friend of his was required to obtain a permit to cross a state border for a funeral.

The MCO requires non-essential businesses to restrict or cease operations. Essential services, including supermarkets and basic amenities are still functioning.

According to Mr Leyman, supermarkets are only allowing one person in at a time, and even then, they must be wearing a protective face mask.

However, the restrictions have allowed Mr Leyman, a full-time author since his retirement in 2017, to concentrate on his writing and he has now completed the sixth story in his Ruthermore Heidigens series.

He added: “At least I have a good view of the jungle from my window, so I see the storks fly past each day and the occasional monkey family going past on their foraging trips.”


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