Memos from Asia

Unspoken Heroes of Malaysia Amidst COVID-19

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When the thought of ‘front liners’ comes to mind, we often think about the doctors and nurses who deal with the virus directly.

However, we tend to forget that there are many people out there working tirelessly to cater to citizens’ demands during the pandemic.

These are people who must risk being exposed to the virus as they continue to carry out their day-to-day jobs, serving the country in their own way.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – May 06, 2020: Foreign migrant workers lining up before do the COVID-19 screening test. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

It’s not just health care workers who support the country.

To ensure constant supply of vegetables for healthy lifestyle and dining, home delivery service is essential during this COVID 19 lockdown period as most people are not able to go to market to purchase the goods.

During the pandemic, Malaysians have become highly reliant on food deliveries to avoid stepping out of the house.

Especially during the lockdown, there has been a substantial increase in demand on orders for companies such as GrabFood, FoodPanda, and LalaMove.

According to Grab, Malaysia’s main food delivery platform, they have received about RM2.4million (about 570,000USD) in tips throughout the lockdown, a 75% increase compared to before the pandemic began!

Malaysia’s postage services have also seen a significant rise in parcel volume. PosMalaysia, Malaysia’s main postage system, now has 15,000 deliverymen working hard to ensure the safe delivery of necessities.

Both Grab and PosMalaysia have offered jobs to those seeking income during the pandemic, which has increased the number of front liners working to serve the citizens of Malaysia in order to cope with the increasing demand for deliveries.

Even the cleaners are risking their lives to help make Malaysia a safer country by constantly sanitizing areas.

What prisoners can do under the pandemic

There are also a lot of other unsung heroes helping to ease efforts against the pandemic!

Prisoners all across Malaysia are playing their part by helping to sew Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the use of Malaysian front liners.

Women from low-income backgrounds are also helping the fight by sewing PPE and face masks under a company called ‘Batik Boutique.’

Other local fashion designers under the Malaysian Official Designers’ Association (MODA) have also joined hands in fighting the virus by contributing more PPE and donating them to hospitals. Famous local designers such as Jovian Mandagie and Rizman Ruzaini have produced thousands of high-quality PPE wear as part of their contribution to the country during hard times.

It is important to appreciate the sacrifices front liners and contributors have made by taking the necessary precautions to avoid spreading the disease. Practicing physical distancing, sanitizing regularly, and staying home when symptoms start to show up are all ways we can contribute back to those who have worked hard for our wellbeing.

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