COMMENT | The coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted ordinary life. It has created fear and panic everywhere, causing many governments to impose lockdowns. Economies have stalled. Millions of jobs were lost. Tens of thousands of businesses face permanent closure. Economies of nations have contracted.
A crisis like this often reveals deep fissures within societies. It throws into stark relief the divide between those who have excess wealth and those who are poor. It shows how wealth is concentrated in the hands of the very few. Sometimes this wealth division may take on a racial aspect.
In the United States, a disproportionate number of fatalities occur among those from the African American community. That clearly is because there is more poverty among them and their access to medical care is limited.
Recent events also show the deep bias in the police force against African Americans. We should learn something from what we observe taking place in the United States. We should eliminate racial prejudice from our hearts.
The pandemic also shows how dependent all societies are on essential workers. They are the frontliners – health workers, policemen, firefighters, teachers and those involved in the distribution of essential supplies like food and medical supplies. We need them. We applaud them and call them heroes, but we do not pay them enough. Should this not change?
Feeding the poor during the lockdown was a major challenge. Without the work of volunteers and charitable organisations and without the generous donations and contributions of tens of thousands of Malaysians...