COMMENT | Do their lives matter?

Zaid Ibrahim

Modified 9 Jun 2021, 12:55 am

COMMENT | I am referring to those who earn very little income, and those who are jobless in this difficult period. I will include under this category those undocumented migrants who, legality aside, contributed immensely to our workforce in all the key sectors of the economy where locals are not available to do the job. Do their lives matter?

This pandemic has created havoc on many people’s lives, especially the poor. When you have lost your jobs, feeding your family becomes hard. When your children’s education is stunted and the spectre of death awaits at every corner, reality grips you in ways you have not experienced before. In good times we have the luxury of indulging in trivial matters; fighting over unimportant issues that don’t change anything in real life. You can fantasise and be delusional about how great the country is, without worrying too much about the consequences. Covid-19 has changed all that; because reality has set in.

When someone tweeted that a Tengku should not be made finance minister, it goes to show the frustration of the people; not just towards our finance minister, but to our leaders as a whole. It reflects a complete disdain of the rakyat to leaders who show a lack of empathy and understanding of the problems of ordinary people, as if their lives do not matter. Tengku Zafrul talks of a cashless society in 2022. What good is this when poor people do not have money to begin with? He should just announce a complete and automatic moratorium for loans so these people can survive for another year.

Bank Negara is a citadel of power that can do more to...

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