Letter: Calling on the food delivery companies for help


Modified 30 Mar 2020, 3:38 pm

LETTER | I am sure a lot of people would have viewed videos posted by NGOs pleading for the government to allow them to continue with their humanitarian work of delivering food to the needy, less privileged and the foreign workers who are left jobless due to the lockdown. Some of these were willingly donated by F&B operators who have excess not utilised due to the closure of their businesses during the lockdown period.

As the matter is at a stalemate right now, I hope the online food delivery companies such as Foodpanda, Grabfood can reach out and help these NGOs. 

As you are already delivering essential goods during the lockdown period, those of us who are willing to help but can't due to the lockdown, will appreciate it if these companies can work with the NGOs to help them reach out to the needy.

Arrangements can be made with these NGOs to streamline deliveries to these groups to ensure that its own operations and delivery schedules are not interrupted. 

You can also leverage on your ecosystem partnerships like how Lazada rose to the occasion and responded to the plights of the farmers in Cameron Highlands who has to dump their vegetables due to the lockdown as their lorries were unable to transport them across to the various locations (the government has denied that such transportations were stopped but news on the Internet appears to say otherwise).

Let’s not create more unnecessary deaths, due to hunger rather than the virus, when the healthcare system is already stretched to the limits currently. 

Since the government has refused to let NGOs continue with their work, instead of bickering, we look for alternative and workable solutions. 

These groups of people deserve safe and hygienic meals too. And they don’t have the financial, logistical and other means to access such meals during this lockdown.

I am sure if a call is to go out and ask for a relief fund to be created to compensate these delivery companies for their work in helping to deliver food to the group of needy, homeless and foreign workers, Malaysians - individual or organisation - will rise to the occasion. 

As the income for these workers in these delivery companies is largely dependent on the calls they get for the services they provide, money raised from this relief fund will be used to compensate these workers. These workers also need cash during this lockdown period.

We can’t wait for the government to decide. It is only 12 days now and we still have 15 days to go for this lockdown. Therefore, the only way is for organisations like the delivery companies who are exempted to offer their helping hand.

Malaysians, we have done it before. Let’s do it.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker.

Malaysiakini is providing free access to the most important updates on the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here.

Help keep independent media alive - subscribe to Malaysiakini