COMMENT | The long lines outside pawn shops in the Klang Valley on the first day of the conditional movement control order (MCO) on May 4 and a few days after that, which has been viral on social media lately could well be a vivid reminder that more assistance is needed for the B40 and even the M40 households.
According to media reports, the crowd were there to reclaim their valuables, put up more items as collateral, pay the interest or extend the repayment period.
Economists and analysts think that the phenomenon is a reflection that more measures are needed to ensure that the effect from either loss of or reduced income is mitigated.
The situation is especially acute for the self-employed or those who rely on daily wages such as petty traders, hawkers, taxi drivers, cleaners, labourers and sub-contractors.
Not only that, but inflation is also now a major concern due to the MCO which has disrupted and fragmented the supply chain, resulting in shortages of certain goods and exacerbated by panic buying and personal stockpiling.
Externally, as a country which is heavily reliant on food imports...