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Taxi drivers waiting for passengers in Kuala Lumpur on March 25 amid the 14-day Movement Control Order. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI
Taxi drivers waiting for passengers in Kuala Lumpur on March 25 amid the 14-day Movement Control Order. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

Do you know how taxi drivers are faring in these days of dread?

I have a friend who drives a cab for a living. His name is Mansor.

I've known him for 10 years. Humble and honest. That's how I would describe this 56-year-old man.

Mansor lives in a rented flat in a relatively old residential area in Kajang. He and his wife have two very young schoolgoing children.

As with most cab drivers, life was tough before Covid. You may guess the reason why.

But he remained steadfast, in work and in faith. He kept doing what he does best, caring for his small family.

Then came the coronavirus. And the Movement Control Order.

He drove around and around to get a fare or two. He got nothing. Nobody wanted to get into a taxi. And there was nobody around who wanted to get into a taxi!

Such was the desert that he faced. Mile upon mile of bleak sand and dryness.

So now he waits --- until April 14 --- in the little flat with his wife and children. They have some savings, and on these do they survive. And for these do they always give thanks to God.

Mansor is not alone, for sure. There must be many others who cannot earn a decent wage now. Perhaps not even a single sen.

The truth is, just about everyone is hurt by Covid-19 and the evil tide that accompanies it.

The rich lose a lot. But the poor, who are the most vulnerable, are savaged by this coronavirus. In Malaysia and across the world.

Spare a thought and tear for them. Pray for them. Help them, even if, like Mansor, they do not ask.

I hope the revised stimulus package, to be announced by the prime minister on Friday, will go to their aid.

They need every ounce of help in these days of dread.

The writer is NST production editor


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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