LETTERS: The Association Community and Dialogue (ACID) is concerned about the social narrative that is led by politicians and elites that seem to focus on the numbers infected from Covid-19, and the economic situation, without corresponding concern for the poor and marginalised communities.
While the numbers affected are important statistics, it is also vital to balance news with concrete reports on the plight of marginalised communities.
They include foreign migrant labourers and those who are staying in close proximity in flats where they will find difficulty to follow the social distancing rule, or go for a medical test, if they carry symptoms of the virus.
Their incomes are also affected by unpaid leave.
Furthermore, foreign workers are supposed to pay when they are required to go through checkups in government hospitals and many of them might not have the cash or they might be reluctant to seek medical help especially in the odd hours when their agents are not around.
The Human Resources Ministry should initiate a meeting with agents of foreign workers and see the kind of help that could be offered to addressed their plight.
The practical things that could be looked into are access to face masks, assurance of free, efficient tests and treatment in government and private hospitals and their social economic plight since they are told to take unpaid leave.
There is a need for a balanced perspective so that no one is left out in combating this virus that is taking a toll on the social well-being of all Malaysians and migrant workers.
The strength of the nation is not so much about the wealth it has but how it treats the poor in trying times. The efficient and effective access to disease preventive equipment, medical tests and treatment is paramount.
Secretary Association for Community and Dialogue