Covid-19: KL’s Poor Get Hungrier As Flow Of Free Food Stops Due To MCOjessie tan
As the MCO (Movement Control Order) now enters its 6th day, many seem to be facing the brunt of it, especially those with no money in their pockets or food in their stomachs.
According to a report by The Star, a Georgetown trishaw driver going by the name Rosman Alwi hasn’t been able to fill his tummy with a decent amount of food since the dawn of the MCO. Although he did manage to give a ride to a couple of tourists on Thursday, 19th March, he was stopped by the police and asked to send the tourists back to their hotel.
“I have been waiting at the Goddess of Mercy Temple for someone to deliver free meals but nobody came. If there are too many of us waiting there, police or city council enforcers will come and make us go home. But I have no food at home. The NGOs used to give daily meals. I cycle to all the places that they used to deliver food but they have stopped doing it. I am so hungry now”, he said.
Since the MCO, free food has come to a halt for the time being. In the meantime, many of the poor are going hungry for the lack of capability to nourish themselves.
“I am going to have to be cruel. My advice to Rosman is to go home. Please stay at home until March 31st and stop wandering about. I am well aware of the situation. Because of all the panic buying, the hypermarkets and supermarkets no longer have leftover food to donate to the Mutiara Food Bank. Our stock is very low now”.
“The Welfare Department is working with charitable bodies to prepare food and deliver door-to-door for the needy. Most of the poor have homes. Please go home. We are working hard to plan a safe way to help you”, said state Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.
Penang Community Care, another group that delivers food and sundry supplies to the poor noted that they too have stopped giving meals out on the streets.
“I agree that we shouldn’t give food on the streets during the MCO. We can end up spreading Covid-19 among the poor. If health officers can send food to their homes, we are willing to supply the meals”, said the president of the society.
Another society, Penang Buddhist Tzu Chi Merit Society Malaysia said that their volunteers were told to stand down because they weren’t health workers, and thus cannot risk their lives. However, the commissioner of the society did mention that they would do whatever that is required of them if the state should call.
However for the time being, what will happen to these people that don’t have the means to eat? It is quite a thought and one that should cross all our minds, so that we finally listen and take all measures necessary, till this deadly disease is finished once and for the betterment of all.