We risk coming out of this pandemic a lesser society

03 Jul 2020 / 11:20 H.

WHILE we are focusing on containing the spread of the Covid-19 virus and businesses try to stay afloat, we have, collectively, overlooked several important and proper practices.

Some are oversights where our attentions are diverted to issues that directly deal with lives and livelihood.

But proper procedures in the administration of the government and the operations of the private sector need to be adhered to.

Moving away from the norm doesn’t entitle those in position from shirking their responsibility in upholding the integrity of the three pillars of democracy — the legislature, executive and judiciary.

It is laudable that people are guaranteed the cornerstone of democracy such as freedom of assembly and speech, right to vote, and protection of the minority. But Parliament needs to reconvene for it to play its role and exercise its prerogatives.

Philanthropy, volunteerism and charity seemed to have taken a back seat during the early days of the movement control order as we grappled with the onslaught of the virus. Thanks to spirited individuals and NGOs, the less privileged received a lifeline. And that came with restrictions due to conditions imposed by the authorities as well as the private sector when it involved their former workers or property.

Many marginalised groups were overlooked or sidelined, leaving the most vulnerable in our society to fend for themselves.

Children with disabilities and their families could not access the services they needed. A sizeable number of them experienced loss of earnings and could not afford necessities, according to Unicef Malaysia Disability Specialist, Zoe Gan.

Ethical practices have been thrown out the window by some while more charitable organisations looked beyond the bottom line and put purpose before profit. If all of us were to put our own interest first, we will come out of this pandemic a lesser society. The contagion then has changed the essence of humanity.

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We risk coming out of this pandemic a lesser society

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