“The only time you should look in your neighbour’s bowl is to make sure they have enough”
There’s no hiding. Things will never be the same again even after COVID-19 subsides. Most of us will have to make uncomfortable adjustments to our lifestyle and adapt to the blow we’ve been given.
As we work towards recovery, don’t forget to look out for one another. It’s times like these where unity is most important to the country’s rebound.
It’ll take some doing, but here are the little ways you can help Malaysia after MRO.
1 – Buy Buatan Malaysia
Forgo the international labels for once and choose instead to support our local businesses. Not only would you be helping these companies recover, you’ll also save much more because most products would’ve been manufactured within the country.
It’s about time we change our perception towards Malaysian-made products anyway. People often view our local companies lacking in quality, but that’s not entirely true. Many home-grown brands are thriving overseas, including biscuit manufacturer Munchy’s, spice brand BABAS, and milk producer Dutch Lady.
Don’t forget about the smaller brands too, who have standards to match international brands, but are just waiting for their breakout moment.
2 – Eat at local establishments
Malaysians are foodies at heart, so suppressing our cravings was definitely going to be a huge challenge. Once the greenlight is given, we’re sure most of you would flock to your favourite restaurants to order up a feast.
And you’ll do it with good reason too. Hawkers and restaurant businesses are one of the hardest hit industries. With little to no customers ordering, keeping afloat is increasingly difficult. Sadly, it’s predicted that many of them won’t sustain and would close by the end of MRO.
So for once, don’t hold back on gluttony. Eat at the kopitiam hawkers, local restaurants, food truck businesses, and roadside vendors. We can bet a certain Mak Cik Kiah would be grateful for the support.
3 – Travel locally
Maldives? Bahamas? Nope, Bohey Dulang in Sabah
It’s very likely that even after international borders are open, precautionary steps would still be maintained in order avoid the resurgence of the virus, thus the possibility of unforeseen hassle.
Now’s the best time to cuti-cuti Malaysia. We’re lucky enough to live in a country with a healthy mix of vacation options. From the modern cityscapes of Kuala Lumpur, to the pristine stargazing locations of East Malaysia; from ecotourism getaways to UNESCO acclaimed historical states. Our diversity of unique spots caters to the palate of every traveller, and it’s time you discover that for your own.
4 – Volunteer
Photo by Kechara Soup Kitchen
Every sector in the economy is suffering in one way or another, some more than others. Many establishments have taken the gruelling decision to cut costs, leaving them shorthanded.
Zoo negara, for instance, cried for public funding. While many charities, who rely primarily on the good will of volunteers, find that they are no longer able to carry out social projects. Volunteering is a great way to help these struggling businesses and welfare societies get back on track.
Take a good look at your privileges. Realize how lucky you are to have the little things. The comfort of home, the affection of family, savings to live on. And realize also that many Malaysians do not share the same blessings.
5 – Be compassionate to others
Photo by Choo Choy May @ Malay Mail
Amidst the chaos and fear, there are still people who selflessly continue to work to keep the country running. These are your office security guards, the policemen and women, doctors, nurses, soldiers, firefighters. The janitors to ensure cleanliness, the retail assistance who continue to stock the shelves, the petrol attendees that keep our cars fuelled.
Sad to say, the importance of these workmen and women were often overlooked when times were normal. Now, they are the workforce stepping up for the sake of our safekeeping. People are just starting to realize the importance of these roles, and its due time we give them the praise they deserve.
MRO has affected all of us, not just Malaysians, but every citizen of the world. If any harsh lessons were to be learnt during this period, is that we should treat each other a little kinder.