Many might lament that they have to use own savings from Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to keep food on the table due to unemployment, affected business etc, but some left with no way to seek for emergency fund when the country is hit hard with #covid19 pandemic.
Tourism industry in Sabah used to be the top promising opportunity for investment and job opportunity.
The same industry hit rock bottom when the Covid19 worsens around early February.
At that time, Sabah government decided that all flights from China should immediately banned, followed with Korean . Both countries had contributed tremendously for the state tourism revenue.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said it was a tough decision considering many would be affected and eventually hurt Sabah economy.
“It was a tough decision. But, our healthcare facility could not cope should there is a sudden surge of Covid-19 cases,” he was quoted in news report.
When tourism players thought they still could pin hope for European tourists, Situation deteriorated as more than 150 countries are affected by the airborne and deadly virus, WHO declared it pandemic early of March, 2020.
Day-by-day, the losses incurred by tour companies, logistics, restaurants, hoteliers, airlines gave employers no choice but to cut down their manpower or force staff to go unpaid leave. Worse, for unknown period.
Recent announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to allow people to withdraw RM500 monthly from their EPF savings account meant to cushion the economic blow, to ensure Malaysians still have something to eat as the whole nation is brace for this crisis.
Semporna Professional Divers Association voiced out that its members, mostly are freelancers, could only watch the news without getting any benefits from it.
Its chairman Abdul Razak Ismail said their incomes turned from limited since February to none at all.
“However, many divemasters and dive instructors are working as freelancers. Therefore, the announcement is not relevant to us,” he said in a statement.
Abdul Razak who has been working in the diving industry for more than ten years, said that it could take at least three months for the industry to bounce back.
The association, although it is only a few years old, but it has made significant contributions to diving industry from being professionally guiding tourists, conservation of marine system and promoting the gems of Semporna.
The same goes to other tourism players, the government agencies, MATTA and relevant players who had worked hard to map Sabah as one of the top destinations.
While it is hard to think how to go through the rest of days with limited money, there are actually people suffering more from this circumstances.
While the citizens are still getting some aids from both the state and federal government on Covid-19 economic stimulus package and Sabah Covid-10 Assistance package, think about foreign workers or stateless people who have no one to rely on while they are out of jobs?
Covid-19 does not spare anyone regardless of their backgrounds, in time like this, any human being should not be discriminated,too.
Let show some kindness to anyone who needs help.
#Borneoecho hopes for better tomorrow, because #Hope keeps human beings alive no matter how hard lives are to them.