By Steven Jeong
AS an expatriate residing here for over four years, Malaysia is definitely a bustling melting pot of races and religion. Out of the 32.73 million population in Malaysia, 2.91 million people have been driven to fall under the B40 group following the pandemic outburst.
The B40 category are people who were already in need of help and with this current gloomy picture of the socioeconomic, they are put at risk even more especially after the pandemic has struck nationwide.
As the nation tries to adapt to the ‘new normal’ by practising social distancing, the idea of practicing good hand hygiene, wearing face masks and avoiding crowds are growing to be the standard operating procedures for Malaysians.
The fluctuation in the number of people infected with the COVID-19 virus has spurred demand for essential products. As the pandemic has widespread globally, our headquarters in South Korea has promptly increased the production of essential products such as sanitizers, face mask and hygiene products to ensure sufficient supply to be distributed to all brands affiliated with us.
As a company which values and deeply cares about the safety and wellbeing of citizens we operate in, this has inspired the Malaysia team to extend a helping hand to our society, especially those who are in need the most.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has scientifically been proven to be more susceptible to those who do not practice safe hygiene. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry with the current pandemic outbreak by practising safe hygiene no matter where you are.
It may seem easy for the majority to look after their safety and lives of all, however, it takes up a burden for the vulnerable and B40 group to get their hands on essential products such as hand sanitizers and 3ply masks which would incur quite a hefty cost in the long run.
The Government provides one of the most comprehensive essential services to all Malaysians, ensuring that healthcare facilities and treatments are accessible to people from all walks of life.
Meanwhile, there are multiple groups of people in the B40 category who suffer from health issues, for most cases, these people would terminally require treatment which often takes up more than half of their living expenses on a monthly basis.
Thus, LG Household and Health Care Malaysia Sdn Bhd has joined hands with a few associations mainly National Kidney Foundation (NKF), National Cancel Council Malaysia (MAKNA), Komuniti Tukang Jahit Malaysia (KTJ), Epic Homes and MyKasih Foundation, to further assist and lighten the burden these beneficiaries are facing.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our beneficiaries to further drive them into the pandemic poor, restricting buying power for essential products as their current resources are only sufficient for their treatment care,” MAKNA’s general manager Farahida Mohd Farid said.
“The patients are aware that due to their current conditions, they are the group of people who are in constant danger in exposure to the outside world as they are easily infected with the COVID-19 virus due to their weak immune system. However, there is also the dilemma that they would need to find a source of income in order to continue life.”
There is a prevalence of associations in Malaysia which aims to bring light onto the current living situations faced by people following the pandemic outbreak since late 2019.
One of our partnering associations, National Kidney Foundation, strives to raise the standard of care towards their patients with kidney failure and those suffering from kidney-related diseases.
Besides that, the passionate group of people at Epic Homes develops a support system for the indigenous people to bridge their connection to the larger community by building safe housing conditions, extremely vital during this period of time to ensure there is safe social distancing between their communities.
Moreover, single mothers or the OKU group of women under the Komuniti Tukang Jahit Malaysia (KTJ) have reinvented their source of income generation from the comfort of their homes with hand-produced items.
Also, low-income families who require food and education aid are supported by MyKasih Foundation, which remains steadfast to be the pillar of support towards these people especially during this pandemic outbreak.
All these organisations are focused to help these groups of people in need, with the help of fellow Malaysians to support their cause.
In the past couple of months, touching stories of how COVID-19 has affected individuals nationwide have been in the limelight. After living here in Malaysia for so long, I too see Malaysia as my second home and want to foster the good Samaritan spirit more than anything else and this can be clearly seen in the society if not from the highlighted examples of the associations above.
With the B40 community needing more support now more than ever, brands and companies remain resilient to helping the society they operate in by providing multiple support be it donation or a corporate social responsibility (CSR) outreach.
As for LG Household & Health Care Malaysia Sdn Bhd, we want to help Malaysians in need to cope through the pandemic together by sharing essential products through #RelayBersamaJiayou campaign to improve living conditions and essentially, a better quality of life in the future. – April 7, 2021
Steven Jeong is the business director of LG Household & Health Care Malaysia.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Photo credit: Elevations RTC