The statement by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that undocumented migrants who attended the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling will not be penalised if they come forward to be screened for Covid-19 – was assuring, although we wish it could have come much earlier.
However there is a huge trust deficit between the government and these workers – because of how shoddily and uncaringly they have been treated in the past by the authorities.
To gain their confidence, the Minister must come out with a clear written public declaration which must also be addressed to all the relevant agencies – like the immigration and the police.
We must understand that all this while we, the Malaysian public, has enjoyed their services in restaurants, petrol stations, retail stores, markets, offices, and the like. They are at the bottom of the scale, have scant protection and get by on dismal wages. Living in sub-conditions and away from their distant families and friends. A kind of isolation that we are only now beginning to understand – and sometime even complain about. Read more