COVID-19 is unleashing its destructive might; oil prices are down, businesses are closed; the whole nation is literally at a standstill. But even before this, the rakyat were already trying hard to make ends meet given the high cost of living and the generally bad economy. And yet we have a government seeking financial contribution from the public: “You can now contribute to the Health Ministry.”
It is not a case of the public being unwilling to contribute but rather that they have hardly anything to contribute. In fact, with Hari Raya Aidilfitri not too far off, Muslims are already starting to budget and prioritise their shopping needs. Based on their limited disposable income, working out this year’s shopping list should be a much simpler task.
The government should emulate our southern neighbour by getting its ministers and all political appointees to contribute one month’s salary to the fund. At the same time, the front liners in this war against Covid-19 should all receive a month’s bonus.
This initiative by the Singapore government is a clear effort to prioritise problem-solving based on needs. They are leading by example, and I am sure our ministers and political appointees are in a position to do the same. After all, they still have their MP’s allowances. By the same token, all state excos should also follow suit. Now is the time when you can show that you truly serve the country with honour and pride.
YOW LOP SIAW