Beginning yesterday, the government has put into enforcement a new law which states that all individuals visiting public spaces must be seen wearing a face-mask to help curb the spread of Covid-19 within the local community. Any violators of the law who are caught by authorities will be slapped with a hefty RM1,000 fine, as per the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
While it may be a necessary law to instate given the uptrend of new Covid-19 cases in Malaysia as of late, it does beg the question as to how underprivileged Malaysians who cannot afford new boxes of disposable face masks will be able to cope with the added burden of a new, albeit crucial commitment to their daily lives.
One such unfortunate instance was seen recently in Seremban, after netizen @khalids shared how an underprivileged old man who couldn’t afford a face mask was driven to rummaging through piles of rubbish in a last ditch attempt to find used ones that he may wear to avoid being fined by the authorities.
"Pakcik nak cari mask. Kalau tak pakai nanti kena saman* 😢 pic.twitter.com/TU7cQOfHyl
— Khalid The One Man Army (@khalids) July 30, 2020
In speaking with Khalid, WORLD OF BUZZ was informed that the incident took place outside Pasar Besar Ampangan in Seremban. According to him, the spot is regularly frequented by the homeless for scavenging purposes. The old man is believed to be homeless and sleeping on the streets of Seremban, but his identity remains unknown.
This incident has since spurred discussions among Malaysians concerning the new enforcement of face masks, with some sharing similar experiences of how they themselves had met other underprivileged members of society who had to wear what appear to be used face masks that have been thrown away for the sake of keeping themselves safe during this pandemic.
As of right now, the ceiling price for disposable face masks is RM1.50 as set by the government, but will soon be lowered to RM1.20 per unit beginning from 15th August 2020. Wholesale prices are also expected to be lowered from the current RM1.45 ceiling price to RM1.15 per unit.
What do you guys think of this situation?
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