While we may be able to order from any online food delivery service or resort to going to the grocery shops to refill our pantry when it is empty, many of us forget that not everyone has the luxury of doing so. After all, you need to have money to be able to do either of those things, and given the state of the economy now, money isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to come by.
This is especially true of those who are either forced to go unpaid for the duration of the MCO, such as these foreign workers as reported by Oriental Daily.
In fact, they have become so hungry and starved due to the fact that they haven’t been able to afford food, they had to resort to eating leaves off from a papaya tree to stave off their hunger.
According to a local netizen, he was part of a local volunteer group that was helping to send and distribute food supplies to the needy, when he noticed that a group of foreign workers were seen boiling an entire pot of papaya leaves over an open flame. When asked, it was revealed to them that they had apparently been cooking the same meal of boiled papaya leaves for days, to keep alive.
Upon further investigation through phone calls, the volunteers also found that the foreign worker they had spoke to sounded weak on the phone. The foreign workers in question were said to have been factory workers employed in Batu Pahat, and they claim that they haven’t been receiving any wages since the 21st of last month.
“As papaya leaves are edible, and these foreign workers haven’t been able to purchase proper food for themselves, that is why they have been trying to survive off repeated meals of boiled papaya leaves,” said the volunteer group.
However, the situation doesn’t appear to be getting any better either, as the head of a local charity group in Johor told the Chinese daily that they had been working hard to ensure that the underprivileged families have enough food to eat. She pointed out on 12th April 2020 alone, their group donated over 60 bags of dried foodstuff, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need, adding that many of these low-income families were unable to feed themselves as a result of a lack of work and a lack of savings to afford food.
She also worries that more families will face starvation, should the MCO be extended beyond the 28th of this month.
So it is worth cherishing and appreciating whatever luxuries we have during this difficult time, even if they may be mundane and insignificant. There are always those who are worse off than we are.
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