We, the undersigned organisations, would like to express our grave concerns over the announcement of the second extension of the movement control order made by the prime minister on 10 April 2020, which was regrettably not followed by a set of comprehensive supplementary measures to address emerging issues in human security caused by the extensive lockdown.
Millions of vulnerable persons have been deeply affected by the movement control order, particularly those who come from low-income families, people with disabilities, Orang Asli, migrant workers and refugees. These are the people who have been forced out of work and trapped in a situation of zero incomes and insufficient or zero savings to see themselves through difficult times. Consequently, their survival and livelihoods now solely depend on various but limited food aid initiatives organised by our state agencies and civil society organisations.
To make things worse, we notice that other problems related to the aid mentioned above have emerged. There is direct information or report on disabled groups not receiving food aid from state agencies; failure in distributing food to Orang Asli communities by the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) due to a lack of manpower; insufficient funding as more are calling out for help.
We therefore call on the government to immediately look into the seriousness of this issue and set up a multi-stakeholders taskforce to provide adequate security and effective measures to ensure the survival and livelihoods of these vulnerable persons, and hence protecting the dignity which every single human being deserves.
We therefore specifically urge that the following actions be taken without delay:
- Provide food aid to all vulnerable persons on humanitarian grounds, regardless of their citizenship status or nationality
- Make hospitals a safe zone for all who seek medical treatment by not arresting or discriminating against those without legal documents
- Expand the budget for the “assistance to vulnerable groups” from RM25m to RM60m to ensure wider coverage to match the country’s population
- Set up an efficient, transparent and accountable system which engages multiple stakeholders that include welfare officers, Jakoa, charitable bodies, community and religious bodies, private companies and NGOs for effective coordination, rapid distribution and the release of funds
Initiated by Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy (TBHTD)
- Agora Society
- Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
- Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)
- Gerakan Pembebasan Akademik
- Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
- Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
- Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet
- Migrant care
- Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
- Persatuan Pekerja Rumah Tangga Indonesia Migran (PERTIM)
- Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
- Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL)
- Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
- Sungai Buloh Settlement Council
- Timber Employees Union of Peninsula Malaysia (TEUPM)
- Women’s Development Organisation (WDO) Petaling Jaya
- United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong)
- Citizens’ Health Initiative
- Save Rivers
- National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW)