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Poems: Poverty and Wake-up Call

Photograph: aljazeera.com

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Dave Anthony reflects on the inadequacy of the official poverty line and on how much our world has changed.

9 April


Has Malaysia eliminated Poverty, virtually, really?

Official Poverty line, the yardstick challenged,

The line mantra lacks credibility,

In the pandemic, line is blurred, obscured, masked.

No time to re-evaluate, remeasure the line;

Cut the line, Face the reality!

Poverty line is the new frontline,

The poor are the vulnerable group

across ethnicities, ages, backgrounds.

Who is included, who is excluded?

Urban-rural poor, Stateless, undocumented?

Citizens, non-citizens, Bumiputera, Lain-lain, Orang Asli?

Single parents, disabled, children, elderly?

irregular-illegal, unregistered foreign workers?

migrants, refugees, jobless homeless paupers?

Who gets priority?

Small companies not obliged to pay irregulars, illegals,

No pay, no food, go hungry, no privilege

Prihatin economic stimulus package

To the rescue, but inadequate.

Corporations propped up with cash will collapse

Without the manual groundwork of the poor.

Address the underlying social conditions!

What makes the poor poor?

Carpe Diem!

Not eliminate but Eradicate Poverty!


10 April

Wake-up Call

The world has suddenly changed, as never before

Monumental failure of our system, as never before,

Normal way of living, no longer the same anymore

Reflection on our conduct, how have we kept score.

Government, Corporations, People

The three-cornered forces of a triangle

have failed, ruptured within the entangle.

Government dictated to by Corporations

Corporations favoured by the Government

Neither consider Peoples’ aspirations.

People torn apart in three points of another triangle

Of Race, Religion and Ideology in a huge mangle.

Racism, prejudice, intolerance, stacked in xenophobic pattern

READ MORE:  Analysis of poverty in Malaysia

Flattened by Covid’s domino effect.

Do we ponder and ignore failure of institutions and systems?

Or come together to secure a victory for our country and humanity.

Does Government need a new coalition?

Or a new system of governance.

Does Capitalism need an overhaul?

Or a systemic change.

Do Corporations need be only profit motivated?

Or consider an option for the poor.

Does Religion have to be politicised?

Or every religion privatised.

Does Race have to be identified?

Or nationalised.

Is Covid God’s way of bringing us to our senses?

Demanding a radical change in mindset.

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