The implementation of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) and Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in certain states has taken a toll on the people financially — having lost their jobs and experienced pay cuts in the past 1 year since the implementation of the lockdowns.
The #BenderaPutih campaign is definitely helping people who need help however, many are still struggling financially. Just recently, a Facebook user posted a heartfelt post regarding a customer in a grocery store who paid for a container of formula milk using coins!
Part of his post translates to, “Queued up to buy groceries in a grocery store. There was a customer in front of me who bought a container of formula milk, similar to the one used by my child, priced at RM23 and 10 eggs priced at RM7. What touched me the most, was the fact that the customer paid for the items using coins!! The sound of the coins clattering on the counter was loud. The cashier and his friend were speechless while counting the coins. I and the rest of the customers in line were in a mess of emotions seeing this happen in front of our eyes.”
“The cashier counted the coins and it didn’t even amount to RM10 when he said that the cash was sufficient to pay for the items and immediately packed up the formula milk. I saw that the eyes of the cashier and his friend were teary. I knew the cashier was not lazy to count the money, but he was actually sad and if the coins of the customer were lesser than the original amount, he would definitely replace it. I approached the customer and said, ‘It’s okay, I’ll pay for it.'”
“The customer replied that he was only using coins for fun. I knew that he was lying.”
The Chinese customer behind me said, “It’s okay. Take everything here and I’ll pay for it.”
A Bangladesh customer placed 5 kilograms of rice that he intended to buy on the counter, indicating that he wants to donate it to the customer. The customer felt extremely guilty and his eyes started watering. He ended up saying that it’s okay and rushed out of the grocery store to start his motorcycle. Everyone was calling out to him but he pretended not to hear us. The customer then fled the place. The cashier took the money and placed it in the container below the table. Both he and his friend were in tears. The Bangladesh customer took back the rice packets with a sad face and went back in line. The Chinese customer was talking to the Indian customer about the hardships faced by the citizens now. Quietly, I paid for my things and left the shop with not only my things but the sad incident that occurred. It’s no wonder that he was pacing around the shop. He was actually looking for the perfect timing for the counter to be clear. He was embarrassed to pay using coins.”
Additionally, the Facebook user, Kamarul Azizi stated that he understands his situation and it’s not common for someone to say that he wants to use coins for fun. He believes that it’s the last of his money and he was pushed to do it because of financial constraints. He even stated that the customer should not be embarrassed to raise the white flag and instead, take it as a sign to help others when the customer himself is financially stable in the future.
Kamarul has also added on a few resources to ask for help in these trying times and that includes, neighbours, the police force, non-governmental organisations (NGO), the office of the Member of Parliament (MP) of the respective area and lastly, the Kita Jaga Kita application which can be downloaded via the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei App Gallery.
In a nutshell, the stigma of people being embarrassed to receive help should be debunked. Receiving help doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It’s a symbol of strength and survival. We’re all in a bad place right now. Let’s help each other!