When work calls


  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020

Nur Shafiqah Ali, 25, hypermarket cashier

When the Covid-19 crisis comes to an end, this experience will leave everyone with better awareness of hygiene. For us cashiers, who may encounter close to 1,000 customers in every shift, the risk of infection is high. As such the management has required us to sanitise our hands after every three customers. But even before that, some cashiers on our own initiative sanitise our hands at the start and end of every shift.

Nursan Jainulla, 62, taxi driver

The movement control order (MCO) has severely affected the income of taxi drivers. Luckily, of my five children, only the youngest one needs supporting in terms of university fees. Currently, he is living at the university dorm. I am not worried about his safety as I know he is getting food and accommodation. I am only worried about making payments for his semester fees. But I know I am not the only one with this problem. Though the MCO is the cause of my financial troubles, I don’t resent it. If the government did nothing, the spread will be worse and more people will die.

Siti Lijah Che’ Pa, 58, PPR cleaning supervisor



The role of a cleaner is now more important than ever with the MCO. When more people stay home, the more rubbish there will be. Imagine if we are not around. At this time, I ask the public to think of us by properly disposing of their used face masks into plastic bags and tie them up. We may be given gloves and masks to do our work but we hope that the public can help us by taking extra precautions too.

Zukefli Said, 58, Petrol station supervisor

I am very fearful of being out at this time but because of my job, there is no choice. Though the area is very quiet at night, I have no worries as I see the police are doing more patrols. After 7pm we see more of them than customers. I sometimes wish we can close earlier so that I can go home and be with my family.

Mizan Damanhuri, 20, Condominium security guard

This is an especially trying time for me and my colleagues. Though the majority of residents are able to accept the condominium management’s restriction on visitors, there are still residents and even visitors who are dissatisfied with our explanation. I do not stress myself over such situations as I am trained to handle this. The MCO is a first-time experience for many but from what my grandparents have told me, unlike the curfews imposed during the communist emergency and May 13, Malaysians are in a relatively comfortable position as there is enough food supply, utilities and WiFi service. Perhaps the only challenge is finding ways to overcome boredom.

John Chang, 34, restaurant owner

I had foreseen the coming of a MCO when news broke on Covid-19. I am the boss so I go out about 10 times a day to deliver food to customers. Of course, I am worried for my health but with 30 workers, I am responsible for paying their salaries and ensuring my business is able to withstand this challenge. I feel this is the time for business owners to show their fighting spirit by coming up with new ideas and ways of operating to continue running.

Azlina Abdullah, 47, news photographer



From observation, I can sense the public is worried about the rising number of new cases and deaths from Covid-19 infections. It does not help that people are spreading fake news which is causing more fear and misinformation. I find the stupidest are alternative drugs and remedies that claim to prevent or cure this particular coronavirus. I find it really odd that there are people who can fall for such fake news and they disbelieve the real news that we have worked so hard to bring to everyone.

Trisha Nanda Gopal, journalist

In 10 years’ time, I hope to look back at the Covid-19 stories written and remember that people had looked out for each other during these difficult times. The other day I noticed people donating food to the homeless but practising social distancing and spacing the packages. So far, being on the field has been interesting. We do have to go to places where there are crowds, like yesterday when I visited the Ayer Itam market in Penang for an assignment.

Abdul Harris Lamusa, 39, city bus driver



It makes me wonder how many Malaysians are actually abiding by the restriction order, judging by the long line of traffic build-up at roadblocks. I am guessing many of these people may be going out to buy food. I support the government’s decision in extending the MCO as the faster we break the Covid-19 viral chain, the better.

Nor Azmaidah Timhal, 31, hypermarket customer service

If there is ever a time when those in the customer service field have to be understanding and patient, it is now. People are worried and also fearful so if they lash out, we will just have to remain calm and assure them that everything is under control and there is enough food supply.

Khairol Aswad Afifi, 20, online shop courier

I have not missed a day of work since the restriction order was enforced. If I was granted a wish, I would want everything to go back to normal. Though the roads are free of traffic, I feel the loneliness and sometimes at night when doing food deliveries, I fear for my safety. Another niggling worry I have is should my motorbike break down now, the workshops are not open. Luckily, I know a little bit about maintaining motorcycles. Just the other day, I did an oil change myself. This got me thinking about other delivery riders who don’t have such knowledge. They will not be able to make a living if their bikes break down at this time.

Lor Kam Cheen, 40, gas delivery man



I have had orders from day one of the MCO which have yet to be fulfilled. Since it came into effect, I have been working 12-hour days non-stop. If a customer is strong enough and knows how to link up the cooking gas tank, it will be of great help if they can pick up their cylinder when I drop it off outside their house. This will save me time and enable me to make more deliveries. More families are cooking at home so more people need gas.

Foo Siew How, 25, grocery shop owner

My whole family is in the business of selling groceries. I am most worried about my parents who are working during this time as we have been told the elderly are most susceptible to the Covid-19 infection. I hope that our customers will be considerate to stay away if they are sick. If everyone plays their part, we can overcome this pandemic quickly and the restriction order will be lifted so that everyone can finally get on with their lives.

Gary Giam, 38, website owner

I volunteered to help a charity organisation deliver food to the homeless and drug addicts in Chow Kit. I am choosing to help others at this time as I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. I hope that with more acts of goodwill, we may recover faster from the Covid-19 crisis.

Noraini Mohd Tarip, 45, hypermarket cashier

With instructions to observe social distancing where people are not encouraged to shake hands or hug, it may seem that society has become less friendly. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can still show warmth with our facial expressions and the tone of our voice. So it is important to smile sincerely and maintain eye contact when greeting people. That can go a long way in conveying how much we still really care.

Chok Ng Foo, 56, traditional Chinese medicine shop owner

At this time, I am especially careful because I am also an acupuncturist and sometimes people come to me when they are unwell. Anyone who has a fever or has recently returned from overseas is not allowed in. I urge the public to stay at home and practise social distancing. If we don’t follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines, the situation will not get better.

Saukath Sabeena Banu Anwar Khan, 32, hypermarket security supervisor



had only been on the job for six months before the MCO was announced. Before this, I was a full-time housewife taking care of my four children. So I did understand when a mother came to the supermarket with her baby in tow. However, I could not let her walk around the premises with the baby as that would put the child’s life at risk. So we took the baby to customer service while she went shopping. But I do not encourage anyone to bring their young children during this period as it is not a suitable time for children to be out.

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