THE success of every nation is highly dependent on the efficacy of its workforce. If a country has a dedicated and talented workforce, it can be assured of economic success and highly developed human capital.
Workers make the utmost sacrifices with some even dying on the job.
To honour and remember these fallen heroes, regardless of which profession or industry they belong to, the world observes Workers Memorial Day on April 28 every year to commemorate them.
This day has become symbolically very important in the current global scenario, where thousands of frontliners have succumbed to the Covid-19 pandemic they bravely and stoically battled for their beloved nations.
These frontliners not only risk death but are also cut off from the solace and comfort of their homes and families due to their jobs.
Those infected die alone under quarantine with only the memories of their loved ones to comfort them.
Besides doctors, nurses and healthcare support staff, policemen and military personnel have also put themselves at risk by being in the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just like their counterparts the world over, frontliners in Malaysia are also plagued with fatigue as they blaze forward as the nation’s pillars of strength in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
This loyalty and sacrifice does indeed come with a heavy price.
On April 24, frontliner Kpl Mohd Masri Maguni, who was on movement control order (MCO) duty, died at the Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Kedah after being hospitalised for three days.
He collapsed on March 21, due to hypertension, when manning a roadblock in Alor Setar.
As for our healthcare workers, unlike their counterparts in other countries, none of the 325 people infected and the three that died contracted the virus while executing their duties.
This is probably due the precautionary measures and sound standard operating procedures that are rightfully in place for those tending to infected patients in Malaysia.
Currently, many businesses are facing challenging times because of the global lockdown. The employment landscape is becoming increasingly difficult.
Even after the MCO is lifted, it will take time for the economy to recuperate.
Those from the B40 and M40 groups will be the ones to suffer the most as a large number of them work in the manufacturing sector, which is suffering the biggest blow.
As the saying goes, loyalty begets loyalty.
If employers treat their workers right when the going is tough, employee turnover will be low. Workers who feel they are appreciated are more productive at the workplace.
Employees, too, on their part, must be a little understanding of the current difficult time and work shoulder to shoulder with their employers, even if it means making the necessary sacrifices, until the dark clouds blow over.
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