THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Effects of the global economy crisis

Wah! Heavy issue eh? Don't worry, am not writing a thesis or anything of that sort. If I am, I'd probably die before I can finish the thesis!

Maybe some of us don't feel the effects from the global economy crisis too much. Yes, we complain about prices of things going up, we complain we have to spend so much to buy this and that. We complain that we have to spend more now when our pay remains the same. We complain that despite the price of petrol going down, the prices of necessities have yet to follow suit. What goes up must come down? Naah... doesn't apply here!

Despite all our complaints, shopping complexes are still full of people, the queues at the cashiers at supermarkets are still long, parking lots at shopping complexes are still full on weekends. Yes, yes, like it or not, we still have to buy necessities.

Have we ever thought that for some people out there, in addition to the prices of daily needs increasing, worst still is the fact that they may get less earnings each month?

This posting is actually about my PLHIV clients - particularly the single mothers under my wing. I am not writing about hypothetical situations, I am writing about what I see with my own eyes and what I hear with my own ears.

For my clients who are not currently working, like Lin, Yah and Fuzi, it will even be tougher for them to find jobs to support their family. Lin used to work at a restaurant, but when she was hospitalised a few months back, she had to quit as her employer couldn't afford to give too long leave to employees. It was either you'd better come for work or out you go!

Yah used to work until her in-laws informed the employer about her HIV status, causing her to lose her job.

Fuzi? With her citizenship status, it will even be harder for her to find a job.

Then there's Zainab and Hana who work at factories. No, not any unknown factories belonging to simply any Ali or Ah Seng or Muthu but factories belonging to well known companies. Since the manufacturing sector is badly affected by the economy crisis, understandably they need to cut down on costs. Thankfully, Zainab and Hana are not retrenched, but their work shifts are reduced and they get to do less overtime. Zainab is on leave for the whole of this week while Hana gets called to work only when there are things that need to be done. For some it seems, the workers work 3 days a week. For those who work on "ada kerja ada gaji" basis like Zainab and Hana, this only means they now earn much less then they ever did, when they need to spend much more.

I graduated during the economy crisis of the 80's. Jobs were hard to come by and so I grabbed any job opportunities I could land myself on. And my first job was as a casual staff at an issuing house - earning RM10 a day (this was in 1987). I had to depend on overtime to earn more (sometimes I had to work from 8.30 am to 8.30 am the next day - particularly when public ballots were involved). But when there were no share issues, I'd be out of a job - earning zilch! So yes, although I didn't have any dependents to support, and I could depend on family support when I was out of a job, I can still understand the situation people like Zainab and Hana is facing right now.

This week I will start my house visits after the long break.

I shall start off today by visiting Lin.

LIN? Oooo... does that mean I will get the answer to the cliffhanger... Who Married Mr. Darling?

Stay tuned... :)


ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Kaca mata dlm blog ni, kacamata siapa? kata Pak Malim sambil meminum air kelapa. Nak pinjam, boleh? kata Pak Malim sambil memegang koleh. Takde duit nak beli kacamata disebabkan kegawatan ekonomi, kata Pak Malim sambil makan mi.

Pi Bani said...

Pak Malim,
Itu saya punya kacamata, kata Pi Bani sambil kenyit mata. Maklum dah tua, perlu kacamata untuk membaca, katanya lagi sambil makan bubur caca. Mana boleh pinjam, nanti saya yang rabun tak boleh kerja, kata Pi Bani sambil mengelap meja.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

exactly my cousin's sentiment. he was whining all the way how his company can no longer afford to pay OTs for the employees. he said that all in all, at least rm1000 worth of OT could be the thing of the past once it took effect.

*eh kak Pi, kalau nak nombor contact tu oleh kot. nanti saya tanya balik.

Pi Bani said...

Memang for those who depend on OT to cover their monthly needs susahlah sikit sekarang. Mau terpaksa cari side income cara lain.