COVID-19, on socio-economic impact in Malaysia

By Aisyah Mohd

GOMBAK, 2 May 2020: “Even after this pandemic is over, we need to live in a different lifestyle,” one of the panelists, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noor Azlan said quoting a statement from Director General of Health, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a seminar held on Thursday (30 April).

An online seminar titled “The Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19” was organised by Social Issues and Development Centre (SIDC) under the auspices of the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS) where three panelists were invited to share their views on this issue.

The Dean of School of Economics, Finance and Banking, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Prof. Dr. Russayani Ismail stressed the need for the government to strengthen the information technology (IT) infrastructure since social distancing and remote learning will be the new normal for the students.

Dr. Noor Azlan from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology suggested that the government should execute an awareness campaign to educate people about micro spaces such as personal hygiene and macro spaces which is “something beyond you”, as he highlighted on the concept of space.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has resulted in the increase of vulnerable groups in Malaysia, a development economist from the United Nations Development Programme Malaysia (UNDP), and also a lecturer at the Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences (KENMS), Assoc. Prof. Haniza Khalid said.

The speaker was responding to a question on the different vulnerable groups available in Malaysia where she categorised them into two; the existing vulnerable group and the emerging vulnerable group due to COVID-19.

“Existing vulnerable group such as children in abusive homes, women with abusive relationships and the elders who are living alone tend to increase their psychological distress due to this pandemic, while the emerging vulnerable group such as people with rare diseases and mental health cannot go for treatment and rehabilitation as usual, so this can lead to tension in themselves,” Dr. Haniza Khalid further noted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Russayani Ismail also highlighted on vulnerable groups’ accessibility to the internet to continue with the learning process which she said should be taken into account by the government. 

All the panelists complimented Malaysia’s Ministry of Health in successfully handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online seminar was conducted using Zoom application and it had drawn a total of more than 30 participants.***​

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