During the Covid-19 pandemic, almost everyone is struggling but the two groups that we have failed to pay attention to are taxi drivers as well as the vulnerable.
Since everyone is staying at home, naturally taxi drivers have been out of job as of late, making the pandemic one of the hardest times in their line of work.
In the same vein, the vulnerable community have been facing hardships as well, especially those who are 60 and above, pregnant or with disabilities due to the lack of transportation and the strict SOPs which hinder contact with other people that could help them.
Swiftly killing two birds with one stone, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim looked at these two problems and figured out the best solution to assist them both in unison.
Since the nation is gearing up to get vaccinated and everyone is in need of transportation, Sim decided to pay the city’s taxi drivers to send the aforementioned vulnerable community to the vaccination centres.
Expressing his genuine sympathy towards the drivers’ plights, he wrote on Facebook, “Around 30 to 40 taxi drivers have been having a hard time to stay afloat and yet they still have to pay for their car rental and fuel.
“Many of them have families and have to pay for their household expenditure. Some of the drivers told me that it was impossible for them to even get a customer over a period of a few days.”
Inspired by Seremban MP Anthony Loke’s initiative, which also revolved around offering free taxi services to vulnerable groups, Sim believed more places should implement this practice to help solve the two most overlooked issues during the pandemic.
Subang Jaya assemblywoman Michelle Ng is also following in their footsteps by kickstarting her own initiative while Kampung Tunku assemblywoman Lim Yi Wei has partnered with ride-hailing service GoCar Malaysia in order to do the same.
While these leaders are doing commendable work, we hope that this initiative can be extended to rural areas as well, especially after an extensive series of interviews with the elderly who have expressed their struggles with getting vaccinated despite wanting to, was published.