Malaysians worry about contracting Covid-19 from migrant workers as much as job security

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 16): Most Malaysians polled in a new survey said they are as worried about getting infected with Covid-19 through migrant workers, as they are about losing their jobs as a result of the pandemic's impact.

According to independent think tank EMIR Research Sdn Bhd's survey involving 2,096 respondents, eight out of 10 or 81% said they are worried about the threat of infection through “illegal immigrants”.

The concern about Covid-19 infection from migrant workers is the second biggest in the list of seven pandemic-related worries measured in the survey. Job loss tops the list with 85% voted by respondents.

The third biggest concern among Malaysians is the quality of education during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 80% of respondents worried about students relying on online education that may not be followed properly due to the lack of Internet access and broadband facility at home.

Respondents are also worried about insufficient income (80%), and the quality of healthcare due to the Covid-19 outbreak (75%). Additionally, seven out of every 10 respondents are concerned about mental health (72%) and the waiting time to meet a doctor (71%).

In a statement today, Emir Research said the current political instability in the country, with a direct impact on lives and livelihoods, is also a contributing factor to the worries among Malaysians that led to the seven pandemic-related concerns highlighted above.

“For me, there’s a lot of elements of uncertainty. We don’t know whether the government will be there tomorrow or not. Job-wise, many wouldn’t know whether they can keep a job tomorrow or not,” Emir Research quoted a participant of a focus group discussion held in conjunction with the survey.

The survey, which is the second part in its Pulse From The Ground survey series, was conducted in August and involved people from every state and federal territories in the country.

Read also:
Job loss is Malaysians' top worry in Covid-19-led economic crisis — survey

Kathy Fong