KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Malaysians must accept changes to their existing lifestyle as they cannot expect to be paid the same as before amid the worsening Covid-19 pandemic, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
In a Facebook Live interview with MyPerintis, Dr Mahathir said Malaysians must, therefore, lower their standard of living in order to enjoy life with reduced pay.
He said such a move would also benefit employers, by not straining their finances in having to pay the same wages amid the movement control order (MCO).
“One of the things we have to accept is that if business is not good, you cannot expect to be paid the same way.
“All of us will have lower income and therefore our lifestyle has to change. We cannot expect to enjoy the same old lifestyle which costs money,” he said.
He then gave an example of how footballers were expected to be paid the same as before by their clubs despite not having a watching audience to play for.
Dr Mahathir stressed that the higher standard of living some Malaysians enjoyed would have to be cut off, pointing out that one could then live on a lowered pay when their activities which cost money are lessened.
“We all must all accept that our lifestyle must be reduced to cope with our income which is less. We cannot enjoy the same kind of lifestyle. On the other hand, we can see if we don't get this money what else can we do to earn some money for ourselves.
“If we are prepared to do that, I think we can overcome this epidemic faster,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said Malaysians must maintain the skill sets obtained during the handling of the crisis and further improve on them when the country’s economy begins its road to recovery.
“We can never determine when it will recover but if we are able to control the spread of the disease then our economic activities may resume as before. For this, we must discipline ourselves to not commit any acts that will prolong the spread of the disease.
“That is why the MCO is important. The outbreak may end soon if we follow the rules but even then, we may not immediately return to the old economy. It has changed,” he said, adding that adjustments should be made using experiences learned through digitalisation and new technologies.