As MCO continues, Malaysians seen lining up at pawnshops for much-needed cash

A queue is seen outside the Shin Ngien Pawn Shop in SS9, Petaling Jaya May 4, 2020. — Picture via Twitter/Migraine Bukan Manusia
A queue is seen outside the Shin Ngien Pawn Shop in SS9, Petaling Jaya May 4, 2020. — Picture via Twitter/Migraine Bukan Manusia

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The economic impact of Covid-19 is becoming more evident day by day as social media users documents the long queue at pawnshops nationwide on the first day of the conditional movement control order (CMCO), today.

Malaysians have taken to social media to reveal the long snaking lines queuing up at their local pawnshops in Johor, Perak, Perlis, and Kuala Lumpur to name a few, since this morning.

Among the pictures circulating on social media is the long queue in front of the Shin Ngien Pawn Shop in SS9, Petaling Jaya. The queue had even extended to a few shops down from the pawnshops is.

On Twitter, user Thomas Daniel also pointed out that a similar situation is seen at the Sentul Boulevard, where Malaysian across racial and age lines were lining up a local pawnshop.

“Working from home, and getting paid for it, is a privilege,’’ said the senior analyst in the Foreign Policy and Security Studies Programme at local think tank Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia.

Several photos also emerged on social media of similar situation for pawnshops in Kangar, Perlis.

Meanwhile, checks done by Malay Mail showed that pawn, gold shop and cash converters within the Masjid India and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman vicinity, in the capital, are still not open.

Despite the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) being lifted yesterday, the area which usually is teemed with foot traffic was considerably quiet as many shops were still closed.

The Perikatan Nasional government has launched the RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package last month, which aims to protect the welfare of the masses and employers who are deeply affected by the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent MCO issued by the government.

Part of the stimulus package is the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN), a one-off cash aid worth RM10 billion that will be disbursed based on household income and paid in two phases based on the qualifying criteria.

Households earning RM4,000 or less will are eligible to receive RM1,600 while those earning between RM4,001 to RM8,000 will receive RM1,000.

Singles earnings of RM2,000 or less will receive BPN of RM800, while singles earning RM2,001 to RM4,000 will receive RM500.

The government also allowed employees to withdraw RM500 monthly from their Employee Provident Fund Account 2 for a year starting May 2020.

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