Second lockdown observations: COVID-19 donor fatigue kicks in, but Malaysia’s volunteers persevere

Nov 8, 2020 | News

November has arrived, and the seemingly longest year ever is finally approaching its end.

In the malls, the mannequins of a casual wear chain have donned cold weather gear, even though it is unlikely that any of us will jet off for a wintry holiday soon.

In fact, as the third surge of infections took root across Malaysia – total number of cases surpassed the 30,000 mark in late October, having just reached 10,000 in mid-September – several states and localities have been placed under a partial lockdown again.


Many Malaysians have recovered from the initial shock of the country plunging into lockdown. As COVID-19 worsens, the bubbling enthusiasm to contribute money to those in need has also waned.

Hassaan Izhar, the project manager of Charity Right Malaysia, can attest to a slowdown in the amount of donation raised. From March until July, the project under Mercy Mission Malaysia had received RM600,000 (US$144,382) to put together 4,000 food boxes containing staple items like cooking oil and rice for needy locals and refugees.

Fast forward to October, it is only halfway to its goal of collecting RM100,000 of donation. Meanwhile, the team has received requests for 1,000 food boxes all over Malaysia in just one month.

“A lot of people have already given a lot, so we can’t really push them. A lot of them have experienced (salary) cuts at their jobs … People who were previously giving out money to charities are now in trouble.

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