KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has proposed the government to provide special incentive/reward to reporters working in the frontliners, as a form of recognition for their contributions in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The ongoing fight against the devilish Covid-19 pandemic is the harshest battle our nation ever had since its formation, and our frontliners, the media included, had dedicatedly fought alongside the government and the Ministry of Health, to safeguard and assist the people throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO), and the ongoing conditional MCO period.

“Their sheer courage and dedication in performing their tasks in this extremely challenging period is admirable, praiseworthy, and deserved to be given some special incentives,” said its president, Tan Sri T.C Goh.

In a statement issued today, Goh acknowledged that the media too had done a good job to keep the public informed about the Covid-19 pandemic and related issues, by disseminating information provided by the government and the relevant government department and agencies. At the same time, the media also travelled extra miles to keep the government informed of the many pressing issues affecting the people and businesses on the ground.

“Although we have yet to triumph over the pandemic, but at least we have demonstrated a strong unity and great discipline as a nation, and achieved a commendable result in containing the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said.

Hence, while he welcomed and commended both the Sabah and Sarawak state governments for providing the “one-off cash aid” to the reporters in the two states, he opined that it would be more appropriate and dignify if the state governments could present them with a special cash reward.

He further noted that the media is an essential sector and reporters from both print and online media have been working in the frontlines around the clock, undeterred by the pandemic and the MCO/CMCO, to provide crucial and reliable information to the public.

He said, while the government’s recent move of giving special allowance to the frontliners in the Prihatin Rakyat Stimulus Package was commendable, he hoped the the government could also consider providing special incentive or reward to frontline reporters who are exposing themselves to the risk of the pandemic and working under extreme pressure during this difficult time.-pr/BNN