Essential Goods and Services Needs Among the B40 In the Klang Valley During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Mohd Nazmi Bin Ahmad, Mufdhiati, Doris Padmini Selvaratnam
Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia
The COVID-19 pandemic created chaos and conflicts in society as there was a disruption in the social and economic spheres of life globally and locally. The pandemic led to the loss of limited economic resources needed to meet the family’s daily demands due to job loss, temporary layoffs, or other circumstances. This study intends to determine the importance of necessities among the B40 group in Malaysia’s Klang Valley. The study also explored the importance and relationship between essential goods and services during the pandemic. The information came from a survey given to the Klang Valley’s B40 group utilizing Facebook (FB) social media and FB Ads. The data were compiled from 363 respondents and summarised using the cross-sectional survey sampling method. The study focuses on the B40 group as Malaysia’s disadvantaged, particularly in obtaining essential products and services due to their vulnerability. Several statistical tests investigate this. Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient test analyzes the descriptive statistics analysis. The factors of food, healthcare, shelter, transportation, and formal education have both positive and negative connections with the demographic variables. The studies’ findings revealed that all demographic parameters had positive and negative connections, demonstrating that the B40 Group in the Klang Valley needs all essentials. According to the analysis’s findings, 94% of respondents concur that food should take precedence during the pandemic. A majority of respondents (92%) think that healthcare (91%), shelter, and (84%) formal education is the essential goods and services. The most important food is rice, followed by vegetables, meat, milk for children, and other food categories. Vaccines are the highest priority among healthcare products and services, followed by masks and medications.Additionally, many members of the B40 group have experienced decreased income and possibly job losses due to the installation of movement order control (MCO) during the epidemic. As a result, despite being supported by government aid, the household’s income is insufficient to meet its demands. Therefore, to efficiently channel aid to those in need, the government still needs to increase the distribution of goods and services based on priorities. According to the study’s conclusions, to ensure that everyone has access to their needs, especially in times of crisis, comprehensive, precise data on homes and the availability of necessary commodities and services must be put in place digitally in the future.
Keywords: essential goods and services, B40 group, COVID-19 pandemic