SOCIAL MEDIA

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

The SME and Vivy debacle

I believe you’ve heard about the saga last week. About Vivy Yusof, who caused a public stir due to her post on Instagram on SMEs wanting to get financial aids to help ease their burdens when government had just announced the stimulus package to help the B40 and M40.

I just have to pen my thoughts here. I’ve refrained to do so many many times since a few scandals years ago, but this time, please bear with me.

Firstly, I believe people’s wrath mostly came from the abovementioned B40 and M40 – they believe this woman is an arrogant and ignorant coming from T20; who whined about not getting financial aids when others (B40 and M40) do. Her argument was that these SMEs employ majority of B40 and M40; and that her intention was ultimately to help them, since one day if most of the SMEs closed down, these are the people who would be jobless.

Let me be clear. I am baffled by this.

While I don’t agree with people bashing her on Twitter, making posters and spreading it around to make her look bad, etc – these people has a point.

Imagine having to think about short of cash for food to consume for tomorrow, for babies’ milk, for rice, for diapers, for other necessities – then came a statement from a person (who boasts about her wealth and achievement almost daily) about how “us, the entrepreneurs, need financial aids too”

You think they won’t get angry? You think they don’t go to your IG page, and saw how expensive your bags are and how expensive your daily meals are, won’t be pissed?

I read a post on FB about how Vivy feels so alien to the rest of Malaysians, and I couldn’t help agreeing. I have problems agreeing with her since the pregnancy women debacle, and I’m definitely on Team Iman. So yes, I can understand why she received so many backlash due to this issue.

But in this particular issue, my main issues are:



  • People publicly claimed their status – I’m so sick people giving statements like “We, the T20s don’t feel so and so…” like, how can you even publicly declare that? You’re so proud that you belong to the T20? That just makes people hate you more.
  • People saying over and over again how “they, too, help the B40 and M40 by raising funds” yes you raised the fund but why are you boasting about that? Charity should be given where the other party or others (public) don’t know who you are. The fact that it comes from company’s name (yes they use their company name everywhere) sounds just fishy to me. Then again, granted, they would not have collected the massive amount if it weren’t for their company’s name. I have a problem with how a person could ‘boast’ about her charity. Doesn’t seem right to me. That too just makes these people hate you more.
  • I think people don’t want your apology, because the damage has been done. But people just need to see that you’ve changed. This, however, seems unlikely from the apology video.
  • Entrepreneurs are supposed to be “strong, tough, head-on” kind of people. They have to be resilient to changes. They have to be prepared for risks to their business, one good example is during a pandemic and economic crisis. I believe this is the first time Malaysians face a crisis this huge (in my lifetime anyway) so it’s a good case study to assess whether you have the capability to survive, whether your savings are sufficient for your company to thrive. If not, ANYONE can be an entrepreneur. At one point, I used to be amazed at how a lot of my friends could leave their steady job and dive into entrepreneurship knowing the risks awaiting them. I felt like I could never do that, because I like knowing where my stand is, knowing how much I have at the end of the day and how much I need in future. Uncertainties scared me. But now, I’m not sure if I look up to them anymore.
  • Our government doesn’t have that much money to begin with. For me, I’d rather we give the limited fund to the people who REALLY needs it – and definitely not the T20. Your company can’t survive in 6 months time, you’d lose profit, you don’t make money anymore, you can always start again. These people? They cannot even be sure that there will be food on their table to feed their kids tomorrow. Let alone in 6 months time. HAVE SOME EMPATHY.

I hate to be one of the people to disagree with her, given how much I’ve supported the brand these years. But I’ve moved on (scarf-wise, transformed 360 degrees and I’m happy with my current RM25 scarves) and I know nobody is perfect.

Just don’t idolize someone so much to the point you just have to agree with her all the time. Sometimes when it’s wrong, you have to take a stand.

And this is my stand.


P/S: if you want to make a donation but not sure where to go, visit kitajagakita.com. You can opt whether to donate to the B40 community or to the frontliners, who are struggling too. If you haven’t done so, I hope this would help.

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