Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysians have been stepping up to help those in need wherever and whenever they can.
Some have been providing provisions and food to underprivileged communities, while others are banding together to donate medical equipment to hospitals in need.
In May, Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia launched its Covid-19 Solidarity Fund to collect money for medical equipment such as ventilators, beds, masks, and nasal cannulas for hospitals.
In over a month, the foundation raised over RM12mil, a feat that couldn’t have been possible without the support of 17 Malaysian interfaith groups.
With the funds raised, 15 hospitals – including Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Selayang Hospital, Semporna General Hospital and the Kuching General Hospital in Sarawak – will be better equipped to treat patients suffering from Covid-19.
The pandemic has reinforced the spirit of unity among Malaysians, who have shown their willingness to help one another in times of need.
Tzu Chi KL & Selangor deputy chief executive officer Sio Kee Hong said the Solidarity Fund was launched due to the increasing number of critically ill Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
To speed up the emergency fund-raising campaign, the non-profit organisation sought support from leaders of multi-religious bodies.
“While many interfaith groups donated directly, some bodies called on their members to contribute to the fund. Their support helped raise awareness amongst a more significant number of Malaysians on how a simple act of kindness can make a huge difference to help Covid-19 patients in hospitals. In addition, the donation drive has further solidified our efforts to stand together as one nation.
“Besides helping to elevate the medical equipment capacity at Covid-19 designated hospitals, Tzu Chi wanted to pool donors’ resources together to avoid duplication that could result in overlapping donations for similar equipment,” said Sio.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia donated RM1mil to the fund. Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism Christian Federation (MCCBCHST) president and Christian Federation of Malaysia chairman Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim willingly reached out to help the cause due to Tzu Chi’s tireless efforts to assist hospitals and communities during the pandemic.
“While various faith-based groups are already contributing on our own in helping the vulnerable during the pandemic, we felt that together with Tzu Chi, we can achieve much more.
"Hence components of MCCBCHST joined in this worthy cause to fight against Covid-19. #KitaJagaKita,” said Leow in a statement provided by Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia.
Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs Malaysia chairman Mohd Jamaludin Shamsudin concurred, saying: “The formation of the Solidarity Fund is a multi-religious group response to the request for emergency help by Covid-19 hospitals for additional medical equipment direly needed.
“This noble effort led by Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia is fully supported by many religious NGOs. The Solidarity Fund is an exemplary effort of the true Malaysian spirit to help fellow communities and medical frontliners during the pandemic.”
The Solidarity Fund also shows that kindness and compassion transcends race and religion.
For more details, call Tzu Chi’s careline at 03-9078 3388 or visit tzuchi.my.