KUCHING: The Hari Raya goodie box received by Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) through the Sumbangsih Kuih Raya programme will be used to promote good relationship with army from neighbouring countries.
Security and law enforcers who will be on duty during the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival is set to receive 6,500 boxes of Hari Raya goodie as a gesture of appreciation and gratefulness by the state government for ensuring the safety and harmony of the country.
The goody box is distributed to seven agencies namely MAF, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Department, Prisons Department, Immigration department and Royal Customs department. They will receive 2,700, 1,600, 900, 650, 250, 200 and 200 boxes respectively.
MAF received an additional of 200 boxes this year to share with the army from a neighbouring country to foster good relationship.
First Infantry Division commander Major General Datuk Stephen Mundaw said around 2,500 officers from the Armed Forces would be on duty at the borders of Sarawak and Sabah, whereas some would be placed at Indonesian borders during the festival.
“The goodies will not only be distributed among the Armed Forces but also shared with the army from neighbouring countries, especially Indonesia and Brunei. This might be a small gift but it has good impact on the relationship we have with them,” he said in his speech during the goodie box hand-over ceremony at Penrissen Army Camp.
He believes the contribution can motivate and lift the spirits of the soldiers to defend the state and the country.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Badan Amal Tenaga Isteri-isteri (Sabati) president Puan Sri Jamilah Anu, who is also the Chief Minister’s wife, handed over the goodie box to the Armed forces along with Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
Sabati has contributed an additional RM10,000 to the funds provided by state government for programme this year.
The Sumbangsih Kuih Raya programme is an annual affair that began in 1990. Eight women organisations are involved in preparing cakes and cookies such as Sarawak Fruit Cake, Nestum cookies, Oat Cookies, Rock cookies, Sago Kombo and meat floss.
Fatimah said a total of 12 non-governmental organisations were involved in the programme, from planning to packaging of the goodies.
“It was done with great care and lots of love. As the state government and people of Sarawak, we would like to once again thank the armed forces and all the security and law enforcers who will be on guard during Hari Raya and would not be able to celebrate Hari Raya with their families.
“We pray for your health, safety and resilience when you face challenges in the course of your duty,” she said in her speech.