Reaching out in time of need

Abdul Razak (right) with other committee members from Masjid Hashim Yahya preparing the food items to be given away to staff members and and frontliners at Penang Remand Prison. — Photo: K.T. GOH/The Star

FOOD items and other aid are continuing to flow in after an enhanced movement control order (MCO) was implemented at the Penang Remand Prison and prison officers’ quarters in George Town, Penang.

From the state government to mosque committees and individuals, everyone is playing their part to help those affected.

On Saturday, Masjid Hashim Yahya mosque committee members handed over about RM2,000 worth of food and grocery items to prison personnel in Jalan Penjara.

Its chairman Abdul Razak Mansor said they hoped to ease the burden faced by prison officials affected by restrictions under the MCO.

“We feel obliged to help and after a few days, we managed to collect some funds from residents in the area and from our mosque members.

“We also received some donations from several individuals who wanted to help, ”

he said after handing over the items to the prison representative.

Among the items that were donated were vermicelli, cooking oil, coffee powder, sardines, sugar, salt, eggs, bread and biscuits.

The mosque committee also donated drinks and biscuits to police, army, Rela and Civil Defence Force (APM) members who are on duty at roadblocks during the MCO.

Abdul Razak called on Penangites to do their bit to help those who are affected during the pandemic, especially the underprivileged.

“We hope that this contribution will help staff members of the Penang Remand Prison and their families, ” he said.

Those who want to contribute can contact Masjid Hashim Yahya committee members at 017-486 8279 or 016-454 4885.

On Friday, the state government approved RM115,984 in allocation for food preparation and medical equipment to the prison and security forces personnel.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the allocation is being channelled from Oct 15 till Oct 27.

“Food and drinks are being supplied to the staff members of Penang Remand Prison and police, army, Rela and APM personnel on duty during this period.

“A food basket worth RM100 each will also be given to the Penang Prison personnel, ” he said.

Chow also thanked NGOs which helped in easing the burden of those affected during the MCO.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chapter also pledged more than RM10,000 worth of goods to the Penang Remand Prison.

MAH national vice president Khoo Boo Lim said the association donated 10,000 pieces of face masks and 200 litres of hand sanitiser.

Khoo said 32 association members also donated thousands of drinking water bottles.

“This is our sincere contribution and assistance in fighting the latest bout of Covid-19 cases.

“The hotel members hope that Penang will return to green status soon so as to continue our recovery from heavy losses incurred during the MCO period, ” he said in a statement on Friday.

Khoo was present for the handover of the items that were received by Penang Remand Prison director Mohamed Jusoh Ismail.

Penang Buddhist Tzu Chi Merit Society Malaysia has also lent a helping hand by donating 150 multi-purpose foldable beds, 3,000 isolation gowns, 5000 face masks and 5,000 gloves to Penang Remand Prison.

On Tuesday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said that Penang Remand Prison and the prison officers’ quarters would be placed under enhanced MCO after 141 Covid-19 positive cases were found among inmates.

The whole of Jalan Penjara, a portion of Jalan Berek and a portion of Jalan Lim Khoon Huat surrounding Penang Remand Prison is closed under the enhanced MCO.

During the period, movement in and out of the area is prohibited and any movement among prison staff will be determined by prison authorities.

As of yesterday, Penang has 452 active cases with three deaths; the latest being a 85-year-old inmate at the Remand Prison on Oct 5.

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