Displaced workers in Malaysia who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic can apply for assistance from the SamaBantu.my project.
The web-based project — initiated by Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur DiRaja (RCKLDR) with support from Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC), Rotary International District 3300 and Kuala Lumpur Rotary Charity Foundation — enables donors to channel financial aid to displaced workers in an automated and transparent manner, coupled with crowd verification.
Donors can choose to be anonymous, and those who contribute more than RM500 are eligible for tax-exemption receipts from Kuala Lumpur Rotary Charity Foundation.
In addition to collecting funds from various payment channels, the platform also receives and processes applications from displaced workers via self-registration.
SamaBantu.my recently partnered with MyKasih Foundation to distribute aid through the foundation’s pioneering MyKad cashless system to successful applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.
Applicants under the SamaBantu.my project are subject to verification to prevent or reduce misrepresentation of their financial situation.
Approved recipients will receive RM100 per week (or RM400 per month) credited into their MyKad account to buy basic food items at designated supermarkets and shops within their neighbourhood.
This exercise restores dignity to the underprivileged by letting them choose the food items they need and to purchase them only when they need it.
More importantly, the cashless nature of MyKasih’s programme minimises food wastage and removes the health and safety risks borne by social workers and volunteers who will otherwise have to procure, pack and deliver food aid to the beneficiaries.
A MyKad-based system also means that charity funds are delivered in a targeted and cashless manner directly to rightful recipients.
The system has controls in place which tracks the funds in terms of how these are being used. It also provides the necessary audit trails for governance.
A barcode feature ensures that only approved items are purchased, thereby eliminating potential abuses.
The SamaBantu.my project has since raised more than RM30,000 and is currently supporting 34 displaced workers and their families.
The project is expected to run for six months and may be extended if needed, with sufficient funding support.
It was initiated under past RCKLDR president Zed Zariman Zulkifli, who said, “SamaBantu.my is a very efficient platform. We call upon the more fortunate to join us in helping those who are less so.”
MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri said using digital platforms to do good deeds was an important part of the digital economy.
MyKasih Foundation is a charity organisation (www.mykasih.com) that aims to help underprivileged Malaysians through food aid and education.
Donations can be made via the samabantu.my website.