SEPANG: A Japanese F1 fan was in tears when she saw Malaysian Red Crescent Society members carrying donation boxes to raise funds to help victims of the recent tsunami and earthquake in her country.
Recapping the incident, MRCS communications manager Suhana Mohamed Salleh said: “She gave my colleague a tight hug, donated RM50 and expressed her thanks for our help.”
The MRCS is using “F1 power” to collect donations for its International Relief Fund for Japan from racing fans at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) here over the weekend.
“We hope to collect at least RM100,000. Response has been encouraging with many foreigners donating as well,” Suhana said, adding that the red-shirt MRCS staff would be going around with donation boxes during the Petronas Malaysia F1 Grand Prix.
The international campaign that runs until June has already collected US$1mil (RM3mil), which has been sent to the Japan Red Crescent Society. The donations are to be used in rescue and relief efforts, as well as for shelter, medical assistance and rehabilitation programmes for the tsunami and quake victims.
SIC chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said there would be a one-minute silence in memory of the victims during the drivers' parade today. A big flag reading “We Pray For Japan” would also be displayed.
Meanwhile, the Japanese F1 media volunteer group has called for international support for the victims.
“Formula One has the power,” said group spokesman Akai Kunihiko, adding that funds would be raised from various quarters, including teams and drivers.
Kunihiko said the group had the support of the International Automobile Association, the Grand Prix Drivers Association and the F1 Management and F1 Teams Association.
MRCS said donors could pitch in via the MCRS Maybank account: 5144-2210-2657 or visit www.redcrescent.org.my.