Malaysians respond to flood relief call


Hard at work: Penang Firefly Airlines staff arranging the items that will be sent to flood victims in the east coast at Penang International Airport.

Hard at work: Penang Firefly Airlines staff arranging the items that will be sent to flood victims in the east coast at Penang International Airport.

PETALING JAYA: After their routine family morning jog, Syafik Raj Kumar Abdullah, 44, took his wife and three children shopping.

Then they drove straight from Serdang to Menara Star here to offload the items they had bought – all for the victims of the massive flood in the east coast and elsewhere in the country.

“We are donating bags of rice, sugar and instant noodles, and bottles of mineral water. It is the least we can do for the flood victims,” he said.

Syafik and his family were among the stream of donors who turned up at the Menara Star lobby to make their contribution to the flood relief fund organised by The Star, in collaboration with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) and Firefly.

The donation drive received an encouraging response on the first day of its launch.

Among the first to show up when the centre opened yesterday was Dr Ashwini Nair, 29, who read of the relief fund from The Star Online on Friday.

“I packed two large boxes with biscuits, Milo, sardines and chocolates, along with two bags of diapers,” she said.

Patrick Emmanuel, 65, from Damansara Kim, donated two bags each of rice, sugar, milk powder, instant coffee and tea mixes, and instant noodles, along with two 10-litre bottles of water.

Lawrence Khoo from Shah Alam brought bags of dried food, towels and other essentials for the victims, besides writing a cheque for the MRCS.

The collection is from 9.30am to 5.30pm daily at Menara Star at Phileo Damansara 2, Jalan 16/11 here.

Other collection centres are at the Firefly Biz Lounge in Skypark Subang Terminal and Firefly airport ticketing centres at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Baru and the Penang International Airport.

The victims urgently need mats, blankets, towels, diapers, sanitary pads, cooking oil, bottled water, milk powder, sugar, rice and canned food. Donors are advised to label the boxes or bags of the items in the boxes that they drop off at the collection centres.

Cheques and bank drafts should be addressed to “Malaysian Red Crescent Society” and marked “The Star-MRCS-Firefly Relief Fund” on the back or bank transfers to Malaysian Red Crescent Society Maybank account 5144-2210-7228.

For updates on The Star’s collection centre and the relief fund, log on to www.thestar.com.my.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross Society of China has donated US$100,000 (RM339,160) to help in the flood relief efforts.

A cheque was handed over to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) by China Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang yesterday.

Huang said the money was a token of sympathy to the people affected by the flood, especially those in the east coast states.

“China is also a country with a lot of disasters and hardship.

“We have a good relationship with Malaysia and we share not just our friendship, but also the hardship.

“We want Malaysians to know that they will never be alone,” he added.

The embassy had earlier donated RM50,000 worth of foodstuff, including rice and cooking oil, for the flood relief efforts in Kelantan and Terengganu.

MRCS chairman Tunku Shahriman Tunku Sulaiman thanked the Red Cross Society of China and the China embassy for their contributions.

He said more than 300 volunteers had been sent to the flood-hit areas in the east coast states since the society activated its flood relief operations on Dec 19.

The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong) and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) have also stepped forward to join in the flood relief efforts.

Hua Zong president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah said the association would pull together the resources from other Chinese-based organisations to help the victims, adding that he would join the relief work once he returned from Tianjin, China, soon.

ACCCIM vice-president Tan Sri Lam Kam Sang said the organisation had set up a committee for the flood relief operation. The committee, led by its deputy president Datuk Ter Leong Yap, would raise funds and resources for the flood victims.

ACCCIM has donated RM100,000 to the fund and collected RM180,000 from the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, RM30,000 from the Pahang Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and RM190,000 from other constituent chambers as well as Good Samaritans.

Related Story:

DPM wants review of SOP on disaster management

It was golf diplomacy, says PM

Desperate victims turn to looting supermarkets

RM500m to help flood victims

Neighbours come to home-alone grandma’s aid

Firefly Airlines goes all out to despatch aid

160,000 evacuees to date

Victims have no choice but to sleep in vehicles

Students make mad rush for airport

Two previous floods recorded more victims