PETALING JAYA: She helped an old man meet his medical needs, he looked after a homeless friend until his death, and they were teenagers who turned midwives outside a mall.
Another group put their lives in danger to rescue children caught in an earthquake.
They and others like them did all this without a thought for colour or creed and without any expectation of reward or recognition.
But these unsung everyday heroes were honoured at a ceremony at Menara Star yesterday by the Star Media Group and Star Foundation at the inaugural Star Golden Hearts Award.
Star Media Group and Star Foundation chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said the award was a recognition to those who performed various acts of humanity and exemplified the true Malaysian spirit.
“The winners were selected based on the recipients’ sincere efforts in helping those who are in need, irrespective of their race, religion or colour.
“The Star, as a news organisation that believes in moderation, recognises that these activities go a long way in inspiring more Malaysians and companies to promote such acts,” he said in his opening remarks at the award presentation ceremony.
Ten awards were given out yesterday to individuals and groups. (See accompanying chart for full list.)
Richard Soibi and Junaydie Sihan of the Mount Kinabalu Guides Association (Pemangkina), who were involved in the search and rescue efforts during the earthquake in Sabah, received the award on behalf of all the guides and staff. Pemangkina received RM30,000 from the Star Foundation.
Also hailed for their heroic efforts were Mastura M. Rashid, founder of the Nasi Lemak Project for the homeless and teenagers Shirley Lee, Farhana Mohd Fadzli, Wee Tai May and Wong Hui Yu who went from ordinary citizens to young heroes when they helped deliver the baby of a woman who went into labour outside the Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall here.
The four, aged 15 to 19, were recognised by the awards committee for their courage and quick thinking in the emergency.
The other recipients of the award included R. Rajagopal, who selflessly took care of his friend, Low Saw Piow, by providing food and shelter when the latter found himself homeless.
The recipients received RM2,000, a certificate and a trophy.
Eco World Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who chaired the panel of judges, said the award was aimed at realising a caring nation.
“On behalf of the judges’ panel, I would like to congratulate the recipients for taking steps to help someone in need and extending help to strangers from different ethnic backgrounds.
“These individuals have one thing in common – they put their heart and soul into something they believe in, expecting nothing in return. And now, we honour them for being an everyday hero,” he said.