PETALING JAYA:The practice of helping fellow Malaysians regardless of their race and religion should be celebrated, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
He cited the surau in Penang which opened its door to non-Muslims to provide shelter during the recent floods as an example of this goodness.
“Every act of kindness, no matter how small, is definitely a step towards a better and brighter Malaysia for us,” said Kurup, who added that The Star Golden Hearts Award was also the perfect example of this.
He said it warms his heart to see corporate organisations take on a more fervent role in championing peace and moderation.
“This stance is one which will contribute towards a Malaysia we can all be proud to belong to, and be a part of,” said Kurup at the award presentation ceremony, held at Menara Star.
The Award, now in its third year, is a joint effort coordinated by the charitable arm of Star Media Group – Star Foundation – and supported by Yayasan Gamuda.
A total of 10 awards were given out to Malaysian heroes from all walks of life, be they individuals or groups, who built bridges between communities and fostered racial harmony and unity.
“Your noble efforts are an inspiration for all of us and propel us to take action, Kurup said.
He congratulated the winners, who each received a trophy and RM5,000 during the ceremony: “Thank you for all that you’ve done. Our best days are truly ahead of us.”
The recipient of the Star-Gamuda Inspiration Award, chosen from the pool of winners, also received an extra RM50,000.
According to Gamuda Engineering managing director Datuk Ubull Din Om, Gamuda’s success is based on value creation and people empowerment through education and economic opportunities.
“This is why we are honoured to present this year’s Star-Gamuda Inspiration Award to Barefoot Mercy, an organisation that has been tirelessly working to uplift the livelihood of rural communities in Sarawak by improving access to education and commerce.
“To us, their efforts resonate with our goal to invest in community-building by addressing societal challenges through our philanthropic arm, Yayasan Gamuda, where we aspire to support communities secure better quality of life through opportunities in education, economic participation and a better environment,” he added.
The other recipients were Anja Juliah Abu Bakar, Sashitharaan Maraighanasambanthan, the Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association, Kuan Chee Heng, Isak Ngau, Gnanasuntharavalli Sathasivam, Yayasan Kajian dan Pembangunan Masyarakat, Oon Thoo Seen and Tan Yee Mei.
Also present at the ceremony were Star Media Group chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, businessman and moderation advocate Anas Zubedy, and social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.