Over RM75,000 collected for maestro Ooi Eow Jin at fundraiser

PETALING JAYA: About RM77,000 was collected at a fundraiser to aid ailing composer Datuk Ooi Eow Jin and his family.

The event, organised by veteran singer Datuk Zainal Abidin and held on Jan 30 at Tapas Bar La Bodega Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur, saw overwhelming support from the public.

"The venue could only fit about 200 people – about 400 to 500 people showed up! Some of them couldn't even come in but they wanted to show their support and donate. That's the beauty of Malaysians," said the 58-year-old Zainal.

"Some who didn't have the cash to donate – like the staff of La Bodega – came to work on their off day for free to show their support," he added.

The La Bodega-Zainal Abidin Live From The Heart show saw the Hijau hitmaker giving a performance.

An auction was also held, with items sponsored by corporate bodies as well as vinyl and merchandise from Zainal going on the block.

Ooi, 80, came into the spotlight after a social media post about his wife, Datin Elaine Khaw, 78, selling Chinese New Year cookies went viral.

Besides her husband, she also has to care for their 54-year-old son Raymond, who is bedridden with a brain tumour.

"As musicians, we've bumped into each other while doing shows. But this isn't about that whether we know each other, this is about being a human being.

"I'm glad we were able to pass the funds to Datuk Ooi and his family yesterday (Feb 12), just in time for Chinese New Year," said Zainal.