PETALING JAYA: A group of refugees has gathered to cook for the Ampang Hospital medical workers who are in the frontlines of the fight against the Covid-19 disease.
The refugees, who are from Syria, Palestine, Yemen and Iraq, are doing so as a way of thanking the frontliners.
The food for 20 people will be delivered to the hospital from Monday (March 23) until March 31, with a different chef everyday for 10 days.
The initiative is a collaboration between the Al-Hasan Volunteer Network and Beyond Borders Malaysia.
The Al-Hasan Volunteer Network is made up of refugees while Beyond Borders Malaysia is a refugee rights non-government organisation.
On Monday, Palestinian Eman Mfleh, 62, got the initiative rolling by cooking fried noodles for the staff.
She has been in Malaysia together with her husband, daughter and four grandchildren for the past five years. Her son died in the war in Syria.
"This is an opportunity for me to give back to Malaysia who have welcomed us warmly. We love this country and the people.
"The doctors, nurses and everyone in hospitals are doing so much hard work to keep us safe. This is the least we can do for them," Eman told the Star.
Beyond Borders founder Mahi Ramakrishnan said the refugees were using their own pocket money to prepare the food for the medical staff.
"It's their way of contributing back to the country and society. They also want to show their gratitude and appreciation to the medical workers who are putting their lives at risk for us," she said.
Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol and lacks a legal or administrative framework regulating the status and rights of refugees in Malaysia.
Considered to be undocumented immigrants under the Malaysian Immigration Act, refugees here are at risk of arrest, detention and deportation.
As of February this year, there are 178,990 refugees and asylum seekers registered with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia.