Lifting the spirit with a smile


Candid shot: Yap Bei Ying, six, making a smiley gesture as part of the ‘Senyum Malaysia’ campaign.

KUALA LUMPUR: Various quarters are coming up with their own initiatives to put a smile on the faces of Malaysians as the country prepares the countdown to celebrate its 64th National Day come Aug 31.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, grand and colourful events such as the customary parade will be downscaled but it should not be the reason to dampen the celebratory mood and patriotic spirit.

As the people continue to take pride in the historic occasion by flying the Jalur Gemilang, Vanke Malaysia initiated a campaign with the hope to spread more smiles during these challenging times.

Aptly named “Senyum Malaysia”, it has one core aim – to represent the spirit of togetherness and bring joy to the people.

Its managing director Lang Cong said the campaign would proceed until Sept 8 with a goal to collect 1,000 photos of smiling Malaysians with their face masks and a unique hand gesture.

“The global health crisis has been a sobering experience with many facing challenges.

“We see the need to come together as a community to help each other weather the storm,” he said.

Lang hopes the initiative can also serve as an encouragement to uplift the spirit and spread positivity, especially among the frontliners who are working tirelessly in the fight against the pandemic.

With every photo collected, he said the company would donate RM10, on behalf of the participants, to Mercy Malaysia to support the activities of NGOs in providing medical relief, sustainable health-related development and risk-reduction activities for vulnerable communities.

Over at Capitol Cafe in Bukit Bintang, the kopitiam in the heart of the city will be promoting Ketupat Merdeka and Nasi Lemak M-Keluarga to unite the people through tasty local specialties.

Its proprietor Datuk Seri Koh Yock Heng said despite dine-in being allowed at the outlet, many people still prefer to adopt a “wait and see” approach due to the high number of Covid-19 cases.

“Food is still the unifying factor to help spread the message of togetherness in the Malaysian family.

“We are truly a melting pot and an example of unity in diversity,” he said.

Koh said to ensure people continued to stay safe, their staff could deliver ketupat sets complete with rendang chicken in a unique bamboo basket to liven up their customers’ National Day mood as they savour the dish in the comfort of their homes.

“We hope people can still enjoy the local delicacies and share the joy and laughter amid the pandemic,” he said.

In Sepang, WCT Malls Management launched “Adopt a Bento” meal donation drive to enable the people to show their appreciation to medical frontliners through a RM10 lunch box along with personalised messages.

Its CEO Selena Chua said shoppers could write down “Thank You” messages on a special card, attached to the lunch box, for the recipients.

Chua said the campaign was aimed at thanking overwhelmed frontliners who have been working relentlessly daily in the battle against Covid-19.

At Port Dickson, Lexis Hotel Group is looking forward to welcoming fully-vaccinated guests with relaxed SOP for intrastate travel under the Merdeka Staycation promotions, available until Sept 30.

Separately, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), in collaboration with Twitter Inc, has created a special emoji on Twitter that could be used to enliven the atmosphere.

MCMC said the move was part of the Caring Malaysia initiative in conjunction with this year’s National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations.

“The special emoji developed for free can be used as one of the ways to express the feeling and spirit of love for the country, and is suitable to be used with the hashtags #MalaysiaPrihatin, #MalaysiaMerdeka, #MenangBersama and #HariMalaysia,” it said in a statement.

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