A Little Help In Times Of Trouble

It looked like Chinese New Year was going to be a sombre affair for 67-year-old Chu Boy Ming and her family.

With her son – a construction worker and sole breadwinner in the family – having his income reduced due to the current pandemic situation, Chu had resigned herself to not being able to make CNY goodies, and having a modest reunion dinner at most.

But Carlsberg Malaysia in partnership with Star Foundation and MyKasih Foundation rolled out the Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow food aid initiative to support 400 needy families nationwide amid current trying times.

Carlsberg Malaysia and Star Foundation channelled RM200,000 to MyKasih Foundation which distributed RM500 each to these families in time for the Chinese New Year celebration.

“I’m happy that they are helping people, ” said a grateful Chu who was among the recipients.

With the money, she bought foodstuff for the Chinese New Year. “Sugar to make huat kueh for prayers, ” she said, “and cooking oil to fry ngaku (arrowhead) chips.”

The rest of the money was for provisions to keep the family going. Chu joined fellow recipients who turned up at participating retailers in their area and she bought approved essential items such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, biscuits, Milo and eggs.

Klang beneficiaries with their groceries just in time for Chinese New Year celebrations.

Klang beneficiaries with their groceries just in time for Chinese New Year celebrations.

Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Stefano Clini said the company was sensitive to the current sentiment and rolled out its Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow food aid campaign to add some festive cheer for Chinese New Year celebrants, and to tide the rest over.

Star Foundation and Star Media Group chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said that to rebuild the economy and restore the people’s livelihood following the second movement control restriction would take “a whole-of-society effort whereby everyone can play a part to support one another.”

Goh Gek Keow, 75, who lives with her two children, did not expect to receive RM500 from this campaign.

“She usually got RM100 or RM200 from other NGOs and benefactors previously. So getting a RM500 allowance from Carlsberg was a real delight, ” said her son Low Beng Kiat.

The part-time real estate worker said that since the movement control order was enforced, his commission-based income has been inconsistent, so the RM500 came in handy.

While the food aid campaign focused mainly on underprivileged families, orphans, single-parent families and those with disabled family members, recipients were also selected based on their monthly household income of less than RM2,500.

Single mother Kanniyakumari Darbadas, 37, who has two of her four children living with her received the RM500 one-time payment but she wished that it could be a monthly allowance.

“Thank you so much. If I can have this monthly, I can feed my children, ” she said.

Her neighbour Karthiyaani Ramalingam shared that Kanniyakumar is prone to seizures and thus unable to work.

“When she is unwell, her children would run over to find me. The houses here are far apart, but I’m the nearest, ” said Karthiyaani, 39.

“Normally she would be given RM300 from welfare agencies and she used the money to pay the bills and feed her children.

“Now with Covid-19, her children in primary school are having trouble with their studies. The school has asked Kanniyakumari to buy a laptop. Where to find the money?

“So her children have not been studying for more than a year, ” said Karthiyaani.

Bringing festive cheer to the needy

PETALING JAYA: Gift-giving is a practice that is very much a part of Chinese New Year as a way to convey good wishes in the coming year.

Amid current trying times, Carlsberg Malaysia is partnering with Star Foundation and MyKasih Foundation to support 400 needy families nationwide via the “Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow” food aid initiative.

Under this initiative, Carlsberg and Star Foundation will channel RM200,000 to MyKasih Foundation which will distribute RM500 each to these families in time for the Chinese New Year celebration.

This programme is part of Carlsberg’s RM1mil pledge with five media organisations to reach out to Malaysians nationwide.

“We understand that many Malaysians are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the floods in several states.

“As we remain hopeful for the new year, we are sensitive to the current sentiment and subsequently rolled out Carlsberg’s ‘Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow’ food aid campaign.

“We hope that with RM1mil worth of food essentials to 2,000 families, whose livelihoods have been impacted, they can celebrate while keeping it moderate, ” said Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Stefano Clini.

Recipients will be selected based on their monthly household income of less than RM2,500.

The focus is on underprivileged families, orphans, single-parent families and those with disabled family members.

“With the second movement control order upon us, efforts to rebuild our economy and livelihoods of the people are once again taking a hit.

“From our media interactions with Malaysians at large, many are trying hard to adapt to the new normal, but it is often the vulnerable who are left behind with little means to survive, ” said Star Foundation and Star Media Group chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.

“Helping fellow Malaysians takes a whole-of-society effort, where everyone can play a part to support one another.

“To this end, we would like to thank Carlsberg for initiating this project and inviting Star Foundation and MyKasih to be part of this noble cause. Together, we will help reduce the burden of needy families through the provision of essential supplies, ” he added.

Fu said this complements Star Foundation’s ongoing efforts, from supporting non-profit organisations and medical frontliners to funding surgeries for ill children.

“We will continue to respond to the needs of the people where possible, ” he said.

With people’s movements restricted, MyKasih Foundation’s unique cashless aid distribution will enable funds to be channelled directly to selected recipients via their MyKad accounts in a secure, targeted and transparent manner.

Recipients can then spend the allowance to purchase approved essential items at participating outlets near their locations, thereby adhering to the standard operating procedure and safeguarding beneficiaries and volunteers against the risk of Covid-19 infection.

“The struggles of B40 families never seem to end with the ongoing pandemic and floods in some states, and many are appealing for aid.

“By providing assurance of food on their tables, families can focus on other pressing needs including children’s schooling and earning a living, ” said MyKasih Foundation chairman and co-founder Tan Sri Dr Ngau Boon Keat.

Another initiative that Carlsberg is running is the Carlsberg-Huazong Education Fund which will be giving out RM1mil in bursary to support 333 Malaysians in their pursuit of education, while also offering waivers to beneficiaries of the Fund facing financial difficulties in loan repayment.

Those interested may apply via Huazong at www.huazong.my from Feb 1-12.