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by Nancy Nais
KUCHING, May 6: Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and Sime Darby Industrial (SDI) Sdn Bhd have committed a total of RM100,100 in food baskets to underprivileged families in this division which is currently a Covid-19 red zone.
Called the Covid-19 Relief, the programme will see needy households from Padungan, Pending, Batu Lintang, Batu Kitang, Batu Kawah, Kota Sentosa, Samariang, Satok and Kampung Kudei receiving dry and packed food items.
Through a collaboration with Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian, which will assist to deliver the items, recipients will also receive hygiene kits.
SDI Head of Sarawak Operations Andy Wong Yew Kuok said the initiative aims to lighten the burden of the families as the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on their sources of income.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world. In Malaysia, and specifically in Sarawak, lives have been lost and the livelihood of many families have been affected.
“SDI is honoured to be working alongside Yayasan Sime Darby on this project, which is one of various forms of assistance we are undertaking as part of a collective effort by companies under the Sime Darby Berhad Covid-19 Relief Project, to help ease some of the burden on our communities,” Wong said at a press conference today.
The federation, led by its president Datuk Richard Wee said recipients will be based on a list generated with Sarawak Social Welfare Department which has identified the families as poor and hardcore poor.
“We launched the Covid-19 pandemic aid programme at the beginning of the outbreak. The setting up of this Crisis Aid Assistance sub-committee is to provide the necessary assistance to frontliners such as medical workers, police personnel, firefighters and all the volunteers involved in all the related activities.
“Subsequently, we received requests from government agencies and NGOs to also look into the requirements of the community during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period. Hence, we started our appeal to the general public, business sectors and individuals for contributions in food and donations; and we have received an overwhelming response.
“This is a milestone to have one of the biggest companies to join the cause and we sincerely appreciate YSD and SDI for coming forward to contribute to this programme,” Wee said.
YSD chief executive officer Dr Yatela Zainal Abidin noted that this would be its largest Covid-19 response initiative for the underprivileged in Sarawak so far.
“At YSD, we always set our sights on those who need our assistance the most, especially vulnerable individuals and communities. We are grateful for the federation which has identified the families that need a helping hand during these difficult times, and for helping us distribute the assistance on the ground. We would also not have been able to carry out our Covid-19 relief initiatives without the support of SDI, which donates to YSD through Sime Darby Berhad, a YSD donor company along with Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd,” Yatela disclosed in a statement.
Meanwhile, YSD has so far committed almost RM6 million towards more than 30 Covid-19 Emergency Response Initiatives to support efforts that address the immediate needs of individuals and communities impacted by the pandemic.
The funds were used to support medical providers and frontliners; vulnerable communities such as B40 households, Orang Asli communities, people with disabilities, public university students; a wildlife conservation centre, as well as underprivileged employees of Sime Darby Berhad and Sime Darby Property Berhad. — DayakDaily