Kuching fest raises nearly RM22,000 for charity

CHARITABLE CAUSE: Chan (right) presents a cheque to Houston Law the chairman of Green Ribbon Association Kuching as (from second right) Wong and Taufik look on.

KUCHING: The almost 300 stall owners at the 2011 Kuching Festival in Padungan here are commended for their charitable efforts and social awareness, after a total of RM21,444 was raised as part of Kuching South City Council’s (MBKS) charity campaigns.

With about 445,000 visitors to the festival recorded so far, businesses appear to be booming for participants of the month-long fest. It is only right that the businesses give something back to the society as part of their social responsibilities.

At the ‘MBKS 2011 Kuching Festival Charity Night’ on Monday, seven charitable bodies and homes here benefited from the funds raised.

Also present were Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, who is also minister-in-charge of MBKS, and the festival organising chairman Taufik Ghani.

Green Ribbon Association of Kuching, which provides aid for destitute people received RM1,000 while Che Hia Khor Moral Uplifting Society Sarawak received RM2,000. Sarawak Breast Cancer Support Group, Sarawak Women for Women Society, Carnation Club of Kuching-Samarahan and Buddhist Tzu Chi Merit Society, Malaysia received RM3,000 each.

The remaining RM6,444 was given to Sarawak Hun Nam Siang T’ng a charitable body that provides assistance to poor people. In addition, Green Ribbon Association was also given 10 bags of rice courtesy of Lian Hua Seng Sdn Bhd.

MBKS mayor James Chan had this to say at the charity event: “The last three years have been a challenging period for most Kuchingnites. Many households went through job loss and financial difficulties as a result of the economic crisis. The responsibilities of welfare organisations increased substantially in order to provide adequate care and services to their beneficiaries.

“The economic downturn has also affected fund raising efforts undertaken by welfare organisations. Some experienced a dip in the funds raised, as workers faced possible pay freezes, retrenchments and no bonuses.”

He added that MBKS charity drive was aimed at educating not only the stall owners but also the public on the caring and sharing spirit.

Wong, in his speech earlier, talked about the importance for a community to identify the needs of the people in their midst. To create a more passionate neighbourhood, the Bawang Assan assemblyman identified the needs to have a higher level of identity and spirit as the key values.

“A community must be able to enhance mutual self help among its members. All must be willing to participate in community projects apart from remembering the less fortunate people,” he added.

Wong later proceeded to present the funds raised and prizes to winners of the festival’s most beautiful stalls.

Winner of the ‘double-stall’ category went to Ajiten Ramen Restaurant Sdn Bhd while the ‘single-stall’ category went to Lim Chuan Chan of (stall No 68). In the ‘half-stall’ category, Lim Hao Boon (stall No 34A) took first prize.

For the Home Garden and Landscape awards, Tan Thien Siang won for the Detached House category while Alexander Chin took first place in the Semi-Detached category. Bong Joon Hin and Yeo Kwang Chung won for the Corner Terraced and Intermediate Terraced category respectively.

Kuching Festival has been listed in the Sarawak Tourism Calendar. This year, some 54,235 visitors came on the first day.

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