KUCHING: Carlsberg Malaysia together with The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News of the See Hua Group brought joy to 160 needy families here facing challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent floods in Sarawak.
Through Carlsberg’s ‘Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow’ Food Aid Campaign, the families received much-needed provision of essential supplies to help reduce their daily burdens.
Septuagenarian Hwong Lai Hiong was very thankful for the food aid as her income was from selling local cakes she makes herself, apart from some support from her youngest son, who is living with her.
“I am already old, 74-years-old, and I live with my youngest son at Poh Kwong Park. My two other children are married and living with their own family.
“Although my youngest is working, he earns barely enough, so sometimes I make some ‘kuih’ to sell. Even my other two children are also barely earning enough just to support their own family,”
she said after receiving her RM500 food aid at CityONE Megamall here on Feb 4.
Hwong thanked Carlsberg Malaysia, The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News for going the extra mile to help needy families in Sarawak.
Carlsberg Malaysia last month pledged RM1 million through ‘Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow’ food aid campaign to help 2,000 underprivileged Malaysians weather challenging times this Chinese New Year (CNY) season.
On top of that, Carlsberg Malaysia also pledged another RM1 million Carlsberg-Huazong Education Fund to aid 333 Malaysian tertiary students to continue their studies.
Carlsberg believes that every Malaysian should have equal access to education, and its partnership with The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) for the one-off RM3,000 education aid to each successful applicant. Meanwhile, Ho Choon Mai, 50, the single mother of two children, said it has been difficult to make ends meet, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
“We could not afford to rent our own house, so we together with Hwong are renting a house in Poh Kong Park together,” said the general worker.
Ho appreciated the aid from corporate bodies and for being mindful of the needy people like her family.
For Simah Jawie, 72, the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic was made worse recently by the flood in Tabuan Dayak, where she lives.
“During the flood (on Jan 13), water was almost up to my chest in the house. Everything below that level was destroyed. The television, refrigerator, and furniture – all ruined,” she said.
Simah said she and her daughter’s family and relatives had to find refuge at a relative’s house nearby for four days while waiting for the flood to subside.
“Even after that we still could not move back to our houses because of the damage caused by the flood,” she said.
But with Carlsberg Malaysia together with The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News stepping in to offer some aid, Simah said the financial burden on her and her daughter’s family were made more manageable.
On top of the food essentials, each recipient also received RM300 food aid in cash to weather the current situation, she added.
“We are truly very grateful for all the aid by these corporations,” said Simah.
Land surveyor for a private firm, Reckinil Iran, said life has been hard since the Movement Control Order (MCO).
He too was a victim of the flood at Tabuan Dayak where he was staying in a rented house with his older sister.
“I’m earning a little over RM1,000 a month. My sister is a general worker at a developer company in Tabuan Jaya, also not earning much. We are footing the house rent together.
“Now that we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the recent flood had ruined a lot of our belongings in the house,
managing our finances has become much more challenging,” said the 60-year-old.
Nonetheless, he said, the caring gesture from Carlsberg, The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News would help him and his sister.
Car air-conditioning repairman Matthaus Peter, 56, also suffered from the Tabuan Dayak flood as his house which is also his workshop was waist-deep in water during the Jan 13 flood.
To make matters worse, the Covid-19 pandemic had reduced his income by more than half per month as he had less customers due to the various movement control orders and standard operating procedures (SOP).
“I think the effort by these corporations are very helpful. I think other bodies should emulate them.
“Give out immediate aid that are most needed like food or essentials – just like what Carlsberg, and
The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News are doing,” said Matthaus.
Families facing hard times find cheer for tomorrow
SIBU: Lorry driver, Gerinsa Panting, 40, has been struggling to make ends meet for his family, especially since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced here to stem the Covid-19 pandemic.
The father of three said although he could still keep his job as a lorry driver, he constantly worry about not providing enough for his family due to the worsening economy.
He revealed that he had to give up his second job as an e-hailing driver recently as he was concerned about his family’s safety following the surge in Covid-19 cases here.
“Everything is getting expensive because of the bad economy. I only earn RM1,800 every month and it is never enough.
“I became a Grab car driver after my day job, and I could earn between RM20 and RM30 a night. Because of the MCO I have to stop being Grab car driver. I am also worried about my safety and that of my family,” he said.
In this respect, Gerinsa thanked Carlsberg Malaysia for the ‘Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow’ Food Aid Campaign as it helped him to get by these trying times.
Gerinsa admitted that he constantly worry that he might lose his job one day if the situation does not improve.
“So far, I do not have a pay cut and I am still getting my Chinese New Year (CNY) bonus. However, I cannot say that my job is not affected, it is affected by the outbreak in some way. There are less things to be delivered,” he said.
Gerinsa, who is from Nanga Tada, said he could not go back to his longhouse as his longhouse is currently under lockdown.
He said he is also worried about his father at the longhouse.
“I always worried about him. I used to go back every week but now it has been a month since I last went back,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chan Siok Boi, 65, who worked as a dish washer at a coffee shop, said she lost a monthly income of RM800 because of the MCO.
“The coffee shop is still open, but the boss doesn’t need my service as he only do takeaway business,” she said.
Chan, who is staying alone at a rented room in Merlin Road, said she did not know how to get by without an income.
She said she paid RM175 for rent inclusive of water and electricity bills.
“I tried to save as best I could. I think I spend about RM200 every month on my daily expenses,” she said.
Ling Kah Sii, 50, thanked Carlsberg for the food aid. He said as a stroke survivor, he had been dependent on his older sister Ling Yen Ping in terms of getting his meals.
He said he travelled to his sister’s home every day by bus for his daily meal.
“I would take a bus in the morning to go her place. Then about 12 noon, after my lunch, and once I packed my dinner, I take another bus to go home,” he said.
He added that he received monthly financial aid from the government.
Ling, who lives alone at Jalan Indah, said that he applied for the food aid at the last minute with his sister’s help and they managed to submit the application on time.
Street sweeper, Ting Sing Ung, 45, is glad to have the food aid especially during this festive season.
“I am definitely happy with this, thanks Carlsberg for this great gift,” he said, adding that he earned RM1,000 every month.
He said he and his wife, who is also a street sweeper, supported the family by being very careful in their spending.
They have three children all are still schooling.
Twelve members of the Sarawak Society for the Blind (SSB) Sibu Division were also selected to receive the food aid from Carlsberg, which partnered with The Borneo Post and See Hua Daily News in the charity programme.
Almost all of them had lost their income when their massage business could not operate due to the MCO.
A member, Yap Chong Yap, 45, praised Carlsberg for the initiative to help those in need at this difficult time.
“Especially for the blind society in Sibu, some of the members like myself really benefit from it,” he said.
Yap, who has a massage centre of his own, said despite having no income, he still has to pay rent and he was thankful that the landlord was kind enough to allow him to pay half of the rent.
Meanwhile, SSB Sibu branch treasurer Ling Jai Lee said the society gave a RM100 food voucher to its members every month.
“This is our practice for many years, and it is made possible by the contribution from the society. If there are people giving food to the centre, all those food will be distributed fairly to all members,” he said.
For the food aid from Carlsberg, he said only 12 members would be receiving the aid.
Campaign lends helping hand to the needy
MIRI: A total of 160 needy people here have benefited from the Carlsberg ‘Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow’ Food Aid Campaign.
They received their aid on Monday through four non-governmental organisations, namely, Miri City Women Caring Association, Miri Ability Service Association, Tudan Methodist Church Miri and Malaysian Red Crescent Miri Chapter’s Sunflower Centre.
A 51-year-old widow Payah Sawang thanked Carlsberg Malaysia for the food aid contribution to her family through Malaysia Red Crescent (MRC) Sunflower Centre.
The mother of four, who lives at Pujut Tanjong Batu, said her husband had died from an illness in September last year.
“Although life has not been easy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I am grateful that my three working children have supported me,” she said.
Her youngest son, a 16-year-old, has Down syndrome and is currently undergoing training at the Sunflower Centre, which was set up for children with special needs.
Another recipient Chang Chiang Leng, 62, from Lutong Baru said the aid would help ease his economic burden.
The retiree, who enjoys doing voluntary work with a church here, also sends his daughter for training at the Sunflower Centre.
“A big ‘thank you’ to the organiser for the generosity to bless the families of children with special needs under this Sunflower Centre by giving help and donations,” he said.
Widow, Inyam Bawok, 68, was grateful that there were people caring enough to send the food aid.
Living with her children at Permyjaya’s quadruplex flat, she said the contribution was very meaningful for her family.
To supplement her family’s living, she sells vegetables that she planted to her neighbours and although the income is very little, she was happy to be able assist her children.
A full time, 25-year-old house wife, Serah Pandau, from a longhouse at Sungai Arang in Marudi, was very delighted with the food aid contribution that she received at Tudan Methodist Church.
The mother of a five- year-old daughter said her husband was doing odd jobs with an unstable income.
They are currently renting a house in Tudan with the rental fee of RM230 a month.
“My husband is a contract worker. He is paid based on the job available for him on that day,” she said.
Another 23-year-old full time housewife, Elmy Asita Adam, said her husband faced difficulties in earning an income by doing house repairing works throughout the current Covid-19 pandemic period.
While facing the hardship of life, she was grateful that there were many caring people who came forward to assist the needy people, particularly those who had lost jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.