OCBC Bank rallies support for second round of RM165,500 aid for 3,600 B40 individuals in Keningau & Klang Valley PPRs
The 3,600 individuals from 688 B40 families in the hard-hit areas of Sook, Keningau (Sabah) and the Klang Valley – who received RM165,500 in aid in November last year from OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (OCBC Bank) and Kim Loong Resources Berhad – have begun receiving a second round of similar support for the next few months as well.
The second round of household essentials worth RM165,500, and totalling RM331,000 since the programme began, will tide the communities through the next two months as they struggle with the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and help the women now focus even greater attention on rebuilding their livelihoods.
Of the RM165,500 a total of RM113,000 came from OCBC Bank and its CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin, while the remainder was from Kim Loong Resources and several other corporations including Bentley Music Academy Sdn Bhd, Bentley Music Sdn Bhd and Binastra Land Sdn Bhd.
Women of Sook, Keningau giving their two thumbs up as a sign of appreciation after receiving the Phase Two food aid through the efforts of OCBC Bank and Women of Will.
Local NGO Women of Will (WOW), which has been working with the communities for several years now, is spearheading the second phase of the effort as well.
According to WOW, the unprecedented second round of Covid-19 support through OCBC Bank and the other organisations will ensure the momentum gained from the first round of contributions is used to full effect for helping the women of the community gradually rebuild their lives and not be left behind.
A total of 1,900 individuals in the Klang Valley and 1,700 in Keningau are set to benefit from this exercise.
In the Klang Valley, these include individuals from hard-hit Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPRs) in areas like Ukay Indah, Ampang, Batu Muda, Sentul, Cheras, Keramat Pangsa, Lembah Subang, PJ, Jinjang, Seri Alam, Batu Muda, Sentul and Batu Caves.
In Keningau, the beneficiaries are from Tulid, Maatol, Mototou, Kebulu, Alab Lanas, Kuit, Lanas Stesen, Pinipi, Kilo, Mampisas, Bunang Ulu, Seri Menanti, Lalapakon, Menggarimot, Mansiat and Seselungon.
The essential items delivered to the households include rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, milk powder, milk creamer, Milo, tea, biscuits, groundnuts, dried chili, red onions, garlic, potatoes, eggs, sardines, soap and detergent.
Speaking for WOW, President Datin Wira Goh Suet Lan said the latest round of support was critical for ensuring the rebuilding efforts of the community do not go off the rails.
“It takes an average of about RM250 to support a household for 2 months with essential items. Our review following the first phase of support reveals that 30% of women in these communities still cannot run their businesses due to MCO 2.0 and are stressed by the predicament they find themselves in. About 99% found the food aid to have made a critical difference to them during the CMCO late last year. We hope the Phase 2 contributions will go at least some way in helping them to ease through this period up until about May 2021 when, hopefully, things begin to get better. In the interim, the rebuilding effort must not be neglected. We appreciate the efforts of OCBC Bank led by its CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin and all the other contributors,” she said.
According to Dato’ Ong the Bank had anticipated that the funding from Phase 1 would not be sufficient and decided to prepare ahead of time to get the funds ready should a Phase 2 become necessary.
“Clearly, this has become the case. Although necessary, the MCO has inevitably caused significant distress to these hard-hit communities. We thank WOW and all the other partners for helping us to get the food aid directly to these communities. We hope they will be able to tide through these two months and that things will indeed get better after that,” he said.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day on 8 March, Dato’ Ong also paid tribute to the role women play in hard-hit communities.
“Women tend to do the bulk of the work in holding communities together, especially during times of crisis. We will always be grateful to them,” he said.