2020 unsung heroes: Ebit Lew, Uncle Kentang and the caring people who helped Malaysians in hard times

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The Covid-19 pandemic brought about a wide range of health, social and economic implications to the world, including Malaysia.

Despite its challenges, it helped form a remarkable bond among Malaysians – regardless of their race, religion and social background.

Various independent groups, non-governmental organisations, corporations and individuals joined hands to help the marginalised community to survive the pandemic and the movement control order (MCO).

To pay tribute to some of these unsung heroes of our society, Malay Mail compiled some of the worthy initiatives that were done by Malaysians from all walks of life in the ruthless 2020.


Muslim preacher Ustaz Ebit Lew is known by many for his deeds. — Picture via Facebook

Popular preacher Ustaz Ebit Lew’s efforts to help the poor community and frontliners

While millions of Malaysians stayed at home during the MCO in March and April, Muslim preacher Ustaz Ebit Lew was on his feet helping the needy.

Known by many for his deeds, Lew embarked on a door to door humanitarian aid during the MCO to help many marginalised families by supplying them with daily essentials.

The preacher also bought packs of food to deliver to the frontline medical professionals at Sungai Buloh Hospital as a sign of gratitude.

Lew made several headlines for helping rent a house for a homeless family living on a pedestrian bridge, supplying water tankers during the Selangor water disruption, sending medical aid to Sabah and offering surprise assistance to the general public.


Uncle Kentang continues to help the poor with daily essentials

At times when acts of charity may seem impractical as everyone struggles with the impact of the pandemic, Kuan Chee Heng, affectionately known as “Uncle Kentang,” never stopped helping the needy.

Kuan, who has been championing humanitarian initiatives for decades, made it his duty to help the underprivileged by providing them with free meals and essential groceries on a daily basis.

Thanks to his strong network with the community and corporations, Kuan and his team managed to collect an abundance of meals sponsored by the public and corporate figures.

The meals and essential groceries were then delivered by Kuan and his team to specified zones like people housing projects, flats and low-cost housing areas.

Anonymous benefactor donates RM148,000 machine to Hospital Sibu to detect Covid-19

A kind-hearted individual donated a Covid-19 detector machine worth RM148,000 to the Clinical Research Centre at Hospital Sibu in Sarawak during the early days of the outbreak in March.

The machine, known as the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Detection System was donated to the centre through Sarawak Assistant Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapa’ee.


Mohd Zulhairi Zainol (pic) and Mohd Hafizzal Hashim crossed four states to drop off urgent supplies at medical facilities. — Pictures from Facebook/Mohd Zulhairi Zainol

Two volunteers cross four states to drop off vital aid to health facilities

Two volunteers from a relief non-profit organisation braved 50 roadblocks to send off medical and non-medical aids to health facilities in Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang during MCO.

Mohd Zulhairi Zainol and Mohd Hafizzal Hashim began their journey from Bangi and documented it on Facebook where they were seen preparing meals in makeshift kitchens and eating by the roadside on their voyage.

Both Zulhairi and Hafizzal are volunteers with the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia Response and Relief Team, also known as Imaret.


Dr Nur Hidayah Abu Bakar deliversessential goods to over 350 families in need during MCO — Picture courtesy of Dr Nur Hidayah Abu Bakar

Gombak dentist brings community together and delivers essential goods to over 350 families in need during MCO

Gombak-based dentist Dr Nur Hidayah Abu Bakar knew very well that the movement restrictions would affect many people, especially the underprivileged.

To do her part, the young dentist decided to help her neighbours before the worthy deeds turned into a full-fledged charity operation.

She and a fellow resident spearheaded the Gombak division of Caremongering Malaysia to call upon Malaysians to do grocery runs for their neighbours who were unable to leave the house during MCO.

She also delivered essential goods to more than 350 families in need during the first phase of MCO in March.


Vishan delivering 100 face shields to a volunteer to be distributed to Ampang Hospital. — Picture by Vishan Nair

A video of frontliners wearing frail face shields were enough for Vishan Nair Birakasan to spring into action and to produce some that are sturdy in nature.

The 25-year-old together with family members managed to assemble proper face shields from scratch using open-source templates, and a personal 3D printer.

Thanks to their dedication and also help from 18 other volunteers including experts from Klang Valley, they managed to produce and distribute about 8,000 face shields across over 40 hospitals.


FGV Holdings Berhad staff deliver bags of daily essentials to the needy community. — Picture courtesy of FGV Holdings Berhad

FGV Holdings helps B40 community with the distribution of 13,000 bags of daily essentials

Malaysian-based global agricultural company FGV Holdings Berhaddistributed 13,000 bags of daily food essentials to the needy under its Food Relief Bag programme.

Each bag contained basic food items such as rice, sugar, mountain salt, cooking oil, instant noodles, sweetened and evaporated creamer, and chilli sauce — all from various brands under the FGV Group.

The initiative kicked-off during the second phase of MCO to help the B40 community who were affected the most by the movement restrictions.

Dutch Lady pays tribute to medical frontliners with over 100,000 packs of milk

The country’s unsung heroes battling the Covid-19 outbreak were treated by Dutch Lady with its array of best-selling milk products in April.

The dairy company distributed the packs at three hospitals namely, Sungai Buloh Hospital, University Malaya Medical Centre and Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

The company said in a statement that its efforts were to cheer up the frontliners and keep them strong as they work around the clock to contain the infectious disease. MM

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