Malaysians heed clarion call to help flood victims
Petaling Jaya, 20 December 2017 – Many parts of Penang were submerged in floodwaters as a result of heavy rain that began pouring on Saturday, 4 November 2017, and continued into the early hours of Sunday. The rapidly rising waters and torrential wind that tore through the state caused massive flooding, landslides and trees to topple, forcing thousands of residents to leave their homes and head to the various flood relief centres around the state.
In the midst of all the chaos, the kind souls of Brickfields Asia College’s Make It Right Movement (MIRM) down south had already set things in motion by initiating the Penang Flood Relief Programme to help those affected by the floods. Optimising the power of social media and messenger apps, MIRM appealed to the public for donations of cash, household essentials and food supplies to help ease the burden of the flood victims, many of whom had lost their belongings, suffered huge losses in their businesses and had their homes damaged as a result of the floods.
The outreach generated by MIRM did not disappoint. Within a few hours of the appeals, donations in cash and kind, and support in the form of services began pouring in continuously from students and staff of BAC and IACT as well as concerned citizens from all walks of life. Word on the appeals even reached established Malaysian business entities, who promptly offered help through various means. Among the organisations that responded promptly to the call for donations and help include:
- Ibumie – supplied more than 100,000 packets of instant noodles
- Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd – donated basic necessities throughout the programme
- Mr Yeap of Evergrow Electrical Engineering Sdn Bhd – contributed more than RM10,000 worth of goods
- TheLorry – managed the logistics and transportation of donations to Penang
- Safeguards Corporation Sdn Bhd – managed the logistics and transportation of donations to Penang
- SMK Methodist, Sungai Siput, Class of 1972 – donated more than RM10,000 worth of goods, and
- Malaysiakini – raised public awareness of the programme through a press release and highlights on their website.
In the gloomy aftermath of the floods, the generosity and caring nature of Malaysians formed the silver lining in the clouds. More than 50 tonnes of goods comprising food, electrical items, cleaning utensils, clothing, toiletries, bedding, baby products, basic medical supplies and water were collected at BAC’s campuses in KL and PJ throughout the duration of the programme, which ran from 5 to 12 November 2017.
In fact, news of MIRM’s initiative had such wide outreach and impact that it spurred communities in several neighbourhoods to start their own donation initiatives. Many of them came by daily to drop off the donations at both of BAC’s campuses, and even assisted the MIRM team, staff members and students with the packing and loading. More than four batches of food supplies and essentials were transported to collection centres in Penang over the course of the programme, for disbursement to those in need.
MIRM’s Head of Community Development Brian Lariche attributed the success of the Penang Flood Relief Programme to the strong sense of community among Malaysians: “The support we received for this programme was tremendous, to say the least. MIRM achieved its aim of creating a sustained positive impact on society through this initiative as our efforts were bolstered by fellow Malaysians, who came together to shoulder the burden of other Malaysians in their time of need. ”
Founded in 2015, the Make It Right Movement (MIRM) is a CSR initiative by Brickfields Asia College (BAC) that aims to create a sustained positive impact on society by championing community causes both locally and globally, leveraging all resources of the BAC Education Group. MIRM provides a platform for businesses and organisations to meet their social objectives through active partnerships and strong affiliations, built around efficiently managed community engagement. It collaborates with over 80 social good entities, and is involved in more than 200 charity programmes and CSR-related projects and events annually.