The ongoing Full Movement Control Order (FMCO), has deeply impacted Malaysians, both financially and mentally. On 29th June, a shocking statement by the Health Director-General, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that there was an average of four suicide cases every day for the first three months of the year, with 336 cases reported to the police. These cases were driven by the financial hardships faced by the citizens due to the loss of jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ever since the first movement control order was announced by the Malaysian government, the generosity and kindness of fellow Malaysians could be seen by the introduction of slogans on social media such as #KitaJagaKita (which was subsequently named #RakyatJagaRakyat) and the latest, #BenderaPutih. The slogans were introduced to further propel the act of kindness to people in dire need of food and financial aid. The #BenderaPutih movement has gained a largely positive response from various parties. This movement was done to enable people to subtly ask for help without feeling humiliated by putting up white flags in front of their houses.
Below are some of the initiatives by the community, individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the #RakyatJagaRakyat or #BenderaPutih movements.
Popular mini market chain, 99 Speedmart launched their very own Bendera Putih campaign on 30th June. This campaign would run from 1st July to 14th July — offering to prepare 1,000 packages of basic food supplies every day to be sent out within 24 hours upon being alerted of needy families living nearby the vicinity of its outlets. All the residents have to do is to provide alerts of the houses spotted with a white flag via WhatsApp to 010-500 0099 or through sending a private message to 99 Speedmart’s Facebook account. This could be done by sending the house picture and the housing address.
A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), HungerHurts Malaysia has offered to help address any needs of the citizens upon being alerted. This includes food, devices for online learning, mobile data and funds. Its latest initiative, #OneMeal aims to help small businesses survive by buying meals from them to be given free to underprivileged communities.
runchit.kl in collaboration with 8to8.my
Located in Section 10, Wangsa Maju, grocery store, runchit.kl has set up a food bank in collaboration with 8to8.my offering rice, eggs, cooking oil and milk to 50 people. In accordance with that, 8to8.my has recently distributed food and female sanitary pads from 25th June to 27th June. This involved 1,200 households in the Ampang, Gombak and Shah Alam area where the distribution was done with the approval of the Selangor state disaster management committee and district health offices.
Actor, Sharnaaz Ahmad
Local actor, Sharnaaz Ahmad has identified a total of 100 families who have been badly affected by the pandemic. He would begin distributing the food aid on Friday, 2nd July. According to him, the aid given is open for all irrespective of race and religion. He’s currently seeking donations from the public to donate to a larger group of people.
Kedai Makan Abang Tukang Masak
On the 29th July, Kedai Makan Abang Tukang Masak’s operator, Shahrul Nizam, announced on Facebook that the pre-packed meals provided outside the restaurant could be taken by anyone who is hungry. This would be provided daily. The recipients do not need to wear a white shirt or wave a white flag to receive the food. This restaurant has been giving out free food parcels through its food bank. Currently, there are almost 2,000 households that have registered to receive it. In addition to that, these meals are open to all regardless of their religion, income bracket and nationality.
Nasi Bajet Shima
A roadside stall, Nasi Bajet Shima, is giving out free meals from Monday to Friday. The collection could be done from 5:30pm onwards. Those who are shy to ask for free aid could just show a piece of white cloth or paper.
Jane’s Nem Hanoi Authentic Spring Roll
Jane’s Nem Hanoi Authentic Spring Roll would be offering free meals daily. However, the food should be reserved a day ahead and should be collected between 3pm to 6pm from the restaurant which is located in Section 17, Petaling Jaya. This food aid is free for anyone irrespective of nationality, especially those struggling financially and having pay cuts.
Rakan Tutor aims to provide free one to one tutoring to underserved secondary school students to equip them with the skills and confidence to perform better academically and to gain motivation to achieve their fullest potential. They also strive to close the learning equality gap in our country through a free one-to-one tutoring program. They are currently recruiting volunteer tutors for SPM Maths.
Projek Didik is also giving out free weekly online tuition classes to B40 SPM students who have registered for the Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, History, English and Bahasa Melayu subjects. The M40 and T20 SPM students who’ve signed up would have to pay an affordable rate of RM25 and RM50 respectively per subject to cover the monthly Zoom Pro costs. The Mathematics classes, however, would be free of charge to all the students irrespective of their income brackets.
Don't know about you guys, but I find that this #BenderaPutih helps. We all struggling financially amid the pandemic, some of them suffer more. Be aware of your surrounding, be a helping hand. We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone. Lets help the white flags. 🏳️🤍 https://t.co/IOpS4kP1BZ
— ♕ (@___missdyra) June 28, 2021
With the current, #BenderaPutih movement, we hope struggling families are able to survive the Movement Control Order. Keep helping, Malaysians!
Source: MSN via Malay Mail.