KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Although we are in the recovery phase of the movement control order (MCO), a lot of people are still struggling to survive as the nation was put on pause for almost three months.
Kuan Chee Heng or famously known as “Uncle Kentang” along with his team of volunteers had done all they could to help lighten the burden of those affected by the MCO which started on March 18.
Kuan, who is no stranger, when it comes to humanitarian aid has made it his duty to help those who are affected by providing them with free meals and essential groceries on a daily basis.
Fortunately for Kuan and his team, they have been receiving an abundance of meals sponsored by the public and also corporate figures like Petron to be given to the poor.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic and at the beginning of the MCO, there were a lot of people who didn’t have anything to eat, so we provided them with food and essential groceries.”
“A huge thanks to the people who have sponsored us with food and essential groceries like potatoes, cooking oil, rice and onions.”
“From the beginning of the MCO even until today, sponsors are still sending us all kinds of cooked meals like fried noodles, fried rice, porridge and many more for us to give to the needy,” Kuan said.
The meals and essential groceries are delivered by Kuan and his team to areas which are affected the most like people housing projects (PPR) flats and low-cost housing areas.
Since the beginning of the MCO until now, Kuan has spent almost RM400,000 to buy essential groceries for the less fortunate.
That doesn’t include all the food donations that they’ve been receiving since the first day.
Kuan added that he was impressed by the generosity of Malaysian during the MCO.
“But one thing that is good during the MCO is when the people come together.”
“A very beautiful moment where everyone comes together and everybody starts to contribute, they don’t care what race you are, they just contribute,” he said.
Kuan who has been doing charitable acts for 16 years, has his own list of needy families which has been under his care for years.
Besides that, Kuan had also made arrangements with the PPR’s resident associations (RA) who provide Kuan with a list of less fortunate families living in the area.
Kuan and his team also work with the RA to distribute meals and groceries.
As movement was restricted during the MCO, Kuan had no other choice but to provide meals and essential groceries to those living in Puchong and nearby areas like Bangi and Seri Kembangan.
Kuan added that the MCO has taken a heavy toll on everyone, as there were people who have lost their jobs and there are people struggling to make ends meet with their small wages.
Among the people who lost their jobs are small hawkers, restaurant workers, lorry drivers and cinemas workers.
“The pandemic has not only affected those who are jobless but those with families who earned small wages are also affected.”
“Sometimes those who earned RM 2,000 still couldn’t afford to feed their family especially when MCO started,” he said.
Apart from that, there were also people who worked during the MCO but have yet to be paid and to make matters worse, apart from feeding their family, they still have to pay for their house utilities like rent.
Kuan also said that there were families that have been under his care for almost eight years and most of them were orphans, single mothers and folks with disabilities.
Aside from delivering hot meals and essential groceries, Kuan also has a free meal programme called ‘Dapur Umum’ for the needy.
At the moment, ‘Dapur Umum’ is located in Puchong Perdana and Bukit Puchong where they can claim their free meals.
Besides that, Uncle Kentang who has volunteers all around Malaysia, is looking to expand his team in the near future.
“We plan to unite more volunteers.”
“We’re planning to get 200,000 volunteers to join us from all over Malaysia to come in and help together,” he said adding that his team was also working with other NGOs in helping the less fortunate.
Kuan has been helping the less fortunate in Malaysia for more than a decade now and amongst his initiatives are 10 Sen Ambulance services, 10 Sen Market, Community Policing Malaysia and 10 Sen Van Jenazah services.
For those who are interested in donating to Uncle Kentang and his cause, you can do so by contacting Kuan and his team at Kentang Fund at +6018-2683999 or at http://kentangfund.com/campaigns/dana-untuk-nasi-malaysia/