Malaysian designer Rizalman generously offers financial aid for the poor to buy food during Covid-19 crisis

Melanie Chalil
The father of two adopted sons received tens of thousands of direct messages following his generous announcement. — Pictures from Instagram/Rizalman Ibrahim

PETALING JAYA, April 2 — Penang-born fashion designer Datuk Rizalman Ibrahim is harnessing the power of social media to reach out to financially vulnerable families who need assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Anyone who needs financial help can DM (direct message) me repeatedly to continue to buy food during these trying times,” the celebrated style icon wrote on Instagram yesterday.

“Or if you know of any families and individuals in need, please help me reach out to them.”

In his message, Rizalman who announced his retirement from dressmaking last month urged the public and his 936,000 Instagram followers to look for those who genuinely need financial assistance.

The designer’s initial post received over 58,000 likes on Instagram.

“Please be honest in this matter, God is watching and listening,” he wrote.

Rizalman’s inbox on Instagram was inundated with messages minutes after he made the announcement and said he would do his best to reply to the flood of incoming messages.

Due to the overwhelming response, Rizalman said he was only able to transfer funds to dozens of recipients per day due to transaction limits.

In an emotional message earlier today, Rizalman thanked his “followers, agents and stockists” for their tremendous help in searching for the less fortunate who desperately need help.

Rizalman added that he received tens of thousands of direct messages that resulted in a jammed inbox.

“I have to read each one as well as list down the names and account numbers to verify if the details are correct,” he said while flipping through a notebook with handwritten names and bank details.

The 49-year-old who is a father of two adopted sons can be heard sniffling in the background fighting back tears as he recounted one screenshot he received that displayed an RM2.50 bank balance among other heart-breaking stories of hardship.

“This will take time to process and there’s a transaction limit per day so I’m sorry and please be patient,” said Rizalman.

Known for his elegant bridalwear and his theatrical fashion shows, the sought-after designer is also loved by many for contemporarising traditional outfits such as the baju kurung and kebaya.

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