PENANG Seniors Digital Resource Centre is calling for public donation as its resources has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rose Charities Malaysia president Datuk Lawrence Cheah said the centre has stopped receiving any donations since the movement control order (MCO) was enforced on March 18.
“Because of that, we have to use our own money to pay for the monthly expenditure of about RM6,000. It includes monthly rental and utility bills.
“We are grateful that during the MCO, the landlord had generously reduced the monthly rental by 50% for three months (March – May) which gave us some relief.
“However, starting from June, we need to pay the full amount of rental of about RM5,000 as our appeal for the reduction was rejected.
“This is a financial burden to us as we are a non-profit organisation. We’re not sure how much longer we can keep up as we are unable to source sufficient funding to pay the monthly expenses.
“Thus, this is our final resort to reach out to our state government, corporate, community leaders and generous donors for their kind support to help sustain the centre,” he told a press conference at the community centre at Codrington Avenue in Pulau Tikus today.
Also present were state Women and Family Development, Gender Inclusiveness and Religions Other than Islam Committee chairman Chong Eng and Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee Chun Kit.
Dubbed as the first of its kind in the country, Penang Seniors Digital Resource Centre started operating in December last year.
It is a community centre with facilities and amenities for elderly citizens. The centre was set up in collaboration between the Penang government and Rose Charities Malaysia.
Cheah said currently the volunteers at the centre have started selling items such as clothes, food and beverages through social media platforms to generate some revenue to sustain the centre.
“Although it does not generate much revenue, we are doing everything we can to pay the monthly expenditure,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chong Eng announced a RM5,000 allocation for the centre and urged the public to play their part as well.
“On behalf of the state government, I will give an allocation of RM5,000 and I also urge the public to step forward and do the same. Big or small, it doesn’t matter because the most important thing is doing our part.
“This is very important and essential to sustain this place as this is the only digital centre for seniors in Malaysia and I am confident that it will greatly benefit them,” she said.
Lee said he would try his best as an elected representative for Pulau Tikus to find an alternative way to get more funding for the centre.
“Of course, I urge the public and other organisations as well to come forward and contribute.
“This is a resource centre for many of our people here. Thus, it is very important to do whatever it takes to sustain the place,” he added.
Those interested in donating to the Penang Seniors Digital Resource Centre can donate via bank transfer to bank account number 8004307653 for CIMB under the name of Penang ROSE Charities Association or can call 019-4732918 (Yeoh) and 012-4773015 (Lee) for further inquiries.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis