THE year 2021 started off on a sweet note with donations pouring in for over 20 charity organisations in Penang.
Thanks to the concerted effort by FMM Penang and OCBC Bank, a charity drive which started in July last year (2020) successfully raised RM1.1 million as of Jan 8 this year.
The amount was increased further to RM1.428 million after 12 amazing photos were auctioned in a charity auction during the FMM-OCBC Charity Night on Jan 9.
FMM Penang chairman Datuk Jimmy Ong said 37 individuals and companies had donated generously to making the event a success.
“With this, we have given out RM20,000 to each 20 homes in our first batch, and RM100,000 each to Penang Future Foundation and Penang Lawan Covid-19 Fund.
“We have also earmarked a fund to Tabung TYT.
“In addition, we have donated 100 new laptops worth RM196,000 to the state-level ‘E-Learning Computer Programme’ to benefit the underprivileged students.
“ViTrox Technologies Sdn Bhd had also donated 500,000 face masks to the Penang government to be distributed to the needy,” he said in his speech at E&O Hotel Penang on Jan 9.
Jimmy said the industry was concerned over the recent spike in positive Covid-19 cases in several states in the country.
“The FMM supports the government’s action to institute stricter control to reduce the rate of infection and break the chain swiftly.
“Breaking the chain of infection is utmost important. There must be a concerted effort by both the public and private sectors.
“However, it should not involve a second round of a total lockdown,” he said.
Jimmy thanked OCBC Bank and the committee for making the event a success.
He also thanked Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the state executive council members, the Penang government, Buletin Mutiara and Sin Chew Daily for their support and making the event a memorable one.
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Ong Eng Bin said the Covid-19 has brought forth many challenges and the best in people.
Eng Bin said the funds raised would greatly help the charity bodies in this trying period.
Penang Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Commitee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo reminded the people to be vigilant in the war against Covid-19.
“As a government, we have to be responsible and truthful. Our utmost priority is to ensure public and health security,” he said.
Jagdeep also recorded its appreciation to FMM Penang for its support towards the Penang government.
FMM Penang immediate past chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ooi Eng Hock urged the governments to award more scholarships to underprivileged students.
“I believe that education is a way out of poverty.
He also urged people to be unselfish.
“Unselfishness will help us go far and touch the lives of many,” Dr Ooi said.
Chow said FMM Penang has always been a close partner of the state.
“We have worked together for more than five decades for the betterment of the industries, especially in the manufacturing sector which have made substantial contributions to Penang’s economic growth.
“Penang may not have natural resources like some of her neighbouring states, but we have skilled workforce and talents.
“These talents are great pull factors for investors,” he said.
Chow said the people have to embrace the new normal.
“The way businesses are being run will have to change. The pandemic has put a halt to the traditional business system and heightened the pace of digitalisation,” Chow added.
He thanked FMM Penang for the job well done and looked forward to many more years of collaboration, support and success.
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, state executive council members Zairil Khir Johari, Soon Lip Chee, Yeoh Soon Hin and Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud
Video by Chan Kok Kuan