NGOs back the LovePENANG campaign


NON-governmental organisations (NGOs) are strongly in support of the LovePENANG campaign that Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow launched just recently.


The campaign is a call by the state government to everyone to take action, come together, rebuild and move forward to a brighter future after the challenging Covid-19 period.


PgCare Society pro tem committee chairman Dr Ngoo Seong Boon said the campaign was very inspiring and in line with the motives and objectives of why they started the PgCare Society.


Dr Ngoo says the LovePENANG campaign is inclusive.


“We love Penang and that is why we set up the PgCare Society or initially called the PgCare Alliance. We gathered all the NGOs to help the Penang people during the pandemic.


“Now in the post-pandemic, we have to really take time to heal and recover from a lot of things, like the impact on mental health, jobs or many others.


“We also continue to work with the Penang state government, especially with YB Phee Boon Poh (state Welfare and Environment Committee chairman) because of the spike in suicide cases. And it truly reflected that mental health and mental well-being are really important, especially post-pandemic.


“We also plan a series of talks so that we can help the people recover from the stress to reduce the impact of this pandemic.


“The care is a similar concept as the love campaign. Everything starts from the individual and moves on to the family, community, state and then the country.


“Every individual should really contribute. If all the individuals feel the love and the care, they definitely would not have this mental health challenge or stress.


“And it is very important to take action, be more focused on the surroundings, your family and friends when you see that they require the help. By doing what we can, it will help to accelerate the recovery.


“The tagline, LovePenang, is very good. That shows its inclusivity and that we are not differentiated by background, ethnicity, or religion in our diverse society,” Dr Ngoo added.


The PgCare Society, which was formed on July 16 last year, comprises over 28 alliance partners to reach out to needy individuals and families greatly impacted by the lockdowns and Covid-19.


It initially focused on mental health aid, food aid and job aid & financial consultation and later added virtual care & telehealth service, and traditional Chinese medicine.


Yeap says collaboration between NGOs and state government is very important.


Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) president Annie Yeap said although Penang has been a state doing quite a lot of welfare for its citizens, the campaign was still timely.


She added that LovePenang covers a lot of things, like the issue of environment, climate change, recycling, family harmony, and how to sustain the development of the state.


“Collaboration between NGOs and the state government is very important because the state has the resources, and the NGOs may not have a lot of resources.


“Hence, it is important to have this awareness of how and where to seek for all the resources to provide help,” Yeap said.


For instance, she said a single mother who wants to be an entrepreneur but does not know how to promote or market her business, WCC would channel her to the Penang Women’s Development Council (PWDC) for help.


WCC, she said, had been invited to talk about the issue of domestic violence and family harmony by the Women and Family Development Committee (JPWK).


Yeap also said raising awareness, for instance, of recycling should be taken seriously by all departments.


“To us, the environment is very important, but do we want to take action to save our world?


“Penang, I am sure, can do it. As Penangites, we love Penang. So, what should I or we do or be concerned about?


“If higher-ranking officials enforce the policy, it will become a pattern for the people.


“It is a process. You can’t see changes immediately. But by carrying it out over a period, I am sure it will create an impact on society.


“I believe all departments can collaborate to show that Penang can do it. When that happens, it will be an example for other states,” Yeap added.


Story by K.H. Ong