Tough times don’t last but tough people do
Of this amount, RM700,000 was channelled to the Malaysian Medical Relief Society (MERCY Malaysia) Humanitarian Relief Fund and RM500,000 for relief efforts by Sime Darby group corporate responsibility and Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) to provide essential supplies to affected communities in its estates.
YSD chairman Tun Musa Hitam said he hoped the contribution would help flood victims get through the rough days ahead as they rebuild their lives.
“YSD is also working with MERCY Malaysia to reconstruct homes that were demolished by flood waters in three villages in Kuala Krai.
“In addition, we will provide school uniforms, school shoes, socks, backpacks, pencil cases and stationeries to 300 children there,” he added.
The floods, the worst to hit the nation in the last four decades, also affected SDP estates in Sungai Mai, Sungai Tekal, Kerdau, Jentar and Mentakab in Pahang.
Natural disasters which are perennial like floods are terrifying for those who are affected, especially the feeling of being helpless and having no control over what happens.
Sime Darby employees are also affected by the floods.
It is at times like these that the entire nation comes together to alleviate the sufferings of those afflicted.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with them, and we hope that the assistance given by Sime Darby, in some way, will help to tide them over while they are trying to get some normalcy back into their lives,” said Sime Darby president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh.
Another plantation company Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd pledged more than RM1 million in cash aid to its employees and the local community living in Kelantan who are suffering from the worst floods in decades.
“Having witnessed first-hand, the scale of the destruction wrought by the floods in Kelantan, I am saddened to see the plight of our people,” said KLK chief executive officer Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian.
“I am, however, extremely thankful that all of KLK’s employees and their families totalling 4,000, have survived the floods. I hope that this assistance will help tide our people over until things normalise,” he said.
“KLK will continue to take care of our employees as we always have and provide other forms of assistance to these victims until they are back on their feet,” he added.
This RM1 million cash aid is being distributed to approximately 520 households in Kelantan.
Earlier, the group had provided food supplies, generators to produce electricity, clean drinking water and clothing to the flood victims.
Arrangements are also being made to provide school starter kits to 700 school-going children in the affected areas.
In addition, many of the Group’s employees had volunteered their time to help pack the supplies, and had also donated more than five tonnes of clothes and other essential items.
When the monsoon rain intensified in the middle of December 2014, KLK’s estate managers in Kelantan got ready emergency supplies for the annual floods. However, nothing could have prepared them for the magnitude of the flooding this time around.
Despite a prompt crisis response, the Group’s estates and infrastructure have sustained severe damage amounting to initial estimate of RM5 million. KLK continues to pay wages to its 1,700 employees despite work having come to a stand-still during the floods.
In Perak, KLK has been working with the State Welfare Department and relief centres to supply humanitarian aid in the form of food and hygiene kits, as well as cleaning equipment.
KLK’s corporate responsibility activities are still on-going to provide further assistance in the cleaning-up process of the flood aftermath.
“I am very grateful for the solidarity of our employees in the other regions who swung into action to mobilise aid. We will take away the lessons learnt from this flood and re-assess our current disaster response system to further improve on the early warning preparations,” Lee said.