Homes in Malaysia displaying a white flag need the community’s help. Here’s how to get involved.
The numbers are heart-wrenching: 468 suicide cases were reported nationwide from January to May, writes CNA. According to the police, Selangor had the highest reported cases at 117. Family problems, emotional pressure and finances were revealed as the top three causes for suicide by the Criminal Investigation Department’s director Abd Jalil Hassan.
Now 16 months into national lockdown, countless families in Malaysia with lower incomes continue to suffer unimaginably. Maintaining a steady income (or any income) has been a survival challenge for many with non-essential jobs.
Low-income households have been promised financial aid of RM1,300 from the government. However, the RM150 billion aid package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 28 June will only be disbursed in August.
There are hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who need help right now. And so, they wave the white flag.
Nik Faizah Nik Othman, the deputy chief of the Tumpat Amanah’s women’s wing in Kelantan, is thought to be one of the first social and political activists to step in for the people. She tells CNA, “I was saddened seeing the suicide incidents taking place every day, hence I started this campaign. I feel these (suicides) should not take place and indicate something far worse will happen to the country if the issue is neglected”.
When a household now displays a white flag, it sends across the message that urgent assistance is needed. In response, the rakyat helps in kind with food deliveries, care packages, money, and other forms of aid.
Organisations and groups are standing by the #BenderaPutih call with tangible efforts that require the support of people. Here are ways to get involved.
How to help the White Flag movement in Malaysia:
99 Speedmart is preparing 1,000 goodwill packages daily
What you can do: Send them a WhatsApp at +6010-500-0099 or message them directly on social media to share information on anyone you know or have seen near a 99 Speedmart who require support. The campaign ends on 14 July.
Refuge for the Refugees is helping 2,000 families with young kids
What you can do: Make a donation of RM60 (or more) to feed two families for a week. Bank details are given in the post below.
The Hope Branch is distributing 1,500 cooked meals weekly
What you can do: Donate groceries for cooking, and/or volunteer as a ranger for your own area. You can also reach out to them to help someone you know in need by providing their content details.
Kuching Food Aid is helping feed families in Sarawak
What you can do: Donate any amount of money you can to the bank account shared in this post.
PERTIWI’s soup kitchen feeds and helps urban poor families
What you can do: Make a donation of food, milk, diapers and basic groceries. Donation details are provided below.
Kechara Soup Kitchen is preparing food boxes
What you can do: Make a donation of funds, or food items listed below including rice, instant oats, chocolate-based drinks, milk powder, and biscuits.
(Featured image credit: Kelvin Zyteng/Unsplash)
This story first appeared on Prestige Online Malaysia