Whether it’s for food or diapers, here’s where to go to look for help or to help others in Malaysia.(mkjr_/Unsplash)

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Recent heart-rending news of the growing number of suicide cases in Malaysia is proof of the great financial and mental stress this ongoing lockdown causes. Many Malaysians are now unable to find income, in turn making them unable to provide for their families. There’s also no clear end to the FMCO in sight as the number of new daily COVID-19 cases remain high despite lockdown efforts.

Founder of Refuge for the Refugee (RFTR) further proved the matter when she reported that they have received over a thousand families calling for help. This has sadly forced them  to choose which families to aid. 

Even more sad is that some who are struggling to survive feel that ending their lives is the only way out. In hopes of fighting the urge to give up, Malaysians have banded together to help those around them. If you’re looking to help or are yourself in need, reach out to the bodies below, or fly/look out for that white flag. Please also remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness.  

Fly the white flag

In a stand-out move, a movement called #benderaputih was recently initiated by the rakyat themselves. This movement asks that those in need of help raise a bendera putih (white flag) outside their home. This will notify neighbours that they’re in dire need of food, thus allowing those able to leave aid at their doorstep. 

99 Speedmart have also become a part of the #benderaputih movement with a campaign. If you spot a home flying the white flag that’s located near a 99 Speedmart, direct message them via Facebook Messenger and they will send a bag of necessities to the address provided. 

Meanwhile, pets haven’t been forgotten. Following in the footsteps of the white flag movement is the #benderamerah (red flag) campaign. Flying a red flag is aimed at helping pet owners unable to feed their furry (or even scaly) dependents.

Pooling the bare necessities

Anyone looking for essential food supplies such as rice, eggs, potatoes, sugar,  milk, or cooking oil can head over to kEATchen or call +6019 795 6868. Meanwhile, families in need of baby diapers can reach out to Nabilah Sarip of Gudang Lampin Malaysia via WhatsApp. 

If you’re looking to donate

Pusaka is pooling together funds to purchase food aid for traditional arts communities throughout Kelantan and Terengganu. They have so far provided for 200 families and wish to reach 300 more. It costs RM117 to cover one food basket per family. Direct donations can be made to the following account:

Pusat Budaya Pusaka Sdn Bhd
3179494321(Public Bank)

Sumbangan Ke Muar is a donation drive aimed at helping the less fortunate in Muar, Johor. Kick-started by the local MP, Syed Saddiq, they have successfully provided aid for over 10,000 families. Citizens are welcome to make contributions here. Alternatively, you can make direct transfers to the account below:

Pusat Khidmat Parlimen Muar
8603323060(CIMB Bank)

Another registered NGO ensuring the welfare of and providing aid to affected B40 and M40 families is WeListenMY. They have so far been able to provide over 890 families with the #WeListenPack. The care package includes food staples based on family size and also includes baby formula and diapers for those who need it. Click here to contribute. 

Finally, you may also visit Kita Jaga Kita if you’d like to search for more private organisations or civil society initiatives that provide assistance to those affected by the MCO.