Five NGOs get RM750,000 although charity squash game between Tony Fernandes, Salim Fateh Din postponed till 2021

Fernandes and Kalimullah with the RM750,000 cheque and representatives of the five NGOs at the ceremony today. (Photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge)

Fernandes and Kalimullah with the RM750,000 cheque and representatives of the five NGOs at the ceremony today. (Photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): AirAsia Group Bhd chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes presented RM750,000 to five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) today to provide 125,000 meals to underprivileged communities.

He presented the funds in a cheque handover ceremony today. The funds were raised through the Battle of the Bulge charity squash game, which was supposed to take place last week between Fernandes and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd's Tan Sri Salim Fateh Din.

The two tycoons had collected the RM750,000 from fellow corporates and friends, with the likes of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, and Genting Malaysia Bhd president and chief operating officer Datuk Seri Lee Choong Yan donating.

In total, 28 donors contributed. The five NGOs are Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, Kechara Soup Kitchen, Good Shepherd Services, Yayasan Chow Kit and the Malaysian Relief Agency.

The match was postponed twice due to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). It was initially scheduled to take place on Oct 18 and then postponed to Dec 5. The game will be rescheduled to a later date in 2021.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Fernandes said it was great that in this time of stress many people continued to give funds.

“We want to raise the awareness of homelessness and providing better homes. That is an issue worldwide and we want more Malaysians to be aware of it because it is a real problem.

"The funds will be used by these five NGOs, I think Malaysians can be appreciative of the work that these five NGOs are doing,” said Fernandes.

Meanwhile, ECM Libra Group Bhd's Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan said the initiative to raise RM750,000 was only one of the things the ECM Libra Foundation has done to help people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We started [helping] in March this year when the MCO started, and we have provided funding for ventilators, sanitisers, face masks and hotel stays for health workers.

"We have been supplying groceries and food to more than 1,600 families and about 620 individuals for the last nine months. We have spent more than RM3 million from the foundation to cater to these homeless people, the orang Asli, those in the PPR [low-cost public housing],” he said.

Lam Jian Wyn