AFEG has distributed its first round of vouchers
A group of Malaysian forklift professionals is raising funds for those affected by COVID-19 in the country.
The pandemic has had disastrous impacts in the country, which has been often overlooked in media coverage.
Malaysia entered its third nationwide lockdown last month, shortly after it breached the 9,000 daily cases mark for the first time on May 29.
Earlier this week, officials noted that the COVID-19 total was approaching 850,000, of which 91,272 are currently active or infectious. The national death toll is over 6,000.
Soon Fatt Phun, a spokesman for the AFEG committee, tells Forkliftaction News
: "We are aware that many needy families and individuals out there are in bad shape or jobless with no income during this pandemic period. We would like to reach out to help them as our first priority."
According to media reports, the economic and social impact of the pandemic is so severe that Malaysians in distress have taken to waving a white flag from windows and driveways in a plea for assistance.
Phun explains that movement control is very strict, making life even harder for all.
"We decided to give out cash vouchers valued at RM80 each (USD19) so that the needy can go to the 99 Speedmart (a national chain of mini-markets) to buy what they want. Of course, the voucher is not valid for the purchase of cigarettes or liquor. The vouchers are couriered to the recipient to minimise movement," he explains.
AFEG chose the mini-market chain because it has hundreds of outlets in Malaysia and is "convenient for the recipients to buy their provisions".
The charity has already allocated around RM8,000 (USD1,900) in its first round and is preparing for a second round soon.
Phun describes the initiative as "a very small contribution that we can do to ease some burden".
ASEAN Forklift Entrepreneurs Golf (AFEG) is a group of materials handling industry professionals including representatives of Enersys, Allied Forklift, Hubching Forklift, Manitou Forklift, Hyster, BYD Forklift, Regal Battery, Tarching Forklift, Asiaco Forklift, UniCarriers, SL Machinery and others.
Formed to strengthen ties among industry professionals to foster better business relationships, the group organises golf tournaments and social activities.
The group doesn't have a website or central contact point for the fundraiser, so anyone keen to assist should make contact with their nearest forklift business.