S'poreans organise donation drives to help flood-stricken Malaysian states

S'poreans organise donation drives to help flood-stricken Malaysian states

He was so affected by pictures of the devastation caused by floods in Malaysia that he decided that he wanted to help.

Singaporean Alvin Tan, 35, checked with his Malaysian friends and found out last Tuesday that the Johor Off Road Team was organising a trip to Temerloh, the second largest town in Pahang, the next day.

The property agent said: "My car is fitted to travel on rough terrain, so I'm in a position to help."

He raised $850 from friends for the flood victims and donated five cartons of mineral water.

He also sent a message to a WhatsApp group of four-wheel drivers in Singapore to ask if anyone was interested in joining the trip.

Despite the short notice, Mr Ranjit Panu, another Singaporean, decided to join in.

The 43-year-old senior trainer in the oil and gas industry is a member of the Warpigs Motorcycle Club.

The club decided to contribute to the flood relief efforts and used club funds to buy about $1,700 worth of food supplies, including rice, instant noodles and milk powder.

Mr Ranjit said: "Malaysia is our neighbour. It's only natural to help when they are in need."

Mr Tan contacted his friend Anne Tng, 31, a manager at a business firm. Ms Tng cancelled her New Year's Eve plans to join the trip.

"I read about the flood in the papers and I was curious to see it myself," she said.

"It's more meaningful to spend New Year's Eve helping others who need it."

CONVOY

The three Singaporeans joined a convoy of 60 cars and travelled to Temerloh on New Year's Eve.

When they arrived, the situation was worse than they expected.

Said Mr Tan: "It was a very gloomy sight. The flood waters were smelly and dirty and debris was floating around."

The convoy had intended to stay in Temerloh till last Friday to hand out supplies to the villagers, but roads linking the town to the villages were water-logged.

Mr Ranjit said: "One car of about 1.6m high tried to enter, but it was too deep to drive through."

The convoy went to the town and unloaded its supplies at two food collection points.

The three Singaporeans went home the next day.

Mr Tan said one villager told him that water levels that used to be up to neck level are now knee-deep.

He said: "It's good to hear that the situation is getting better. I saw residents picking up debris and cleaning up their houses, trying to move on with their lives."

He added that he is prepared to travel to Malaysia again if the flood conditions worsen.

"We try to help to the best of our abilities. Hopefully, more Singaporeans will be aware of the conditions and step forward to help as well," he said.

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