Tesco building and furnishing houses for flood victims in Malaysia

TUMPAT, Malaysia - Eight flood victims here will move into their new homes in six weeks time - thanks to Tesco which will not only build, but also fully furnish the three-bedroom and two-bathroom homes.

Tesco chief executive officer Datuk Georg Fischer said the 740 sq ft houses costing RM55,000 (S$20,500) each inclusive of the furniture and fittings, were modular ones designed by Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim).

It is also portable and can be dismantled and relocated elsewhere.

"We hope that Tesco's contribution to the community will give the flood victims an impetus to pick up the pieces and start anew, despite their losses," Fischer said when laun¬¬ching the construction of the first house at Kampung Berlian here.

The company's humanitarian mission named Project Shelter with the theme "Rebuilding Homes, Rebuild¬ing Lives" will see four houses built here first and another four at Kampung Laut.

Fischer also spent hours with his employees, helping to build the modular home for 65-year-old Yusof Ali and his 10 children who will be the first to move in.

"I cannot wait to move into this house and I am grateful that it is fully furnished and I want to thank Tesco which helped me and my children during this tough time.

"Above all we will have a home to celebrate Hari Raya," said Yusof, whose house was completely destroyed by floods.

"I feel very lucky because I do not have to spend money to furnish the house and all I need now is the key to the house," said Yusof, who does odd jobs for a living.

Fischer revealed that the funds for the houses were collected from their retailers, customers, employees and that he was grateful that all who contributed did it based on huma¬nitarian grounds.

"We also managed to bring in 1.3 tonnes of essential food that had been distributed to almost all the flood victims state-wide, and we feel it is a small contribution," he added.