Press Statement (28 March 2020): Bersih 2.0-ENGAGE Needs RM200,000 to Feed the Most Vulnerable through #MakanKongsi

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) is pleased to announce that we will be entering into a joint venture with ENGAGE to expand the reach and impact of the #MakanKongsi initiative to ensure that the most vulnerable communities among us will have at least two meals a day for the duration of the Movement Control Order (MCO). The MCO is necessary to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus but it has placed many daily wage earners who are now without income for four weeks of the MCO. Many of these are facing desperate hardship and even starvation if we do not reach out to them.

While Bersih 2.0 remains an electoral reform advocacy group, we cannot maximally push for electoral reform when the nation is in an unprecedented crisis and lives are at stake. Hence, we decided to shift our resources and network to the COVID-19 relief work as long as the MCO is in force. We will resume our works in electoral reform at the optimal level once the MCO is lifted.

The #MakanKongsi initiative was started by our Chairperson, Mr. Thomas Fann on 20th March under the NGO he founded, ENGAGE. #MakanKongsi basically works with restaurants or food stalls to provide meals to these vulnerable communities. We give out food vouchers that are date and meals specified, like hotel breakfast vouchers. Clients would go to participating restaurants twice a day to get their meals for 14 days. We reimburse restaurants daily based on vouchers they received back. For clients who are able to cook in their homes, we will allocate financial assistance adequate for them to buy basic provisions to cook their own meals.

The idea of #MakanKongsi was launched with the hope that many groups around the country would adopt and adapt the concept during the MCO. Since then, different NGOs and individuals have approached us to partner with us in delivering food to the needy. We have partners in Johor Bahru, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Kajang and Kuantan, and are now feeding over 900 clients regardless of ethnicity, faith or nationality. While the handouts and stimulus package announced by the Government today are most welcomed, it does not reach some groups as they are homeless or too poor to even have an EPF account. These are the people that #MakanKongsi reaches out to as they may be the ones left behind despite the Government’s intention not to.

As such we need to raise another RM200,000 to fulfill our current commitment and to expand our assistance. This would be on top of the RM100,000 already raised by ENGAGE so far. The budget is calculated based on our goal of providing two meals a day for 14 days at a cost of RM4 per meal, working out to be RM112 per client. We are currently committed to feeding 938 clients for two weeks but we want to feed more as we believe that with the extension of the MCO by another two weeks, the needs will be overwhelming. Our goal is to feed at least 2,000 people, serving over 75,000 meals throughout this period of hardship. 

Bersih 2.0 pledges that every single sen donated towards #MakanKongsi will be utilised to provide meals for our clients and none will be utilised to cover administrative or logistical costs. We will only work with credible NGOs or individuals and usage of funds will be transparent and accounted for. This is completely  separate from our works in and fundraises for electoral reform and no surplus (if any) will go to our advocacy.

You may donate through our payment partner Bold.pay by using your credit card, debit card, online banking (FPX), e-Wallet (Boost, Grabpay, TnG, MCash, QRPay) by clicking on this link: https://boldpay.cc/Catalogue/makankongsi

Or bank direct to our account at:

Bank: Maybank (PJ Old Town Branch)

Name: Bersih & Adil Network Sdn Bhd

Account No.: 512295102931

Reference: MakanKongsi

If you require a receipt from us, please email your banking receipt to info@bersih.org after you have transferred your money.

Satukan Tenaga, Selamatkan Malaysia!

 

Issued by,

Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0