Covid-19 fund amassed RM8.1m in donations

Netizens are using the hashtag of #PotongGajiMenteri to urge ministers to take at least 50% pay cuts


THE Covid-19 fund, launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on March 11, received a whooping RM5 million contribution yesterday.

The donations came from companies namely local fleet management service provider Spanco Sdn Bhd (RM2 million), followed by DRB-Hicom Bhd, MMC Corp Bhd and YTL Corp Bhd who contributed RM1 million each. Property developer Titijaya Land Bhd has contributed 520,000 face masks for frontliners.

With the above donations, the fund has amassed a total of RM8.13 million in contributions, including those contributed via government’s grant.

The government has launched the Covid-19 fund as part of efforts to help Malaysians affected by Covid-19.

Similarly, the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) has also launched another fund to help the Muslim communities affected by the outbreak.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department of Religious Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifly Mohamad Al-Bakri said the government will channel the collections to Muslims who are in need to ensure that they are fed.

Jakim has also provided emergency assistance to 4,000 religious teachers and 35,000 Quran and Fardu Ain teachers nationwide.

Similarly, a fund set up by frontliners for their peers, the MedTweetMY fund, which as of 5pm yesterday received some RM169,000 in donations and the donation will be used to ensure that frontliners are well-fed and provided with ample medical equipment and facilities.

Other funds that have been set up to fight the virus include Mercy Malaysia’s Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund which aims to provide necessities for vulnerable communities like the elderly, low income families, those susceptible to the virus, immobile and the underprivileged.

The #KitaBantuKita fund focuses on the wellbeing of fellow neighbours who are affected by the two-week Movement Control Order.

It aims to help 500 families with a RM100 budget for each household to purchase groceries.

Similarly, The Lost Food Project is gathering surplus food to reduce waste and fight hunger that might occur during the lockdown.

They are accepting both funds and essential foods such as rice and noodles, and milk products as well as herbs and spices to be distributed to those who are vulnerable in the society. Pit Stop Community Cafe is pledging for food, non-food items and cash to be handed out to the poor.

Separately, some Malaysians are criticising the setting up of funds and are calling on ministers to take pay cuts instead, with #PotongGajiMenteri being one of the trends on Twitter.

Twitter users are using the hashtag to urge ministers to follow the steps of Singaporean leaders.

Hitting over 7,000 retweets, Twitter user @faizwahab who is a licensed financial planner, posted: “I suggest that ministers take at least 50% pay cuts. Because they are even asking the rakyat on how to do their job.”

@AnasHayyan attached a link on his tweet, of an article on pay cuts for Singaporean ministers.

“Malaysian ministers and members of the parliament (MP) can follow Singaporean ministers and MPs. Out of solidarity for our frontliners and everyone affected by Covid-19, donate your salary,” he said.

With over 640 retweets, Twitter user @InjangNation’s post also said ministers should cut their salaries in order to support costs faced by hospitals.