DONORS UNAWARE OF DRIVE GO SHOPPING FOR SUPPLIES
FAST: Mr Ramesh Panicker (second from left) and his friends held their donation drive yesterday. PHOTO COURTESY OF RAMESH PANICKER
GENEROUS: The Lions XII fan group, ExcluSinga, collected more than 10 tonnes of rice. BH PHOTO
Moved by the plight of the flood victims in Malaysia, a Singaporean man gathered his friends and organised a donation drive - in just three days.
Yesterday, Mr Ramesh Panicker and 10 of his friends collected close to 600kg of rice, 55 litres of oil and more than 100 boxes of clothes at their collection point on a walkway outside Vista Point at Woodlands Avenue 4.
"I got some friends together and they spread the word about our donation drive via their own group of friends and social media last Friday," said the 46-year-old operations manager at an oil and gas company.
"I was heartened by the turnout. Some of those who contributed weren't even aware of our donation drive when they passed by our makeshift collection point. But after they learnt of our drive, they went to a supermarket and bought some items to donate."
Mr Ramesh and his friends hired a lorry which will transport the goods to a Malaysian army camp in Tebrau, Johor, today.
The donation will then be sent to those affected by the floods.
"When he (Mr Ramesh) brought up the idea of the donation drive last Friday, I thought it was a good idea," said childhood friend Reguram Balachandran, 39.
"After seeing the devastating images of the floods on the news, we just wanted to help them," he added.
The flooding wreaked havoc in peninsular Malaysia and is considered the worst to have hit Malaysia in a decade.
It has killed at least 21 people and driven tens of thousands from their homes.
While the situation has improved, thousands still remain affected.
As of Saturday night, 61,000 people were still at relief centres in Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor.
This is down from 78,000 people on Friday.
Mr Ramesh and his friends aren't the only Singaporeans who have rushed to help.
The Lions XII fan group, ExcluSinga, also organised a donation drive on Friday for the flood victims. They collected more than 10 tonnes of rice.
- AZIM AZMAN