Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB) has pledged to assist communities across Sabah in response to the hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has set aside a special COVID-19 solidarity fund and as of early May, has begun to progressively deliver assistance to affected families and children’s homes.
In addition to this, SPSB and parent company Suria Capital Holdings Berhad has committed RM1,000,000.00 to the State government’s COVID-19 Disaster Fund.
Under the large scale relief program, SPSB will deploy food packages to more than 700 families in various villages across Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu and Kunak. The company will direct significant efforts to uplift the lives of those residing near these port vicinities and endeavour to assist the surrounding community.
The initiative kicked off early May when some 320 families in Kg. Kuala Menggatal Baru, Kg. Gatah, Kg. Gentisan and Kg. Numbak at Sapangar Bay received food packages containing basic necessities such as rice, cooking oil, sweetened milk, sugar, crackers, flour, dates and beverages.
Tawau Port’s first batch of aid distribution saw 43 recipients from villages across Tawau received a similar package, while distribution to another 63 families are expected to take place throughout the month of June.
SPSB further donated 200 packets of infant milk powder to be distributed to villages from the Karambunai State constituency. The goods were received by YB Tn. Hj. Azhar Hj. Matusin, State Trade and Industry Assistant Minister cum Karambunai Assemblyman.
Depending on the number of patrons, SPSB will also donate between RM3, 000.00 and RM5, 000.00 of cash and sundry goods to selected childrens home.
To date, 4 homes (Rumah Anak Yatim & Asnaf, Kg. Silad, Ranau; Rumah Anak Yatim & Miskin Home, Tuaran; Rumah Bakti Harapan, Inanam and Madrasah Waqaf Islamiah Sabah, Tanjung Aru) have received the aid.
According to Ms. Ng Kiat Min, SPSB Managing Director “The pandemic and the approaches taken to curb the contagion has impacted many of us in many ways. As a responsible and ethical entity, SPSB is compelled to stand in solidarity with the community it operates in and participate in efforts that bring relief and hope.
Despite the re-opening of most businesses in the State, some segments in the community remain financially affected due to a variety of reasons. SPSB intends to complement on-going efforts by the government, socially responsible companies and NGO’s to uplift their welfare.”
Ms. Ng further added that “Business wise, we have also taken steps to ease the burden of our customers and local traders. SPSB had decided to waive store rent for all cargoes across its 8 ports from 18th March 2020 until 12th May 2020 and extended credit period from the normal 28 days to 56 days. Despite the financial implications, SPSB is pleased to be a source of support to the port community”.
SPSB will continue its aid distribution throughout the month of June and July whereby an additional 230 families and identified children homes from targeted locations especially in the vicinity of the ports throughout Sabah will stand to benefit from SPSB’s relief program.