Kind soul Melvyn Ramayah sets up food bank for the needy

Be kind. That is the philosophy Melvyn Ramayah tries to live by.

The father of two, who runs Kopitiam RTP at No 21, Jalan SS4D/2 in Petaling Jaya, started a food bank in front of his restaurant on Monday as he saw many people needed help.

“I give to charity often but this is something new. I thought this was something I could do as I have seen many homeless,” said Ramayah, who celebrates the first anniversary of Kopitiam RTP tomorrow.

“I decided to leave a box outside the restaurant and those who want to contribute can leave foodstuff which can be taken by those in need.

“You do not have to spend much. Just RM10 can get some good stuff to fill someone’s belly.

“We had a few donations but some friends said they would be coming over the weekend to contribute more items.

“I am hoping as the days and weeks go by, more and more people will contribute.”

Ramayah,52, said he has joined several community WhatsApp group chats to share his idea and the response has been encouraging.

He said his message and poster about the food bank has been widely circulated and the Facebook posting has also been shared by family, friends and strangers.

“This is just my small contribution. Sometimes you just need a small spark to get something going and I am confident we will soon get more supporters to help,” said Ramayah, who runs the restaurant with his wife Cheryl J. Linsuk.

He added some people were hesitant to take the foodstuff as they can’t believe there are no strings attached.

Separately, Ramayah said he was previously running a restaurant at Taman Petaling called Restaurant Taman Petaling for three years but had to move when the owner wanted the lot back.

Hence, his new venture is called Kopitiam RTP, as a tribute to his old place.

“It was not easy relocating as we had a loyal customer base.

“Some did come to our new place but then the first Movement Control Order (MCO) hit 13 days after we opened,” said Ramayah, who had stints with sales departments at a local newspaper and a telecommunication company before venturing into the restaurant business.

“I was lucky the landlord was kind enough to waive the first-month rental and for the following two months, he gave us a 50 per cent discount.

“That helped us to survive through the first MCO period. I only sell drinks so it was more difficult for me.

“I have hawkers selling food but for the second MCO, I did package deals with them where customers can purchase meals which come with drinks.”

Those who want to contribute to the food bank can contact Ramayah at +6012-2225888 or his Facebook page.

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City Traffic Investigation and Enforcement chief Assistant Commissioner Zulkefly Yahya said the 40-year-old driver tested positive after a urine test at the Dang Wangi police headquarters.

In the incident, the trailer hit the scaffolding of an unfinished bridge on the MRR2 Highway near Bandar Tasik Selatan.

The impact caused some materials to fall onto a van, killing Nurina Edwin Abdullah, 47, and Norhayati Abdullah, 42. The van driver and two others were injured.

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A New Zealand politician, Chris Bishop, has called on his government to explain how Malaysian MP Datuk Seri R. Santhara Kumar entered the country.

Santhara, who is deputy Federal Territories Minister, left for New Zealand to visit his family on Dec 23 and underwent quarantine there from Dec 24 to Jan 9.

It was reported that Kiwi government agencies won’t confirm Santhara’s immigration status or how he secured a place in the managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) system – prompting Bishop – the National’s Covid-19 Response spokesman – to seek confirmation there has been no special treatment.

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Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said to date only 1,909,585 Malaysians have registered to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

He said the number is still low and urged those above 18 to register via MySejahtera or through https://www.vaksincovid.gov.my/.

He said registration at government hospitals and health clinics will begin tomorrow.

Under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, 80 per cent of the population will be vaccinated under three phases up to February next year.

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Sujinder Singh, an assistant medical officer based in Manjung, Perak, who was among those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, has encouraged Malaysians to get the vaccine.

 

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