An informative post on Penang.

We’ve been hearing a lot of heart-wrenching stories ever since the White Flag Campaign took off a couple of days ago. This uncle in Bukit Mertajam was burdened with debts and struggling to even live by alone. In despair, he decided to fly a White Flag in front of his gate as his last resort. Help came and uncle was given a new chapter of life.

Hawker in Bukit Mertajam Hangs a White Flag As He Struggles To Even Afford His Daily Meals:

Photo: Steven Sim Chee Keong (Facebook)

#Kempenbenderaputih, or White Flag Campaign was a movement launched by Malaysians a few days ago on social media. It is to encourage those who are struggling during the pandemic to seek asistance without the need of begging. If you see a white flag hanging at one’s precinct, that means the person is seeking help, be it mentally or financially.

An uncle in Bukit Mertajam that goes by the name Ah Soon, is a hawker struggling to make ends meet. He was in despair and was tired of begging for help everywhere when no one responded. The white flag that he flew was his last resort. He has even thought of ending his own life at the Penang Bridge.

Photo: Steven Sim Chee Keong (Facebook)

The on and off MCO and indefinite lockdown took a huge toll on Ah Soon. Not only is he not allowed to operate his business, even if he does, it would only cost more, with little to no customers. Soon, he was covered in debt from all sorts of rental and bills, to the point where he had to sell off his electrical appliances to live by.

It’s not like Ah Soon didn’t try to stand back on his two feet. He did, multiple times, yet each time is a failure, and he’s tired.

“I only want to make a simple living. I can work, but how can I continue pushing myself in this kind of situation?” he said.

A Fresh Start With The White Flag Campaign:

food court
Photo: Steven Sim Chee Keong (Facebook)

Local authority Steven Sim Chee Keong noticed the white flag on Ah Soon’s premise and contacted him. After a long conversation trying to understand his well-being, Steven decided to provide aid.

With his help, Ah Soon was able to clear off his debt and even managed to set up his hawker stall at a new food court. His stall is also rent-free until end of this year, and he is really grateful. With the help provided, he is given a fresh start ahead, and he could continue to provide for himself with his own two hands.

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Photo: Steven Sim Chee Keong (Facebook)

Foodies, if you’re around the neighbourhood, try to support Ah Soon’s hawker stall. He is located in Zhou Food Court next to Caltex (Sentosa, Jalan Kulim, Bukit Mertajam), in front of the famous coconut water stall. In this trying time, let us all join hands in supporting local businesses.

Also, do take the White Flag Campaign seriously. If you happen to spot a white flag, try to provide support within your means. Or, contact the local authorities for help so that they’ll notice them. On the contrary, if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to fly the white flag and seek asistance. Do help to spread awareness on this campaign, that’s all, stay safe, and buh bye!

Source: Steven Sim Chee Keong (Facebook)

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The above article was first published here.

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