Temple Cooks for 100 Needy Villagers in Sitiawan

Datuk Leng Hoo Keong (first in the front row) getting ready to deliver food packets to the villagers.



They turned cooks overnight, feeding over 100 people in Ayer Tawar New Village daily who lost their livelihood under the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Dishing out some 300 packed meals, a group of villagers worked from 8.00am to deliver the food packets by noon in this predominantly agricultural community in Sitiawan, Perak.

“Villagers who can afford will donate the ingredients like meat, vegetables, rice and noodles daily.”

“They (donors) include those who are doing well in business and staying outside the village,” said Datuk Leng Hoo Keong.

Villagers packing the food in the temple, over 300 packets daily

They do the cooking and hand out the packets at Kong Chay Keong Temple in the village and have a permit from the authorities to do so.

The lunch and dinner packets are given out by noon, said Leng.

The 70-year- old Leng who is the temple’s secretary said they used motorbike to send food packets to the elderly who are staying alone and have difficulties walking to the temple and queuing for the food.

“This is also a way for us to keep a watchful eye on them as some of them are over 80 years old,” Leng said.

Those who came to the temple to collect the packets would queue in batches of 20 people per batch to make sure there is one meter social distancing, Leng said.

He said the temple has been taking care of about 10 villagers prior to MCO.

“The number rose to more than 100 people since MCO , and some have family members.”

“They are daily wage earners who cannot go out to find work.They are struggling to earn a living all the while and have no savings,” said Leng, citing a single father who does odd jobs around the village to look after his five children.

The temple’s advisor Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh said he was grateful to all who supported this very timely effort – helping the real needy people irrespective of background, without which some may even starve.

“It is very heart-warming to see how villagers get together to help each other during hard times ,” said the former housing and local government minister.

Leng said there are about 1,000 families in Ayer Tawar New Village.

There are 462 new villages in the country set up during the Emergency (1948-60).