KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-Civil governmental organisations like the Lions Clubs have a very crucial role to play in the sustenance of society at large.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that Lions Clubs were often the first to step forward to offer aid – either through goods, services or even cash – during calamities and for the lesser fortunate, irrespective of race, religion or political divide.

“You have given so much through your noble, invaluable acts over the decades.

“I vividly recall how the Lions Clubs responded spontaneously during the massive floods that inundated much of the Klang Valley in December 2021, including my constituency Lembah Pantai.

“It was the first time in 25 years that an area in Lembah Pantai suffered severe floods – and we were very fortunate to have Lions Club members come forward with instant assistance to the victims, despite the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is the ethos of the Lions Clubs and I commend you for that,” said the Lembah Pantai member of parliament at the Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (Host)’s 64th anniversary dinner at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club last Saturday.

Present were former Kuala Lumpur mayor and honorary Lions Club member Tan Sri Kamaruzzaman Shariff, Lions Clubs International District 308-B1 governor Dorothy Ong Lee Ping and Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (Host)  president Lai Voon Mei.

Fahmi praised Lions Clubs for their continued acts of social work and charities and hoped they would do so for their ‘service before self’ in the coming decades.

He spoke on how he himself had been indoctrinated to serve society as a people’s representative, thanks to the grounding from his parents who were civil servants.

“Since young, public service has been very close to my heart and here is where I am today to serve society, more so as a newly-minted minister (under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government).

“I admire the services of NGOs like you who take time to be with and understand the needs of society.

“To some extent, I am a part of you as the road ahead is a tough path, considering the not-so-rosy yet grim financial environment the country is in following the debts incurred from the past.

“But with the spirit shown by organisations like yours, I believe we can rise again,” said Fahmi.

He lauded the economic-recovery initiatives of a weary Anwar who at 75, appeared to be ‘catching up on lost time’ to lead the country to greater heights.

“I, too, feel burdened as we (my Cabinet colleagues) have so much work ahead like preventing scandals, maintaining cyber-security, data theft, bringing foreign investments, enhancing the digital economy and the like.

“We will endeavor to work hard and do our best but the system will take some time to adjust.

“I feel obligated to be answerable (in my after life) not only to the people but God Almighty, who will want to know what I had contributed to society as a minister,” said Fahmi.

He welcomed Lions members to engage him to continue their noble acts to reach out the unfortunate, but warned that he would neither approve projects unwantonly nor accept business commissions.

“I am sure with our sincere hearts and spirits, we can work for a better Malaysia and not let extremism divide us,” said Fahmi.

He later officiated at the presentation of two cheques - RM11,000.00 to the Kuala Lumpur Lions Renal Centre, represented by Kuala Lumpur Lions Foundation board of trustees chairman Datuk John Loh Soong Chew and its board of directors chairman Yeap Cheng Chuan; and RM128,000 for the ‘A Meal a Day project, represented by its organising chairman Datuk Stephen Wong and its founder Jenny Chong.

Meanwhile, Lai said that she was encouraged by her late brother to be a Lion as she would be able to learn a lot from the organisation and the people involved.

“He told me that I will be able to carry out my passion for service and urged me to join the host club – Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur.

“I am glad that six months as its president, I was able to lead my club and members to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate, and in our own lives as we gained personal and professional skills that will last a lifetime,” said Lai.

She added that the Lions had proven to be a progressive force in the community and had demonstrated to everyone the true meaning of their inspirational guidepost: ‘We Serve’.

Among their signature projects include ‘A meal a Day’ providing one meal a day to 128 underprivileged school children in eight different schools; Lions Kuala Lumpur’s Renal Dialysis Centre; fire safety awareness among the youth; Orang Asli community humanitarian project; ‘White Cane Day’ with fellow Leos for vision and care; blood donation projects; charity golf; ‘Programme Rose’ cervical cancer awareness for the B40 women; breast cancer welfare;  community improvement and environmental projects.

Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (Host) was also awarded the ‘Kindness Matter’ award by Lions Clubs International for their ‘A Meal A Day’ project, which is among only 30 out of 49,000 Lions Clubs worldwide to receive the award.

PIX: (From left) Dorothy Ong Lee Ping, Lai Voon Mei, Fahmi Fadzil, John Loh Soong Chew and Yeap Cheng Chuan at the Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur’s 64th anniversary dinner at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club.