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Sarawak Cheshire Home President/Chairman St John Ambulance Sarawak Ang Lai Soon urged OIL CORPORATIONS to build Homes for poor and incapacitated senior citizens

KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA, November 20, 2016 / -- Address by Dato Sri Ang Lai Soon, President of the Sarawak Cheshire Home (Also Chairman of St John Ambulance Sarawak Council) at a reception for the Lions Club of Kuching Metro after the completion of the Kitchen Project on 19th November 2016 at 10.30am at the premises of the Sarawak Cheshire Home

Today we are gathered here to thank the Lions Club of Kuching Metro for its splendid contribution to the Sarawak Cheshire Home, I am referring to the Home’s newly renovated dining hall and kitchen.

This Lions project was conceived many months ago and this was eventually implemented and completed recently.

Indeed, the Lions's motto “We Serve” stands out like a beacon of hope in this increasingly competitive, rather troubled and highly unpredictable world.

The range of programmes of the Lions which contributes to the public good certainly show what can be done when people, in the words of their founder Melvin Jones “put their talents to work improving their communities”.

Climate change has already troubled a lot of people around the world with totally unpredictable weather everywhere causing all sorts of problems.

And as if that were not enough, we now have a much troubled global economy, from the North to the South , and from the East to the West.

Both climate change and the turbulent global economy are causing untold hardships, miseries, sufferings and unhappiness everywhere.

The populations of most countries in the world today are aging with low birth rates , and the lifespan is considerably longer than a generation ago.

It is not uncommon to find people living up to 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 , even in Malaysia.

In this rather materialistic world, it is not easy for some people to realise how difficult it is for people who have passed their prime in life and for the underprivileged to keep both body and soul together. I am referring to people who happen to belong to the group with relatively low income or no income at all.

While we may not want to create a society too dependent on welfare assistance provided by the State,but I do feel that those who are more fortunate and more privileged in society can help to make life more bearable for some of these people for whom their very own existence itself has become a problem and , indeed, an issue.

I am not suggesting for a moment that we should simply make these unfortunate people dependent on charity, but rather to create jobs for them. Many of them probably have no savings or insufficient savings on retirement, and who, in all probability, are not getting any or enough support from their own families.

We can deploy these citizens, who have passed their prime, to contribute usefully and constructively to the economy on jobs that are not too taxing or physically demanding of them.
In this way, they can remain productive and independent and be useful members of society at large.

Eventually, this group of people will be unable to continue to work anymore due to being incapacitated.


I strongly advocate that some form of old age pension be given to them so that they can continue to live a more dignified and meaningful existence. Indeed, a small appreciation and recognition of their early contributions to society.

I would further suggest that international service clubs and organisations like the Lions, Rotary International, Junior Chamber of Commerce and other NGOs such as The Masonic Lodge could each consider setting up a Home for those who are unable to pay to live in a Retirement or Nursing Home.

In this connection, I strongly urge giant corporations like Petronas and Shell and large corporations and banks to finance the setting up of such homes in each major town in the country as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

Thousands and thousands of those senior citizens in their early years have contributed to the prosperity and wealth of these giant corporations ,either directly or indirectly and to the country at large.

Ideally ,it would be best if these homes are not only financed but operated by the corporations themselves as they have both the means and resources at their disposal.

In Sarawak, I suggest the oil giants should consider to build and maintain one such home in each major city or town

I think this suggestion is not unreasonable, bearing in mind the huge returns earned in their operations. Fluctuation of oil prices , however, is the sort of thing that is expected .However, the amount needed to finance such a project is minor for these large organisations and the benefits of favourable publicity immeasurable.

This is ,in my humble opinion, a good way for Petronas and Shell to truly fulfil their obligations of Corporate Social Responsibility on a long-term basis.

It is a challenge which I hope these organisations will accept.

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