Covid-19: Uncle Kentang helps the needy

KUALA LUMPUR – How will the needy survive during the movement control order (MCO)?

That was the question haunting Kuan Chee Heng when the government first imposed the MCO back in March.


It bothered him so much that he fell into depression and was even afraid to go out to buy groceries.

“I couldn’t get up for five days,” the 57-year-old pensioner told Bernama in an interview.

Kuan, better known as Uncle Kentang, is a popular philanthropic figure on Malaysian social media.

But Uncle Kentang is not your regular philanthropist who donates a large sum through posh charity dinners. Kuan goes down to the ground, rolls up his sleeves and goes out of his way to help the needy.

When a poverty-stricken family couldn’t afford transportation for a funeral, he invested in a van jenazah (Muslim funeral van) service, despite being a non-Muslim. He has also invested in the setting up and running of an ambulance service for the poor.

His other charitable deeds have included the ‘Pasar 10 Sen’, initiated to help the less fortunate purchase pre-loved items at just 10 sen each and pr

With the first outbreak of COVID-19, Kuan who was diagnosed with diabetes, became anxious over how he could help the needy without affecting his health and the donation recipients.

Despite feeling down at the time, the former policeman pulled himself together and continued helping those in need during the MCO period.

As a safety precaution, he ensured that all forms of assistance including food packages were sanitised before being distributed.

Uncle Kentang views as pivotal for Malaysians to adapt to the new norms in order to keep the deadly virus at bay.

“However, some people are still seen without a face mask at public places, thus posing a great risk to others.

“I have also seen people not adhering to the standard operating procedure (SOP) at restaurants and stalls,” he lamented.

“If you don’t love yourself, you don’t love your family either,” he added.