KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — When heavy rains caused Kelantan’s rivers to breach their banks, the flood waters killed 21 people and drove more than 200,000 people out of their homes in December 2014.
To the staff of construction and engineering group Protasco Berhad, these communities were not people in far-flung unfamiliar places.
Everyone knew someone who was affected, in towns and villages connected by the network of roads maintained by Protasco subsidiary Roadcare (M) Sdn Bhd. They swiftly began organising flood relief convoys to bear urgently needed aid.
Together with the Public Works Department, Protasco and Roadcare’s convoys delivered more than RM50,000 in food, water and other essentials to flood victims on December 29 and 30, 2014. When the waters finally receded in January, Protasco gave physical and financial assistance of close to RM110,000 to its staff affected by the flood.
On February 11 and 12, 2015, Protasco Berhad deployed its third flood relief mission to Kuala Krai and Kota Baru to assist affected staff from Roadcare Kelantan. Organised jointly by Protasco’s Roadcare and another of its subsidiary HCM Engineering Sdn Bhd (HCME), they helped to lighten the burden of their overwhelmed colleagues.
While the rain receded, Protasco’s efforts did not. In March, Protasco continued through its CSR initiatives to extend a helping hand to those in Temerloh, Pahang. After visiting several flood-damaged homes, Protasco identified the flood victims’ most pressing need was for refrigerators and washing machines.
The joint mission by Protasco’s staff and two local NGOs — Angkatan Bahaman and Persatuan Silaturrahim Anak-Anak Temerloh Bersatu Malaysia (PESAT) — brought new appliances to 15 families to help them get back on their feet.
Meanwhile, the company had decided it had to help rebuild homes too. In June, it collaborated with social enterprise EPIC Homes to build the first of three houses in Kampung Teranik, an isolated Orang Asli settlement four hours’ drive from Kota Baru.
In July, it began work on the first of another three homes in Kampung Kolam Mas, in Galas, Kelantan. Protasco, through subsidiary Roadcare, completed all six homes in time for Merdeka celebrations.
Upholding its mission to build and support sustainable communities, Protasco Group together with Roadcare plans to build more new homes for those whose houses were damaged beyond repair in Kelantan and other states.
“We made a commitment to give back to our community. This is the role we choose to play in the community, and we seek to improve it by integrating their needs into our operations for the betterment of the society,” said Datuk Sri Chong Ket Pen, the Executive Vice Chairman and Group Managing Director of Protasco.