UPON learning that the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) Penang branch was seeking funds to buy a four-wheel drive (4WD) for disaster response operations, one company decided to give them such a vehicle.

The Boeing Company promptly donated a Ford Ranger worth RM100,000.

The regional vice-president of South-East Asia Paul Walters said the vehicle would be used to carry rescue personnel and equipment to disaster sites.

“The funding for the vehicle comes at a time when the Malaysian government and the MRCS are upgrading disaster response services,” he said, adding that Boeing shared the sentiment of the countries affected by the tsunami in December last year.

Walters handed the mock key for the vehicle to Penang Governor Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, patron of the MRCS Penang branch, during the Annual Dinner recently.

The branch chairman Ir. Saw Ewe Yong said as a voluntary organisation which depended totally on fundraising to carry out its activities and projects, the branch required a minimum annual funding of RM500,000 for various training programmes.

MRCS national chairman Tunku Tan Sri Shahriman Tunku Sulaiman also commended the Penang branch for its active role during the tsunami disaster.

“The branch was actively involved in search and rescue, counselling, health care, mass cooking and other relief operations,” he said.

The event raised a gross sum of RM155,000 for the society.