Thursday, February 18, 2016

Former PM’s daughter takes joy in serving those in need

KUALA LUMPUR: Sitting cross-legged on a dusty street curb and dressed casually in a simple shirt and pants, Hanis Hussein looked like any other volunteer handing out food and drinks to children from less fortunate families.

A second and closer look however reveals her to be none other than the daughter of the nation’s former Prime Minister, Hussein Onn.

While most Malaysians were rushing off to work or still sleeping snugly in their warm beds, Hanis was stationed in front of KL Krash Pad, slotting in a good deed in her usually busy day.

KL Krash Pad is a centre where vulnerable and at-risk teens go to study, participate in positive self-building activities, take extra classes or simply hang out as an alternative to indulging in other activities that could potentially expose them to gangs, violence, crime and substance abuse, among others.


“This centre provides a lot of good programmes for refugees and for children who can’t go into normal schools because of their refugee status.

“This is a centre for them to learn and where single mothers can rest in the comfort of knowing where their children are,” said Hanis when met by FMT during Malaysia’s first breakfast “soup kitchen” organised by Institut Onn Jaafar and Yayasan Chow Kit.

Hanis, the sister of the country’s Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was among those who had helped out with the programme that kicked-off at 6.30am today.

This was not the first time that the down to earth woman had served the less fortunate. In fact, she has been actively helping Myanmar refugee orphans through a tahfiz orphanage near the Selayang wholesale market.

“I do volunteer work on a regular basis and on my mother’s side of the family, they have a foundation named after my grandfather, Haji Noh.

“We carry out community-based activities, helping among others, orphans and the blind.”

She admitted however that she had a soft spot for refugee orphans.

“They are not only orphans, but they are also poor and homeless. It’s a multitude of disadvantages, so my heart goes out towards those kids.”


Hanis, a grandmother to a six-month-old, said seeing the children getting excited over a simple breakfast of bread, nasi lemak and a cup of hot milo this morning touched her heart.

She said the children’s gratitude for the simple things in life was endearing especially if one considered the mounting challenges they faced on a daily basis.

“There is brightness, acceptance and joy on their faces. They get on with life and they have found a way to be happy.”