Taman Desa residents run for the love of the country, and palm oil

Zhen M

Modified 24 Jun 2020, 8:03 am

Taman Desa residents came out in force last Saturday morning for a fun run around their neighbourhood. Some 800 people took part in the 5km fun run organised by the Taman Desa Residents' Association (TDRA) and the Federal Territories Residential Representative Council (MPPWP) Seputeh Zone. The run flagged off at 7:30am at Taman Desa Park and ended at SMK Taman Desa where a carnival was held.

This was the third run organised by TDRA, easily one of the most active residents' associations in town.

The first run was in 2015 where it raised RM113,000 for flood victims in Kelantan. Another TDRA run in 2018 raised RM100,000 for Tabung Harapan, said TDRA advisor Datuk William Chan, who is also MPPWP Seputeh Zone subzone 1 chairman.

This time round, no funds were raised. "It's more carnival-like, in conjunction with Merdeka Day and to support the Love MY Palm Oil campaign. The participation fee -- RM30 for adults and RM20 for children and students under 18 (for the run's t-shirt) -- was a token sum. We had many sponsors for the carnival," Chan said, adding that some 1,000 t-shirts were sold.

SMK Taman Desa was festive. There were many stalls either giving out free food cooked in palm oil, or selling them at a token price. The goodies bag included a small bottle of premium extra red palm fruit oil, compliments from Harvist.

The Ghana High Commission served up a spread wide enough to be a full meal! Ghana Commission staff even did a cooking demo on stage, led by the High Commissioner H.E. Ms. Akua Sekyiwa Ahenkora herself. Malaysia's Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok joined her in the cooking after a few minutes. Ghanaians use red palm oil extensively in their cooking.

The neighbourhood Taman Desa Medical Centre offered complimentary health screening. Hospital staff even led an energetic exercise dance routine on stage that creatively incorporated the correct way of washing one's hands.

Other entertainment included a presentation by the YMCA/YWCA harmonica group, and a performance by children from a neighbourhood Kindergarten. 15 hampers were given out to lucky draw winners -- the grand prize was a treadmill. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) also gave a talk on palm oil and its benefits.

"I thank TDRA for giving my Ministry full support, for supporting the Love My Palm Oil campaign. TRDA has worked with me even when I was an opposition MP," she said, citing the run TDRA organised in 2015 to help raise funds for Kelantan flood victims as an example.

In conjunction with the carnival, the Ministry of Primary Industries donated mooncakes specially made with red palm oil to 11 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for them to sell and benefit from the sales proceeds.