Philanthropist Kuan Chee Heng is hoping to inspire more Malaysians to help the poor, regardless of race or religion. Pic from Kuan Chee Heng’s Facebook account.

KUALA LUMPUR: Philanthropist Kuan Chee Heng is hoping to inspire more Malaysians to help the poor, regardless of race or religion.

Kuan said there was much to be done as many of the poor did not have enough food and clothes.

Known affectionately to the poor as Uncle Kentang, the 56-year-old businessman came up with the idea of handing out potatoes a few years ago.

He said he noted that the poor often received rice from the public, but they were so poor that they had to eat it plain with soy sauce.

“They don’t even have money to buy vegetables. When I gave them potatoes, they were very happy,” he told the New Straits Times.

He said not a day goes by that he does not get calls from the poor asking for potatoes.

They call him at 03-27181783 and collect the potatoes at stalls set up by Kuan. Most of them are in Puchong where he is based, especially at Bukit Jalil People’s Housing Project.

He will also deliver the potatoes to their homes if necessary.

He had previously introduced Pasar 10 sen or 10 sen market, where the less fortunate could buy donated items, such as a washing machine or a piece of clothing, for 10 sen.

Kuan, who is also the founder of Community Policing Malaysia, runs his charity initiatives through crowdfunding.

“The poor will always be with us, but we shall not harden our hearts or shut our hand from them.

“Because of that we should explore every possible way to help the poor,” he said.