Home Semasa #Semasa: Lions roar towards a sustainable world

#Semasa: Lions roar towards a sustainable world

by Air Times Correspondent

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 SEPT –  As the nation usher’s the 66th Merdeka Day, the Lions International clubs in the country are roaring in higher gear in their quest to offer public service.

Newly-installed Lions International District 308B1 governor Alex Ooi Thiam Poh had been inspired by Lions Clubs International founder Melvin Jones’ vision: “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else”.
Ooi is an advocate of sustainable youth development programmes and activities, for the betterment of those in need.
“The most satisfying moment in my Lions service is to see the growth of our young leaders and how they come out with innovative ideas of service.

“They must have the courage and motivation to make changes and help those in need.

“Lions are knights of the blind and crusaders of darkness, to enable the visually impaired to be independent and self-sustaining for their future,” said Ooi, who introduced the ‘White Cane Day’ project the last eight years.

He said this after taking over as District 308B1 governor from Dorothy Ong Lee Ping at his installation ceremony at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel.

Ooi, whose term is until June next year, is a chartered accountant who served with Deloitte Malaysia, BDO Malaysia and the Securities Commission.

District 308B1 covers Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca with about 2,000 members in 74 clubs.
Ooi highlighted how District 308B1 had of late served nearly 50,000 people from various communities from 408 service projects including vision, hunger and disaster relief, environment, diabetes, paediatric cancer, youth development and health services.

The district also managed to recruit 1.36 million members and raised RM3.5 million to carry out the various projects.
Ooi believed that every Lion could contribute not only with monetary resources but in other forms to serve for the betterment of society.

Newly-installed Lions International District 308B1 governor Alex Ooi Thiam Poh (right) receiving his accreditation from out-going governor Dorothy Ong Lee Ping at his installation ceremony at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel.

“Lions clubs are not a fraternal, social, religious or political organisation but a formidable and sustainable organisation.
“It is a humanitarian service organisation that emphasises on high integrity, good governance, accountability and good citizenship to all its stakeholders.

“The public can trust Lions with their donations. We believe that when there is a need, there is a Lion,” said Ooi.
Ooi stressed that for more than a century, Lions were reaching out and serving communities in nearly every country throughout the world. “Lions are a symbol of hope in our world. Lions are coming together and working together to make the world a better place for all people,” he said.

He added that in line with Lions International president Dr Patti Hill’s theme ‘Changing the World’, they had created a great impact on the targeted communities and changed their lives.

“We are seen as the beacon of hope in our communities. We are not just volunteers but leaders who come and work together to create significant impact on the lives of our communities – one life, one relationship and one community at a time.
“We are literally ‘Changing the World’ every day,” said Ooi.

His own District 308B1 presidential theme ‘Towards a Sustainable Future’ was coined so as not to lose sight of the changes.
“Sustainability is about fulfilling the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations.

“It is a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.

“Not only must Lions understand and be aware of such matters that are upon us, but we need to create greater awareness and impact on our community.

“Henceforth, we need to ensure that whatever impact that we create, the change has to be for the sustainability of our future,” Ooi said.

He added that environmental issues and climate change were critical and compelling matters of our community today.
“We need to create a greener, cleaner environment for our next generation. Lions are encouraged to work in tandem with the government’s initiatives to promote the environmental, social and governance (ESG)’s agenda in Malaysia and fulfilling the concept of Malaysia Madani.

“We need to help to protect and restore our environment so that we can literally change the world.

“Nothing in life is constant except for change. We must embrace such changes that are upon us for a sustainable future,” he said.

He emphasised sustainability of their organisation and of the community in which they served to enable them to further strengthen the foundation laid by past Lion leaders.

This, Ooi said, would ensure Lions continued to grow and reached new summits.

He urged fellow Lions to continue grow by recruiting new members into its big family and retaining existing members.
“We need more members so that we can better meet the growing needs of our communities and serve more people than ever before. We must also ensure that there is a proper succession in our clubs, for us to have 1.5 million members by the year 2027,” he said.

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