22/06/2024 03:58 PM

SUNGAI PETANI, June 22 (Bernama) --  Former photographer of The Star newspaper Asri Abdul Ghani, 55, who is currently battling Parkinson's disease, was deeply touched to discover that he had been selected as a beneficiary of the Tabung Kasih@HAWANA. 

"I was truly surprised when I was contacted by someone from Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency) informing me that HAWANA wanted to assist me,” said Asri, who had only heard about the fund through the media. 

"I feel deeply touched and grateful to Bernama and Tabung Kasih@HAWANA for this assistance. I hope that HAWANA continues to help more media practitioners, especially those in need," he said when met at his home in Bandar Laguna Merbok today.

Asri explained that he had been a photographer with The Star from 1999 to 2018, and shortly after leaving the newspaper, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2019.

The father of two said since his diagnosis, his mobility and body control have been significantly disrupted, making daily tasks challenging, and he requires special medication to manage.  

Nevertheless, he expressed gratitude that he is still able to care for himself, supported by his wife, Asmidar Awang, 53, who is a school teacher. 

Asri advised media practitioners to stay vigilant about their health, maintain a balanced diet, and secure health insurance to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances.

"In media work, we are always rushing around, even when eating. We don't have time to go for health checkups. Try to make time for ourselves so that our health is not jeopardised," he said.

Earlier, Bernama chief executive officer, Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin and Bernama editor-in-chief Arul Rajoo Durar Raj visited Asri at his home to present the aid. 

Asri is among 110 media practitioners who have benefitted from Tabung Kasih@HAWANA since the initiative was introduced in April last year.

Apart from cash donations, they also receive goods from Syarikat Pakaian Hari-Hari and Aeon Big.

Tabung Kasih@HAWANA, established in conjunction with the National Journalists’ Day (HAWANA) 2023 celebration, aims to support journalists and media personnel, whether still in service, retired, elderly, or in need of assistance.

It is an initiative by the Ministry of Communications implemented through Bernama.


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