HotelsThe former Grand Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur is now a one-stop centre offering beds, meals, counselling and jabs for the needy.

In Malaysia, a hotel gets repurposed for a good cause

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Experienced hotel-trained chefs and staff handle the preparation of food packages that will be distributed to the needy and to the frontliners battling the pandemic.
Experienced hotel-trained chefs and staff handle the preparation of food packages that will be distributed to the needy and to the frontliners battling the pandemic.

Welcome to Rumah Prihatin @ Grand Seasons Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's first charity hotel which is a food kitchen and food bank, transit shelter, mental health facility, Covid vaccination centre, and an operational centre for social and charity volunteers all rolled into one.

It’s a joint initiative launched on July 15 by the Federal Territory Ministry, the Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) with the Grand Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The 20-year-old hotel had ceased operations in February 2019 and the owners have given it to YWP to run for two years. The owners cover the utility bills, while YWP foot the operational costs.

The hotel building had previously been put on the market and was operated by Prominview, owned by Lim Siew Kim, daughter of the late Malaysian tycoon Lim Goh Tong who founded Genting.

“We are grateful to the owners for this gesture. And if the move has inspired other building owners to come forward with offering their premises for charitable purposes, we will be happy to support in terms of experience and guidance," said YWP CEO Zaizalnizam Zainun.

Rumah Prihatin @ Grand Seasons Kuala Lumpur is a charity hotel that provides meals, beds, counselling services and Covid-19 vaccines to those hard hit by the pandemic.
Rumah Prihatin @ Grand Seasons Kuala Lumpur is a charity hotel that provides meals, beds, counselling services and Covid-19 vaccines to those hard hit by the pandemic.

Owing to the origins of the premises, Rumah Prihatin offers 300 accommodation rooms to ease the difficulties faced by travellers, frontliners or those in need of temporary accommodation from just RM30 (US$7.20) per night for three days, according to Zaizalnizam.

The food kitchen prepares 1,000 packs of ready-to-eat meals daily for distribution to frontline staff, enforcement agencies and needy residents, while the food bank also lends a hand to the city's underprivileged and homeless by providing dry food and essential supplies to them.

A massive team comprised of more than 4,000 volunteers canvass the city to identify those in need of aid and delivering it to them.

YWP’s Zaizalnizam hopes that the Rumah Prihatin’s initiative would spur other unused building owners to also generously offer usage of their buildings for charitable purposes.
YWP’s Zaizalnizam hopes that the Rumah Prihatin’s initiative would spur other unused building owners to also generously offer usage of their buildings for charitable purposes.

To combat the toll of the long-drawn pandemic on mental health, Zaizalnizam said they provide specially designed services focusing on counselling and emotional uplifting for individuals and groups. It caters to those who might not otherwise be able to afford such services.

Meanwhile, the mobile vaccine centre, which has been operating since July 15, has administered 13,628 doses to date, said Zaizalnizam.

Outside of the six core services, Rumah Prihatin has recently added services to provide oxygen inhalers, RTK antigen swab kits for Covid-19 tests, and soon, children’s toys.

Monetary contributions to Rumah Prihatin are welcomed and will be tax exempted, said Zaizalnizam.

For more information, visit www.yayasanwp.org/rumahprihatin.

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