KUANTAN, 15 Jan 2021:
A lawyer and environmental activist Noor Jehan Abu Bakar – who is also Malaysia Nature Society Pahang branch chairman – is doing her part by making “sabun kasih saying” (love soap) for flood victims to encourage them to wash their hands often in order to keep Covid-19 at bay.
She has been making them in her free time since Jan 3 with her 18-year-old daughter for distribution to evacuation centres (PPS) in places like Kuantan, Pekan and Maran, as well as Orang Asli settlements, with the help of volunteers.
She said she spends her free time at night to make the bars – which are deliberately mini and in the shape of a heart or animals – to appeal to children and so they will be used up in two days.
If she begins the four-hour process at 8pm, she is able to produce between 250 and 300 bars of soap. She said soap making actually takes days, but she decided to use just glycerine, goat’s milk and lavender to churn them out quickly.
The 50-year-old said she has made over 10kg of soap, adding that “it isn’t just an interest, but a form of therapy, too”.
“This skill should be used to help others and bring happiness in these testing times through soap made with love.
“The flood has happened at the same time as the Covid-19 pandemic, making health protection critical for those at the PPS. Washing your hands often is one way to prevent infection.
“We know that there is a lot of rubbish being generated at the PPS – added to it the food containers from meals delivered to victims – so I pack my soap in a big box for direct distribution to the people.”
Jehan said another reason she thought of giving soap is because she experienced a flood in 2013 and “we had to evacuate hurriedly because the floodwater was rising rapidly.
“During this time, your mind will be on the safety of the children, important documents and items, as well as clothes … definitely not soap.”