Healthier ketupat and rendang for needy in Woodlands

Senior Parliamentary Secretary and Sembawang GRC grassroots adviser Amrin Amin handing food to rental flat resident Lee Zhi Xin, 64. With him are Ms Wang Yi (right) and her daughter Zhao Jiayi. Over 100 volunteers packed food which was then delivered
Senior Parliamentary Secretary and Sembawang GRC grassroots adviser Amrin Amin handing food to rental flat resident Lee Zhi Xin, 64. With him are Ms Wang Yi (right) and her daughter Zhao Jiayi. Over 100 volunteers packed food which was then delivered to 180 rental flats in Woodlands as part of Share-A-Ketupat Rendang.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

The scent of fresh ketupat and chicken rendang filled the air at the Woodlands Galaxy Community Club hall yesterday afternoon, as more than 100 volunteers packed food for the needy to spread the spirit of Ramadan.

Share-A-Ketupat Rendang is an annual affair which started in 2016.

This year, a van drivers' club called Abam Abam Van Singapura and a motorcycle interest group called Adventure Riders Singapore were roped in to help with the deliveries to 180 rental flats in Woodlands.

The afternoon's heavy rain did little to dampen their enthusiasm, and the skies cleared in time for the smooth delivery of 3,000 ketupat by a fleet of six vans and 30 motorbikes.

Volunteers included new immigrants such as Ms Wang Yi, 49, who arrived from Beijing five years ago. She was seen gingerly putting together the ketupat, which consists of rice packed inside tightly wound palm leaves.

"It's my first time making rice dumplings," said Ms Wang, who volunteered at the event with her daughter Zhao Jiayi, 18, a Secondary 4 student.

"I've learnt about Malay folk stories from my new friends today," said Jiayi.

Mr Lee Zhi Xin, 64, was one of the rental flat residents who received the gift.

"All I can say is thanks, really," said Mr Lee, who is unemployed and stays alone. He said he sometimes has plain bread for meals.

The event also aims to promote healthy eating by substituting some of the white rice in the ketupat with brown rice, and by using less oil and sugar in the rendang.

"There is a growing problem of diabetes in Singapore and everyone has a part to play to ensure diabetes is controlled," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin, who is the grassroots adviser for Sembawang GRC.

He initiated the project three years ago.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2018, with the headline 'Healthier ketupat and rendang for needy in Woodlands'. Print Edition | Subscribe