H.E. Charles Hay, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, presented the award on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Kuan in a simple ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuan has been offering his service to the community for many years, helping the poor, the needy and the underprivileged. He provides transport and ambulance service, free hearse and funeral for the poor and the indigenous orang asli community. He also runs a food bank, operates a 12-hour suicidal hotline, helps arrange shelter for abused women and children as well as sets up a community policing teams to keep crimes at bay.
Kuan is known by many as “uncle kentang” since the days when he started distributing potatoes to the poor. He is also known as the 10-sen man because he offers 10-sen ambulance service, 10-sen taxi and sells items for 10-sen at flea market to alleviate the financial burden of the poor and needy.
The 57 year old philanthropist, who was surprised when he was first informed of the news, said:
I feel extremely honoured and proud to be awarded the Commonwealth Points of Light award. When I began this journey of service, my motive was not to get any form of reward or recognition, but purely to make a difference in the lives of those who needed help. I was supported in my efforts by a group of wonderful people who put service before self. Getting this award is an honour not just for me but for my great team of volunteers who share my passion.
The award belongs to all donors and Malaysians who work hard and support all initiatives taken to uplift the quality of living. I thank Her Majesty The Queen of England with all our best wishes. The award will spur us to work harder indeed.
The Commonwealth Points of Light award is given by Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, to outstanding volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities.
H.E. Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, said:
The award is a fitting acknowledgement of Mr Kuan’s tireless efforts in helping those in need. It is important to recognise exceptional volunteers like Mr Kuan and share their stories of service. I hope this can inspire others to contribute back to the society.
Prior to Kuan, three other Malaysians have received the Commonwealth Points of Light award. They are Dr Madhusudhan, who provides free medical treatment to the homeless through his Teddy Mobile Clinics; Dr Chen Pelf Nyok from the Turtle Conservation Society, who protects freshwater turtles in Terengganu; as well as Ms Khor Sue Yee and Ms Aurora Tin from Zero Waste Malaysia for promoting a zero-waste lifestyle to save the environment.