Gerobok Raya - Uplifting the Syawal Spirit of Frontliners | The Full Frontal

Gerobok Raya – Uplifting the Syawal Spirit of Frontliners

Gerobok or gobok in its local Johorean lingo means a closet or cupboard, a place where you keep all the good stuff, the stuff you love and the stuff that keeps you alive.

The MCO is (hopefully) in its final phase and we’re all coping with changes gracefully.

Shops and traders are now back in business, the same goes to the rest of the non-essential services in the country.

But as humans, we tend to forget the hardest part was when the authorities, the essential services – the frontliners were hard at work not only trying to flatten the curve but also to educate us – a bunch of stubborn citizens some of us are.

And while we rejoice in the celebration of the end of quarantine, perhaps it doesn’t hurt to show a little bit of appreciation to the core batch of our frontliners, the ones who struggled since day 1 – the medical workers.

The First Responders

Treacherous and risky as it is, to them it’s all in a day’s work. Photo by BERNAMA

This is exactly what Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is doing, bringing the best bits of Raya to frontline workers in a project called Gerobok Raya.

A social initiative, this Syawal exclusive project aims for just one thing – to bring the warmth of Raya to the frontliners and hopefully, see them smile.

Gerobok Raya holds a very special significance for us this time – Sherene Azli. Photo by

No amount of gifts would justify the struggles and sacrifices these heroes have had to endure but it’s the thought that matters when MHTC visited Hospital Selayang and Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), the latter being the Ground Zero for the Low-Risk Patient Quarantine and Treatment Centre for COVID-19.

“It’s our way of saying thank you, especially when we know that not only they don’t get to balik kampung for Raya but they will be working round the clock to fight the pandemic. Through Gerobok Raya, we at MHTC can only play a small and active role in supporting our heroes”, said MHTC Chief Executive Officer, Sherene Azli.

She continued, “It may not be much but we believe every little effort counts and every small act can make a difference. We’re optimistic that this initiative will somehow imbue the sense of unity in celebration, despite all odds.

What Exactly is Gerobok Raya?

MHTC Gerobok Raya
Both Dr Sakinah and Subramaniam checking out the Gerobok, filled with traditional and healthy Raya treats.

As its name suggests, the project involved placing a physical gerobok (cupboard) filled with all the sweet and savoury Raya surprise. Going for a traditional yet healthy Syawal treats made with a blend of nutritious nuts and dried fruits amongst others, Gerobok Raya ensures more than 500 healthcare frontliners can embrace a little bit of warmth this Aidilfitri, while on duty.

MHTC also hopes the frontliners get to relive the best part of the tradition while standing strong together, protecting us from harm.

Gerobok Raya is not the first for MHTC. They initiated Projek SamaSama to raise funds, arrange PPE for government hospitals in red zones while bridging gaps between the workes and the everyday folks like us.

An extension of Projek SamaSama, Gerobok Raya was brought up with the rakyat first mindset. It’s more of a psychological symbolic that Malaysians are with them, through thick and thin.

An earlier initiative back in March.

About the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

2019 saw the launch of the exclusive MHTC lounge at KLIA2.

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is a government agency that has been entrusted with the responsibility of curating the country’s healthcare travel scene. Founded in 2009, MHTC works to streamline industry players and service providers in facilitating and growing Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry under the brand “Malaysia Healthcare” with the intended goal of making Malaysia the leading global healthcare destination.

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