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THE legacy of giving that Datuk R. Doraisingam learnt from his philanthropist father N. Rengasamy Pillai continues to this day.

The giving started when, 20 years ago, Doraisingam opened a small restaurant in Masjid India and gave food to poor school children, charity events and homes of the disabled.

When the Tsunami broke, he immediately initiated donation boxes at all Lotus Restaurant outlets to help victims in Indonesia.

Lotus Group of restaurants CEO Doraisingam and his brother Datuk R. Ramalingam also run a home for about 100 disabled children in India.

“I am practising what my father taught me. We believe help moves in a circle. Our family owes it to society and we want to return our fair share,” said Doraisingam who is also involved in plantations, film distribution and real estate.

Doraisingam, a Penangnite and an old boy of St Xaviers, said: “It was my late father’s wish to give back to society, regardless of race,” he said, adding that his father had passed away at the age of 68 in 1986.

Fifty years ago, on Merdeka Day, his father Rengasamy Pillay in Telok Intan gave 30 Indian and Malay labourers in Bukit Mertajam a Merdeka Day gift.

The gift then was an acre of land each worth RM20,000, which is today worth about a million ringgit.

He also made a donation of parcels of land to a Chinese, Tamil and national school in Telok Intan.

Rengasamy made the gift in sympathy of the labourers who lost their jobs and livelihood as a result of the fragmentation of the rubber estate land.

One of the recipients was SMJK San Min. Two years ago, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim opened the school’s new building.

“I am touched by the donation of land by an Indian for a Chinese school,” said Hon during the opening.

In addition, he also made another gift towards the Tamil studies department, Universiti Malaya, where 15 students received RM1,111 as a scholarship for their studies.

One of the recipients was the former deputy health minister the late Datuk K.Pathmanaban.

Dr Rama Subbiah, the former head of the Tamil Studies Department, was another recipient.

Rengasamy started work in Bukit Mertajam as a bank apprentice and went on to become a wholesale merchant and later dealt in real estate.

Source : TheStar