RHB Bank sheds light on tale of reformed gangster’s climb to redemption

With Deepavali just around the corner, RHB Bank has unveiled a campaign called “Strength to Rise”. Done in collaboration with FCB Kuala Lumpur, the spot features founder of Tamilan Uthavum Karangkal (Malaysia Tamilan Helping Hands) organisation, Muraly Arumugam’s noble act 20 years ago.

The Tamilan Uthavum Karangkal (Malaysia Tamilan Helping Hands) is a 700-strong organisation of volunteers that has been enabling disabled worshippers to pray at the summit of Batu Caves by carrying them up the 272 steps of the iconic holy site. This initiative was spurred by Arumugam who rallied his friends to carry a wheelchair-bound worshipper up the steps of Batu Caves. Arumugam was previously a gangster who turned over a new leaf and lent a hand to the disabled individual to redeem himself.

In the film, his noble act draws parallel to his zero-to-hero story, where in order to turn over a new leaf, he had to make the difficult climb from the bottom of the society barrel to arrive at the summit of redemption. Launched a week ago, the video has garnered over 4.4 million views on RHB’s social channels.

On the resonance of the film with the RHB brand, Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, chief marketing officer at RHB Group, said while it is tempting to give in to despair when society leaves you, the bank believes that true progress is about finding the strength to rise above past failures. “For Arumugam, his challenger spirit not only turned him to a life of selflessness, but also sparked those around him to join his cause. This makes him the epitome of the ‘Together We Progress’ belief that RHB stands for, and we are very honoured to tell his story,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wang Ie Tjer, FCB’s creative director, explained that Arumugam’s tale inspired the team to uplift the neglected and challenges society’s views on those deemed “irredeemable”. Adding on to that, Ong Shi Ping, FCB’s co-owner and chief creative officer said Arumugam’s tale shows that together, everyone has the strength to uplift fellow man and redefine society into one that is inclusive, daring, and hopeful.

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