For many who has been involved, I am sure you are highly aware of the existence of various NGOs in Malaysia. Personally, I think our perception and acceptance on voluntary activities is very much influenced by the mainstream culture. Although we have been exposed to the concept of helping hands since early age, "volunteerism" has not been commercialized enough, especially among our young generations.
As we are moving towards becoming a developing nation, social development focus has been directed towards commercialization of economy generating activities such as empowering our human capital for commercial workforce, enhancing our education system for popular commercial sectors, etc.
Based on personal experience, I came to realize that despite knowing the importance of "giving my hands" to the needy, somehow my intention of helping others kept on dropping from my priority list. Helping financially (or shall I say monetary assistance) had overwhelmed voluntary efforts/activities by pushing away people, who are less fortunate -money wise. If I go back to the basics of helping, a contribution does not equals to monetary value itself, but the scope can be widen to other type of resources available.
Whether you realize it or not, there has been a healthy development in the areas of social development.
If you have been wanting to learn about volunteering locally (soon internationally), check out this site - SUKARELAWAN. This site aims to collectively gather as many organizations as possible in the country that offer volunteering opportunities to the public. Although it is still in its infancy stage, you could find relatively sufficient information about volunteer activity here.