Tuesday, 2 January 2007

The Johore Flood: Praises for the Volunteers

The Spirit of Malaysian Camaderie, Irrespective of Race and Religion, In Times of Need

From Ibnu Hakeem
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here for more


"..... My friends and I were in Segamat on Saturday 30/12/06 with groups of other volunteers to help out the Malaysian Red Crescent Society with flood relief work.

The Malaysian Red Crescent Society, under the patronage of Raja Zarith Sofia ,the consort of the Tengku Mahkota of Johor, is doing an excellent job of coordinating relief work. In my view the Red Crescent Society has been allowed to move freely on the ground and work tirelessly since 20/12/06 because of Raja Zarith Sofia.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) government has NOT allowed any other volunteer groups into the affected areas because they do not want anyone to steal their limelight. But help from the BN volunteers was and still is slow in coming.

The Prime Minister came by just once, en route to a holiday in Perth in Australia.

No one has heard from him since.

Raja Zarith was very businesslike. She quickly distributed supplies and clothes to the many victims - Malays, Chinese as well as Indians - toured the relief centre and then left, leaving the volunteers to proceed.

Other than a Police escort, there were NO prominent Government representatives during her presence.

There was excellent camaraderie among all the 'nameless' volunteers - Malays, Chinese, Indians and others as we unloaded trucks full of supplies, sorted them out, reloaded them into smaller trucks and our four-wheel drives and then went into the kampong areas near Sungai Chodan and along the road to Bukit Kepong to redistribute the supplies.

Dato Samy Vellu did make a personal donation of RM25,000 through the local MIC ‘gang leader’.

There was also a group of individual volunteers - mostly Chinese - who came in four-wheel drives and distributed supplies directly to the kampong folks, including cooked food. They had a mobile kitchen with them which served hot and cold drinks for everyone including the volunteers. After hours of loading and unloading supplies, many of us middle-aged volunteers really appreciated their hot teh tarik and kopi susu.

It was a totally gratifying experience to help our fellow Malaysians who were in need.

When we left, their ‘terima Kasih’ was truly heartfelt.

The Red Crescent Society still needs contributions and volunteers.

Please contact the Malaysian Red Crescent Society. Or just drive down South and help. Cooked food will be appreciated because the peoples’ kitchens are still flooded. ....."

-Ibnu Hakeem


UPDATE: A Bit of History: Biography of Tun Dr. Ismail, One of the Founding Fathers of Malaysia

READ HERE PART 2 of the article on the biography. The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr. Ismail

Read here for PART 1

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