Friday, December 22, 2006

For whatever its worth (29)

I watched in shock a live TV report over TV3 this morning. The TV station was covering relief effort in Segamat High School in Segamat, Johor.

There were about 300-400 people huddled together in what possibly is the school hall. They were made to stay there as their homes are no longer safe to be in as a result of the ongoing flood.

From the interviews, all the victims voiced their discontentment over the slow or no help at all from the state or local authorities. One male victim complained of the lack of aid and food in their shelter, no diapers for the babies, no blanket and proper place to sleep. An Indian lady who was clinging on to her 2 month old baby was chocked in sorrow, please help us she said.

These live pictures are not from Aceh or Pakistan or Sri Lanka or any African country. Here we are, watching our own fellow Malaysians crying out for help, which we are always the first ones to come forward to if the victims are in countries such as was mentioned.

No doubt as reported in the papers more than 50,000 have to be relocated in Johor alone. Yes the number looks big, but dont tell me we have no capacity to organaise help for such a number of people!?

Here we are boasting to be a developed country by 2020 and there is even a state in Malaysia that already claims itself as developed, yet we have no means and ability to provide assistance to our very own people who are in distress.

We can spend billions on building new township and mega structures (a RM30 million Ferris wheel is being constructed in Tasik Titiwangsa to be called Eye on Malaysia, supposedly as a new tourist attraction) yet we cant even provide help to our on subjects when they are really in need.

Already Johor has recorded 6 deaths, two of which were senior citizens who could not be rescued from their submerged homes in time.

I believe we have to seriously look into our disaster relief effort, in the case of Johor there were total mayhem and chaos. I called a friend, a medical doctor who is in Segamat assisting an NGO there, and according to him as at this morning there are some kampungs that are totally cut off from the rest as a result of the flood, and to date no relief effort whatsoever has reached them, imagine these people have been cut off from the rest since the last 2-3 days!

(go to WTV8 Ulasan Akhbar Hari Ini to listen to Dr Abd Rani Osman of Yayasan Amal )

And on top of all this, our beloved Prime Minister is happily on a two week vacation overseas!

I am sure if such disaster occurs in other countries, their respective head of state would surely be hands on in providing leadership and assistance, but here in Malaysia ist TAK APALAH, PAK LAH.

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