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Saving lives first

  • Relief operation must not be exploited as an avenue to fatten own bank accounts or show off feigned, hypocritical generosity. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

The floods in Penang have successfully broken the ice, and revealed the kindness in men.

Even though more and more people have grown disenchanted with the incumbent Penang leadership, when a disaster strikes the state, dissidents from across the country have been willing to lay down their political differences to hold out a helping hand.

This, invariably, is the most priced and cherished aspect of the Malaysian people in real life: Let's save lives first, and talk about the rest later!

Unfortunately we still see politically motivated keyboard warriors hurling ridicules and curses while not doing anything positive to help reduce the plight of flood victims.

We cannot deny that social media has long become a platform of uncontrolled comments. Save for a little self discipline and conscience, I can't think of any effective way to restrain their excesses. We can only advise these people not to cause more havoc even if they are unwilling or unable to help.

I always believe that people fight for more power because they want the rakyat to have better lives. We will support anyone who can deliver the people out of their hardship.

After the floods hit Penang last weekend, Sin Chew Daily wasted no time in contacting Foguangshan while joining effort with Yayasan Sin Chew to initiate the flood relief operation, distributing daily necessities to the hardest hit victims right away, as we always did in the past when a calamity struck. As for the cost of acquiring medicines, food and other daily necessities, it will be reimbursed later through Yayasan Sin Chew's fund-raising campaign.

Saving lives first!

For the past few days we have received calls from the readers asking why Sin Chew Daily has not started its fund-raising campaign for Penang flood victims, as some political parties and organizations have done. The readers have asked because to a large extent they have a lot of faith in us, and have seen that we have indeed started doing the most practical thing of going down to the disaster zone to help the victims.

What we have been doing in Penang is putting together a civilian flood relief and medical team. Notably, thanks to the generosity of certain organizations such as 99 SpeedMart, FamilyMart and Econsave taking their own initiatives to donate substantial amounts of drinking water and dried food, the problem of sourcing relief items is now solved.

The substances we have received should be enough to meet the immediate needs and we therefore find it unnecessary to begin our fund raising mechanism as yet. Moreover, we believe that political parties will go down to help in order to win the support of voters in the general elections.

We are doing what is urgently needed. As for what the federal and state authorities should do or will do, we will just leave it to them.

So, Sin Chew Daily has not started fund raising even though there are readers and organizations that insist to donate through us. We will still receive their kindness on behalf of those really in need, and this will be used prudently to cover part of the expenses of this relief operation.

By taking donations from readers, we are putting on our shoulders an irrevocable responsibility. We are duty-bound to manage and utilize the funds wisely so as not to betray our readers' trust. This is why we don't simply take donations from the public, or handle them lightly in the event we do.

Disaster relief is a kind of management science that requires a lot more than just enthusiasm or money. Where money matters, we will start raising the fund. And at other times, we may need to go down to the field to do the dirty work, so long as we do not put all our emphasis on raising the money alone.

With this in mind, relief operation is purely for the relief of distressed residents, not an avenue to fatten our bank accounts or show off our feigned, hypocritical generosity.

It is hoped that more people will momentarily put aside their personal agendas or egoism, and come together to help the people of Penang through their toughest days.



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