December 9, 2008

Help wanted! But no takers?

I am not looking for help in the sense of employment. I am actually referring to the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (Selangor?) which killed 4 and injured a few. It also made nearly 3,000 to 5,000 people homeless for a few days as they were not allowed to go to their own homes as there were threat of further landslides.

There are so many articles and blog postings already playing the blame game of who's to blame for this disaster and all the other disaster happening around Malaysia for the past weeks. Some put it on the government either government agencies, local, state or federal. Some blame it on the private sectors such as greedy developers (Are they all? Not even one good developer?), land surveyors, architects and engineers. Some even have the gall of blaming the people who lives there which they claim are rich enough that they deserve what had befell them. Some politicians even take up this blame it on the people attitude as they advised the people there to be always 'aware' of their surroundings.

So, I don't want to get into all that as there will be enough blames to be shared by all.

What I want to know is on how to help when disaster such as this happens? I read the blog of the daughter of our former Prime Minister, Marina Mahathir, who asked Malaysians to help bring mineral waters and even charged handphone to the area as the people there were holed up in a surau near there without electricity. I did said this outloud to my wife but never being a volunteer in whatever program any NGOs in Malaysia ever done just made us clueless on how to help.

We were also thinking that the authorities already have their hands full with all the help that they can give and need. We called our friends who were living there to check on them and we were relieved that they are alive and well. They told us of the harrowing experience of having to reach down to safety using a makeshift path through the forest as the landslide cut one side of Bukit Antarabangsa off from their access road.

My friend who is living there told us that they don't know how they will go to work as they have left their belongings, car and everything at their unaccessible house (up until now). One day after the landslide, there seem to be an ongoing festival there of people milling around and the army trying to solve the logistics. Stalls by a mamak shop and local politician seems to cover the basic need of the people. I hope what are shown on TV are true and there is no need for small people like me to get involve.

My contribution will be localise to those people I know personally if they need a roof to stay while their home become accessible again. Just that if it happens to a place where the people are poorer the same treatments will apply...

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