Monday, January 15, 2007

Malaysian floods: C’mon Singapore, let’s be good neighbors




NB: So far these charities do not have specific donation drives for the flood victims. I will keep you updated if there is.

Malaysia floods test aid efforts (BBC News 15th Jan 07)

Relief centres in southern Malaysia are reported to be bursting at the seams with more than 100,000 people evacuated from their homes after heavy flooding.

Aid workers have appealed for help as they try to feed and shelter victims in the worst-affected state of Johor.

Major rivers burst their banks, cutting off a number of towns.

The floods came as many were returning home from shelters following the first round of flooding in December that killed at least 17 people.

More than 300 relief centres have been set up on higher ground to shelter the huge number of displaced people.

But relief workers say some centres have been overwhelmed and cannot take in any more evacuees. At least one centre has reportedly run out of rice.

"We need donations of food. Some [relief] centres have no more space already," one official was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

"Blankets and warm clothing are also needed."

Health officials are also concerned about the risk of water- and mosquito-borne diseases.

Heavy rains deluged Johor, the state that borders Singapore, over the weekend.

One town was almost submerged, with only rooftops standing above water in some areas, local media reported.

More than 1,000 police are reportedly being drafted in to assist with relief efforts and to prevent looting.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said a state of emergency may be declared if the floods worsen.

My comments:

Hi Friends,

I was tempted to plunge into the debate about Tom Plate’s write-up about Singapore or even about PM Lee’s pronouncement that Temasek should be held accountable if Shin Corp turns out to be a disaster ( as if it isn’t already), but the news about the deluge affecting our northern neighbors takes precedence over all that.

Does anybody know how we can help these Malaysians in a practical way? Any contacts of the Red Cross or Mercy Relief ? I will source for these and post them in this blog soon.

Let’s not forget that Singapore and Malaysia was one entity before the acrimonious split in 1965.

Even if previous political association does not cut any ice with you, perhaps we should remember an old saying that says, “ A friend in need, is a friend indeed”.

Then in a selfish and convoluted way, perhaps our Malaysian friends may extend a hand to us in the future when we get into difficulties.

But of course the best reason to help would be to help without expecting anything in return.

Just because... we are human beings. Not animals.

Best wishes to Malaysians!

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

Links: ThinkHappiness (Yadav): Nice article about how to be a good neighbor in our region.


Sophie said...

yeah, time to help thy neighbour despite political problems.

Think Happiness said...

Please visit this blog posting to find out how to help Malaysian flood victims.

betweenthelines said...

Noble intentions, but the Malaysian government has openly said they did not need help and could handle it themselves.

That may be a sign that they do not want to be seen as needy and being helped by Singapore for various reasons. Forcing it one them may be an insult, knowing how sensitive they are.

Of course if they want help, we should certainly help. I hope the Malaysian government will act with the flood victims in mind and not for political reasons.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi all:

Sigh! I guess political agenda always precedes everything else.

Alright then, I guess we can only just pray for them and hope no more natural calamities occur.

We stand ready to help if asked.