News Phobia & Heroes
The past week has been a horrific week especially when it comes to opening the newspapers. I cannot hide the fact that everytime I come across some terrible news headlines I tend to become a bit sick. This week has been bad - not that the news that North Korea is set to become a Nuclear Power will makes it any better. Just when one feel that one can go out of one's house the news reported in the papers make you think twice. Watching TV3 or CNN makes one feel the world is becoming a dangerous place to live in now.
Lau Jun Wei's death - New Straits Times 17 October 2006
Another interesting piece of news is Mavis Jing Wen Suan's death - its a story of how a Sarawakian Mum from Kuching went to Kuala Lumpur with her 3 years old daughter to seek a better life. (Kuala Lumpur of all places?) The headline on the 11th Oct 2006 NST read:
Mum’s SMS friendship led to daughter’s death: KUALA LUMPUR: It all started with text messages and three months later a housewife left Kuching, trusting that her new-found friend will help her find a job here.Lee Chiew Siew paid heavily for that trust.The 30-year-old woman witnessed how her three-year-old daughter, Mavis Jing Wen Suan, was tortured by the man.
Then there was another story of how a three year old girl was burnt to her death in her father's Kancil coupled with another death from a road accident by a Mat Rempit (illegal motorbike racer). One that almost made me go puke was the stoty of two pre-school boys in Sibu Sarawak who died due to hornets attack - all because the adults who saw these happened locked themselves in the canteen when they saw the kids running towards them with the hornet swarm. The kids were left outside to fend for themselves. The newspapers reported the next day that the deaths were not due to bee attacks as earlier reported but hornet's attack. But I have to ask "Why in the world would those selfish adults lock themselves in and not try to save the kids? Its not that the hornets can open the door."
Even with news like the death of 29 years old G. Ragupathi who was dragged by an MPV for two kilometres is quite sickening to read about. Why the driver kept on driving while the victim was pinned under his vehicle no one will know.
But of course the events are two different things - one it involves things that is unavoidable like accidents and some things that can be avoided like child abuse. It brought me to think about the challenge our country faces when we want to create this Masyarakat Penyayang (A Caring Society). Have we allowed ourselves to be derailed in that aspect? Here we are watching the television show like 'Bersamamu' by TV3 showing the lives of the poor and sick and how they persevere and struggle in everyday life. Next comes '999' also by TV3 where we see the 'dark side' of our Malaysian society - gambling, prostitution, human trafficking, lepaking (all the social illness you can name). It seems Malaysia is going to the pits. And I would wish of all people - our Tun Dr. Mahathir could focus his temper on these deteriorating state of affairs with regards to the social problems now. Not hoo hah over whether Malaysia is on top of the world or not, in being the bestest of the best or not (as seen in the crooked bridge affair - conveniently renamed Scienic Bridge). After all it was the Tun who listed the creation of a Masyarakat Penyayang as being being vital to achieving Vision 2020. Well, some people are like that I guess. With the 'power' they think they possess they abuse the young children knowing that these small beings are defenseless agains them. Some run for cover and think for themselves when the hornets come flying at them. Never mind the screams and cries for help of the hornet's victims outside. Its the same cries of the rakyat out there when our leaders bicker and huff and puff at one another. I am also referring to local politics in the State. So when the kids died the argument was on whether the insects were bees or hornets. Something is very wrong.
Heroes Are Rare in Malaysia
Its not that Malaysia has no heroes to look up to right now but we have too few of them. I would say the present Prime Minister Pak Lah is one of the heroes I look up to even though not many would think of him highly. The negative things they say about Pak Lah - he seems to be weathering the storm quite well. It reminds me of the late Gandhi's passive resistance in dealing with bullies. And there are so many bullies right now nudging him (sometimes it comes to shoving), trying to steer him to do what they want. I have heard so much from the guys about Pak Lah's supposedly weakness and how bad he was - guess they felt my silence was an agreement to what they are saying but by being quiet, I guess I am subscribing to the PM's approach in handling things like that - silence is golden they say and it solves problems in its own way too.
Borneo Post Story of a husband who tried to safe his wife
So I will have to say this about being heroes - its not everytime there is a happy ending. Take the case in this morning's news (Borneo Post) "a husband who tried to save his distraught wife who decided to end her life when she discovered she had cancer" - he broke two of his legs in trying to cushion her fall.
We can be heroes in our own way and we can do more if we try.