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LETTER | Protecting the most vulnerable among us

LETTER | Recently, my sleepy neighbourhood has been ruffled by a newcomer. She has been going from house to house, first for a week at the next-door neighbour where she was treated for a leg injury.

One night at mine, next to the neighbour opposite, and then settling permanently with the corner house neighbour where she had ample grass to roll in.

She was a gentle, black and white mongrel abandoned by her owner, but had been extremely lucky to chance upon a caring community.

In the same week, I read with horror the tragedy of the refugee father, driven into desperation to the point of killing himself and his children.

I wondered if the family had a chance to experience that same, quintessentially Malaysian hospitality we pride ourselves for.

If the children, which we often say are the “future of the nation”, ever felt the warmth of Keluarga Malaysia?

And if their tragic demise was preventable, had anyone of us paid closer attention or extended a gesture of kindness?

There are too many questions surrounding the incident. But it was a big jolt to my reality. While worrying about global inflation and the political smoke and mirrors happening in our backyard, I’ve forgotten how much more are the most vulnerable affected.

But this is exactly where we show up, fellow Malaysians. We may not all be in positions of power or full-time activists, but we all have eyes and ears (and our Whatsapp groups!) to connect needs to relevant avenues.

Like a salve or crutch providing temporary relief, the spirit of #kitajagakita fills the gap for many of the country’s systemic failings.

We can’t afford to wait for “change”, we have to be the change ourselves. If not, at least conduits of compassion in a cold and cruel world.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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