YOURSAY | ‘The occasional charity that makes its way into the news is only the tip of the iceberg…’
JD Lovrenciear: This is the sad state of my beloved country. When 2020 came, it looked like we did not achieve the objectives of Vision 2020, of which several were about having a caring and economically just society.
Today we see people of all races suffering. Not having an affordable roof over our heads is one of the greatest betrayals to the citizens. How many more are struggling with the nightmare of housing loans? How many more are struggling to put food on the table?
The fact that a meaningless (by today’s cost of living) RM500 welfare aid has to be given out is an indication that the wealth of this oil, gas, and natural resource-rich nation cannot be shared equitably among the 32 million population.
What is the use of drumming up fantastic GDPs (gross domestic products) and ROIs (return of investments) of Khazanah-led investments when we have people being driven out into the streets?
The occasional charity that makes its way into the news is only the tip of the iceberg of a nation sharply divided between the haves and have nots, with the latter growing in numbers, their suffering shielded from the eyes of the public.
Appum: I shed some tears when I read this article. But they were tears of joy to see a human being caring so much to help a needy family. A politician he may be, but his deeds have made a family relieved and happy at the end of the day.
That is the most crucial thing that matters. We don't care where he comes from, what race or creed he belongs to, what religion he professes, but that at the most critical moment, help was given totally without any hesitation for a family of 11.
Having said that, we now turn to the bigger picture. In cases like these, where are the government social welfare organisations for people to turn to in such times of emergency need? Why is the government not promoting those aid agencies that these unfortunate people can turn to?
It is a real shame that they, the ministers, think only of their position, power, and perks, but these realities of suffering people are ignored.
Sillyputty: Thank you Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong for the help you extended to this mother of 10. However, there are serious underlying problems that need to be addressed, even after this family has secured housing.
The government and the public need to be conscious of these, at all times. I agreed, the media may not have highlighted other aspects of this story and focused only on key issues.
Nevertheless, here are additional queries:
- Why does a woman under 40 years of age have 10 children?
- Where is the father in this tragic story of economic and emotional hardship?
- Have Muslim social welfare or civil society groups reached out to this family? What about women’s groups? After all, certain Muslim groups in Malaysia pride themselves in "protecting their own".
- Do this woman and her children have extended family within reach or are they scattered throughout the country?
- How are the schools, where some of the children might be enrolled, assisting in this family’s plight?
This story is reeking of social and economic injustice from so many angles. Can we know more, please?
Dr Raman Letchumanan: Way to go, Sim and DAP. Do more of this to help the rakyat in their hour of need. You got personally involved in this for the whole day, rather than just lending an ear or donating money.
Don't worry about answering any speculations as to why, how, etc. That will make your deed conditional and your motive questioned. Your selfless deeds will speak for themselves.
Those responsible for her misfortune will hopefully speak up, if not others will judge them. No need to dig into that, otherwise it will turn into a divisive issue of race and religion.
Bravo Sim. Just this one simple act has made you a people's hero. I look at you differently now.
Mat M Din: Sim's fine gesture in extending help to a poor Malay family with 10 children, homeless after being evicted, is very heartening.
Being a member of the DAP, a party unfairly considered as racist, anti-Malay, and anti-Islam, his kind gesture has slowly eroded the myth.
It is hoped that more kind gestures like this, extending help, crossing over racial divides, would take place more often. DAP is changing to become more suitable to the needs of a multiracial society. It is looking after the interest of all, instead of any particular community.
It would be fine if DAP could be included in the future unity government to jointly develop the country, in particular to improve the standard of living for people in the B40 (bottom 40 percent of income earners) group, especially the Malays who are the majority in this group.
Bibut: This is a sad scene. I salute the mom for hanging on. That, by itself, not many people can do.
Only one short of a football team, that is a major problem that needs to be resolved - family planning. Otherwise, this is just a perpetual scene that will be recycled and passed on to the next generation.
Assuming that because of poverty, her 10 children might not do well, and if they each have another 10 children, that’s 100 now, all trapped in poverty. And the cycle will go on.
Apa Aku Dapat: Yes, a really heart-breaking scene of the mother and her kids outside the house. Well done, Sim.
And what happened to all the financial aid by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, or Mahiaddin, and his illegitimate Perikatan Nasional (PN) government?
Why have the poor been left behind like this? How many Kak Ros, Kak Chong, and Kak Saras out there still need urgent aid? PN has failed all Malaysians except for their ministers and cronies.
Restore democracy, reconvene Parliament, stop the emergency.
JustAPensioner: Sim, I’ve read and re-read about your deeds both here on Malaysiakini and the New Straits Times with a lump in my throat. I also have seen the photos on your Facebook.
Your spontaneous act of giving of your time, effort, and money to bring a day of happiness to fellow human beings who are crying out with no hope - this truly stirs me, unlike the unending politicking and mud-slinging that sickens my heart.
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