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Friday, 17 November 2017 00:00

Priority for Flood Victims, Savings Is Secondary

Written by  Yo Choon Yen & Kang Miew Tiang,Muar / Translated by Connie Ong Yoke Ching

On November 17, 2017, Tzu Chi volunteers in Muar initiated the street fundraising campaign for Penang flood victims, hoping to gather the kindness from all to help those affected to return to their normal lives soon. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

Eleven-year-old Chiow Wee Nee donated her entire pocket money of RM10. She said, “The flood victims do not even have a proper place to sleep, so we must help them. As for the money, I could save again.”


On November 4, 2017, heavy rain and thunderstorm hit Penang and caused massive flooding, with water level rising as high as 12 feet. Tzu Chi volunteers from different states rushed to provide aid, clean up flood-stricken areas, extend their care and distribute relief cash to the victims. Volunteers across the country also initiated a fundraising campaign, bringing love from everyone to the affected people.

Tzu Chi volunteers in Muar kick-started the street fundraising on November 17, 2017. They went to night markets, shops, schools and other places to solicit donations. On November 18, first day of a Lunar month, two volunteers went to a crowded vegetarian stall to raise funds. Wherever there were people gathered, volunteers would be there hoping to garner everyone’s blessings for the flood victims, thereby allowing them to restore their homes soonest possible.

Feeling for the victims

Nurul Atikah, who worked at a stationery shop, felt for the flood victims and donated without hesitation. She recalled that in 2006, a massive flood hit the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia, and she was one of those affected. At that time, the flood came quickly and before she could pack and move her things to higher ground, they were soaked in water. Her house was covered in a thick layer of mud when the floodwaters subsided. Thus, she felt deeply for the flood victims in Penang.

She had wanted to go and help the flood victims when she learnt about the news. Now, she contributed some cash for the flood victims. She added that the weather has been unpredictable lately, and the sudden rains and storms often came at a shocking force. Hence, she hoped that everyone could pray together for safety and peace.

Compassionate love in the market

Tzu Chi volunteers are no strangers to the hawkers in the morning and night markets.

Wang Yu Pao and his spouse, Yan Kin Mooi, were busily setting up their stall when they saw Tzu Chi volunteers approaching. Yu Pao donated and said, “It is a blessing to give. The flood victims are homeless and have to bear with hunger and cold weather. If we live nearby, we would surely provide them with free meals.”

Kin Mooi, on the other hand, used to think that Malaysia was peaceful and free from catastrophes. However, natural disasters are occurring at a frequent interval now and we should all be prepared for the unexpected in time of peace. Upon reading about the seriousness of the Penang flood, she felt sorry for the helpless victims and prayed that they could return home soon.

Sadariah Binti Abu felt that as Malaysians, there should not be distinctions in religions and ethnic backgrounds. Instead, everyone should stand hand-in-hand and help one another.

Savings is secondary

On November 18, volunteers were seen outside two primary schools in Tangkak to raise funds for the flood victims, in conjunction with the schools’ century anniversary celebrations.

Eleven-year-old Chiow Wee Nee attended the celebration with her peers. Upon learning that volunteers were there to raise funds for the flood victims, she immediately took out RM10 from her bag pack and donated the money. When asked why she donated all her pocket money, she replied, “The flood victims do not even have a proper place to sleep, so we must help them.”

In fact, RM10 was a big sum to her, but she was willing to donate because she was grateful that she could still enjoy the celebration with her friends, but those students in Penang might have their school books soaked in floodwaters.

In recent years, floods have hit various parts of Malaysia, and the whole nation has shown support for its fellow countrymen during this tough time. Feeling the pain of others as our own and giving with Great Love, we hope that the flood victims in Penang could restore their lives to normalcy soon.

 

 

Nurul, a flood victim herself, felt sorry for the flood victims in Penang. She hoped that her little contribution could be of help to those affected by the flood. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]   Volunteer Wong Jan Jan (1st right, standing) put in much efforts to raise funds for the flood victims in Penang. [Photograph by Huang Xiu Ji]

Nurul, a flood victim herself, felt sorry for the flood victims in Penang. She hoped that her little contribution could be of help to those affected by the flood. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]
 
Volunteer Wong Jan Jan (1st right, standing) put in much efforts to raise funds for the flood victims in Penang. [Photograph by Huang Xiu Ji]
 
Volunteer Wong Jan Jan (1st right, standing) put in much efforts to raise funds for the flood victims in Penang. [Photograph by Ng Siew Keep]   Wang Yu Pao (left) donated to the flood victims with a grateful heart. [Photograph by Yo Choon Yen]

Volunteer Wong Jan Jan (1st right, standing) put in much efforts to raise funds for the flood victims in Penang. [Photograph by Huang Xiu Ji]
 
 
Wang Yu Pao (left) donated to the flood victims with a grateful heart. [Photograph by Yo Choon Yen]