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Saturday, 22 October 2016 00:00

Believe and Support in Spreading Love

Written by  Koh Poo Leng & Choong Kin Sin / Klang Translated by Toh Wei Ming

Photo shows the Village Chief (left) presenting the cash relief sincerely to the victims with other volunteers. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]

The collapse of the river embankment at Kapar Batu 5 due to huge tidal waves had caused flooding to residences in Kampung Sementak. Upon learning the news on October 18, 2016, Tzu Chi volunteers immediately visited the fire-fighters stationed at the disaster site, the temporary shelter and the victims’ home. An aid distribution was held on the morning of October 22 to soothe the aching hearts of 44 affected families.


Following the monsoon at various coastal areas in September, Malaysian Meteorological Department issued a warning of the arrival of a second tidal wave to citizens staying near the coastal regions. They were told to be careful so as to prevent any losses.

Just when everyone was getting ready for the high tide, news of flooding at Kapar Batu 5 in Klang was reported. There, 44 families (about 160 people) along the river bank had lost their homes. The victims then sought temporary shelter at Dewan Dato Ahmad Razali.

Upon hearing the news, Tzu Chi volunteer, Ng Bee Leng from Charity Group, and six others arrived at the Fire Brigade Department at Jalan Kebun Baru on October 18 evening to express their concerns. After the briefing, officers at the station advised the team to go to Dewan Dato Ahmad Razali to offer their care to the victims.

Unbiased love for charity

At 8.45 pm, volunteers started arriving at the relief centre. They were given a warm reception by officer, Sahizul, from the Welfare Department. They were also briefed on the situation at the centre, followed by a walk around. Rows of blue tents were neatly set up and flood victims were chatting away or resting in the tents, while laughter from innocent children playing with balloons helped to keep helplessness at bay.

Volunteers started mingling with the flood victims. Madura, who was visiting her relatives, spoke with the volunteers, “Upon learning of the flood, I felt astonished. This had never happened before. I hope that this tragic event will not recur.”

Shafira, who was sitting beside Madura, still trembled with fear when reflecting over the incident. This was the first time her house was flooded. She had sought temporary shelter at the relief centre and hopes to return home soon to begin her new life.

On October 19 at 3 pm, Lau Foon Mui, a cadre from the Charity Group of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor arrived. Together with other volunteers, they brought along cold drinks and towels for the fire-fighters. After the updates on the latest situation, they were led by the firemen to the disaster site. When driving passed the Malay village, mud could be seen everywhere, and empty buildings and walls were stained.

Upon reaching the disaster site, excavators were racing against time to deepen the river bed before the arrival of another tide that afternoon. Volunteers took the opportunity to mingle with the onlookers.

They also inspected Halim bin Bahar’s house which was badly hit by the flood. The two daily high tides had caused cracks in his living room walls, and the surrounding soil had also sunken. From the height of the elevated refrigerator, one could tell how serious the flood was. Halim, who suffered losses beyond his estimation, has been on leave since the occurrence of the flood.

Looking at the mud covering his house, he lamented, “Having two generations lived here for 38 years, this was the first time this tragic event happened. I am not sure if it will happen again…”

Selfless love to everyone

While natural disaster is merciless, this world is filled with love. On October 22 at 9 am, 22 volunteers arrived at Dewan Dato Ahmad Razali. Led by Sia Cheng Chuan, all volunteers quickly sprung into action with some arranging tables and chairs, while some were singing and playing with the children. Soon, the relief centre was filled with energy.

At 10 am, victims were led by the volunteers to form two lines for registration. Following a prayer and a speech by Village Chief, Hj Mohd Samsidi, aid distribution to the victims officially commenced.

Speaking in fluent Malay, emcee Eng Siew Hong shared with the victims on Tzu Chi’s Four Missions and the spirit of “Bamboo Bank Era”. With sincerity, she read out a condolence letter from Master Cheng Yen which touched everyone’s heart.

“Salam sejahtera, terima kasih…” Together with the Village Chief, volunteers bowed and presented the cash relief to the victims. Each and every donation came with the blessing and love from Tzu Chi people worldwide. The victims were deeply touched by the borderless love from volunteers.

Hj Mohd Samsidi was very thankful of Tzu Chi, a non-governmental organization, which has extended help irrespective of races. Although the aid will not compensate for all financial losses, it would help to lessen the financial burden of the victims. Even though he was not affected, he had been working tirelessly for the victims. He praised Master Cheng Yen for her tenacious endurance and generous kindness.

Sehar Abd Manap, an elderly victim, was very thankful of the donation. Speaking of the flood, he was still intensely emotional: “When the tide was high at dawn, I quickly knelt down and prayed. Unfortunately, it came very rapidly. I thanked Tzu Chi for the aid. I just wished to be able to go home as soon as possible.”

A warmth love touched a thousand hearts

Halim, who led volunteers in site survey, was also one of the aid recipients. He felt touched by the volunteers’ blessings, as well as, their visit. Looking at the aftermath of this flood, he exclaimed, “I’m so sad that the house was destroyed in the disaster as this was the place I grew up in.”

He further described the incident that day: “The tide rose drastically in the wee hours, and the whole place was flooded within half an hour. Although I have lifted up the electrical appliances by two feet after listening to the weather forecast from radio, the flood was three feet high. It was truly unpredictable.”

The only asset salvaged was the television. He truly appreciated the financial aid which he held tightly in his hand. It might not compensate for all his losses but it can surely reduce his burden for the time being.

“Tzu Chi organization has reached out to people of different races and religions. In my case, I can use the money to buy daily necessities, cleaning tools or kitchenware. Very helpful indeed!” expressed Halim.

Fauziah bte Hasan, a teacher, was also deeply impressed with Tzu Chi when she helped to check the name-list on the first day the volunteers arrived at the relief centre. On the day of aid distribution, she thanked the volunteers for coming forward to lend a helping hand.

Bee Leng was never absent be it the disaster survey or aid distribution. In mobilizing volunteers and planning of activities, this small-statured lady had faced the never-ending challenges calmly and patiently.

She felt guilty for not realizing that the disaster had occurred in her community. As she had never been to the Malay village, she could only find out more by visiting the disaster site personally. She breathed a sigh of relief and was very pleased when she saw the beautiful smiles of the victims receiving the assistance.

“From this incident, besides seeing how ruthless natural disaster is, we have also witnessed how optimistic the villagers were. What is more important is the safety of our family. Although the donation may not be significant, it represents our good intention. Most importantly, they learn more about Tzu Chi organization and what we do...” Mei Ling said smilingly.

“Ku gembira bila dengar tawamu, hatiku pun sedih bila engkau menangis…” In the hall, the Malay version of “We Are Family” was played and the volunteers were singing along. The atmosphere was filled with warmth as if it was a big family reunion.

Village Chief Hj Mohd Samsidi said chokingly, “This song described exactly my feelings now – we are truly a big family!”



Approaching the end of the day, villagers happily adopted a bamboo bank to pass on the spirit of Great Love. Natural disaster may be merciless but it warns us to restrain ourselves and be sincere to each other. We are all one big family. Only when the mind is purified can the world be in harmony.

 

Volunteer Ng Lai Chan offered cold towels to the firefighters stationed at the disaster site. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]   Volunteers comforted the victims at the relief centre. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]

Volunteer Ng Lai Chan offered cold towels to the firefighters stationed at the disaster site. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
Volunteers comforted the victims at the relief centre. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
Volunteer Ng Bee Leng (left) worked tirelessly on the disaster relief, to put the victims’ minds at ease and hope they have a better understanding of Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]   Victims queued up orderly at the registration counter on the day of the aid distribution. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]

Volunteer Ng Bee Leng (left) worked tirelessly on the disaster relief, to put the victims’ minds at ease and hope they have a better understanding of Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
 
Victims queued up orderly at the registration counter on the day of the aid distribution. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]
 
Teacher Fauziah (right) was grateful of the aid given by Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]   The Malay version of “We Are Family” moved everyone’s heart deeply. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]

Teacher Fauziah (right) was grateful of the aid given by Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Koh Poo Leng]
 
 
The Malay version of “We Are Family” moved everyone’s heart deeply. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]
 
Sehar, a village elder, thanked Tzu Chi for the help. His only wish is to return home as soon as possible. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]  

Sehar, a village elder, thanked Tzu Chi for the help. His only wish is to return home as soon as possible. [Photograph by Tang Chee Onn]
 
 
 

 

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