Don’t laugh, Penang

Gosh! I made a wry remark in my previous blog , forgot to add in the double inverted commas for some of the words and some guy with inferior complex named ‘anonymous’ took offence after reading it. Read below:

No 5Xmum, I don’t wanna be ‘LUCKY’ or ‘BE REWARDED’ with another sight of a occurance of tsunamis. I’m surprised by the contradicting emotions in your last two paragraphs.
Anonymous | 12.29.04 – 2:32 pm | # (IP from Shell Sarawak)

Personally, I feel each of us should stop yakking/blogging/babbling about this tragedy unless they are personally involved in it, are able to do something to help, are sincere with their caring words or are informed parties like Screenshots. I believe it is more helpul to contemplate about own ourself, our relationship with our loved ones, contributions to our society, our deeds, our faith and give out a few dollars here and there instead of trying to be seismologist, geologist, theologist, empty-tankgist……

It serves no purpose to point fingers at the Government, God, whatever parties. It helps no one to decipher the signs. The deeply in grief families are not in the mood to listen to our condolences messages. Their pains aren’t going to allow them to feel any outpouring of kindness from us strangers. They need their own time, their own pace and space to deal with their losses, whether their loved ones or their properties.

In case anyone wants to accuse me of being callous, uncaring, bla bla, so be it. I know. I had been in grief once. I know what it felt like to lose your loved ones, especially your child/children. I found the constant attentions and endless condolences messages suffocating. I do not have the mood to play the hostess. Therefore, I believe the families of the deceased feel the same too. But their predicament is much worse because of the sudden deaths, trauma of the tragedy and the nightmares of the whole world eyes on them. Reporters, busybodies, politicians, politician-wannabes and the endless flow of well-wishers must left them drained. What they probably need now is just their very close relatives or friends and probably, one or two trained counsellors.

I hope that we, the Malaysians, though being caring and full of muhibbah spirits, will not fall into the trap of overdoing things. Like the over reacting and showing of emotions at the deaths of celebrities seen overseas. Or the endless mulling on the event, over and over again. Also, let us not go into cyber hugs, cyber concerns, cyber condolences, cyber candles and cyber neverland. It DOESN’T HELP anyone, especially the grieving and survivors. It may even make one appears to be an attention seeker.

I just read that our Penang State Government has cancelled the New Year’s Day celebration. If given a chance, I would say – carry on with the event. Let us sing, dance and rejoice. But let us pay a moment of silence, a moment to pray together as a multi-racial/multi-religious society and use the happy event to garner donations from the crowd. Cancelling the events is not going to make the party goers any remorse. They aren’t going to stay at home and cry over the deceased. But what if the leaders of our State take advantage of the huge crowds that usually gather at Padang Kota (a large municipal field by the sea) and let them enjoy a concert or two. Then, use that as a platform for everyone to reflect back on the year 2004. (BTW, non-Penangites, the annual event sucks. Some backyard artistes will sing some horrible songs like Dr. Liew’s version of ‘oh… keloh, ayam buttock full’ (oh, carol, i am but a fool) or Loy Krathong.). Why can’t our leaders use the rare opportunity when every one of our emotions are raw to drill some senses into us? Let’s get all the people together and then give them a short lecture on being caring. Tell them to come and parteee but, slam them with some common sense. All of us could use some preaching (not necessary in religious tone) at this moment when things just do not make sense. Seeing the numbers growing from 40,000 to 50,000 to 60,000 and hitting 100,000 is too hard for me to grasp. But I know if I can gather together with my fellow Penangites of all races and religions and hear some comforting words, it may sink in. And on the national front, our PM has also announced the cancellation of New Year’s Day celebrations and asked for prayers instead. Again, why can’t we have a huge gathering at KLCC (or wherever KL-ites celebrate New Year) and have a moment of silence united together as Malaysian rakyats (citizens)? Surely prayers are not limited only in venues like mosques, churches, temples and etc? Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we can gather together and send our wishes to the Almighty, in one voice, to give strength to all affected, wisdom to those who can help and faith to all?

I would also like to bring to every one’s attention to a snippet I read in the Penang Northern Star Metro today where a lady tourist related her disappointment with our Penangites. She and her family members, including children were awashed in mud and were bleeding after the tidal wave. They were scampering away from Gurney Drive and many people stopped them to ask questions. But NO ONE offered any help to them. This piece of news had affected me more than seeing all those rotting dead bodies on the beach in Phuket. I found this equally rotten and worse still, right in my own little island. And these rotten people are those walking around, alive.

Back to Mr Anonymous’s comment, I think people like him who failed to see the real person behind the blog but making a judgement from two mis-read sentences, will flip and foam in the mouth if he heard that I had been joking with my fellow blogger that I feel super watching my site statistics surge these few days, thanks to the tsunami. Does that make me the most uncaring person? Or every one of us could use some humour in our life and learn not to point fingers and throw stones?