Thursday, March 24, 2011

Charity Begins at Home

You see the piggy bank (picture below) and a stack of money beside it? I call it my Bamboo Bank. The money has been in the container for a few months already, and I've been waiting for the need to use that money. Well, I've just found that need. The contents of my Bamboo Bank will be given to the Japan Quake Relief Fund via World Vision (WV) which I'm a member. Too bad WV doesn't have a branch in little Malacca town, so I've to send a Money Order to its branch in Petaling Jaya instead.

My Bamboo Bank: A bit each day

The money in this container came from two sources. I placed the container on my desk, and I make it a point to put in either 20 sen or 50 sen each day I come to work. Yup, that's my own money. On top of that, 10% of the proceeds of my MUET tuition class goes into the Bamboo Bank too. So far I don't have any more students (sad), so there's nothing much to donate next time. The total amount that I'm sending to the relief fund is RM170.00 (approx. US$50), and that's enough to feed a small family simple meals for a few days.

Notice that the Bamboo Bank that you saw in the picture is specially made. It's made of recyclable material (cardboard and aluminum). This will be my permanent donation box. I got it from Tzu Chi when I attended training there last year. Well, I'm a very passive member... bad boy.

Teach your children to be charitable, but first you need to be charitable, too in order to be a good role model. If those in the lower economic status group could afford to put in small amounts into their own piggy banks each day, I don't see why those in the middle and upper classes can't do so. The Malay has this proverb: "Sedikit, sedikit, lama-lama jadi bukit." (Literally translated: Little by little, eventually it becomes a hill.)" - I'm sure you've heard of that. 

Note: Check out this article, written in 2006/07, before you leave my blog. It really makes you wonder...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nuclear Programme in Malaysia?

For the past few days, news about the instability of the nuclear reactors in Japan dominated the headlines. The radiation, apparently, is spreading toward United States and Europe. To me, this is really critical. Let's hope for the best and continue praying for the victims.

While people are suffering because of the possibility of a massive nuclear blowout, Malaysia is thinking of having its own nuclear programme. I guess some people at the top think with their backsides. Our former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, was probably right when he said that we don't know much about nuclear and fission. Therefore, we can imply that it is not a good idea to have any kind of nuclear programme in this country.

We tend to believe that we will never be hit by natural calamities like tsunami or earthquake because this country is not located within the moving plates of the earth. We forgot that when tsunami struck Acheh a few years back, it hit Penang and some coastal areas too, though the impact wasn't great. We have to remember that the climate has changed, and no one is able to tell what's happening right under our homes.

Malaysia cannot emulate other countries in some areas. There's nothing to prove, but lots to lose if things go wrong. If you're agreeable to have a nuclear plant in Malaysia, then read this local news. If not, then welcome to the no-nuclear club.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

On Disasters

Read the papers, listen to the news. What do we see? Sadness, anguish, fear. First it was the massive earthquake, then ferocious tsunami. Disaster has struck Japan real bad, and then the wave hit Hawaii and part of the U.S. Even China felt it. Now there's a threat that the nuclear reactor might be leaky, thus emitting radiation. If I remember correctly, only a few days back I read about a disease threat. Some of my friends are ill, having flu-like symptoms. What does all this mean? 

It means the climate and whatever that is under our feet are changing rapidly but we can't see it till tragedy happens. It also means that this is the time to do your part to help victims of such calamities. You can give financial, spiritual, emotional and physical support. This is the time for philanthropists to help rebuilt cities that have been destroyed, not just donate only to show that you're the founder of an organisation.

It also means you'll receive flyers and newsletters telling you that God is showing his wrath, so you must repent. Others would say it's a sign that Armageddon is near.  I say that you need not worry. The end of the world will come, but not in our lifetime, so please don't bother about what others tell you about 2012 - the year when the end of the world is said to occur. What you must do now is to pray for those in need of your prayers.

Malaysians are lucky not to have to go through this disaster. If our country were to have a disaster, it would be a political one where half-baked politicians incite hatred against the people using the race card as their weapon to retain power. We have seen what had happened (e.g.: calling Malaysian-born Chinese "immigrants", the cow head issue, using the word "Allah" in sermons & newsletters) and is still happening right now. They never will learn, so please vote them out in the next General Election. We used to be a harmonious nation; we don't need disastrous politicians that will do nothing but break this country apart as quickly as tsunami destroyed parts of Japan.

A volcano, Mount Karangetang in Indonesia has erupted. It is located around Sulawesi.It happened hours after the tsunami in Japan (last week). I don't remember hearing about this in the news, did you?