A Passionate Plea for Help
by Raja Petra Kamarudin
It is ever so often that I never get to pay for my meals. And I am not even taking into consideration the free meals the Malaysian government serves me in the Sungai Buloh Prison and the Kamunting Detention Centre. Total strangers just pick up my bills and after splurging myself silly I walk out of the place with my money still intact in my pocket. And many a time my hosts end up being guests of these strangers as well.
I have to admit that it is most touching and sometimes I find it difficult to smile. It is hard to appear cheerful when one is holding back the emotion of happiness to the point of tears. I suspect many a well-meaning stranger probably went away with the impression that I am not really that friendly after all, seeing that I appeared unhappy at their kind gesture. I certainly cannot cry in public. This will destroy the macho image that I am trying to portray. But even men cry when touched in the heart and I have so many times been touched in the heart by people who I have never met and who hug me and want to belanja me a meal.
I thank you, all you Malaysians who walked up to me to shake my hands, asked for my autograph, requested my permission to take a photograph with me, and much more. I know it is not me per se that you idolise -- because I certainly do not want to be idolised (it is un-Islamic to say the least) -- but that you feel you are contributing to the cause of making this a better Malaysia. And that is all that I am seeking, not to be put on a pedestal and hero-worshipped.
But, today, I am going to ask you to support me on a personal mission, which I am adopting as my latest cause.
There are many out there who have contributed to the cause of making this a better Malaysia. Many are faceless and nameless Malaysians who work quietly and aggressively behind the scenes in the effort to bring changes to Malaysia. One such family is, today, in need of help themselves.
This particular family is now going through their own crisis. Nevertheless, in spite of their predicament, they are still very much in the thick and thin of the struggle. But health problems, and financial problems brought on by their medical predicament, have brought hard times upon them. And it is time that fellow Malaysians rally to their side and assist in any small way that we can to help this family out of their predicament.
The mother of this family has been diagnosed with third-level cancer of the colon and rectum while, simultaneously, the father of the family has suffered a severe heart attack. But they do not have the financial means to seek proper medical treatment and we all know how much this can cost in this country. The total medical cost will be in excess of RM100,000 and, even then, the doctors do not guarantee anything because their cases are quite advanced and the doctors can only hope for the best and leave the rest to prayer.
The family borrowed heavily from friends and relatives for the mother’s operation in September 2008 (around the time I was detained under the Internal Security Act) and now she is surviving with a colostomy bag. But she is not out of the woods yet. She still has cancer. And over the next six months until April 2009 she will have to undergo 12 sessions of chemotherapy followed by five sessions of radiotherapy. The total cost will come to RM86,000.00.
The father of the house, who suffered the heart attack, has undergone an angiogram because, at that point of time, his heart was still very weak and the doctors felt he would not be strong enough to survive surgery. Furthermore, he needed about RM30,000.00 for the Angioplasty, Stent, bye-pass, etc., and he did not have the money for it.
In total, the family will need RM116,000.00 for their medical costs and there is no way they can manage this on their own. I appeal, therefore, to all Malaysians to come forward and help this activist family who did so much and worked very hard these last couple of years to contribute to a better Malaysia. They have done their bit for this country. It is now time we did our bit for them.
I am not asking you to break the bank or to go into debt. Do what you can within your means. The amount you give is not the issue. It is the thought that counts. Just give what you can afford and no need to do more than that. Let it be the cost of a glass of beer or a packet of cigarettes or whatever. So drink one glass less this week or smoke one packet less -- it may be good for you anyway -- and send the money to the family instead.
To Muslims, I have this to say. It has been narrated that the Prophet said: charity is not about giving away what you don’t need but what you treasure. And I leave it to you to decide if you want to give away what you don’t need or what you treasure in the spirit of the true teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Maybe the ‘no pain, no gain’ slogan most aptly describes what the Prophet meant. So, can we, as Muslims, ‘give till it hurts’?
Muslims have just celebrated the Festival of the Sacrifice (Hari Raya Korban) while the Christians will soon be celebrating Christmas. When better than now to live the spirit of Korban and Christmas in the real sense of the word? Let us demonstrate what stuff Malaysians are made of by raising this money in the soonest possible time. I shall later publish copies of the bank statement to show the amount of money that has come in plus copies of the hospital bills to show how the money was spent. It shall all be transparent and above board.
To those who desire to contribute to this cause of mine, the bank account of their son, KEVIN A/L MICHAL JOS, is 1124-4704-3083 (Maybank).
Please help; I will also do my part.