Let S Be Very Generous During Such Tough Times


 



This is the time when all of us have to start thinking seriously about reaching out.
By “reaching out”, I mean “really making a conscientious effort to do something good for other people, even those we do not know”. In short, be generous. And during this Covid-19 pandemic, be extra generous.
Someone wrote that, “During this time of the global pandemic, if there is a word worthy to underline – and which brings to light thousands of people’s selfless commitment to risk their lives and serve unconditionally with their time and resources – it is the word 'generosity'”.
Yes, Malaysians, let us be generous, generous and generous.
There is so much suffering around us. What is worse is that there are more and more entering the B40 group and we can expect the number of needy people who need urgent help in the weeks and months ahead to go up. Yes, we need to reach out more seriously.
For those able to give more, please do so. We are in very, very critical times. And our generosity could mean a matter of life or death in some cases.
Think of those who had committed suicide out of desperation. To them, life was not worth living after losing their source of income and unable to feed their kids.
Last year, we were dealing with the physical impact of Covid-19 which was stressful, to say the least. Now, the situation is more complicated and more demanding. We are now facing a tsunami of economic implications and disastrous mental health issues.
The latest movement control order (MCO 3.0) is now in force and many non-essential businesses have come to a halt. Losing one’s business or job brings an array of feelings which include depression and anxiety.
With mental health issues on the rise, there will be negative coping mechanisms that could lead to substance abuse and suicide as the last resorts.


Last week, many of us would have viewed the video of the man who fell to his death from the 12th floor of an apartment building. It was a horrific scene as the whole incident was filmed – from the fall to his bloodied body on the ground.
As it also came into my inbox, I viewed it once and deleted it immediately. It was gruesome… and sad. I wouldn’t want to view it a second time.
I am relating this to illustrate the realities of the sufferings and difficulties people have to endure and the real horrors of the pandemic. Perhaps the man would not have jumped had he been able to get hold of just RM1k or RM2k to tide over some pressing needs.
What is RM1k or RM2k? Perhaps a bottle or two of the best booze to enjoy at home over the MCO for some. To others, it could mean a month’s rental and providing food for the family for a month.
I am only making an assumption, of course, but financial difficulty is a major cause of mental depression. That’s factual, as some studies have clearly indicated.
The guy was around 40 years old and in the prime of his life. What a waste, really. How much more tragic could it get.
No early end to pandemic
Then on Facebook, there were some photos of a young Foodpanda rider on a bicycle making his delivery rounds under the hot sun. This was a more positive post.
It came from someone in a motor company who requested anyone knowing the young rider to contact them as they wanted to buy him a motorcycle.
His post was very moving: “It’s so difficult for the young man to survive delivering food on a bicycle. It’s really pitiful that he has to slog like that.” 
I hope the young rider has been located and that he is now delivering food on his new motorcycle, thanks to the generosity of a stranger.
This is what we need more in Malaysia, particularly during these very challenging times. This pandemic will not go away in six months or a year. It will be with us for quite a while yet.


As I write this, the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country has reached over 100 and for the third day. The number of infections has exceeded over 600,000.
Happily, there are many generous people around. Most of us have no qualms about giving to charity sales or contributing towards appeals from voluntary organisations. In churches, I’m prepared to claim that almost 100 percent of parishioners contribute to the collections during services.
Malaysians will contribute towards causes which they believe in or that resonate with their faith or ideology.
For example, Malaysians donated several million ringgit towards the Tabung Harapan Malaysia set up by the new Pakatan Harapan government in May 2018 to strengthen the government’s finances.
Four months ago, in February, Malaysiakini also benefitted from the generosity of its readers and supporters when its RM500,000 fundraising target for a hefty court fine was exceeded within a matter of five hours.
Malaysiakini earned its stripes for being a credible and professional media organisation – hence, the all-around support and recognition from the public.
Overall, Malaysians have generally been generous towards supporting causes related to politics, religion, culture and the environment. The public support extended to many NGOs is indicative of that.
Yes, fellow Malaysians, let’s continue to be more generous during this pandemic. The future, and even the lives, of many of our citizens could depend on what we are prepared to do to reach out to them.
At this time, we need more selfless, caring and generous Malaysians to come forward. - Mkini

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH leads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at [email protected]
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.


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