Monday, January 31, 2011

An Old Lady I Met

It was after I came out from the Dewan Serbaguna (I think that's the name) at Anak Bukit (Bangunan Persekutuan) after the giving out of the cash aid... the hall had been filled with people jostling to get their money, everyone had to line up. As I was trying to cross the longkang, an old lady hobbling on a cane asked me where to collect the food they were giving out. I pointed her to the place...

But then I realized there were many people jostling there too. So I told her to wait while I tried to get for her. She was rather happy that she got 2 boxes. It was later only I understood why. Then she asked me where I lived... she was hoping to thumb a ride to the nearest bus-stop. I asked her where she lived... and told her I would take her back; even though it was out of my way.

I learned plenty on our ride back. She was in her seventies, used to work as a cleaner when she was younger. Now she can't work anymore. I asked her how she was getting by. She said her husband is still around and they get by with whatever little he earns as a tukang urut kaki and the little aid from the Welfare. Occasionally, some kind soul or charitable organizations would donate cash and food to them. A grandson was staying with them... he was 'abandoned' by his parents from birth and has been staying with them since then..... wayward, refuses to go to school; and only 15! He takes money from his grandparents and blows them away at the internet cafes.

They moved near a school, in town for his sake, so that it's easier for him to attend school. She has 7 children but she said all of them have their own commitments and can't help out much.... they are all not very educated, earn just enough to make their own ends meet. The RM500 cash aid means a lot to her too... as we talked, she began to worry that he might take her money too. Almost reaching her place, she asked me whether I minded sending her to the bus-station in town so that she can catch a bus to her son's place to give him her money for safe-keeping. I made another detour and dropped her off at the bus-stop in town.

I watched her as she hobbled up the bus.... She is Chinese. There are many Chinese like her too... and Indians... and all the other indigineous races.... Malaysians! It's not just the Malays who should be given aid. Datuk Chong (MCA guy there) apparently said that 7000 names had gone missing from the flood aid list and he says MCA will try to ensure that the aid gets to them... but by now, probably many would have given up also.... The government may be dominated by UMNO but it should bear in mind that they should not be biased in executing out their amanat... every morning, in school, they play all kinds of doa over the PA system. Lately, I find myself thinking... so much prayers being recited yet so little of the attributes of their faith is being practised.

3 comments:

Dino said...

Nice of you to give her a ride.
Kinda sad to hear of her situation.

Thomas C B Chua said...

" We love people not for what they can do for us, but for what we can do for them." Tolstoy

Thomas C B Chua said...

AJ 7, btw " Have a "carroty" new rabbit lunar year "