Thursday, April 12, 2012

Earthquake

For someone who has stayed in Malaysia all her life and learned in Geography that we don't (it should be didn't) experience earthquakes and twisters, I certainly did not ever imagine that I would ever feel the earth shaking under my feet. And for over 30 years that was exactly how it was like.... till the big quake of 2004 which killed almost a quarter of a million people. It was back then that I first experienced the shaking of the earth... And how did I feel the first time? There was a little fear. But I am aware too this is nothing like the frequent rumbling and shaking in earthquake zones or having the thought of the Big One coming soon.

Yesterday, we had a couple more big quakes of the Sumateran coast. I thought the shaking was more pronounced than the last one in 2004. My windows and doors rattled. Things on the table made sounds. And the water in my aquarium almost sloshed out. I could hear my neighbour's gate rattling away too. To cap it, the shaking seemed to last longer. My neighbours rushed out. And guess what? Many of us were logging in via our smartphones, iPads to check things out. Before the shaking ended, i had already seen a post about it. And within the next hour or so, FB was abuzz with posts on earthquake. Firsthand experiences travelled fast and furious. From friends' posts, I could also read firsthand, news from those in Indonesia as well. Back in 2004, we turned to the Internet for news and information. Google was the preferred choice. FB was just in its nascent years then.

By evening, with some new apps at hand, it was easy to check out the number of aftershocks... This morning, the map was so dotted with red and yellow dots; with each red dot representing a big quake and yellow ones for smaller quakes. The Penang CM office also posted updates on FB. Then we got to know that the CM decided to give the Agong's Installation Dinner in KL a miss in order to fly back to Penang. I think he knows that will score points for him with the people but his action is also so typical of him, always hands-on and practical. That's so unlike another leader who was away during a major flood not too long ago. Anyway, it's hard to find leaders who really put the interest of the people first these days...

Leaders today served to be served.... that's what I see. They get so much benefits. They become so rich... and it's not just the political leaders I am referring too. You see the same in religious institutions too. In churches I see the same... trips, privileges to 'serve' etc, etc. Blessings via service, not that sort that is God channelle but man. The shoe-throwing Imam episode; that too points to such practices. In days of old, kings would lead the charge in a battle. They often suffer mortal wounds or even die leading their men. They fight alongside their men, bear the discomfort of the battle grounds.... These days, leaders delegate and have it more comfy. The concept of leadership has changed....

Am just glad that there was no tsunami... It would be devastating for the people in Sumatera to have their lives turned topsy turvy so soon after the last big one...

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