Some have the misconception that Mack Zulkifli’s banner campaign urging the building manager of the apartment where I am staying and the relevant authorities to draw up an evacuation plan is for me. No, it is not. This issue is not about Peter Tan solely. Take me out of the equation and there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of mobility-challenged people who are staying in high-rise dwellings in Penang and all over Malaysia.
My predicament is known because I have a blog. Think about those silent voices that need assisted-evacuation too. Their voices are not heard because they have no avenue to express their fears. Their lives are equally at risk as mine. They need a systematic evacuation plan as much as I do. Their lives are just as valuable as anybody else’s who is able and healthy. What if these are people you love and care about?
People who require assisted-evacuation are not only the physically disabled like me. The elderly and those whose pregnancy are in the advanced stages will need some form of assistance as well. Their predicament must not be overlooked. As I have mentioned in The Fiefdom of Taman Pekaka, people who live in high-rise dwellings will grow old. People who live in high-rise dwellings do become disabled. We continue staying here despite the circumstances simply because that is the only abode we can afford.
In our quest to become a developed nation by 2020, let us not forget to develop our compassion as well. It is people that make a nation. To be a nation that can truly stand proud and tall, we must be a nation that looks after the needs of our citizens, whether less privileged or not, without prejudice.
A nation that marches relentlessly on in the pursuit of development but ignore the intrinsic value of her most valuable asset, her citizens, is a nation that is devoid of a soul. Do we want to be that? No? We certainly are marching in that direction when the cries of the under-privileged are largely ignored.
Speak up for the silent voices. Make their plight heard through your blogs. They deserve as much help as the heartwarming concern some of you bloggers have showered me with. Every life is worth saving. I humbly ask you to help me here, not for me exclusively but for all those who need assisted-evacuation during disasters. Write about this. Add the banner to your blog. Every voice counts. Giving the less privileged hope and a chance to live is one of the noblest things you can do. Thank you.
Building Manager from Hell
Related entries from Brand New Malaysian:
Too late is not early enough
Proposed Act for the enhancement of facilities to the disabled
Taking small steps forward
Unwitting victims of other people’s misconduct - Breaking Barriers - The Borneo Post - 11 January, 2014
Flood preparedness for disabled persons — Are we doing enough? - Breaking Barriers - The Borneo Post - 4 January, 2014
The case for accessible homes - Breaking Barriers - The Borneo Post - 28 December, 2013
I was an angry man last week - Breaking Barriers - The Borneo Post - 21 December, 2013
Giving back meaningfully - Breaking Barriers - The Borneo Post - 14 December, 2013