Masjid Jamek, Kuala Lumpur.
Photo by Wuan.
Ignorance is bliss. There is truth in this. How happy I would have been if I were contentedly unaware of the risks of being buried under tons of rubble in an earthquake or burnt beyond recognition in a fire. Without a systematic evacuation plan, the possibility of that happening is more truth than a figment of my overactive imagination.
Many times I have asked myself if all these letter writing to the building manager and copying it to the authorities are worth the stamps on the envelopes. The parties who are able to make a difference are indifferent. The authorities do not want to act. The building manager could not care less. Why, then, am I wasting time, money and effort in pursuing this matter?
In retrospect, this is not about me. It was never about me in the first place. The world would have moved on without me anyway. It is about your grandparents with mobility problems and living in a high-rise. It is about your brother or sister who is physically disabled and living in a high-rise. It is about one of your parents who is recovering from a stroke or a heart attack and living in a high-rise. It is about your cerebral-palsied child living in a high-rise. This is all about the people you truly love and care about. Would you allow the risk of injury or death to befall them when you know something could have been done to minimize the threat? This could be about you, too.
My progressing ailment robs me of the vitality to do much. Fatigue haunts me throughout the day. In such depressing situations, giving up is an attractive proposition indeed. My time would have been better spent doing things that I enjoy. This is not one of them. The pessimist in me sees no profit whatsoever from this undertaking. Moreover a long uncertain path lies ahead.
Still, I continue because this is the right thing to do, because my faith taught me never to give up in the face of adversity. Those who have supported me in this endeavour are the source of strength that is thrusting me onward. Mack is especially instrumental in keeping the flame of hope burning for me. Every time I come across the yellow banner in a blog, I am motivated and touched at the same time. These are the handful of Malaysians who are sympathetic to this cause because they genuinely believe that even one life is worth saving, more so that of a less fortunate person.
They recognised that some segments of society simply need more assistance than others. It certainly is not too much for the physically challenged to ask for a fighting chance to survive a disaster. Those in the position of power must do all within their means to make it so. They have a fiduciary duty to protect the weak and the needy. A society cannot label itself civilised unless it embraces altruism as one of its core values. Are we there yet? You be the judge.
Latest letter to the developer/building manager:
Dated 23rd May 2005
Building Manager From Hell