Life Is Cheap

Project Kasih has been doing a fine job in helping rebuild Aceh after the December 26 tsunami. Its members have visited the province many times to assess the situation and provide aid donated generously by the Malaysian public. There are images and tales of survivors, the devastation and on-going reconstruction projects.

Among Project Kasih’s notable efforts, the highlights of children orphaned by the killer waves is most heartrending. Those children not only lost one or both parents. They lost their homes and all they ever possessed as well. It was difficult enough for adults to get on with their lives after the disaster. Imagine how nearly impossible it is for these little ones when practically everybody in that region is affected as well. If you have money to spare, I encourage you to donate to Project Kasih. This cause is as worthy as it can get.

While those tsunami survivors are struggling against an uphill battle to rebuild the broken pieces of their lives, here in Malaysia, we are waiting for a disaster to happen and have no contingency plan to manage it. Raja Munir who visited me and saw for himself the situation around the compound of my apartment and wrote about that in Project Kasih. We shed a tear or two when we read about the misfortune of the Acehnese. In reality, we should be shedding tears for ourselves for continuing to expose our own to known and preventable risks to disasters.

The local authorities and government are indifferent to the potential dangers. Developers and building managers could not care less about the human lives other than fattening their bank accounts at the expense of apartment owners. Access for fire engines and ambulances into high-rise apartment compounds are often hindered by haphazardly parked vehicles and illegally constructed structures. Local councils refuse to act. While we cannot avoid natural disasters, we certainly can prevent and reduce the risk of manmade tragedies, if only the people who can make a difference care enough. But they do not. We never learn. Life is cheap. It really is.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

7 thoughts on “Life Is Cheap”

  1. I hope project Kasih will be successful…

    it is sad to hear rumours that donation money has been kept in the pockets of some government officials.

    a blog reader
    – life feel

  2. I hope those rumours stay as rumours.

    I would be really sad to know that such things still happen in the time of crisis.

    Lets hope humanity prevails.

  3. Peter,

    Firstly, i would like to thank you for highlighting Project Kasih in your blog, GOD knows we do need the ‘exposure’ to get more people to help contribute.

    But at the same time i do have to sadly, shockingly, angrily and (lost for words la actually ) agree with you, that here in Malaysia lives are considered cheap. We do take for granted for the things that we have and only when disaster strikes that we start to – firstly point fingers at one another looking for excuses – than and only than look for remedies for the disaster – only after its all just too late.

    In your situation, I do really symphatize and will definitely be there with you in the event that we manage to get the authorities to eventually come up with a constructive ways and means to help over come such problems.

    Keep it up Peter.

    Raja Munir Shah

  4. hey peter. nice blog. think i emailed you some time ago after reading abt you. anyway, just discovered your blog recently. will be back.


  5. Life Feel,
    Project Kasih is successful. It has helped many and helping the tsunami suvivors rebuild their lives.

    I hope so too, for the sake of all those people who are struggling from day to day after such a catastrophic tragedy.

    Raja Munir,
    My problem pales in comparison to those who are suffering in Aceh, Sri Lanka and elsehwere. However, I am touched that you took the time to come see for yourself the problems that were highlighted. We are a tragedy waiting to happen unless the authorities put their feet down and do something constructive. Thank you again for your concerns. Together with Mack’s help, I sincerely hope something positive will come out of this.


  6. Hi Peter,

    I am in a way ” disabled ” worst off than you. Why..? I am still trying to get people in authority to come forward to help ease your predicament, but still none have been able to do so constructively… the power to act is there but none can really do more….the feeling that i get is worst off than having to go on with life in a wheelchair – that you have to go thru daily.

    But nonetheless, i promise to see to it together with you, that unscruplous developers, like the ones you have to face, will do something before disaster ( god forbidden ) happens.

    You take care of yourself… Peter.

    Bye for now.

  7. Raja Munir Shah,
    I can understand your frustrations. People who are in the position to help make a difference take a nonchalant attitude until something happens. Then they will come out with wonderful plans to prevent another such incident blah blah blah. We have heard this all too often, since the time of the Highland Towers collapse. Nevertheless, thank you for looking into my problems and the time you spent talking with the various authorities. You have done more than necessary. Too bad the authorities do not share your views. God bless you. Take care. I am still optimistic that with Mack and your help, something positive will come out of all this.

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