Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Loss of a Nation

How the heavens wept ...
BY SOO EWE JIN( The Star)Friday October 21, 2005

THE skies opened up over the nation’s capital this morning. And the heavens wept. The announcement that Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood, beloved wife of our Prime Minister, had passed away at 7.55am after a long struggle with cancer, affected all of us. And we wept, too.
But the tears that came from cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their caregivers, were special. It was the passing away of a very extraordinary comrade-in-arms.
Endon’s most significant contributions was to put the Big C squarely into the national spotlight. By openly coming out with her own condition, she removed the aura of mystery and uncertainty often associated with cancer.
She did not see cancer patients as victims or survivors but as champions. “I am myself a cancer champ!” she declared.
She galvanised a nation into prayer, not only for her own well-being, but also for other cancer patients. She worked tirelessly for the cause, even when she was not well, and raised millions of ringgit to support the work of cancer groups.

Endon giving Ya Yasmine Wa'adi a hug after presenting a contribution from Yayasan Budi Penyayang to her at the Chinese Maternity Hospital.Because of her passion and the very public display of her condition, others were not afraid to come out into the open. Malaysians had never before seen cancer patients taking to the catwalk, as they did in the highly successful fund-raising effort “Walk with Pride”, an idea by Endon after she attended a similar function in London.
Whenever she went abroad for treatment, the nation paused in prayer and wished her well. We respected her need for privacy and solitude and access to the best treatment that she could possibly get. And each time she returned, how we rejoiced to see her ever-smiling face hitting the front pages of our newspapers.
And in this period of time, we also saw the very public display of love and affection of the Prime Minister and his family whenever Endon’s condition was brought up. We saw how he shed tears when people of all faiths said their prayers for her.
And for all these very public displays, she must have known too that the rest of us, in our prayer time, in our houses of worship, in our care groups at home, were praying for her recovery.
In cancer wards everywhere, she was often the topic of discussion, and perhaps one of the most common remarks I have heard was, “She is such a brave woman. And she is so open about it”.
Yes, Endon touched more people than she probably realised. By coming out in the open, ordinary citizens afflicted by cancer saw hope. They felt a sense of revitalisation because they knew there would be more interest, more support, not just from the Government but also from the private sector.
As we applauded her efforts to not only raise funds, but more importantly to raise awareness of the Big C, we all knew she had set into motion a process that cannot, and must not be turned back.
The efforts of Endon must not be in vain. Those who responded so generously with their money to support cancer research must carry on because that would be her wish. Cancer affects everyone, rich or poor, whatever the race, religion or creed.
Endon knew that early detection is the key. The efforts of NGOs in the urban areas must go hand in hand with the efforts of those working in the rural areas. Companies must take the initiative to have programmes that will allow their staff to go for regular mammograms and pap smear tests.
This is but one of the legacies that Endon will pass on. As a cancer survivor, I weep today. But amidst my tears, I am reminded of Endon’s smile and I am filled with hope. As should all my comrades-in-arms and our families who have either gone through or are going through the journey.
I read once that cancer cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, and it cannot corrode faith.
Endon showed Malaysians and the rest of the world that this is indeed so.
May God bless her soul.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Datin Seri Endon Mahmood Passes Away

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 20 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Endon Mahmood passed away at 7.55 am Thursday at the Prime Minister's official residence Seri Perdana Putrajaya, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told Bernama.

.........................I heard it on the radio a while ago. It's quite sad. I was under the impression that our PM's wife was getting better so this news is rather shocking.When the media reported a few days ago that the PM wanted to spent more quality time with her, I suspected that she was dying.My deepest condolences to Our PM and family. I hope god gives him the strength to carry on and uplift our country in the eyes of world!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sex Maniac knows no boundaries

School gardener paid girl RM1 for oral sex
KUANTAN: RM1 to perform oral sex. That was what a school gardener paid a 12-year-old girl on two occasions.
Both incidents allegedly took place in the girls' toilet in a school in Raub, said state deputy CID chief Supt Nordin Mustafa.
He said the gardener had on Oct 7 called the victim to go to the toilet at 10.30am.
Inside, the gardener allegedly dropped his pants and asked the girl to perform oral sex. He then gave her RM1.
On Oct 10, the gardener again called the girl into the toilet at 12.30pm.
After each incident, the gardener warned the girl not to tell anyone.
But the girl related the incidents to her teacher, who informed her parents. The gardener was arrested on Oct 14.
In a separate case, police are investigating the case of a 45-day-old baby boy who was referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH) in critical condition with internal bleeding in the brain.
Supt Nordin said the baby’s mother had sent the boy to a babysitter on Oct 13 as she had to work at a nearby factory in Felda Jengka 9 in Maran.
When she picked up the boy several days later, the 45-year-old babysitter told her that the boy had fallen and hit his head on the side of a plastic basin as she was bathing him.
The woman said the boy again fell while she was feeding him.
Supt Nordin said the mother took the boy to the Temerloh district hospital when he had difficulty in breathing, and later to KLH.
Doctors found that there had been internal bleeding in the boy’s brain.
Supt Nordin said police would question the babysitter soon

Life As a Teacher In the Interior - About Time !

Hard life for rural educators
PUTRAJAYA: SK Sungai Terah teacher Syed Fazli Syed Zainal Abidin was on his way to the school in Gua Musang two years ago when his motorcycle hit a wild boar.
The story of this 25-year-old, who now walks with a crutch, illustrates the many hardships rural teachers face – and how they rise above the challenges.
After the accident, he stayed only a week in hospital.
“Although the doctor told me to rest, I felt bad about leaving my students without a teacher, so I continued teaching,” said the Kedah-born educator.
Syed Fazli, who has been teaching English at the school for five years, said his biggest reward was increasing his students’ love for the language.

DUE RECOGNITION: Azlee (right) receiving a token of appreciation from Hishammuddin (second from left) and being congratulated by the minister’s wife Datin Tengku Marsila Tengku Abdullah (third from left) and Education Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang (left).He was one of 35 teachers recognised at a function held by the Education Ministry to honour rural teachers yesterday. There are currently 13,480 teachers posted in rural areas nationwide.
Mathematics and Living Skills teacher Azlee Makibin, 24, from Sandakan, was the subject of a short documentary shown at the function.
Being posted early this year to SK Abuan in Kota Marudu, Sabah, more than 300km inland, and accessible mainly by river, came as a shock to the young man, whose parents were both teachers.
“It is often a very difficult life, but if my mother, who was also posted to rural areas, could do it, then so could I,” he said.
How Siew Guat, 23, is one of just four teachers in SK(C) Poay Chee, Kuala Sangga, Taiping, which has an enrolment of 43.
“We have to drink and cook with rainwater, and we are only allowed to use electricity from 7pm until 7am,” she said, adding that the teachers even had to clean and maintain the school themselves.
The ministry wants to provide rural teachers with free higher education – but only if they pledge to stay in the profession and continue to serve in rural areas.
Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he had been mulling over the idea after learning that many teachers were pursuing Open University Malaysia degrees at discounted fees.
“Why don’t we do away with fees for those who are willing to teach in remote areas?” he asked.
The minister also proposed that rural teachers be placed under a special category within the teaching profession and be provided with insurance coverage.