Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Let's reach out to humanity

Sufi master and poet Jalaludin Rumihave these words as his epitaph: "When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men."

Perhaps, this should also be the epitaph for other good men. One of them could be Thomas, a friend and former collague, who came down from his high office in the vicinity of the Twin Towers to Brickfields for a bit of excitement and to help promote a worthy cause.

Thomas, assisted by members of his volunteer brigade and colleagues, were active supporters of a singing competition among visually-impaired participants. Titled juara Lagu 2006, a total of 12 singers representing seven states last Sunday belted songs made famous by local singers as far back as the '60s.

It doesn't take much to keep our fellow citizens happy. If there are more individuals like Thomas, the world will indeed be a happier place. The competition was held at the hall of the building where the Malaysian Association of the Blind have its headquarters. The hall was packed with spectators, some of whom had come to cheer and support their friends.

The singers were accompanied by a live band, also made up of visually-impaired musicians. I sneaked in, enticed by the sound of the lively beat from the group. The enthusiasm shown by the musicians and the singers was enough to keep everyone rocking.

DJ Dave and Freddie Fernandez, two well-known performers in their own right, were the senior judges in the competition. It is a credit to their good name for taking time off from their Sunday afternoon to join the small group of talented performers. Dave and Freddie proved that they were equally at home in a small hall as in a big studio full of flashing lights and television cameras.

The important thing to note is that one doesn't need big bucks to make people happy and feel wanted. What Thomas and his team did was to support the MAB in their ongoing effort to help the blind lead a meaningful life.

Let us not be oblivious to the sufferings of our fellow Man. Corporates have a role to play. With healthy bottom lines and rich bonuses for themselves, Chief Executive Officers, Chairman of the Board and senior members of the management team should take a leaf from Thomas, DJ Dave and Freddie by sacrificing a little of their precious time to be with the under-privileged.

It's not just enough to allocate budgets for corporate social responsibility (CSR). Many companies, to their credit, are doing that now. Besides spending the money, corporates must be seen to be delighted in spending these funds. When corporates are judged on their CSR, they better have programmes which are of real value to the target groups.

The success of such programmes also depend on who's running them. If the implementors
are slow, have small minds, lazy, not sincere, and do not have the passion, the CSR will be doomed. Only genuine people can run a CSR programme properly, and Thomas certainly gave me the impression that he really cares.

Let's give thomas, Dave and Freddie a big round of applause. Welldone lads!! I hope this Juara Lagu will be sustained for many more years to come.

PS Footnote: Anuar Ngatnan from KL won the first prize and walked away with a trophy, certificate and RM500 cash followed by Rosmaria Ahmad (trophy, cert and RM300) and
Ahmad bin Awang (tropjhy, cert and RM200).


zachry ahmad said...

sudah tentulah ramai hati yang gembira mendengar dendangan lagu-lagu yang dinyanyikan oleh para veteran ketika pertandingan itu. tetapi amat sedih kerana yang gembira untuk melakukan tugas sebegini amat kecil jumlahnya. satu ketika dulu terdengar juga kempen kerajaan mengenai masyarakat penyanyang. tetapi setakat mana keberkesanannya tidak siapa akan tahu kecuali apa yang kita nampak ada di sekeliling kita sendiri - iaitu ibu bapa dan anak-anak kita. usaha seperti yang dilakukan oleh Encik Thomas ini wajar mendapat tempat di dada akhbar tetapi nampaknya, jika tidak melalui coretan Dato, kita tidak akan tahu langsung. semoga ini membuka mata kita semua meletakkan isu kasih sayang ini di tempat sewajarnya dalam masyarakat kita.


bro, i think i know this thomas-san. he's the guy who took to the streets to fight for the preservation of a field in jalan ipoh (or sentul), the only green lung in the neighbourhood. a real - but unsung - malaysian hero. we have many thomas-sans, guys who don't drive fancy cars or smoke cigars, gals who don't power dress, just ordinary men and women doing good things without asking for rewards.
dj dave and freddie fernandez are celebs. i know freddie does quite a bit for charitable causes; good man. dj dave is still a lady's man, i hear, but that's his business. if he's donating his voice for the needy, i pray he keeps that golden voice for many more years, as long as his heart wants to sing for the orphans and the blind.
i know thomas-san works with maxis, where you worked. but were there any other good corporate citizens, bro?
spell it out for us lah.

steady eddie said...

This is something that sometimes pulls at our emotional strings.The good samaritan that just didnt walk by and let fate decide on the outcome.I am glad that there are fellow citizens out there to look out and carry the torch for lesser souls.This brings to mind the tragic news that captured some of us on news of the three young boys who had died as a result of inhaling gas and consuming bleach.It was definately heart wrenching to read about how the parents have fallen prey to loan sharks.While it is a decision that some of them out there take due to poor financial planning, desperation or the onset of some insidious habit that has gone awry, the ending tale is often of disaster, tears and tragedy.There are many out there who wallow in self pity not knowing how to deal with such a situation, there are many out there who have no less means to overcome the onslaught of these monstrous sharks.On what would have been a nice and happy school holidays for these boys,the final episode is one that sees them in their last and final costumes.We hope and pray that such circumstances do do befall others, but the powers that be higher up in the drawing rooms of legislature and frmalization of statutes must ensure that there will not be any repetition on such incidences.May the good samaritans out there continue your marvellous work.Today I shall light a candle to remember the unsung champions.