Monday, January 5, 2009

Want to help buy medicines for Palestine?

IT WAS WAY BACK IN MAY 1994 when the Malaysian mass media showed the kind of unity of purpose that made each and everyone of us proud and considerably satisfied. Editors of the newspapers, including the New Straits Times where I was the News Editor, got together and formed the Barisan Bertindak Bosnia (BBB). Not quite the PBB (Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu, or the UN), but influential enough to move the Malaysian public to be aware of and comprehend the ethnic cleansing that was going on in then Yugoslavia. BBB had the support of so many NGOs that crossed political borders and ethnic lines. Our aim was clear and direct: create and raise the level of awareness of the issue, and raise funds for humanitarian aid. We did well, even if I say so myself. We launched a RM1 fund-raising campaign, believing that if each Malaysian gives RM1, we'd have collected more than RM20 million. We managed to collect some RM5 million which was given to Bosnia-Herzegovina after the issue settled after a few years. In our awareness campaign, we did everything that one could imagine. We had roadshows, we send petitions to foreign ambassadors and high commissioners, we had poetry reading corners, we sold car stickers, we sat up collection centres all over the country. On May 9, 1994, we filled the whole Merdeka Stadium with more than 45,000 Malaysians of all walks of life, in a public rally of its nature that was the first and last. A white-dressed 10-year old Bosnian girl who had sought refuge in Malaysia read an English poem on Gorazde that was written by a South African poet. The whole stadium was pitch black save for a lone spotlight on the little girl. The football pitch was converted to a makeshift 'graveyard' with 'white tombstone' sticking out from the ground. Hairs stood on end that night. But all this was possible because the Malaysian mass media with the help of NGOs rallied to a cause that needed universal help and support. It's the same this time. But I must congratulate Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia for their extensive coverage of the War in Gaza. The editors must be congratulated for devoting its page one on two consecutive days to highlight the bloodshed in Gaza. The mass media can do more. As for me at Yayasan Salam Malaysia, I'm trying to pull resources to help rally behind the Palestinian issue. I'm looking at it from the humanitarian perspective. I believe all NGOs should rally and work together to send aid to those in need. I understand that Mercy Malaysia is somewhere near the Egyptian border. We must support them in any way possible. Getting into Gaza may be extremely difficult, if at all possible. But there are many ways of lending a hand...


. said...


saya harap rakyat malaysia dapat bersatu dalam isu ini. inilah masa untuk kita buktikan bahawa kita boleh bersatu dalam isu-isu yang menyentuh kepentingan bersama. terima kasih.

Anonymous said...

Saya dulu rasa suka dan bangga dengan usaha akhbar Malaysia dalam membantu sumbangan terhadap Palestin, Bosnia dan lain lain.

Namun semenjak 1998 saya dan juga keluarga telah bertekad tidak akan memperdulikan lagi apa pun yg diminta oleh akhbar utama di Malaysia kerana sikap mereka yg pada saya tidak beretika.

Sekarang ini saya dan keluarga lebih senang membantu menerusi NGO.


Anonymous said...


Let me know how can i help as well on the issue of Palestine..

Btw, when/where is the proposed gathering on Palestine?

Izham Yusoff

Anonymous said...

Sekarang mulakan ,satukan semua untuk Palestin.

TPJ said...

Salam Datuk, Is Yayasan Salam taking donations to send medical supplies to Palestine?

Can you please enlighten us on how it is channelled?

Much obliged.