Japanese spirit hailed

Companies from the oil palm industry lend a helping hand. This is written by my colleague P. Chandra Sagaran.

IPOH: The Japanese people's graceful way of facing up to their most recent adversity has won the praises of Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.

Raja Nazrin said their patience and perseverance in enduring the hardship brought on by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami was admirable and inspiring. He said the world was now looking east once again but, this time, it was not at Japan's development and technological expertise but at the heart and soul of her people.

"In the face of great catastrophe, Japan in no less an inspiration to the world. The Japanese people have shown that man can only conquer his basic survival instinct for the greater good of society.

"They have displayed the fortitude, the composure, the dignity and the generosity that have so defined their culture," he said at the handing over of donations to the NSTP-Media Prima Disaster Fund here yesterday.

Raja Nazrin said the world had seen how the Japanese people in the affected areas did not hesitate to help others even though their own homes were destroyed and their belongings washed away.

"Able-bodied men and women carried supplies to victims and gave up their own food rations to feed families with children and elderly members. Although there were 500,000 evacuees, there was no rushing, no rioting and no clamouring for food, water and fuel.

"The calmness of those waiting in kilometre-long lines to receive good, water and fuel defied the temper and fury of the quake that shook the ground. Their warmth towards each other defied the freezing weather they had to endure."

Raja Nazrin also conveyed the sympathy of Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah and Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Bainun to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and the people of Japan.

Also present were Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan and Consul-General of Japan Tetsuro Kai, who represented the Japanese ambassador.

Raja Nazrin later handed RM687,000 donated by various parties to Jawhar on behalf of the fund.

The donors included the Perak government (RM100,000), Sultan Azlan Foundation (RM100,000), Sunway City Bhd (RM100,000) and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (RM100,000), while Umno Perak contributed RM50,000, Perak Turf Club (RM50,000) and a personal donation of RM50,000 from TSH Resources Bhd chairman Datuk Kelvin Tan Aik Pen.

Other donors comprised companies, non-governmental organisations, political parties, government agencies and Ipoh International School.

3 Responses to Japanese spirit hailed

  1. On March 19, a policeman was assigned to an elementary school to help a charity organization distribute food to residents who had to be evacuated by the earthquake and tsunami. It was a long line that snaked this way and that. The policeman spotted a little boy, around 9 years old, at the very end of the line.

    It was getting very cold and the boy was just wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. The policeman was worried that by the time it was the little boy's turn, there wouldn't be any food left.

    The policeman approached the little boy and they talked for a while. The boy said he was at school when the earthquake happened. His father worked nearby and was driving to the school. The boy was on the third floor balcony when he saw the tsunami sweep his father's car away.

    The policeman asked him about his mother. He said his house is right by the beach and figured his mother and little sister probably didn't make it. He turned his head and wiped his tears when the policeman asked about his relatives.

    The boy was shivering. The policeman took off his jacket and put it on him. That's when a bag of food ration fell out. The policeman picked it up and gave it to the little boy. "When it comes to your turn, they might run out of food. So here's my portion. I already ate. Why don't you eat it?"

    The boy took the food and bowed, a show of gratitude. The policeman thought he would eat it right away, but he didn't. He took the bag of food, went up to where the line ended and put it where all the food was waiting to be distributed.

    The policeman was shocked. He asked the boy why he didn't eat the food and instead added it to the food pile. The boy answered: "Because I see a lot more people hungrier than I am. If I put it there, then they will distribute the food equally."

    When the policeman heard that, he had to turn away so that people wouldn't see him cry.

    A society that can educate a 9-year-old who understands the concept of sacrifice for the greater good must be a great society, a great people.

    Malaysia has so much to learn from Japan.

  2. Let us pray for Japan.

    I just have a bike

    My colleague at my part time job, wanted to help even just one extra person, wrote a sign saying “I just have a bike, but if you don’t mind hop on!”, rode out on his motorbike, picked up a stranded construction worker and took him all the way to Tokorozawa!

    Respect! I have never felt so strongly that I want to do something helpful for others.

    Need to charge your phone?

    At the emergency evacuation area, a young first-year intern at my company who had brought her phone’s charger got permission from the facility to use their power socket and went around shouting “Anyone need to charge their phone? Please use my charger!” Just a little thing, but I was touched.

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