Saturday, 11 December 2010
The children need your help, and they need it before it's too late.
This is a dream of Puteri, a 12 year old living with HIV in Malaysia: "I dream of getting cured,"she says.
Puteri was born with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) - a severe viral infection that progressively destroys the immune system. When she was still very young, both of Puteri's parents died of AIDS-related illnesses. She lived with her grandmother in the northern state of Kedah until December 2006, when her declining health required care too specialised and time-consuming for her grandmother, who also had to support Puteri's two teenage sisters.
She then came to live at a special home in Kuala Lumpur for children like her. Children affected by HIV and AIDS. It has been a difficult adjustment for Puteri, who has to take a daily cocktail of pails just to stay alive. She longs for the day she can put the pills behind her and transform her thin frame into one more like a healthy pre-teen.
"I sometimes feel scared and anxious. I don't know why,"says Puteri. "Sometimes I feel said. I missed my parents, I miss my family."
Puteri's story is sad, but unfortunately, it is not unique. By official estimates, at least 1,000 children in Malaysia are living with HIV. Unofficially, the number is much larger.
And this global epidemic is growing. Every hour, 42 children below 15 years get infected with HIV.
Children just like Puteri.
Most of these children have no one to turn to and are bereft of any opportunities to live full and productive lives. This should not be the world in which our children should grow.
It does not have to be this way.
The above was a letter wrote in to us from UNICEF MALAYSIA appealing for help to bring hope and life to children like Puteri.
The letter continues ;
In Malaysia, an average of 5 child abuse cases were reported each day in 2006 according to the Department of Social Welfare. With you help, we can introduce child protection programs that will help prevent violence, exploitation and abuse against children.
Around the world, 25,000 children die each and every day from preventable causes; 1 in 3 before they are even a month old. With your contributions, we can save children's live with immunisation, clean water and even something as simple as mosquito nets to protect them from malaria.
Let us UNITE to put an end to their suffering.
UNICEF is here in Malaysia. We have been here since 1954, working closely with the Malaysian Government to introduce programs that improve children's lives in the areas of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and providing services for children in rural and poor urban areas.
Each of these programs is a success because there are people who care and support us. People like YOU. Although UNICEF is a key member of the UNITED NATIONS, we do not receive funds from the UN. We rely entirely on voluntary contributions to change the lives of the world's children.
Your contributions will be placed directly towards improving children's lives through vital programs in Malaysia and around the world.
For example, a contribution of just RM100 can provide vaccines for 60 young children, protecting them from measles, a preventable disease that kills an estimated 1.4 million children every year. RM100 is also all it takes to facilitate youth-friendly education and services to 25 students in Malaysia, helping them to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS.
A donation of RM300 can provide 1,800 sachets of oral re-hydration salts which, when mixed with safe water, can help protect children from life-threatening diarrhea diseases. Or provide educational materials for a class of 28 underprivileged primary school children in remote areas of Malaysia.
These are just some examples of what we can do with your donation, given the chance.
As we remember our own past childhood hopes and dreams, let's ensure our children are not deprived of theirs.
To make a donation, simply fill out the online form at HERE.
Or contact UNICEF MALAYSIA office at:
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND
Wisma UN, Block C, 2nd Floor
Kompleks Pejabat Damansara
Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2095 9154
Fax: +603-2093 0582
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Singapore girl wins Commonwealth essay prize!
MUST READ TO SAFEGUARD YOUR VERY OWN FUTURE.*
A TASTE FOR THINGS TO COME??????
You will be amazed at the maturity of this 15-year old girl.
It's worthwhile taking 5 mins to read this essay.
Have read this before? It is definitely worth having another read......
Singapore girl wins Commonwealth essay prize!
A 15-YEAR-OLD Singaporean, competing against 16-> 18-year-olds, has
won the top prize in a writing contest that drew 5,300 entries from 52
In the annual Commonwealth Essay Competition, Amanda Chong of
Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) chose to compete in the older category and
won with a piece on the restlessness of modern life.
Her short story, titled What The Modern Woman Wants, focused on the
conflict in values between an old lady and her independent-minded daughter.
'Through my story, I attempted to convey the unique East-vs-West
struggles and generation gaps that I felt were characteristic of young people
in my country,' said Amanda, who likes drama, history and literature and wants
to become a lawyer and a politician.
Chief examiner Charles Kemp called her piece a 'powerfully moving
and ironical critique of modern restlessness and its potentially cruel
The writing is fluent and assured, with excellent use of dialogue.
Amanda gets (S$1,590). A Singaporean last won the top prize in
2000, said Britain 's Royal Commonwealth Society, which has been organising
the competition since 1883. Singaporeans also came in second in the 14 to
15-year-old category, and fourth in the under-12s. Other winners included
students from Australia , Canada and South Africa
What the Modern Woman Wants...
By Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen
The old woman sat in the backseat of the magenta convertible as it
careened down the highway, clutching tightly to the plastic bag on her lap,
afraid it may be kidnapped by the wind. She was not used to such speed, with
trembling hands she pulled the seat belt tighter but was careful not to touch
the patent leather seats with her callused fingers, her daughter had warned
her not to dirty it, 'Fingerprints show very clearly on white, Ma.'
Her daughter, Bee Choo, was driving and talking on her sleek silver
mobile phone using big words the old woman could barely understand.
'Finance', 'Liquidation', 'Assets', 'Investments'... Her voice was crisp and
important and had an unfamiliar lilt to it.
Her Bee Choo sounded like one of those foreign girls on television.
She was speaking in an American accent.
The old lady clucked her tongue in disapproval...... 'I absolutely
cannot have this. We have to sell!' Her daughter exclaimed agitatedly as
she stepped on the accelerator; her perfectly manicured fingernails gripping
onto the steering wheel in irritation.
'I can't DEAL with this anymore!' she yelled as she clicked the
phone shut and hurled it angrily toward the backseat.. The mobile phone hit
the old woman on the forehead and nestled soundlessly into her lap. She
calmly picked it up and handed it to her daughter..
'Sorry, Ma,' she said, losing the American pretence and switching
to Mandarin. 'I have a big client in America . There have been a lot of
The old lady nodded knowingly. Her daughter was big and
Bee Choo stared at her mother from the rear view window, wondering
what she was thinking. Her mother's wrinkled countenance always carried the
same cryptic look. The phone began to ring again, an artificially cheerful
digital tune, which broke the awkward silence.
'Hello, Beatrice! Yes, this is Elaine.' Elaine. The old woman
cringed. I didn't name her Elaine. She remembered her daughter telling
her, how an English name was very important for 'networking', Chinese ones
being easily forgotten.
'Oh no, I can't see you for lunch today. I have to take the
ancient relic to the temple for her weird daily prayer ritual.'
Ancient Relic. The old woman understood perfectly it was
referring to her. Her daughter always assumed that her mother's silence
meant she did not comprehend.
'Yes, I know! My car seats will be reeking of joss sticks!' The
old woman pursed her lips tightly, her hands gripping her plastic bag in
The car curved smoothly into the temple courtyard. It looked
almost garish next to the dull sheen of the ageing temple's roof. The old
woman got out of the back seat, and made her unhurried way to the main hall.
Her daughter stepped out of the car in her business suit and
stilettos and reapplied her lipstick as she made her brisk way to her mother's
'Ma, I'll wait outside.. I have an important phone call to make,'
she said, not bothering to hide her disgust at the pungent fumes of incense.
The old lady hobbled into the temple hall and lit a joss stick, she
knelt down solemnly and whispered her now familiar daily prayer to the Gods.
Thank you God of the Sky, you have given my daughter luck all these
years. Everything I prayed for, you have given her. She has everything a
young woman in this world could possibly want. She has a big house with a
swimming pool, a maid to help her, as she is too clumsy to sew or cook. Her
love life has been blessed; she is engaged to a rich and handsome angmoh man.
Her company is now the top financial firm and even men listen to what she
says... She lives the perfect life. You have given her everything except
happiness. I ask that the gods be merciful to her even if she has lost her
roots while reaping the harvest of success.
What you see is not true, she is a filial daughter to me. She
gives me a room in her big house and provides well for me. She is rude to me
only because I affect her happiness.. A young woman does not want to be
hindered by her old mother. It is my fault.
The old lady prayed so hard that tears welled up in her eyes.
Finally, with her head bowed in reverence she planted the half-burnt joss
stick into an urn of smoldering ashes.
She bowed once more. The old woman had been praying for her
daughter for thirty-two years. When her stomach was round like a melon, she
came to the temple and prayed that it was a son.
Then the time was ripe and the baby slipped out of her womb,
bawling and adorable with fat thighs and pink cheeks, but unmistakably, a
girl. Her husband had ticked and punched her for producing a useless baby
who could not work or carry the family name.
Still, the woman returned to the temple with her new-born girl tied
to her waist in a sarong and prayed that her daughter would grow up and have
everything she ever wanted.
Her husband left her and she prayed that her daughter would never
have to depend on a man. She prayed every day that her daughter would be a
great woman, the woman that she, meek and uneducated, could never become. A
woman with nengkan; the ability to do anything she set her mind to. A woman
who commanded respect in the hearts of men. When she opened her mouth to
speak, precious pearls would fall out and men would listen. She will not be
like me, the woman prayed as she watched her daughter grow up and drift away
from her, speaking a language she scarcely understood..
She watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl to one who
openly defied her, calling her laotu, old fashioned.... She wanted her
mother to be 'modern', a word so new there was no Chinese word for it.
Now her daughter was too clever for her and the old woman wondered
why she had prayed like that. The Gods had been faithful to her persistent
prayer, but the wealth and success that poured forth so richly had buried the
girl's roots and now she stood faceless with no identity, bound to the soil of
her ancestors by only a string of origami banknotes.
Her daughter had forgotten her mother's value. Her wants were so
ephemeral, that of a modern woman. Power, wealth, access to the best fashion
boutiques and yet her daughter had not found true happiness.
The old woman knew that you could find happiness with much less.
When her daughter left the earth, everything she had would count for
nothing. People would look to her legacy and say that she was a great woman
but she would be forgotten once the wind blows over, like the ashes of burnt
paper convertibles and mansions.
The old woman wished she could go back and erase all her big hopes
and prayers for her daughter now that she had looked out of the temple gates.
She saw her daughter speaking on the phone, her brow furrowed with anger and
worry. Being at the top is not good, the woman thought, there is only one
way to go from there – down.
The old woman carefully unfolded the plastic bag and spread out a
packet of beehoon in front of the altar. Her daughter often mocked her for
worshipping porcelain Gods. How could she pray to them so faithfully and
expect pieces of ceramic to fly to her aid? But her daughter had her own
gods too, idols of wealth, success and power that she enslaved to and
worshipped every day of her life.
Every day was a quest for the idols, and the idols she worshipped
counted for nothing in eternity. All the wants her daughter had would slowly
suck the life out of her and leave her, an empty souless shell at the altar.
The old woman watched the joss stick. The dull heat had left a
teetering grey stem that was on the danger of collapsing.
Modern woman nowadays, the old lady signed in resignation, as she
bowed to the east bone final time to end her ritual. Modern woman nowadays
want so much that they lose their souls and wonder whey they cannot find it.
Her joss stick disintegrated into a soft grey powder. She met her
daughter outside the temple, the same look of worry and frustration was etched
on her daughter's face.
An empty expression, as if she was ploughing through the soil of
her wants looking for the one thing that would sown the seeds of happiness.
They climbed into the convertible in silence and her daughter drove
along the highway, this time not to fast as she had done before.
‘Ma,’ Bee Choo finally said. "I don't know how to put this.
Mark and I have been talking about it and we plan to move out of the big
house. The property market is good now, and we managed to get a buyer
willing to pay us seven million for it. We decided we'd prefer a cosier
penthouse apartment instead. We found a perfect one in Orchard Road .. Once
we move into our apartment, we plan to get rid of the maid, so we can have
more space to ourselves....."
The old woman nodded knowingly. Bee Choo swallowed hard. "We'd
get someone to come in to do the housework and we can eat out – but once the
maid is gone, there won't be anyone to look after you. You will be awfully
lonely at home and, besides that the apartment is rather small. There won't
be space. We thought about it for a long time, and we decided the best thing
for you is if you moved to a Home. There's one near Hougang – it's a
Christian home and a very nice one."
The old woman did not raise an eyebrow. I"ve been there, the
matron is willing to take you in. It's beautiful with gardens and lots of
old people to keep you company! Hardly have time for you, you'd be happier
there." "You'd be happier there, really." her daughter repeated as if to
This time the old woman had no plastic bag of food offering to
cling tightly to, she bit her lip and fastened her seat belt, as if it would
protect her from a daughter who did not want her anymore. She sunk deep into
the leather seat, letting her shoulders sag and her fingers trace the white
Ma, her daughter asked, searching the rear view window for her
mother. "Is everything okay?
What had to be done, had to be done. "Yes" she said firmly,
louder than she intended, 'if it will make you happy,' she added more
‘It's for you, Ma! You will be happier there. You can move
there tomorrow, I already got the maid to pack your things.' Elaine said
triumphantly, mentally ticking yet another item off her agenda.
'I knew everything would be fine.' Elaine smiled widely; she felt
liberated. Perhaps getting rid of her mother would make her happier... She
had thought about it. It seemed the only hindrance in her pursuit of
happiness. She was happy now. She had everything a modern woman ever
wanted; money, status, career, love, power and now freedom without her mother
and her old-fashioned ways to weigh her down......
Yes she was free. Her phone butted urgently, she picked it up and
read the message, still beaming from ear to ear. "Stock 10% increase."
Yes, things were definitely beginning to look up for her and while
searching for the meaning of life in the luminance of her hand phone screen,
the old woman in the backseat became invisible and she did not see her in
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.
He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, to make the final decision.
The director discovered from the CV that the youth's academic result is excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never has a year he did not score.
The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarship in school?" and the youth answered "none".
The director asked, "Is it your father who paid for your school fees?" the youth answered, "my father passed away when I was one year old, it is my mother who paid for my school fees."
The director asked, "Where did your mother work?" the youth answered, "my mother worked as cloth cleaner." The director requested the youth to show his hand, the youth showed a pair of hands that is smooth and perfect to the director.
The director asked, "Did you ever help your mother washed the clothes before?" The youth answered, "Never, because my mother always wanted me to study and read more books, furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me."
The director said, "I have a request, when you go back home today, go and help to clean your mother's hand, and then see me tomorrow morning.
The youth felt that his chances of landing the job is high, when he went back home, he happily wanted to clean his mother's hand, his mother feel strange, happy but mixed with fear, she showed her hand to her son.
The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly, his tears flowed down as he did that. It is first time he found his mother's hands are so wrinkled, and there are so many bruises on her hand.s Some bruises incites pains so strong that shiver her mother's body when cleaned with water.
This is the first time the youth realized and experienced that it is this pair of hand sthat washed the clothes everyday to earn him the school fees, the bruises in the mother's hand is the price that the mother paid for his graduation and academic excellence and probably his future.
After finishing the cleaning of his mother hand, the youth quietly cleaned all the remaining clothes for his mother.
That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.
Next morning, the youth went to the director's office.
The director noticed the tear in the youth's eye, asked: "Can you tell you what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?"
The youth answered, "I cleaned my mother's hands, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes'
The director asked, "Please tell me your feeling."
The youth said, Number 1, I knew what is appreciation, without my mother, there would not be the successful me today. Number 2, I knew how to work together with my mother, then only I can realize how difficult and tough to get something done. Number 3, I knew the importance and value of family relationship.
The director said, "This is what I am asking, I want to recruit a person that can appreciate the help of others, a person that knew the suffering of others to get things done, and a person that would not put money as his only goal in life to be my manager. You are hired."
Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates, every employees worked diligently and in a team, the company's result improved tremendously.
A child who has been protected and habitually given whatever he did, he developed an"entitlement mentality" and always put himself first. He is ignorance of his parent's effort. When in a working environment, he assumes that every colleague must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never understand his subordinates' problems and always blame others. For this kind of people, he may be able to achieve career highs, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel any sense of achievement, instead he will grumble, have full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parent, are we loving our children or destroying them?
You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their dishes together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow grey, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your child learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learn the ability to work with others to get things done.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
"Mdm Soong is a mum of one of my friends. she is a cancer patient 10 yrs ago. Ever since then, she has been in and out of hospital due to low white blood cell. Tried many methods and still not giving up. She is single mother who brought up 2 kids. 1 boy and 1 girl. Would appreciate any amount of donation. Her contact # is 012-2203788".
Just spoken to Mdm Soong a while ago and she sounded calm and optimistic over the phone. She hopes that she can be wheeled in to the operations room by next month. Her eye sights is not doing good as she can't read my handphone numbers. So she jotted down on a paper and sent me her Bank Account Details:
Soong Kam Suin
PBB : 3078717324
Please help if you can, regardless the amount. God Bless all of you!
Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.
"Charity: water" is a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. They utilises 100% of the public donations to directly fund sustainable water solutions in areas of greatest need. Just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years.
Health and Sanitation.
Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren't strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.
For more information, pls log into : http://www.charitywater.org/whywater/
Friday, 22 October 2010
This is our adopted son/brother to our family. He is cute, adorable and with so much of kindness in his face.
Everyone got overwhelmed by the fact that he was born exactly on the day and year when I gave birth to Valerie. Do you believe that God has everything arranged for us? I do!
Somewhere back in 2005, SOE June Ju was destined to join us as one family, to have another two adopted sisters and brother in this part of the world. This is the power of the Almighty.
From hundreds of poverty stricken countries in this world, World Vision handpicked this child and send him over to us. We believed that he was heaven sent. Vivian from Australia was excited about it and wanted to call him only Ju. Perhaps when Vivian goes to Thailand this holiday break, she should en route to Myanmar to pay him a visit! :p
Villi announced to the world over his FB that he's got a new adopted brother, minus a mole.
Valerie was a bit puzzled with the day they both share, :) She will now have to send a birthday card while celebrating her own!
I thank you World Vision for this meaningful gift that not only strengthened our family relationship but also teaching my children the love and compassion in helping others.
Like what the World Vision Child sponsorship guidebook says;
"Your sponsorship helps to build crucial cornerstones that allow a community to rise above poverty and children to pursue their dreams. The end result is a self-sustaining community that is free from the crutches of long-term aid and hand-outs. When you sponsor a child, not only is the child's life changed, but yours as well!"
WORLD VISION MALAYSIA
106 & 108, Ground Floor,
Block A, Kelana Centre Point,
Jalan SS7/19, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
P.O. Box 8171, Kelana Jaya,
46783 Petaling Jaya, Selangor,
Tel: 03-7880 6414 Fax: 03-7880 6424
Thursday, 30 September 2010