We boast about helping those suffering in distant lands, but then we miss out on those in our backyard. Hamzah Osman writes.
Most of us believe almighty God is the ruler of the universe. Everything between the earth and the sky belongs to the one and only Creator.
We, as human beings, along with the birds and the bees, animals and the environment, are created so that we can coexist in this beautiful world.
As we move forward during the recovery phase of the movement control order, people on the streets have expressed mixed feelings. Some believe it is a lesson to be learned after our careless attitude towards Mother Nature. Another group believes this is a bio war between the superpowers, China and the US.
Whatever it is, the coronavirus episode has given human beings time to reflect on ourselves. We have been forced to wear masks as though God is sending us a message saying shut up and practise more love and compassion to our fellow human beings.
During the lockdown, I read, watched television and reflected. We saw reports and pictures of our environment taking a breather due to less human activity. The sky was clear, animals were reportedly coming out in the open to roam freely, and rivers were flowing with crystal clear waters. Come to think of it, we humans were more of a nuisance to the environment.
Who would have thought mosques, churches, temples and other places of worship would shut their doors due to the pandemic?
It was reassuring to witness people of different faiths helping ease the suffering of so many the people. The roles played by the government, NGOs and many individuals were much appreciated.
But missing from the scene were some rich and famous businessmen, politicians and religious leaders. I’ve heard of one politician-businessman who claims RM1m is just pocket money for him. But I didn’t hear of him contributing to help during this Covid 19 pandemic. I suppose he was doing so quietly.
However, two God-sent souls stood out during this pandemic. They were Ustaz Ebit Liew and Health Ministry director general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Ustaz Ebit represents peace and compassion while Hisham is an example of a civil servant who is hardworking and trusted to serve the rakyat. Both have a huge following as respected citizens, so much so some ‘devils’ turned green with envy.
At every nook and corner Ustaz Ebit went, there were people living in worse conditions than many of us are accustomed to. That reminds us how we, as ordinary people, politicians and religious leaders, have failed. What a shame! We boast about helping those suffering in Palestine, Myanmar and Yemen, but miss out those in our backyard. This is hypocrisy at its worst.
I wish to quote some lines which frequently appear over social media. There are two kinds of people we must be wary of: politicians who tell you how to pray and religious leaders who preach and tell you who to vote for. Both are foxes in sheep’s clothing.
Let us pray to the Almighty for his mercy and forgiveness. To the frontline personnel in the fight against the coronavirus, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope the people of Malaysia and all around the world stay safe. God willing!
Hamzah Osman, based in Rawang, taught in a secondary school for 17 years before resigning in 1997. He then worked in an English daily, where he became foreign news editor, and later joined another English daily before retiring