The Tale of the Rohingyar Boat People

I read the Robinson Crusoe authored by the late Daniel Defoe years ago; it journaled the life of a shipwrecked man stranded on an island with no inhabitants.  There he painstakingly learned how to kindle a fire, hunt for food, and make a house out of a cave, among other things.  He learned how to survive on his own, fighting his way through cannibals and captives and mutineers.  In the end, he was “found” after 28 long years, and brought back to the shores of England.

Now that is his story.

It’s a sad, sad, really sad world out there. Gloom is monopolizing its dirty little antics, shadowing all the horrifying terror. To hear of so much pain, so much suffering breathing humans are enduring day by day – it’s quite upsetting.  I opened up the newspapers today to find the first two pages complete with news about the incredibly devastating plight of a large group of Myanmar migrants stranded on a boat with absolutely no food and no water.  Oh god, how have they been able to survive so long onboard?  Ten of them have already died; the rest are starving to death with nothing appropriate for life.  Imagine having to rely solely on survival instincts when every other instinct has worn out itself.  This can become pressing, which I have no doubt already begun circling about among the migrants.

The Rohingyar migrants. (Image credits to BBC News)

The distraught, anguished faces of the children and men and women on the boat speak of their intolerable desperation. No place to go, no food, no water.  To think that these are the first of the basic psychological needs that must be inherently met. Without these basic building blocks, stress sets in, first mentally, and then physically.  Because things that used to fall within their internal locus of control starts to slip away from their grasp – fast.  Depression caves in. Worst still, when one sees their loved ones dying of ill health and whatever else.

I agree with Marina Mahathir that we need to head out to the Andaman seas and provide urgent aid.  Malaysia has more than enough resources to provide for the needy.  Furthermore, time is running out – it is already night and soon a new day will dawn.  Let there be no hate, no prejudice, no questioning as to who where, and how they belong.  They are simply humans like us.  Humans who have the right to live, and should be treated accordingly.

There lies a verse in the Scriptures: “Do unto thy neighbors as thy would do unto thyself.”  Probably putting ourselves in their shoes might help.  Being stuck in a floating boat is not the same as being stuck in a fertile island – this is real life, not a movie.  It is more of a matter of life and death.  It is not their fault that they chose to leave their land in the first place.  To have wanted to leave the country in hopes of a better future for one’s family, only to have them shattered because of ill-knowledge, is the most unfortunate thing that could happen to a perfectly okay human being.

I fear what will happen to the younger Myanmar generation.  I fear if the boat is left abandoned, and everyone onboard dies of sickness and hunger.  I fear also, if the ship is left abandoned, and the migrants find their way out to land – and tear upon every other person they see, because they have developed a resilience over torture and have turned their back against Mankind who failed to help them.  I fear for the plight of the migrants as they continue to live ahead with their lives, and yet because of the experience develop PTSD or any other form of psychological disease.  I fear also for the safety of everyone else, that they may become indirect victims of this traumatizing condition.

Because they are only human.

A silent prayer passes my lips for their rescue.

Alicia Ai Leng

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The Tale of the Rohingyar Boat People by Alicia Ai Lengis licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


What You Call Fair Treatment

The Left-Out Chick

Pain! Oh, why must the world feel you when it’s not supposed to? Why must you inflict the ones already wounded?

Earth is a blatant mix of the extremely poor and the extremely rich, the least successful and the very successful, and so on. Of course , everyone experiences pain to a certain extent. Nevertheless, it appears as if the less privileged and more disadvantaged tend to feel pain more frequently. It is nearly always the poor who are looked down on by society. It is always the penniless who fail to accomplish their goals. And it seems as if it is always the poor who are left at the foot of Injustice herself, working their way to make life better for themselves. They continuously make deals with everyone, but nobody wants to make any deal with them.

Life has never taught me to behave unfairly to anyone. Life has not once taught me to differentiate amongst people and demonstrate selfishness toward such small “matters”. When it comes to handling problems, there is only a one-way route to completing the task. If there’s a short-cut that someone is able to take, then by all means let every living person on the planet use that short-cut! It’s not necessary to scrutinize your fellow human being’s DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) – if that is possible – before showing him. There isn’t even the need to “charge” extra just because you perceive his dissimilarity.

Remember the verse in the Bible (please excuse me) that states that all men were created equal. Yet we fight bloody wars, commit murders, stage genocides, get all the children we can involved in the confusion so that they be confused as well, or  even worse – put the weak through an era of torture.

We probably did that to show that we haven’t lose control on certain things, but anyway (pardon me for this), do you realize there are millions of the less fortunate out there waiting to be clothed, sheltered, fed, and sent to school? No, we don’t; we choose to ignore instead the surreal events and live our entire days mumbling and grumbling but not doing anything about it.

Don’t you realize there’s too much blood shed on the ground? No, you don’t. Don’t you see there is an overwhelming amount of suffering? Well, you are aware of it. Just how much can you take?

This is for all the fathers on Earth, living or dead, to be or already are, human or nonhuman. Today is probably way past Father’s Day, but there’s a message I would like to disseminate. It’s quite a rare sight these days to see fathers taking their children out for some fun. It’s more of a norm to notice young boys and girls outside by themselves, fumbling around for a tight grip. And it’s also seldom that they actually succeed.

The father is the basis of the family. He is the one responsible for each and every life of the human beings in his care. In his care. Yes, he is supposed to watch over them. He is supposed to make sure that their needs are adequately satisfied. If their needs aren’t met, these human beings would inadvertently look elsewhere to satisfy them. Consider the case of the unloving husband. If his attitude persists, his wife would look for somebody else, wouldn’t she?

Over time, disastrous consequences result. The couple split because the love that once brought them together is no longer existent. And the children . . .they are left in an abominable state of despair without any knowledge of what is, or has been, going on.

Is that their future? Should they be abandoned in a pool of mud, which takes them down, deeper and deeper every move they make?

How unfortunate if their lives were to succumb to such pity. As much as it hurts the parents to separate, it also strikes their childrens’ little hearts with pain to see their parents fight. Being adults, they should understand more.  It doesn’t make sense to expect a child of any age – even a teenager –  to comprehend his family’s situation.

It strikes. It hurts. It magnifies through the lives – their lives.

Fathers, it’s time to make a better world. It’s time to change, to make a better place. It doesn’t take long. It isn’t so hard. Yet it begins with you.

Dear Fathers