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GLOBAL SIKHS - In the Malay newspapers
MALASIA’S highest selling Malay Sunday daily, Mingguan Malaysia (under the Utusan Melayu group), ran an article on the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY this weekend (Feb 20, 2005).
The article was written by Zainal Rashid Ahmad, the senior producer of ntv7, the local television station that had been providing almost weekly coverage for the humanitarian relief effort spearheaded by the SIKH NAUJAWAN SABHA MALAYSIA.
In the latest Siasat (Investigation) segment, aired over Channel 7 last Saturday (5pm-6pm), the entire hour was dedicated to what the GLOBAL SIKHS-WABES OF MERCY mission was doing in Aceh. Zainal and his crew had sailed out with our team. You could see members of Team Four – including team leader Harbinder Singh and others like Harcharanjit Singh, Dr Ranthir Kaur and Dr Angela Burns—in action.
Zainal’s Mingguan Malaysia article covered almost three quarters of the page in the broadsheet newspaper. I quote the last four paragraphs:
1,600 MANGSA DIANCAM KEBULURAN
Oleh Zainal Rashid Ahmad (Penerbit Kanan MySiasat 60 Minit)
Saya sudah melihat bagaimana belia Sikh dan pelayar Eropah bertungkus-lumus menguruskan nasib 1,6000 penduduk di kawasan yang sukar ini, dan bantuan yang dihulurkan bukan setakat makanan dan perubatan, namun mereka juga bertanggungjawab membekalkan al-Quran, muqaddam, sejadah dan telekung.
Dan saya berfikir, sekiranya masjid perlu dibangunkan semula kerana semua masjid di sini sudah musnah, apakah ia juga satu tanggungjawab yang mesti dilaksanakan oleh sukarelawan Sikh dan pelayar Eropah? Saya tidak mempunyai sebarang prasangka terhadap sukarelawan Global Sikhs dan Waves of Mercy, malah saya melihat mereka sebagai orang yang mulia.
Cuma saya bertanya-tanya: Di mana persatuan-persatuan belia kita? Ahlinya ratusan ribu, dananya juga mencecah berjuta-juta ringgit. Saya tidak fikir, konsep berpersatuan hari ini hanya sekadar dengan imej baju batik, main kompang, bersilat atau riuh-rendah dengan pesta-bora majlis makan malam.
Aceh memerlukan kita—saudara sebangsa dan seamaganya.
Translations (not by the author):
“I’ve seen how the Sikh youth and the European sailors are hard at work to care for the 1,600 people in this village, a very difficult place. The assistance rendered goes beyond food and medical. They have also been responsible to supply the villagers with copies of the Quran and other religion items.
“This makes me think: If the mosques here need to be rebuild, as all the mosques here have been destroyed, does the responsibility fall on the shoulders of the volunteer Sikhs and European sailors? I have no suspicions on the volunteers of the Global Sikhs and Waves of Mercy. In fact, I think they are honourable people.
“The question is: Where are our youth organisations? They have hundreds of thousands of members, funding running into millions of ringgit. I don’t think the today’s version of the running an organisation is merely wearing the batik shirts, playing the kompang (a Malay musical instrument), conducting silat (a Malay form of self defence) and making merry at parties.
“Aceh needs us – brothers of its own race and faith.”
In his outpouring, Zainal obviously laments the lack of action on the part of the Malay, the majority race in Malaysia.
As he rightly noted, the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY have truly crossed the divide of race, religion, nationality and colour.
The prolific Zainal had written a short story as well themed on this mission which appeared in last Sunday’s BERITA MINGGU, the rival to the Mingguan Malaysia. For those interested, you can find the story at: http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Sunday/Sastera/20050220103247/Article/
Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy: Background
WHO WE ARE
GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY is the name coined for the international relief effort to help the earthquake and Tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia. It is an informal grouping of Sikh and non-Sikh organisations worldwide that want to assist in the relief mission. While the mission platform carries the name Sikh, it is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. We have, both on the mission and at the headquarters level, volunteers from various races, religions and nationalities.
The mission is spearheaded by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (Malaysian Sikh Youth), a Malaysian-based 41-year old youth organisation. This is a registered NGO in Malaysia and has performed various community projects in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. Website: www.snsm.org.my
Its key operational partner is the WAVES OF MERCY, a group of Langkawi-based sailors who have rallied together to make the ships available to carry forward the mission. It is led by Captain Hugo Crawford. Some of the sailors have lost their boats in the tsunami incident. Website: www.wavesofmercy.com
Its main international partner is the UNITED SIKHS, an international NGO with chapters in Europe, America and Asia. It has sent five of its members to Kuala Lumpur for the relief work in Aceh. In separate missions, UNITED SIKHS have also sent their members to Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Website: www.unitedsikhs.org
- Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), Washington, USA
- Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF), Washington, USA www.ggsf.org
- Gurmat Learning Zone. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learning-zone/
- The Association of Sikh Physicians for Involvement, Response and Engagement (ASPIRE), USA
- Naujawan Sabha Melbourne, Australia
- Dya Singh World of Music
Our mission is to assist in the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner as possible. Funds raised and assistance rendered will go towards achieving the objective.
24-HOUR COMMAND CENTRE
GLOBAL SIKHS operates a round-the-clock control and command centre n Kuala Lumpur. Tel: ++ 603 - 2283 3713
||Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia - Tsunami Relief
||Bangsar Baru Branch
||66, 68 & 70, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru, 59000 Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.