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Monday, December 3, 2012

WHEN CRIME BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER






By : DAVE AVRAN

COMA.....Madam Khoo Bok Eng slipped into coma after being hit with a crash helmet, and was later kicked out of a private hospital after her son ran out of funds after paying bills amounting to RM26,000.

WHEN WE think about trust, we naturally think first of all about personal relationships. That’s too narrow. Trust is much broader, and much more important. Nothing in society works without trust. It’s the foundation of communities, commerce, democracy, everything.

Consequently in today’s hyper-connected society, understanding the mechanisms oftrust is of utmost importance. Issues of trust and security are critical to solving problems as diverse as crime issues and our current moribund political system.

It would be easy to assume that a social problem only affects the people whom it directly touches, but this is not the case in actual fact.

There is no doubt that there is widespread public concern about the high level of crime in this country today. Although the statistics fluctuate year on year, the picture is clear: over the past two generations crime has increased enormously. A great deal of crime goes unrecorded, and much of the crime that is reported to the police is not adjudicated upon by our criminal courts.

The result is that there is a substantial cost to the community and many people go about in fear of being the victims of crime. People ask, quite reasonably, how this has come about. In an age of great technological advances, when so many people enjoy a prosperous lifestyle far beyond that of their parents and grandparents, why is it that so much crime and anti-social behavior are ruining it all?

There is a widespread feeling of helplessness that nothing can be done about the situation and that, if one is the victim of crime, it is a misfortune like falling ill. We are left with the feeling that nothing works.

A large amount of time and money is spent in dealing with the results of criminal and anti-social behavior, and even more is spent to deflect and deter young people from starting a life of crime, to catch those who do commit a crime and to deal with them appropriately.

The task can be summed up by three Ps: parenting, policing and punishment. (Many would add a fourth: piety. Selfishness is the forerunner of every criminal act.) So while there is no doubt that crime can divide society, it can also unite society in a surprising twist of fate.

One of MARAH’s (Malaysians Against Rape, Assault & snatch) most active supporter and the founder of the volunteer Community Policing organisation posted in our facebook group page about a woman who got hurt during wayside robbery in Kepong on Sept 1, 2012.

Prayer for Madam Khoo

Madam Khoo Bok Eng slipped into coma after being hit with a crash helmet. She was discharged from two government hospitals as her injuries needed expert attention, and she was later kicked out of a private hospital after her son ran out of funds after paying bills amounting to RM26,000.

She is currently warded in room Sunway Medical Centre, with escalating medical bills amounting to almost 60k. Her only son, aged 30, had exhausted his savings and EPF and desperately asked the MARAH member to help his mother.

The MARAH member, Kuan Chee Heng, duly called me and explained the situation, and despite my stand on MARAH staying away from collecting money from the public, this poor lady’s situation moved me.

I decided to allow MARAH members to contribute to Madam Khoo’s medical bill fundfor two reasons: I had verified the authenticity of the case with Kuan, and that this lady truly deserved assistance. I imposed a condition that any and all monies collected would go only through Kuan.

Donations are entirely on a voluntary basis and I am glad to report that many MARAH members have given generously to aid Madam Khoo. Many others have pledged to pray for her speedy recovery as well. This is a very good example of Malaysians uniting to help a fellow Malaysian in need without regard for color, religion or creed.

If you are moved to help this poor lady after reading this article, please do surf to the MARAH facebook page to see how you can help her. You are also most welcome to visit her if you wish as her current location is also listed.

Finally I would like to ask a small favour of you – please do say a prayer for Madam Khoo’s recovery from her horribly traumatic experience of being robbed and assaulted. Thank you.

(NOTE : Dave Avran is the founder of MARAH (Malaysians Against Rape, Assault & snatcH)

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