M'sian Students In Uk Launch Donation Drive For Flood Victims
The devastation caused by floods in East Coast Foto Bernama
By Ismail Amsyar Mohd Said
LONDON (Bernama) -- More than three Malaysian student societies in the United Kingdom have launched a flood donation drive to help the flood victims back home.
Some of the Malaysian students were equally worried as they have not been in touch with their families back home for several days because the communication lines have been cut or their families have moved to flood relief centres.
The floods described as the worst faced by Malaysia in three decades has displaced more than 150,000 people with the East Coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang being the worst affected.
The other states including Perak, Kedah, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor too were affected to a lesser extent.
The worrying situation back home prompted many of the Malaysian students to come forward to lend a helping hand in collaboration with the Education Malaysia UK & Ireland (EM), a unit under the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia and under the administration of the Malaysian High Commission in London.
PARTICIPATION OF EDUCATION MALAYSIA UK & IRELAND
The Director of EM Associate Professor Dr Mohad Anizu Mohd Nor in an email interview with Bernama said that EM is currently collaborating with a few Malaysian student societies in collecting donation for the flood victims.
According to Mohad Anizu who has been following the news on flood situation in Malaysia closely, the donation drive is being spearheaded by Himpunan Siswazah Kelantan (HIMSAK) UK & Ireland, Sheffield Malaysian Students Association (SMSA) and the UMNO Club Liaison Committee.
"Malaysian students throughout the UK and Ireland have shown deep concern over this tragedy. I strongly believe they will come together through their associations or individually to collect funds besides holding special prayers to ease the burden of the victims.
"I really hope that our thoughts and prayers go to all affected Malaysians back home and hope we stay united during these trying times," he said noting that the efforts signaled the high level of awareness, responsibility and support from Malaysians in the UK and Ireland.
EM'S ROLE IN THE CAMPAIGN
All donations will be handed over to the Malaysian High Commissioner in London, Datuk Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi, before being channeled to NGOs in Malaysia.
SMSA's funds will be channeled to the Malaysian Relief Agency (MRA), a registered humanitarian organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, while HIMSAK UK and Ireland will channel its collection to its parent body back home.
"HIMSAK submitted 2,296.10 (RM12,536) on Dec 29. Whereas, SMSA has launched its donation drive with the theme "MALAYSIAN STUDENTS 15K DONATION" on Dec 28 with several other Malaysian societies and organisation in United Kingdom to collect up to RM82,000," he added.
SHEFFIELD MALAYSIAN STUDENT ASSOCIATION (SMSA)
President of SMSA Hasnan Nai'em said the campaign was initiated as Malaysian students abroad too shared equal responsibility in helping to ease the burden and suffering of the flood victims.
As far as they are concerned, the welfare of the flood victims is of top priority.
"We also believe that this campaign serves as a platform to unite Malaysians here in the UK and to nurture the sense of responsibility in every Malaysian towards our beloved nation," he added.
Hasnan also noted that SMSA is collaborating with eight other organisations in the UK including Sheffield Malaysian Student Community Association (PMPMS), Malaysian and Singaporean Society Sheffield (MASOC), and the United Kingdom and Ireland Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC).
What is more interesting about this campaign is not only it has brought together Malaysians here, but it has also witnessed solidarity from other nationalities who sympathised with the flood victims in Malaysia.
"My husband and I are not Malaysians, but we stand with you in your efforts to provide relief to the flood victims in East Coast of Malaysia. We have just made a donation of 200 (RM1,100) from our account to your "Flood Donation" account.
"We hope that this modest contribution will help in some small way to alleviate the suffering of all the people displaced by the floods," wrote the anonymous donor on the campaign's facebook page.
LOSING CONTACT WITH FAMILIES
Meanwhile, for Ahmad Nasaie Md Sukhaimi, a 26-year old PhD student at the University of Sheffield, it was an agonising experience as he went through many sleepless nights after he could not get in touch with his family in Tanah Merah, Kelantan.
"Our house is located next to my grandma's house in Tanah Merah. On Dec 24, as the water level rose quickly my family was separated from my grandma, along with my pregnant aunt and her three kids who were visiting her. My family had been forced to move to one of our neighbour's house on a higher ground.
According to Ahmad Nasaie, he lost contact with his family at 6 pm (London time) the same day as the flood worsened cutting off the phone line and electricity. He was informed the next day that his grandma, his aunt and her three kids had been evacuated to a flood relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kelewek but no news was forthcoming on his family.
"I became anxious and was worried fearing of their safety. Finally on Dec 27, I called home at around 4 am (London time) and much to my relief, my sister answered. She told me that the water inside our house has started to subside and related to me everything that happened the last couple of days.
"I am grateful and happy that they are safe and as we were talking, I heard my dad's voice from the back asking her to hang up and help him clean up the mess," he told Bernama.
He added that he highly appreciated the effort by Malaysian student societies in the UK for initiating the donation drive for the flood victims back home and hope that the money raised would help ease the burden and difficulties faced by the flood victims.