I teach at a primary school. It’s been almost 8 years since I first started teaching. I did not become a teacher because I love children. I became a teacher for the opportunity it affords me to help mould the lives of these little ones. Over time, I learnt to love them. Even the naughty ones. They fill you with such joy with their earnestness and innocence.
Needless to say, I was overcome with grief when I first heard of the losses by TKPS. As a teacher and as a parent of a toddler myself, I was devastated. I thought of my own little one and how I would feel if I lost him. It scares me. So, I cannot imagine how it is for the parents to deal with their loss. Like other Singaporeans, I can only emphatise and offer my deepest condolences.
There are some who say that the Malaysian government’s rescue efforts was found wanting. I don’t know. Maybe it is still too early to say. For me, now’s the time to focus the effort on working together to look for those still missing. The review can come later. Then we’ll have a better idea of what went right, or wrong, during the search and rescue.
Many have slammed the foreigners who chided and ridiculed their guides before taking naked pictures of themselves on Mount Kinabalu. Many Malaysians, including government officials, have blamed them for the disaster. I agree that it is a bit far-fetched.
But what I’ll say is what they did really disrespected the culture and traditions of people who treat the mountain as sacred. It is not their place to ridicule or to “liberalise” the Sabahans. They do this for what? Entertainment? I am very appalled by his reactions, to say the least.
They need to stop with the white men’s burden mentality and stop imposing their values on others. Even with all the grief sadness, this a**hole still posted on his timeline with the semi-naked photos of his trip and captioned it, “Mount Kinabalu. Time of my life”. This was last night when more or less, a lot of the students were confirmed dead. That is being very provocative. So no, you don’t call these people who blame you for the earthquake, stupid.
Stupid is one who had caused an uproar only to pour scorn on the loss of young lives. Stupid is one who is disrespectful of local customs in their search of fun. You may not have directly caused the earthquake. But that does not give you the right to mouth-off and ridicule, and rub slat into the fresh wounds of the parents who loss their children in the earthquake.
The Singapore government keep saying that we need foreigers. This kind of foreigner we don’t need. Instead, we need to keep them out. Our social compact is too fragile to cope with these rude people who with big egos who are resistant to learning, as well as showing compassion and humility.
Singapore and Malaysia should bar him and his nudist bunch from entering ever again.