Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

At the heart of Kinta Valley. The capital city of the state of Perak. An opposition stronghold. Factory of brilliant people. Desolated through emigration of its inhabitants to other parts of the country and overseas. Yet... it is forever remembered by its people.

Monday, December 29, 2003

While the citizens all around the world had passed their joyous Noel and are preparing for the New Year celebration, there was a stunning natural disaster which haunted the Iranians recently. The earthquake that reached 6.5 to the Richter Scale devastated almost the whole city of Bam, which is located in south-eastern Iran.

According to yesterday paper, the Iranian Officer said at least 20,000 people were dead in this greatest tragedy and 30,000 were seriously injured. Many countries like Swiss, Germany, China, Japanese, Australia and even United State which despite no diplomatic relations with Iran, had offered their condolence to the victims and scramble to help by sending their humanitarian aid and monetary assistance. Malaysian Government also expressed the greatest sympathy and provided monetary assistance to the victims of the devastating earthquake in Bam.

The foreign relief workers and sniffer dogs worked days and nights to excavate the ruins of the flattened building with the hope of discovering any possible survivor, but most of the time they could merely dig bunches of corpses, which later have to be abandoned on the street because the amount of dead bodies was too intense for quick funeral ceremory. With the gloomy evironment that enveloping the Iranians were the sorrows and cries. Everytime when the excavators and bulldozers dug the mass grave, there will be dozen corpses lying in it, and yet the huge number of corpses is still buried under the rubbles.

As what our PM said, we are the lucky group to be borned in this god-blessed land which is free of monstrous natural disaster like earthquake, typhoons, turnado, volcano and serious flood. Thus he urged for a long-life peace and harmony from Malaysian, and get rid of any man-made disaster.

As new year is coming, it is so blessed for those who can celebrate it with jubilation, with new hope and new resolution. But not to Iraqis and Iranians who are so vulnerable in facing various threats from internal and external of natural disasters as well as never-ending brutal wars.

Their dream is simple - live peacefully. Let's pray for them..

* Donation to the Mercy Humanitarian Fund can be sent to its Maybank account no: 562179504126.

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