While Mizi Rahim, Muhammad Izuan Zainuddin, Azuria Camalia Camel, Farah Koh and Jamie Tan Jia Nee - flew all the way from Kuala Lumpur while Fairul Ghani and his wife, Irma Ibrahim, flew from Auckland, to participate in the New York Marathon. Superstorm Sandy dictated otherwise and our seven UGLY MALAYSIANS went on a whining whirlwind. BERNAMA scavenged on the “plight” of the seven and the STAR gave it prominence, HERE.
This absence of empathy at such a difficult time for New Yorkers elicited this response from Malaysian DEBORAH AGUSTIN:
I AM a Malaysian student in New York, and I was disgusted to read the article titled, “Malaysians’ NY marathon preparations go down the drain with Hurricane Sandy” (The Star, Nov 4).
I find it in extremely poor taste publishing a report focusing on how a natural disaster inconvenienced seven Malaysians in light of the damage that Hurricane Sandy has wreaked on the city of New York.
While the Malaysians interviewed were disappointed that “nothing is functional”, they were able to leave and did not have to endure the worst of the damage.
This attitude shows a complete lack of empathy, especially in light of the death toll that presently stands at 42.
While these Malaysians are comfortably at home, millions of New Yorkers are facing loss of income and personal property, lack of clean water and food, and the emotional damage that accompanies a catastrophe like this.
What is even more shameful about this story is that none of these Malaysians thought of making the best of an unfortunate situation by volunteering in the relief efforts as many other would-be marathon runners from around the world did.
It reflects poorly on us as a nation that these Malaysians chose to complain about how they had been inconvenienced.
DEBORAH AUGUSTIN, Bronxville, New York
When a University in New York was cleared for resumption of classes the President mobilized its students to distribute food from their cafeteria to those who were stranded and cared for the disabled and infirmed.
I always reserve respect for marathon and long distance athletes, a very lonely exacting discipline. I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice but I believe that we as a nation have missed out on core values, one of which is empathy.