But this one demonstrated how very low Malaysians have sunk in terms of morality.
‘Rescuers were cold-hearted’
KUALA LUMPUR — The family of a woman who recently gave birth has accused Malaysian rescue personnel of acting in a cold-hearted manner, resulting in the woman’s death in the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide tragedy.
This came as residents of the housing estate in Kuala Lumpur, hit by a landslide on Saturday which killed four people and buried 14 houses, said yesterday they were considering suing the government for compensation.
According to news portal Malaysiakini, Ms Ng Yee Ping’s husband was desperately digging through the earth with his bare hands to save his wife, a 30-year-old accountant who delivered a son two months ago. He thought help had arrived when rescue personnel reached the scene. But all they reportedly did was throw him a spade.
Speaking at Ms Ng’s funeral service on Monday, her mother-in-law, Mdm Wong Sai Mooi, said she, her husband, her sons and grandson managed to escape. “But (I) did not know that my daughter-in-law was buried alive. Then I heard my eldest son (Ms Ng’s husband) calling his wife, telling her to remain conscious,” she was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying.
“Later, a few rescue personnel arrived at the scene but they just threw a spade at (my sons) and did nothing ... (They treated her) like some dead dog or cat,” Mdm Wong added, claiming that Ms Ng would still be alive if the rescuers had rendered assistance.
Mdm Wong’s husband,Mr Ng Yong Shun, also accused the rescuers of looting his house after he returned to the house on Sunday morning. “My wife and I examined our safety box and found it opened. Several branded watches and jewellery were missing,” Mr Ng, 56, was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying.
Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar came to the defence of the rescuers, citing their lack of training as a reason, according to Malaysiakini. He said the police will conduct a thorough probe into the matter.
Meanwhile, Bukit Antarabangsa residents said they have set up a legal team. Mr N Muniandy, chairman of the residents’ association, was quoted by AFP as saying: “If we have concrete evidence, then we will go against the authorities concerned. It is not our fault at all. We are the victims.”
In response, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said yesterday the government would consider paying compensation to the landslide victims.
I'm not convinced the woman would have been alive should the rescuers have done more than throw her husband a spade.
But it's the attitude that irks me. It's racism.