Thursday, August 21, 2008

Helping the single mothers

I have a heart for single parents. When I was first approached by the spokesperson for these single mothers of my constituency, I was told that they have been given free health check in Kuala Lumpur but was having difficulty coordinating transport to ferry them there. I thought of how the local council could assist these less fortunate ones and I gave a call to Dato' YDP of MPSJ. He arranged for the MPSJ bus to take these single mothers to do their free health check.
I was there to meet the single mothers and to send them off. Very recently I met a young lady from USJ, she's only a year older than me and she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Both her parents are no longer around, she's very much an orphan and is still single. Kanser Network (KanWork) is assisting her. She sat in front of me and asked me what would life be like for her after chemotherapy. I have lost loved ones to cancer and I can understand her concerns. Diseases discriminate no one. We must never forget to help or take along the less fortunate ones as we move society forward.


solidleong said...

How touching hannah. BTW there are many more out there waiting for someone like you to care for them. Maybe you can distribute leaflets at strategic places for easy access. Not many of these single mothers can afford internet facilities. All the way please...

myvoice said...

There are still many ways to help those single mothers, why not propose to Kerajaan Negeri Selangor to provide monetary help as well. The least it can help to reduce their daily burden and help to provide better living.

Anonymous said...

We have to keep promoting awareness of what Good Governance is all about until it becomes a reality in our beloved Malaysia.


Universal principles of good governance and rule of law .....

Can we learn from the Iraqi experience???

A global consensus recognizing that good governance is vital for economic development and poverty alleviation has emerged. Good governance provides an enabling environment for general economic development, human resources development, ensuring the prevention and resolution of conflict. All these elements are essential to build a firm common ground for Iraqi national reconciliation. Good governance, as we know, is a pillar of democracy. Finding a consensus on a definition of the concept of good government has not been easy. Does it apply to just sound administration and management or does it also refer to the political domain and political leadership? Is it a universal principle or does it vary according to context? This vagueness raises the risks associated with applying a concept, which may not be rooted in the particular socio-cultural and political environment of Iraq. It is generally accepted that in the context of a political and constitutional environment that upholds human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, good governance is the transparent and accountable management of human, natural, economic and financial resources for the purpose of equitable and sustainable development. Citizens expect the government to respond to their needs through a systematic process of accountability, transparency, and checks and balances. Good governance ensures that political, social, and economic priorities reflect broad consensus, that decision-makers represent the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable in allocating development resources, and that the rights of the people are respected. It entails clear decision-making procedures at the level of public authorities, transparent and accountable institutions, the primacy of law in the management and distribution of resources and capacity building for elaborating and implementing measures aimed in particular at preventing and combating corruption. Essentials of Good Governance, The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) defines good governance as “the responsible exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a country’s affairs at all levels”. Good governance, among other things, is participatory, transparent, accountable, effective, equitable, and fair. It promotes the rule of law. Participation ensures an open, inclusive, participatory political system. It involves citizens in the decision-making process and in implementing public projects orother government activity. Participation goes beyond mere consultation and implies the existence of opportunities to contribute through gainful employment; opportunities to move in the mainstream of political, economic, and cultural processes and the eradication of the marginalization of groups and discrimination, poverty, and deprivation; and freedom from vulnerability through a guaranteed system of social safety nets and social security systems. To this end, good governance embraces the concept of devolution of power to local authorities and communities. The right of citizens to participate in the conduct of public affairs is more directly exercised at local levels. The existence of local authorities that are given real responsibilities can provide an administrative system that is both effective and close to the citizen. Transparency involves establishing appropriate lines or forms of accountability between the government and the public, which should include access to information through suchmeasures as freedom of information legislation, open decision-making, and rules ofsubstantive and procedural fairness. The rule of law assumes the existence of inalienable rights and liberties for every citizen, which governments should not touch or violate. To some extent the essence of the rule of law lies in its juxtaposition to “the rule of men or women”. This aphorism seeks to state the following basic principles: that all state power ought to be exercised under the authority of law; and rules of law should govern the election and appointment of those who make and execute policy, as well as the manner in which such policies are made and executed to ensure rationality and fairness in the decision-making process. In addition, good governance must assure the equal participation of women with men in all processes of governance. Only complete equality between men and women in all legal, political, and social arrangements can create the proper conditions for human freedom and good governance. Establishment and protection of good governance whatever the case, it is agreed that good governance is above all a domestic issue and inadequate domestic policies have played a role in widening the gap between rich and poor and achieving good governance is a process which must come from within andsteps must be taken to support and recognize genuine initiatives to attain it. Transparency, good governance and development are closely linked and together they become a vehicle to improve the human condition. The promotion of good governance requires a determined campaign against corruption, which is one of the most concrete expressions of misadministration. The quality of the administration of a country’s resources is an essential factor that explains its development performances — good or bad. Good governance is the true test of democracy. A government, which administers scarce resources in accordance with the real needs of the population, must be fundamentally democratic.

The political, judicial and intellectual elite must be benchmark and models of integrity. The political leadership must be genuinely determined to attack the problem of corruption and must demonstrate that determination. Good governance like democracy must not be allowed to become just another slogan - a false front to placate the providers of funds. Experience shows that it is unrealistic to hope to change things at the instigation of civil society alone. The essential first step is to influence public opinion and make decision-makers and the public at large aware of the devastating effects of misadministration. Underemployment, inadequate or sporadic employment and low wages continue to contribute to a high level of poverty in Iraq which in turn feed the militias and terrorists groups. We have to extricate ourselves from our backwardness by building a strong and democratic Iraq. Debates on national issues are healthy and should continue even after the national reconciliation. Different point of views should be respected. After all, “in a democracy dissent is an act of faith, like medicine, the taste of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.”


The success of efforts to improve governance, the respect of human rights and the rule of the law throughout Iraq will depend on the development and strengthening of institutions that underpin good governance, democracy and the rule of law. With respect to the current political process, these efforts cannot succeed unless economic conditions in Iraq improve and develop to a level where Iraq is able to develop and sustain the institutions necessary to promote governance, the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Good governance cannot flourish along side grinding poverty and weak state institutions.

Dr. Widad Al-Ali,
Executive Director
Al-Yaqeen Centre for Training, Studies and Development

Anonymous said...

Yup, Hannah. I know what it is like to share the suffering of those who has cancer. A close friend of our family is inflicted with cancer & the insurance coverage is not even enuf to cover the bill, not to mention the pain & trauma she is going thro.
Glad that you took the time & effort to help.

Julian said...

Dear Hannah,

I just want to congratulate you and your team for what you are doing to heal our nation. You and many others have given hope and a new purpose in our pursuit for a united, one Malaysia. Keep up the wonderful work you do.

Will be keeping you, your family and staff in prayer. God Bless.


Edlina said...

Hi Hannah! I was looking for articles about single mothers in malaysia and found this entry. I just want to say thank you on behalf of other single mothers. Its so sweet of you to have such concern for single mothers. How i wish other malaysians were like you too.

I am a single mother from mixed race parentage who was born and been raised up in Sweden and honestly i get shocked with most of the treatment and mentality towards single mothers when i came to malaysia. It’s not easy to be a single mother, especially when the society with damn a stupid mindset are looking down on us wherever we go. In certain society in Malaysia, single mothers are shunned instead of being supported. Malaysia is still a caveman country… well, maybe caveman is not a correct word, but what else could you describe chauvinistic in a mild way? This is the land where what men says becomes rules and law. I just don’t get it sometimes.

In sweden or other western countries, there is more compassion. Now, I fully embrace their stance. First, the benefits are given to the unfortunate child and the swedish believes every child is equal despite circumstances of birth.

Second, the society stand to benefit from the long run because if they are properly taken care of, there is less risk of them turning delinquents due to neglect. This is very real as the single mother need to struggle for a living if not helped. So, they dont mind paying high taxes to support single mother. It helps to make a better society for the future.

Same for the pensions for old age. Malaysia fear the crutch mentality almost to become a phobia.