Giving Credit When It Is Due
Ever since I became the state assemblyman for Subang Jaya, sleeping late has been a norm. Some days I get to go to bed early yet still remain awake till early morning pre occupied with so many thoughts. September 28 was no different. I happened to be awake at about 3am and was reading tweets on my phone when I received a tweet from a resident in SS17 informing me of a loud explosion coming from Empire Shopping Gallery. I immediately rang the police from SS17 police station and they told me they were already at the site. After notifying the MPSJ engineer, I rushed to the site too.
When I arrived, I was greeted by Tuan Ariffin from the SS17 police station and then Chief Inspector Sulaiman. As I walked closer to the site of the explosion, I noticed the firemen led by Deputy Supt Tuan Khairi bin Daud of the SS17 balai were already at work. Soon after, I met our OCPD Tuan Zainal who was also there at 5am. This article is not to talk about the explosion (which you can read from other news reports). I want to talk about the brave men involved in the rescue and inspection works.
This was the first time I had ever experienced a large scale emergency incident. Seeing the rubble in front of my very eyes was a numbing experience. I have been to Empire to have family meals and my immediate thought was “what if we were in there when this happened? My husband, my baby, my parents, sisters, brothers, friends and etc?” The next question that came to mind “wow, rubble, broken glass – do I dare to walk in to have a look if they allow me to?”. I didn’t have the answer.
And then I looked up and saw the bomba officers walking in and out of the building, looking unwavering and without doubt about their own safety. Something shifted inside me. I knew it was the “underestimated the risks involved” mindset when assessing the performance of some of our men in orange and blue.
When I tweeted about how impressed I was with them, someone replied commenting that I should not praise them for what is expected of them to do (their job). You see – it takes a lot of courage to walk towards the rubble and into the building to inspect (not knowing the cause of the explosion and whether or not it was going to explode again?!).
What if they don’t walk out alive? What about their loved ones? I couldn’t find it within me the same courage they had and for that, they deserve my praise! I hope in today’s pessimistic society, we can be more generous with our praise and encouragement when credit is due. After all, it doesn’t cost much to say thank you for being brave!