Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why I am thankful for what I have now

Durian feast at Pak Lah’s media party

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi played host to more than 1,000 people from the print and electronic media in the grounds of his official residence, Laman Sari, here last night.

While there was an array of local favourites and delicacies, the drawing point was a boat-shaped trough with a heap of durians.

The Prime Minister showed how he could deftly prise the King of Fruits with his fingers.

Besides the glorious food – that included satay, fried noodles, kuew teow, laksa, putu bambu, tahu bakar, rojak and chicken rice – there was also the frosty ais kacang and a variety of local fruits.

The world famous Kun Seng Keng lion and dragon dance troupe and a gambus group entertained guests as they dined and chatted with the Prime Minister, who also encouraged them to make contributions to flood victims in Johor and other badly-affected states.

In a brief speech, Abdullah thanked the media, adding that he had just visited flood victims in Batu Pahat, the worst-affected district in Johor.

He hoped the floods would start receding soon so that everyone at the relief centres could get back home.


Wheelchair-bound Chan works hard for his money

EVEN THOUGH the act of begging by underprivileged disabled members of society is generally accepted in this country, wheelchair-bound Chan Ming Lai wants nothing to do with it.

Instead, the 35-year-old resident of the Beautiful Gate Foundation in Paramount Garden, Petaling Jaya, is out to prove that disabled people like him are also able to earn a living for themselves.

Chan, who hails from Kelantan, goes out on his motorised wheelchair three times a week to sell handicraft like keychains and souvenirs made by the foundation’s handicapped residents.

His favourite spot for selling his wares is the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).

Unfortunately, he was wrongly identified as a beggar in a StarMetro report headlined “Beggars spoiling KLCC's image” on Jan 4.

“I am not a beggar. I sell these items to benefit the disabled people.

This is my bread and butter.

“Some of the money that I make will be given to those who made these handicraft,” he said Chan, who was struck with cerebal palsy just four days after his birth, said he had wanted to be independent and mobile from a young age and never stopped aiming for it.

He received his first motorised wheelchair in 1995 when he came to the Beautiful Gate Foundation. It was also here, after seeing that there were other people worse off than him, that he became motivated to do more for himself and the disabled community.

To sell souvenirs, Chan would ride his motorised wheelchair from the Foundation in Jalan SS2/59 at lunchtime to the Paramount LRT Station. From there, he would take the train to the KLCC LRT station and would only return home at about 10pm.

Chan is such a familiar face that even the ticketing counter personnel and security guards at both ends of the LRT station know him.

Upon arrival at KLCC, he would station himself at a regular spot and display his souvenirs for sale. This routine of his has been going on for the last two years.

“I want to prove that disabled people can fend for themselves and be independent at the same time,” he said.

He expressed sadness that the disabled were sometimes wrongly perceived as beggars.

“I want to give the public a good image of disabled people. We just want to be accepted as part of society,” he added.

Chan occasionally sells the souvenirs at the SS2 night market on Monday and Thursday.

source :

Penangite comments: I am nowhere near the status of the PM and yet I am not as unlucky as a determined God's gift like Chan. This proves there are still many 'beautiful assets' in the world and our world is not in a mess just yet...

No comments: