1. 360 expose on DBKL's inhumane treatments to stray animals
Last night Mak called me to watch 360 on TV3 because it had this follow-up report on inhumane actions of DBKL in killing the stray animals sent to their Klinik Kembiri in Setapak. I've been to that clinic, spaying Bong-go and neutering Adam and Kuang and i found the staff were very friendly, receptive and helpful. The treatments only cost me less than RM150 - a BIG discount compared to having my cats sterilised at private animal clinics. Well, what can i say i am stingy but for a good reason in this case - i thought i could save on the costs and get more stray cats near my house sterilised.
The image of dogs being strangled and dragged by DBKL personnel, while a few other dogs lying motionless brought torrents of tears to Mak and me. What more upon hearing that the stray cats brought to that centre were drowned in tubs and if they were found alive (still), they would be 'belasah sehingga mati'. A protest was staged outside the centre last saturday by concerned animal lovers. Nearby, they found a big hole filled with carcasses of these animals. Mak and me were speechless, we were soaked in tears, feeling betrayed by DBKL (mind you this centre is managed by Unit Kesihatan DBKL).
It was also mentioned by the activist at the protest that whoever who bring these helpless animals to centre will be paid RM30 for each animal. These animals would be kept for a week (in case owners to these animals turn up at the centre claiming their animals since some of the dogs wore collars which signify that they belong to someone). Later, they would be killed in inhumane manners. You know what was DBKL reason for this cruel actions? Oh, they ran out of drugs to put these animals to sleep.
It seems DBKL has changed its modus operandi in running its stray animal business - they pay those who brought in the animals and kill them for free, when it should be vice versa OMG, enough of this sick and sinful money making by DBKL. They spruce up KL with short-lived flowers that costs the tax payers millions a year (SG plant cheap daun kaduk along their pathways) , they put more street lights (when we already have many yet non-functional, cosmetic purposes only) and they love changing the tiles to the pathways when they are still OK (but of course, no matter how many times they changed, the workmanship is still as shoddy and still the wrong type of tiles which are hazardous for pedestrians).
Ya Allah, how low can they stoop as human beings? These people in DBKL are mostly malays, and by birth in this nation, they are muslims. Are we muslims so cruel, just like how westerners portray us as terrorists?
I sincerely beg, you out there, of good heart and clear conscience, please start treating stray animals in a way any rightful god creation deserves, treat another living creature with care and dignity. Again, i love to share Mahatma Gandhi's view on this matter: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals". At our current level, we are definitely at the bottom rang.
2. So, what makes us human?
My Google findings tell me that what makes us humans are mostly based on how we are nurtured. So, perhaps we could start being a good example to our young ones. I am disturbed to notice that many children today are brought up to be kiasu and kiasi. If they start thinking being self-centred is how to 'pass' this life successful, how do we expect them to treat these animals kindly?
I chanced upon this article by Mr Troy Chapman, who is incarcerated at Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan, USA, for a second-degree murder in 1985.- "Caring makes us human", which succinctly says it all -
"When the scruffy orange cat showed up in the prison yard, I was one of the first to go out there and pet it. I hadn't touched a cat or a dog in over 20 years. I spent at least 20 minutes crouched down by the Dumpster behind the kitchen as the cat rolled around and luxuriated beneath my attention. What he was expressing outwardly I was feeling inwardly.
It was an amazing bit of grace to feel him under my hand and know that I was enriching the life of another creature with something as simple as my care. I believe that caring for something or someone in need is what makes us human.
Over the next few days, I watched other prisoners responding to the cat. Every yard period, a group of prisoners gathered there. They stood around talking and taking turns petting the cat. These were guys you wouldn't usually find talking to each other. Several times I saw an officer in the group — not chasing people away, but just watching and seeming to enjoy it along with the prisoners.
Bowls of milk and water appeared, along with bread, wisely placed under the edge of the Dumpster to keep the sea gulls from getting it. The cat was obviously a stray and in pretty bad shape. One prisoner brought out his small, blunt-tipped scissors, and trimmed burrs and matted fur from his coat.
People said, "That cat came to the right place. He's getting treated like a king." This was true. But as I watched, I was also thinking about what the cat was doing for us.
There's a lot of talk about what's wrong with prisons in America. We need more programs; we need more psychologists or treatment of various kinds. Some even talk about making prisons more kind, but I think what we really need is a chance to practice kindness ourselves. Not receive it, but give it.
After more than two decades here, I know that kindness is not a value that's encouraged. It's often seen as weakness. Instead the culture encourages keeping your head down, minding your own business and never letting yourself be vulnerable.
For a few days a raggedy cat disrupted this code of prison culture. They've taken him away now, hopefully to a decent home — but it did my heart good to see the effect he had on me and the men here. He didn't have a Ph.D., he wasn't a criminologist or a psychologist, but by simply saying, "I need some help here," he did something important for us. He needed us — and we need to be needed. I believe we all do.
3. Adopt a miracle
And then i found Puan Yasmin Ahmad's "The Storyteller" blogpost here, which makes my day because it involves about caring for animal and a true story about an autistic boy, Adlan. These calls are so closed to my heart.
p.s. My youngest nephew is diagnosed with a mild autism late last year after we noticed that he didn't response to us calling his name and not uttering a clear word, let alone calling his mama and papa. I found out that autistic person could be very good at computers and drawing, which is clearly seen in 2-year old Nur Hariz Firdaus. Now, autism is so prevalent in Malaysia. Perhaps, i will share more on this matter close to my heart, one day.