[By Jayshree Naidu]
After drowning in violent floods, the concrete jungles of Penang remain submerged in murky waters. From the thousands who evacuated their homes, some are now returning to salvage all that the floods have spared. Assurance has been made that the metropolis will be up and bustling as soon as flood waters are cleared, but recovering for the damage is easier said than done.
Fortunately, people all around Malaysia stepped forth to help out, and Taylorians are amongst them. From the 15th to the 17th of November, the Taylor’s University Student Council (TUSC) and Taylor’s Community Service Initiative Society (CSI) jointly organised a Flood Donation Drive to help raise funds for The Giving Bank, a Malaysian NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) that aims to promote human transformation, seek justice for the oppressed, and assist in post-disaster recovery.
Rodric Chan from the School of Biosciences and Tan Hui Xian from the School of Communications who hail from the ‘Isle of the Betel Nut,’ both are glad their families are safe and well. “Unfortunately, some of my friends back home have been affected by the floods,” said Tan. Although it is no doubt that Penang has made its mark as a booming economic hub, both Penangites agree that the accelerated overdevelopment has brought Penang its own catastrophe. “The geography of Penang could also be a contributing factor as certain parts of Penang, especially the lower areas, are more susceptible to floods,” Chan further explained. Despite the misfortunes, both Tan and Chan agreed that they are very proud to be Penangites and will always have Penang in their hearts.
In this misfortune, the flood victims have not been ignored. Several volunteering bodies such as the Food Aid Foundation and The Giving Bank have joined forces with government agencies to speed up Penang’s recovery. According to Tan, daily essentials and monetary donations for flood victims have been overwhelming.
According to both the CSI President Shirlyn Wong and TUSC President Wynton Lee, “The Flood Donation Drive was an impromptu collaboration effort by both the TUSC and CSI as both student bodies wanted to raise as much funds as possible within the limited time.” The drive has raised a total of RM1600 within a short span of three days, and these funds will be channelled towards the Giving Bank’s ‘Penang Flood Relief Fund’.
To Taylorians who have missed the donation drive, unfortunately there won’t be a second drive as both student bodies have other issues to attend to. Fret not, Taylorians can still contribute by donating to the fund via The Giving Bank’s website. To all Penangites, our deepest condolences to those who were affected, and we wish Penang a speedy recovery. Although unfortunate, this event has rekindled a sense of unity and empathy amongst our fellow Malaysians, thus reassuring a united nation.
“Dear Penangites, we know times are rough right now, but know that we from Taylor’s University are here to support and help. We are a nation and we look after one another. Stay strong!”
-Wynton Lee, President of Taylor’s University Student Council 2017/2018