Monday, April 23, 2007

A Very Sad Story of Poverty

Many things are happening today that should not.
Some time ago, the NST carried a story of how a few very young children somewhere in rural Sabah had to take a long journey to school, trekking high land and low land, from as early as dawn. I don't quite remember if it was a daily ritual. But, that is of no consequence. The fact that Malaysians still experience such hardship to just go to school is a very sad state of affairs.
I was shocked. I had asked myself why it was happening in this day and age, in our country.
What was the excuse for it to be happening? Never mind if it was in Sabah.

That was not the first time. There was an earlier similar story of a group of young children facing such hardship, also in Sabah.

The number of times such stories appear is inconsequential because we know that there are many similar cases across the country. Once in while, these stories get highlighted.

I'd like to share this news article of an interview with the mother of an 11 year-old boy who killed himself because he could not stand the poverty he was living in.
This is in Kinarut, Papar in Sabah.

Donni John Duin was found hanged from the ceiling of his house at Kg Suangon in Kinarut, Papar, on March 20.
The SK Kinarut pupil had tried it once before but his mother had advised him never to do so again.
His mother,
Hina Joloni, 37, believed the abject poverty that the family of six siblings endured proved too much to make him want to try again.

"He told me he could not take it anymore living in the conditions we were in," she told the Daily Express.

She said that towards the end, Donni also had to endure cruel teasing at school by classmates who likened the porridge he brought from home daily to that of dog vomit.

Please read here for the full story.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nuraina daer,

It's really tragic to hear of these incidents that happen in Sabah.

We can ignore all the rumours about how rich and corrupt the Ketua Menteri of Sabah is, but we simply cannot ignore these tragedies that befall our poor Sabahans children, can we???

wise_one.

Elly said...

What a tragedy...

I just don't know what else I should say...

Hi&Lo said...

We are as rich as the poorest among us.

jorji said...

i dunno what to say...i fucking hate it! i wish i can maki hamun semua yang terlibat..




Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death

lady pot pet said...

And to think that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer! What would a mere RM70 do to feed 6 mouths. A developing country but pathetic living...why can't the rich/big guns distribute their wealth and not think of themselves...i guess they just have to run a by-election there (all the politicians will swarm the location) and then the family will be very well fed and taken care of....hmmm..tragic and sad!!!!and I am very angry....

lady pot pet said...

...And to think that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. What is a mere RM70..to feed 6 mouths. And yet we say our country is a developing country...but pathetic living!!! May be they should run a by-election there and so the politicians will all be swarming the location and then only the family will be well fed and taken care of...hmmm tragic and sad!!! and I am very angry!!!!

Hi&Lo said...

Blood in the hands of the corrupt.

mekyam said...

Hi&Lo said: We are as rich as the poorest among us.

Too true, H&L!

Pi Bani said...

Sad it is indeed, but surprising to me it is not. If I can still find hard core poor families in Peninsular Malaysia without having to go to really ulu areas, what can we expect from the ulu areas in Sabah/Sarawak?

And yes, I have met children who are reluctant to go to school, either because they are teased by friends, or because they always get scolded by their teachers when they do go to school. All because of poverty.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina, a similar incident occured in Miri (oil town). a 12-year old boy. poor family, living in a squatter settlement right in the heart of town, mom works as a cleaner at the nearby hypermarket. fed up with the taunts of schoolmates. in a moment of grief, he gave up on the world and hung himself. tragic. our MPs came out in full force to help, but for how long? three days later, nothing was heard again. newspapers were silent. today, it is only a horrible memory for his family, for others life went on. we need robin hood here.

Fawziah Aman

sesat said...

It's a tragedy of mammoth proportions when a boy of the supposedly care-free and innocent age of 11 killed himself because of poverty. What does this say about humanity and the world we live in?

Kay Own said...

Sad but check this out as well NST Living on the Edge

I quote "Zaini’s family could not afford to pay the 15-year-old’s RM24 school fees and because of this, his teacher made him stand out in the sun.

Sani and Shukri decided to quit school just before their Penilaian Menengah Rendah ... they could never afford the costly books needed for the test."

Can we do something about this? Can we have something like the Big Brother Big Sister association to deal with this...

We don't need the government, we can't wait for the government. Otherwise it's too late...

QueenB said...

Shld form Big Bro Big Sis M'sia; it was a great help when I was in the US

Anonymous said...

Re Donni's case - does anyone know if the family has been offered any financial assistance to date? I think this is important to avoid the other siblings repeating what the brother did. It was an desperate cry for help, unfortunately too late for Donni but hopefully not for the rest of the family members. Let us not forget Donni's tragic death. It may be one among millions but it has to count. He had to count for something. There are numerous charities in this country - but this has to be brought to their attention. Please do a follow up story. If its necessary, I will approach a few charities myself, but please, kindly update us on their situation. Thanks, Lee

Stanley Christian Puvok said...

Reading such a tearing story everyday about the young boy who willing to sacrifice his life just for his loved family.. comparing their life with ours, makes me thinking how lucky we are..remembering this story in the future might helps the young generation to more understand of hard living in the past..may his soul rest in peace..Amen
Donni must had been gone through a tough life adjusting his surrounding to the others in the school.. i’m sure he tried so many times ‘defending and withstanding’ his (poor) looks & conditions to the eyes of other kids in his school and at home. Unable to stand up by his two feet, loosing direction, depression, stress, feeling dejected, lost of hope, despair and suicidal tendencies had finally control over the mind of this innocent young boy …
Only after the tragedy happened, people started pointing fingers there and here without reflecting the mirror in the first place. Financial aids are pouring down like money falls from the skies…only then some people ‘rushing’ to the scene to showed off how cared they are …Why only now schools (especially Donni’s school) contribute donations? “Why only now u come in for the rescue?” ..were they something fishy behind the smiley face in front of the camera?? ..anyway thanks to the kind hearted of people for contributing the donation that made the family turned into ‘a new leaf’ ..only God knows what’s in our heart!

Raja Ali said...

Fundraising by Killerbatch,( 3rd Batch Alumni from MRSM Kulim,Kedah), In collaboration with Sabah Credit Corporation, for the Proposed Hostel of SMK Tun Fuad Stephens, Kiulu, Sabah

Why Pick to Build Hostel in Sabah

Donni John Duin, an 11 year-old primary school boy, committed suicide in March, 2007. Teased by schoolchildren who likened his food, which was packed by his mother from home, as dog vomit.

Please go to killerbatch.org and see if you can think of ways to help us. We are doing something about the Donni tragedy.