BOY oh boy! I’ve been up the whole night. My eyes are droopy but I just can’t sleep! 😦 The continuous heavy downpour outside isn’t helping me to catch a wink, either.
Given the really high tides predicted these days, I’m not surprised that even as I’m typing my blues away now, some poor residents living in low-lying areas (not only in Brunei Darussalam but in neighbouring countries, as well) are struggling to keep floodwaters out of their miseries… 😦
Well, what can I say and what can we all do to not make matters worse? Only our prayers and hopes that no severe flooding and tragic loss of lives would happen again this time around. It was unfortunate enough that two Bruneian women (both aged 46 and 19 respectively) lost their lives during heavy rains last week which flooded most parts of the country and caused power blackouts in some parts of the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, for a couple of days… Foreign news wire reports had a field day also with their exagerrated stories about the whole thing! 😦
The caring monarch, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, couldn’t bear to see his troubled people suffer then. So much so that he had to cut his overseas trip short and returned to the country to personally spearhead a ‘post-mortem’ and instantly ordered the National Disaster Management team to shape up and brace themselves for worse things to happen. NAUZUBILLAHI MINZALIK!
I tell you, His Majesty has every reason to be upset and disappointed with the way things had been handled last week and during past experiences whenever floods occured in the country. In one of His Majesty’s “Titah” (national addresses) not too long ago, the Sultan had specifically hinted that the authorities concerned should try to find effective ways and means to minimise unnecessary problems related to landslides and floodings throughout the country. (“Sediakan payung sebelum hujan”, as a Malay idiom goes or literally ‘Get an umbrella ready before it rains’)) And His Majesty could always say to those answerable now: “I TOLD YOU SO!”
Okay, fair enough, irresponsible people amongst the “Rakyat” who for aeons had been causing ‘self-inflicted’ blockages to the drainage system, etc. Still the onus is on PAID PUBLIC SERVICE STAFF to oversee that matters don’t get out of hand and to see to it that the whole public works and utilities infrastructure are working and in tip-top condition. After all, huge national budgetary allocations had been given and provided for over donkeys of years for the public not to suffer in distress and be inconvenienced, come what may — rain or shine… 😉
On the other hand, it is FAIR COMMENT to say that such occurences are NATURE’s failures and not all HUMAN ERRORS are to blame. Or I can even go to the furthest extreme spiritual notion that all these natural disasters are due to the ignorance and negligence of us all (Muslims, in particular) for disobeying the orders of the Lord Almighty by the mere acts of committing all sorts of evil ways and sins i.e. transgressing from the holistic approach of practising Islam as not merely a ‘lip-service’ religion but should rightfully be adopted as a complete way of life in its ENTIRETY and TOTALITY! 😦
Yeah, yeah, I do admit that I did not practise, have not practised and am not practising what I am preaching now. But my point is that we are all to blame for what’s been happening to ourselves and our beloved nation, in more ways than one. 😦
Take the controversial ZAKAT (TITHE) issue as one of the major negligence on the part of the Majlis Ugama Islam Brunei (Brunei Islamic Religious Council) who have failed to equally and fairly distribute the monies to the rightful poor and needy, as was pointed out by His Majesty recently.
There are one poverty-stricken Bruneian too many who have not been treated justly to the Zakat collection money amounting in the millions! By right, the religious and/or relevant officials tasked with helping to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate should scour and comb the whole nation to look for downtrodden Muslims to distribute the Zakat to. Who will be answerable to God (ALLAH SUBHANNAHU WATAALA) in the Hereafter for such grossful and wrongful act?!
Is it any wonder then that natural calamities keep happening by the Will of the All-Powerful Lord of the Universe (if only to remind human beings, particularly Muslims, that we have all failed Him!) ASTAGHFIRULLAH AL-AZHIIM… SUBHANNALLAH! 🙂 At the end of the day, cynics may say why dig one’s own grave in the first place? And I say to such cynicism, who are we to judge other people for seeking ZAKAT help?! 😦 Only God is the WISEST JUDGE and the WEALTHIEST — YA HAKIIM! YA GHANI! 🙂