HELP MALAYSIANS GO THROUGH FLASH FLOODS
Several states in Malaysia are suffering through flash floods after days of endless heavy rain. Houses, apartments, vehicles, and properties alike have been submerged or destroyed, leaving the citizens with little to nothing to salvage. Some of them are stuck in highways for two days. Some of them are stranded on their roofs for more than 3 days with no food, clean water, electricity, and all the basic necessities they need to survive. Roads are closing and are disintegrating. Landslides are rampant.
Here’s what’s happening:
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The government has done nothing significant to help the people. The fire fighters are only making their way into affected towns after the flood has slowed down a bit, and what they found is the missing people, who did not survive this tragedy. They’re not properly equipped with this, even if some of the senators have warned about how bad this was gonna get back in 26/7/2021. (LINK)
The Malaysians are doing their best they can for others, hundreds of volunteers taking it into their own hands to send over food, clothing, diapers, menstruation pads, soap and shampoos, and all the required necessities to the effected towns in bulks by boats and trucks. They’re saving stranded animals who their owners, with a broken heart, are forced to leave them or did not have the chance to save them.
Here are what the Malaysians are doing:
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#DaruratBanjir (translation: Flood Emergency) is the main hashtag on twitter that the people have used to reach out for everyone and anyone when flash floods are still on going. This is where you’ll be able to see just how disastrous everything is, just how much people are suffering. But, in the light that is the darkness, the people are doing everything they can for others, there will always be an ear or two to hear their needs and are more than happy to take action.
#KitaJagaKita (translation: We Help Us) is a hashtag for Malaysians who require help, those who want to help hands-on, or to just spread information on twitter. It’s been used since the pandemic started back in 2020, where the people have lend a helping hand to those who are in poverty and couldn’t—can’t— provide for their families, and it has also using it for the flash floods as well.
But, it’s not enough. The people are doing everything they can, and they’re not giving up. They’e still pushing through every obstacle in their paths, only exhaustion is starting to weight on them despite how hard they try to fight it. Malaysians need your help, our international friends, to participate if you can.
Here are some donations that non-Malaysians can do:
1) Mercy Malaysia
The person below can help if you have any problems with geo/legal restrictions, he’ll be the bridge for your donations.
(MAIN POST LINK)
(TWITTER HANDLE: @/penatsetan)
2) The Hope Branch
The Hope Branch is making donations of MYR500,000 to help the citizens throughout the COVID-19 AND flash floods, and has already reached MYR483,051. Their goal started on 13/1/2021 and is ending by 31/12/2021. Every penny counts!
3) Reimena Notion Site
@reimenaashelyee has done a Flood Relief Hub where Malaysian artists are coordinating donation drives for international followers to the flood relief.
Ceddy Ang has set up a fundraising page for non-Malaysians. To quote him,
“I do not and will not take a single cent, I will keep everyone updated through the page. Currently capping the goal at USD $1,500 because I'm trying out this site for the first time. GoFundMe wouldn't allow a Malaysian to withdraw. :)”
Be sure to check it out!
5) Thread of local hotlines
Hanna Alkaf, the Malaysian author to 1) The Weight of Our Sky and 2) The Girl and the Ghost has done a thread of hotline services to help with the reliefs. It contains everything you need to donate and help the people. If you have a twitter account, be sure to retweet the thread to help spread awareness!
(TWITTER THREAD LINK)
Please reblog this post to spread more awareness!!
It breaks my heart that I don’t see tumblr making an effort to help the Malaysians, we need everyone we can with this!
If you have any more fundraising links, you can just reblog and add on here.
The Statues That Do Not Weather
For Sas, another story about helping.
There is a statue on the cliffs overlooking the harbour, of a man shading his eyes with one hand and looking out over the sea.
They say that when invaders came, a man went up to the cliffs, and prayed to the gods. He offered them his own life to save his people. The gods accepted his sacrifice, and a great fire burned across the water, sinking all the ships. The man became stone, and ever since then he has stood on the cliffs, looking out at ships that sank long ago.
There is a statue that stands in the center of the town, of an old woman with both hands held up before her, palm out.
They say that when invaders came again, a woman stood in the middle of the square, and ordered them to halt. She reminded them of the great fire that sank the ships years before, and called on the gods to strike down any man who took one more step, though it cost her life. The gods accepted her sacrifice, and the invaders who stepped forward became water, running back down the hill towards the sea and soaking the boots of the men behind them. The survivors fled in fear, and the woman became stone, her feet set among the cobbles, her hands raised to stop invaders long gone.
There is a statue that stands by the road that runs past our village, of a young woman holding a basket.
They say that when brigands came upon the village in the teeth of a hard winter, starving and desperate, a woman saw them coming and offered them the food in her basket. They mocked her, saying that so little would not feed them for a day. She, too, called on the gods, and she, too, was answered. She made a bargain with their leader, that every man would turn back when he had all the food he could carry. From that one basket, she filled every bandit’s hands and sacks with food until he could carry no more. When she had filled even the leader’s hands, she bowed her head and became stone, her basket empty at last. The bandits kept to their bargain, and never troubled the village again.
We all know these stories. We all know why those people became stone, stone that does not weather.
I wander too far. Everyone says that. I explore along the sea-coast, and into the forest. I wander into pathless places, onto untrodden ground, and explore what is unknown.
Sometimes I find good things. Groves of nut trees, or new fishing places, or mushrooms that are good to eat. I draw maps, too, for those who want them, to show where water is, and good ground, and wolf trails, and bear’s dens.
But I will not draw a map to this place.
Deep, deep in the forest, deeper than even I have ever gone before, I found a clearing that was marked by fire. Nothing was left alive in that clearing - trees were charred stumps, grass was sifting ash, and even the earth was blackened. And yet there had been no fire here, not recently. Even this deep in the forest, the smoke from it would have been seen, and the light. There had been no fire that could create this burning, and there was no smell of fire, and yet no rain had ever fallen on this floating white ash. And when I paced out the edge of the burning, it was a perfect circle, centered on two figures standing facing one another.
Two stone figures.
I approached them cautiously, with my scarf pulled up so that I would not breathe in any of the ash I stirred up. I didn’t want any of that strange, impossible ash trapped in my lungs.
They were both men, standing facing each other. Like the others, they were stone of a kind I had never seen anywhere else - grey as winter twilight, faintly speckled with lighter and darker grey, and smooth as ice. I could see every detail of their clothing from the embroidery on their tunics to the leather strips that tied their hair. And I could see that these statues were old. At least as old as the man on the cliffs, and he was older than any of us knew the measure of.
Things don’t change much, in this fishing village. The clothes I wear, my heavy wool leggings and tunic, my cap and my wrapped boots, are almost identical to the leggings and tunic, cap and boots that my grandfather’s grandfather wore every day of his life. The statue of the old woman wears much the same skirts and shawl and cap that old women wear now. The young woman’s statue, the most recent, is dressed like any young matron of the village.
But the man on the cliff is a little different. The neck of his tunic is held closed not with a button or a bar, but with a stone claw. The embroidery is simpler than the patterns we use now, and the leather of his vest is rough-tanned. His boots are tied with thongs, not wrapped as mine are, and the knife at his belt is shorter and broader than the ones we use. His cap comes to a soft point at the crown, like a woman’s cap, it’s not round like mine.
These men… I think they might be even older than he is. The points on their caps are taller. Their boots are little more than hides tied to their feet with thongs, and the embroidery on their hems is of the simplest kind, lines and knots in repeating patterns. They don’t wear vests, but short capes of furs.
The face of one man is twisted in anger. The face of the other is still and sad. For all that, there’s a likeness between them. They could be brothers, or kinsmen of some degree. And all around them, the ash of a terrible burning still lies, undisturbed, though the burning was so long ago that it has passed out of living memory.
When I leave that place, I stop to brush the ash off my boots as soon as I step outside the invisible boundary, and find that there is none. Not a fleck, not a grain, clings to me anywhere. I run most of the way home.
But the memory of those two statues haunts me. Is there any way to know what they were? Who they were? I ask the old, but they cannot tell me. Our oldest story is that of the man on the cliff, surviving only because he still stands there. What came before him, no-one now knows.
It was spring when I found the two statues. It’s not until summer that a group of traveling players pass the village, as they do every summer, bringing news of the world outside, new stories and songs, embroidery threads and trinkets, and a little change in our dull routine. They stay for two nights and a day, as they always do. On the second evening, I seek out the storyteller, who is an old woman with a withered leg and sharp, bright eyes. She is sitting in the square, as she always does, looking at the statue of the old woman, as she always does. There is a faint likeness in the two faces, the grey stone and the wrinkled, weathered brown skin, though it could be simply the signs of age that make them seem so.
I offer her a tankard. “Ale for a tale?” I ask.
She smiles and takes the tankard. “No-one else is offering, so why not? What do you want to hear, young man?” She looked at me, and her wrinkled face creased further in a frown. “There’s a trouble on you,” she said more quietly. “Is that why you want the story?”
“Yes. I want an old story. A story so old that I am not sure anyone could still know it. But I must ask.” I sat on the bench beside her, and looked at my hands. Sometimes I still think I see ash on them. “A story from before the story of the statue on the cliffs.”
“That is an old, old story, then,” she said softly. “I know few so old. Do you know what story you want?”
I looked at the statue of the old woman, her hands raised to forbid death from coming to her people. “A story of two men,” I said slowly. “Brothers, it may be. One sad, and one angry, who went into a forest and never returned.”
She nodded and sat silently for some time, her eyes flickering behind closed lids. I had seen her do this before, when she searched her great memory for a story. This search was a long one, but at last she opened her eyes. “Once upon a time, when the world was young,” she began, in the chanting tones of one who has committed every word carefully to memory, “there were two brothers. They were the sons of a great Jarl, or warleader. One was a great warrior, and one a shaman, a mystic, who was very wise. Their fame was great, and from all around their stronghold, many traveled far to seek their aid and counsel, which they always gave, for they were good men.”
She leaned back against the stone wall behind us, warmed by the sun, and stared at the old woman’s statue as if she did not see it, but looked past it into history. “Then a great trouble came on the land. Some say it was a great sorcerer, and some said it was a demon, and some said it was a monster of ancient days, but all agree that it caused great destruction and loss of life; for where it went, everything died, even the land itself. When word came to the great Jarl, he wished to take an army to defeat it, but his sons dissuaded him. The wise one said that magic must face magic, and the warrior said that strength must face strength, and the two of them set out to face the evil alone. For nine days, three times three, the two were gone from their father’s hall. On the tenth day, a great shadow rose and blotted out the sun, and the people were afraid. But then a great wind arose, and blew the shadow away, and the great evil was never heard of in that land again. But never again were the Jarl’s sons seen by men.”
She turned her head to look at me. “That is the end of the story, as it is usually told,” she said, and her eyes seemed to bore through me. “There is more. But it is a part of the lore of the Wise, never spoken without great need, and I will not tell it to you without good reason.”
I nodded slowly. She was a Wise Woman, then, not only a storyteller, and I must tread carefully. “If you can persuade your people to stay for one more day,” I told her, “I will show you.”
The traveling players were forced to linger an extra day, for in the night a wheel broke on one of their carts, and they needed our blacksmith to help them fix the iron rim to a new wheel.
The old woman could not walk into the forest, with her withered leg. I carried her on my back, therefore, in the sling I use to carry wood, and at noon we reached that strange, barren clearing. All was as I remembered it. There stood the two figures, facing one another. The angry figure, with a knife still in the hand that had fallen to his side. The sad figure, one hand holding a staff, the other extended towards the angry one. And all around them, the burning that had never faded.
When I let the old woman down, she hobbled slowly around them, leaning on her stick, and then she stopped and looked at me for a long time. “A bargain is a bargain,” she said then, and led me to a fallen tree just outside the circle of burning. Again, we sat side by side, looking at the grey stone that had once been human flesh.
She folded her hands on her stick, and again her eyes seemed to look past the statues into history. “For eighty-one days, nine times nine, the Jarl and his people mourned for the two good men who had given their lives. And on the last day of the mourning, a vision came to the Jarl’s only daughter. Her brothers stood before her, and they seemed to her faded and grey, as if she saw them through a mist. The oldest brother, the warrior, told her that he had destroyed the great evil, but in doing so had unleashed a terrible curse, that would steal the lives of all the people living in that land and turn them to stone, and burn all else that was living until only ashes remained. Then the second brother, the shaman, told her that he could not destroy the power of the curse, but he had bound it with his own life and his own power. And he told her that he had made of the curse a gift. That any one of his people could, at any time, call upon the curse at need, and use a portion of its power - but if they did, they would become stone themselves. This he promised, until the power of the curse is at last exhausted.”
I sat up then. “Wait… it’s not the gods? It’s… him?” I pointed at the sad one. “He’s the one who burned the ships, and turned the invaders to water, and made food fill the basket over and over?”
She turned and glared at me. “Don’t interrupt.” she said sharply. “I am reciting from memory, and no word may be spoken out of place. As I was saying.” She closed her eyes for a moment, then resumed the soft, chanting recital. “This he promised, until the power of the curse is at last exhausted. And on that day the statues will fall to dust, and the evil that came upon the land will be broken.” She sighed. “All of this vision, the sister of the warrior and the shaman spoke aloud to the Jarl and his people, and they were amazed. The Jarl’s next oldest son, who was only newly made a man, was made his father’s heir, and he vowed that he, and his sons, and his son’s sons, would never forget the sacrifice his brothers had made. The sister became a shaman, like her brother, and passed all of the story into the lore of the Wise, so that they would always remember it.
“And the Jarl’s last child said nothing, being only a child and not permitted to speak in council. But nine years later, three times three, she left her father’s house, taking with her her husband and his warriors, and her women went with her, and they travelled for nine days and nine nights, following her brothers. And when she reached the sea, she set her feet and said ‘here we will live, all of us, and our children likewise. This is the first harbour that invaders come to from the south, and the first road into our lands from the west. Here we will remain, ever vigilant, until the curse is no more.”
The old woman sighs deeply. “And that is the end of the story,” she said softly. “But here is another thing that the Wise know. The Jarl’s holdings are long gone, and none but the Wise now know of him. But from that time to this, more than five hundred years, there has been a village in this place. No ships have ever raided our shores. No invaders have ever come from the west. And the children’s children’s children of the Jarl’s youngest child have never left their post. Every year, a Wise One comes to see, and every year, you still remain.”
I feel as if a mountain of snow crushed down on me, here in the heat of summer. Five hundred years. More than that. Five hundred years and more of a little fishing village, without a single warrior in it, protecting all the lands behind it. Not even remembering now how we do it, but still doing it. “There are only three statues,” I say very slowly. “They must have been peaceful centuries.”
The old woman smiled slightly, but her eyes looked sad. “There are only three statues in the village,” she said quietly. “But you have already found two more. Don’t you think that there may be others?”
I carry the old woman back to the village. That night, the whole village hears the story of our village’s founding, of the great curse held at bay, waiting for us to call on its power and become stone.
Then I, and some of the other young men and women, begin to search. We won’t forget again. We will find the other statues, whose names and stories have been forgotten.
We have already found one - a boy, perhaps thirteen. He stands with a hoe held in both hands, like a weapon, staring down an enemy our stories do not remember, almost completely hidden by bushes on a farm long forgotten.
We will find the others.
We will not forget again.
And we will watch the sea, and the land, and be ready.
Here we will remain, ever vigilant, until the curse is no more.