Saturday, September 20, 2008

Come With Me To The House Of A Rising Sun.

Why don't you buy them orphans washing machine, fridge, rice cookers, kitchen utensils and toasters. Better still, why don't you sponsor their grocery money for a year. But you won't do this because you won't get your face in page 3 on a national newspaper. Them photographers only know how to take pictures of you handing out money packet to orphans lining up to shake your hand. The nice lighting in the hotel makes you look good in a picture. You do what your PR people tell you to do. When they tell you to take them kids for a buka puasa treat at a hotel, you do it like a good client that you are. This way you get a dedicated page in the annual report under the title Good Governance and you'd smile to yourself thinking; I've done my part for the society. I give back what I take from the society.

Come with me, I need to show you something. Come with me to an orphanage in Cheras, Selayang, Gombak, and a few other places in the city. You see those doors, broken beyond repair? It's been like that for 5 years and no corporate bigwig like you ever cared about it. You see that kitchen over there? The fridge don't work too good, it frosts over every 5 hours, but people like you don't care. You see that range over there? The flame don't fire up too good to cook for 200 orphans. You've gotta spend 2 extra hours every meal time to prepare the food. You see those washing machines? Those are for show, none of them machine works. The kids gotta wash their clothes by hand. But you don't care. All you care is one day in a year in Ramadan where you take all these kids to a nice big hotel for buka puasa. These kids are so overwhelmed with foods that they usually don't know what to eat because they've never seen this much food in a year.

That makes you feel good? It makes me like puking to see you smiling like a dog thinking you've done good deeds and you deserve a place in heaven.

Come with me. You can carry my tool box. Come with me every other weekend to fix the doors, floors, lights, switches and stuff that don't work in a house where they keep those orphans. Come with me and I let you stir the soup for 2 hours because the fire don't burn too good. Come do this every weekend. You can bring those PR people along, and the photographers. But I doubt they'd come because the scenes won't make the pictures pretty enough to grace page 3 of the national newspaper.

Come with me. I'll show you what Public Relations is all about. Take those kids to a hotel for buka puasa all you want but I beg you to sponsor the grocery money because they gotta eat 3 square meals for 365 days in a year. You do the maths - one buka puasa treat and that makes you feel good? Eat your heart out.

Fauziah writes about this too here.


Blogger Puteri Kamaliah at-Tarawis said...

B R A V O !

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Dhahran Sea said...

Sir Bergen!,
Please email me ( your email so I can get in touch with you! No raya in Malaya for me & family this year, but ramadhan kareem & selamat raya to you & family nonetheless! & thank you for the reminder!

12:24 AM  
Blogger The Plagiarist said...

actually, us pr people have made suggestions that activities under 'good governance' should be done with long term objective and have continuity. us pr people have suggested that taking the orphans to a sumptuous buka ramadan spread is something that these kids do not look forward to (because believe me in ramadan these kids are in high demand).

but then again, us pr people's thoughts are never really taken seriously, unless when they want photographers to come take their pix and have them plastered in the papers.


2:40 AM  
Blogger Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Bergen
I was going to post this week about breaking fast with the orphans in my "Ramadan Blessings" series.
I totally agree with you on this. Some companies used this as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. Sad!

11:56 AM  
Blogger zackzara said...

I concur with your view, Sir. We've seen lots of these 'scenes' during Ramadhan but nowhere we can see them treating the orphans after Ramadhan + Syawal. Sad. A person in charge of an Orphanage Home once told me that each year the kids are fully booked for Ramadhan + Syawal but not on any other weekends and the kids complained not because being given the attention...but when they are full with foods..they feel a bit lazy to perform the ibadah during Ramadhan.

3:45 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Puteri: Horaaay! he he

Dhahran: My email ada kat profile. Anyway, I've sent you mail. Do get in touch.

The Plagiarist: Maybe you are a rare PR folk. Most PR folks I know think different. Keep doing what you because one of these days, you're gonna a client who think like you do and they gonna give repeat business that'll make you rich and you're gonna call me to pass down a bit of the business hehe

Fauziah: You've got it right, ma'am. Thank you for the link - and I've linked yours via mine.

Zackzara: You've gotta hand to those unsung heroes who sacrifice their Sundays and off days to volunteer at the orphanage or old folks home. The don't need their pictures to be on the newspaper. All they want is to help out.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Zabs said...

Salam Bergen,
Setuju dengan tulisan anda itu.Jika perbelanjaan untuk berbuka puasa untuk 40 orang di Hotel mewah, seperti ditulis Fauziah itu, mungkin cukup untuk belanja makan sebulan untuk anak2 itu di Asrama mereka.

6:22 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:11 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Zabs: You've got it right, sir. What the orphanage need most is the money for monthly grocery and the money to pay the utility bills. This will keep the kitchen running and the lights and water running for the kids to be cared for under a decent condition. At times ada yang derma like vegetables, chicken and meat tapi sadly I've seen vegetables and chicken yang I wouldn't cook because they are actually rejects, or yang dah tak laku dijual. It makes me really mad if I happen to be the person receiving stock.

Remember the Tsunami donation where people literally gave away their useless and garbage items to volunteers who collected baju baju to the victims? Ada yang bagi the trophy they won in the origami competition, soiled diapers, kitchen rags and doormat. You'd want to strangle those people by the neck and yank their heart out with bare hands.

I'd better not continue as this can only make me very very angry. But the point is, people are not willing to do the right thing by giving the right thing. Actually kalau setakat belanja buka puasa I believe many of us can afford - tak payah big corporations yang earn millions.

11:13 PM  
Blogger AuntyN said...


Thanks for the reminder. Most of us "forget" that we have those oblogation to the orphans, old folks and the less fortunate.

I can't say much for the corporation anymore but, I hope one day I will be able to fulfil that obligation as well.

Please keep on reminding us.

8:48 AM  
Blogger MrsNordin said...

My sentiment exactly. I think I wrote about this sometime ago in another person's blog.

Giving away makan-makan like that is just temporary. My Company does that too every year (I'm no PR person, ok) but each time, I feel sorry for the kids. I feel that they've been used.

The conditions of some of the orphanages are appalling, I know. Kesian, dah lah tak ada mak bapak, duduk pulak dalam keadaan macam tu.

I'm not sure what you do, Bergen, but what is the best way to help these orphanages/orphans? I'd like to contribute.

11:00 AM  
Blogger muteaudio said...

Hujung bulan lepas saya berada di Pulau Nias untuk penggambaran. Kami ingin melihat perkembangan di pulau tersbut selepas tsunami dan gempa 2005 dan mewakili dermawan M'sia untuk menyampaikan sumbangan mereka (they'll prefer to remain anon)

Kami tinggal di rumah anak yatim dan merasai sendiri keadaan hidup mereka. Dengan sumbangan rakyat Malaysia sebelum ini, dapatlah rumah anak yatim (Panti) ini diperbaiki. Melihatkan menu harian mereka, saya rasakan kebanyakan rumah anak yatim di Malaysia lebih bernasib baik. Tiada kemudahan peti sejuk dan mesin basuh. Pucuk ubi adalah menu 'regular' yang adakalanya pinggan mereka dihiasi dengan 'secebis' ikan. Ayam adalah makanan mewah. Suatu hari kami menyuruh penjaga Panti membelikan ayam untuk dimasak. Walaupun ayam tersebut liat, mereka santap nya dengan penuh nikmat.

Salah seorang jurukamera saya pernah tinggal di rumah anak yatim. Beliau bersetuju bahawa anak yatim tempatan lebih bernasib baik. Misalnya, ada ketikanya pengurusan rumah anak yatim tempatan terpaksa membahagikan anak2 yatim kepada beberapa jemputan dalam sehari bagi memenuhi permintaan dermawan. Tak nak lah nampak 'jual mahal'

Saya rasa anak yatim di Pulau Nias tidak pernah kenal perkataan 'Buffet Ramadhan'.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Mior Azhar said...


Well Written, Sir! I salute you

7:54 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home