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Treasure family reunion this festive season

  • Let's hope that the economy of this country will pick up after the election and that we all have a bright tomorrow to look forward to.

Sin Chew Daily

There are quite a number of CNY-inspired videos made for this festive season, mostly themed around family reunion and homecoming.

The parents have cooked the dinner waiting for their children from the city to come back and eat. They have cooked more than what they know their children will eat, just because this is one of very few occasions in a year the whole family will come together and enjoy dinner.

What the old people at home fear most is a phone call from the city telling them their children are not coming back due to busy work schedule.

Large corporations aside, schools, local Chinese associations and NGOs have all made their own CNY videos. Politicians in particular are fond of making videos to greet the voters a prosperous new year. While some of them are heart-warming, others are simply ridiculous and indecent.

There are some who have invited their non-Chinese friends to rewrite the lyrics of new year songs in a bid to bridge the gap between Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds.

Some organizations, as they used to do in previous years, would visit old folks homes to deliver daily necessities and angpaos.

As we celebrate this joyous festive season with family, lest we forget the lonely men and women who simply cannot remember how many lonesome CNYs they have spent at old folks homes across the nation.

Sin Chew Daily's deputy executive editor-in-chief Chen Yoke Lin has on this very column urged Malaysians to not only visit old folks homes and distribute angpaos but also feel for their miseries.

Angpaos may not be the thing these old folks really need. While the money inside the red packets may help pay for short-term needs, there are far more important issues that warrant our attention.

There are other people who are unable to go back to their homes this festive season. Save for a miracle, reunion is a dream too remote for them.

Venerable Kai Zhao, whom I'm quite familiar with, always visits prisons around the world to preach Buddhism. On the second day of this Chinese New Year, he was at Limbang Prison in Sarawak, talking to the condemned inmates who are counting the days before that "final moment", their hearts filled with sorrows, fears and remorse.

After the visit, Kai Zhao penned a poem which I would like to epitomize as follows:

"There is love beyond the walls this festive season. The condemned convicts inside the walls dream of a miracle, any additional day alive a bonus as they wait for the arrival of Death.

"Outside the walls people carry on with their lives as they confront more challenges ahead, while the convicts inside pray to Buddha for peace in heart."

In the meantime, some families like to sit around the table playing a game of poker or mahjong. This shouldn't be a big problem but gambling could invite lawsuits and even bring disasters.

On the first day of Chinese New Year, the Kedah police raided an oil palm estate to round up cock-fighting gamblers, some jumping into the river in an attempt to escape police action. Five dead bodies were later found in the river.

Illegal gambling is against the law and those involved in such activities must face the music. That said, it is absolutely unnecessary to risk their own lives by jumping into the river.

In Segamat, a man hit his younger brother with a car and burned his nephew on New Year's eve.

Today is the seventh day of CNY or the birthday of all men according to the Chinese customs. Let's hope that the economy of this country will pick up after the election and that we all have a bright tomorrow to look forward to.

We want no more political noises, and we want to stop bothering about what other people who keep talking bad about us.



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