Saturday, March 01, 2008

Elections, elections, elections

Elections is just around the corner and everywhere you turn you will be reminded of it. Posters, flags, banners are placed haphazardly along roads, walls and trees. It happens only once in five years and thus the frenzy of activities. Many are cashing in on the chaos hoping to make a fast buck here and there.

I meanwhile am not a politically inclined. I will excise my voting rights when 8th March arrives but who I will vote will depend on whose manifesto irks me the most. But then, I love this 3 week period after the dissolution of Parliament.

This is the period where those politically challenged people come and serve the ‘rakyat’. Day in day out they are there showing why they are the people’s right choice. It doesn’t matter that for the past 4 years, and goodness how many months after the previous election that these people the ADUN’s and the MP’s may have not stepped into their respective electoral areas, but now they are back ‘home’. Back home with the common people, with the Rakyat.

It is a window of opportunity I cannot let go.

Pahang is a state where there are many not too affluent people. Unfortunate people who land at the hospital’s doorstep with illness or injuries. The doctors would do the best they can with what they have. But being a doctor doesn’t mean just treating an illness, we also have to figure out the rehabilitation and post hospital care.

For example, a paraplegic or bed-bound person needs close and careful aftercare at home, and it is a burden on the caregivers. A concerned doctor needs to make sure that the caregivers are educated on how to care for such patient and also ensure they have some facilities that could lessen their burden, such as wheelchairs for ambulation and ripple mattress to prevent bedsores. Usually, the family has to purchase these amenities which are not cheap for the common Malaysian – RM500 for a normal wheelchair and RM800 for a ripple mattress. Bearing that in mind, the doctors would usually refer the patient to the Welfare Department for financial and supportive assistance.

Being true to the nature of a government department, the Welfare services would take a minimum of two months to approve what ever assistance that is required. Yes, they give the needed financial help but the time frame is horrendous.

That brings us back to the elections. It is such a warm feeling knowing that some Malaysians become more generous during this three week period. It must be something in the air, these ‘wonderful’, ‘caring’ Malaysians would suddenly sprout out from no where and would not hesitate to assist a fellow unfortunate citizen. The horrendous bureaucracy in helping others usually would disappear. By a snap of the fingers, some of my patients were bestowed with the much needed sets of wheels – the elusive wheelchairs. It doesn’t matter to me if their wheelchair have a certain party logo at the back, I don’t mind them endorsing or promoting a candidate- as long as they are ambulating and out of the hospital I am happy.

And to keep count, so far, since the election fever started we have managed to get 5 wheelchairs, one spine orthoses for my patients. I am now waiting to replies for 2 ripple mattress and three more wheelchairs.

I wish helping people is as easy as this all the time.


fazah said...

Maybe elections should come more often to benefit the common people. I will be happy to get my bonus....
Its ironic how some western society practice more islamic policies in managing welfare for those in need.

floweryskies said...

inilah masanya untuk mengambil kesempatan :D semua boleh! semua ok!

Bakawali said...

Fazah...yess... I need my bonus!!!! I guess if I don't get any by March 8th I might as well try my luck for the $6000 bonus per government servant pledge..ehehehhe

Floweryskies.... yup...Semua OK...semua bagusssss

john f seademon said...

My experience: buy wheelchairs and bill the Welfare Dept. Make sure you have enough money to roll for the next 6 months in case they reject your claim because you spelt something wrongly.