Friday, December 10, 2010

Grabbing Opportunities Meant For The Disabled

aNt's aNgle: 

IT ISN'T OFTEN that activists like me get to publicly get things off my chest.

This is one exception.

Those of you who regularly read PET+BLOGSPOT would know by now about the great opportunity we had to meet a Minister recently in order to help resolve some pressing problems of disabled people in the country.

Though the meeting proved to be a big success, little did I know what was coming.

I received a nasty message from someone I considered to be a friend until I got the message expressing his great disappointment that I had not taken him along for the meeting.

Yes, he is a person with a disability.

Not only that, but he started bombarding me with threatening messages of revenge - even to the point of saying he was going to organise a press conference against me.

That "threat" is supposed to take place sometime today. 

The funny thing is my meeting with the top government official had nothing whatsoever to do with him.

I had made the appointment directly with the Minister. And the person concerned was gracious enough to give me an audience - despite a very busy schedule.

I didn't want to crowd the official with too many people. 

So I took four representatives from four NGOs who included a medical specialist, a PhD holder, a disabled activist and me.

But the complainant who didn't represent any organisation wanted to arbitrarily tag along.

It was clear in the end that he wanted a free ride. 

There was also the possibility that he was even a tad bit jealous over my role in the event.

What a sad state of affairs. 

Instead of being happy that our visit proved to be a success and a good thing for the disabled community as a whole, the person in question was only interested in two things: Himself! And his chance to be with a minister.

This incident reminded me of another occasion which had an even uglier side.

This time it was an able-bodied person.

Professing to want to help people with disabilities, the person was initially helpful to our Society. 

But then, things turned sour.

That was after he discovered that I had organised a festive party at a leading hotel in Petaling Jaya for some very poor disabled people.

He sent me an SMS of disappointment saying that I did not extend an invitation to him. 

He felt he deserved an invite simply because he was a "friend" of mine and had "helped me." 

How could I? He was NOT disabled. 

And this was a party FOR THE HANDICAPPED.

Even many of our committee members in Petpositive who are not disabled were not invited to attend the event. 

If this guy came, a disabled person would have had to be deprived of a very precious once-in-a-lifetime seat.

But that, obviously, was not something that would likely prick his conscience.

And it's not that the creep hasn't been to any such functions before.

But I guess, it's all about shameless greed at the end of the day.

People just want to take, and take, and take.

They have no thoughts about giving back some of their blessings to society, the needy and the less fortunate.

The two people that I mention are no longer my "friends" anymore. 

However, I am none the poorer by their loss. 

I mentioned this incident in my page under Facebook the other day and was simply  overwhelmed by the many responses I received.

First, here's what I wrote:
"JEALOUSY - IT'S such a destructive emotion. Someone I know got so angry with me for not inviting him to meet a minister recently that he now vows to get back at me by holding a press conference against me! Someone else got so angry that I invited only the disabled at another event to enjoy a super lunch in a hotel. He wanted to come at the expense of the disabled - and he was able-bodied!"
Here were the responses I got - as well as my reply to them. 

Friends, as they say, you totally rawk! :)  

  • Grace Tan Bro..u cant please everybody. If they want to behave childish, it is their problem .People who know u.. know the truth. Just do what is right... we support u!

  • Jeff Buffet
    Dont care about these kind of people Anthony . To meet ministry for their own interest and to eat for free in disabled dishes ..What else? Free parking sticker???
    Give him a wheelchair for 1 week , he will understand that you dont look for ...fame but for help ... ayiooooooooo

  • Hambali Mukhlas u r disable and mind able person. He is the opposite. So that the judgment.

  • David S R Sr tell the able bodied person to knock his brains out...

  • Anthony Siva Balan Thanasayan Thanks Grace. Life always keeps teaching us new lessons; some of them are hard to swallow. Thanks for your support. Although I have not met you face to face, you are certainly a good new friend to have. :)

  • Cantapus Krishnan people are crazy ant ... if they could only sit down and wonder what they have done happens everywhere all the time at any part of the planet ..

  • Anthony Siva Balan Thanasayan Dear Jeff, I just met you recently in Ipoh - and it seemed as if we have known each other for years. It frustrates me that just because I am councillor, people expect favours from me. How could I - as a disabled person - ever give a space for an able-bodied person who eats at fancy hotels a seat that is meant for someone else like me? Thanks for your points. Puts me back on perspective. :)

  • Anthony Siva Balan Thanasayan Thanks Hambali, you are right - God sees all things in the end. Thanks David, great acronym. Made me laugh! Thanks Cantapus, does it really happen elsewhere? Good to know. :)

  • Michael Soon KC Anthony - not only u must do the right thing - u must do it right. Ignore such people.

  • Hambali Mukhlas hungry of not being fulfill the people need and hungry of fame is totaly 2 diffrent meaning. I know u r not hungry as he is. Right?

  • David S R Sr Anthony : please also inform the relevant people about the press conference 'threat' because by my books its leading to slander, insult, and damages... so if the nut carries out his threat... you'll be making hefty $$$... don forget meeeeee.... hee hee hee...

  • Jeff Buffet Be careful of leeches , Anthony , you dont feel they bite you , and then once they got the amount of blood they wanted from you , they just disappear , living a scar on your skin ... From an abled person , to Use disabled's fight to be closer to Putrajaya's ballrooms or for free food is not to be opportunistic , Its to be vicious !!

  • Anthony Siva Balan Thanasayan Thanks Michael Soon. Very wise words from a very respected former councillor of MBPJ. Doing the right thing is always hard. Sometimes you lose friends in the process. Ouch!

  • Michael Soon KC Anthony - do not fear to negotiate n do not negotiate out of fear. May our good Lord be with u always n grant u HIS wisdom

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear aNt, you don't know me but I know you.

I've been reading your columns for many years and following your activities and this is the first time that I am writing to you.

First, thank you for sharing your innermost feelings in your latest post.

Don't be discouraged Tony for what recently happened to you.

It's very clear that these individuals are very envious of your achievements and success.

For a person who was born with your disability, your achivements are really over the moon.

I wouldn't waste any sleep over people like these. They are nobodies.

You are not only SOMEBODY but many people are depending on you to make a difference in their lives.

So don't you ever dare give up!

I think your sincerity is quite evident - and that is why people like Sharizat and Ronnie Liu from both sides of the fence are willing to work with you.

Whether you do it for the disabled, the elderly or animals.

Your critics are all talk and no action - and that is why they are called 'armchair critics'.

But you rock Anthony. So go for it and continue achieving greater things for your target groups in future.

This is my wish for you in 2011.

Keep those wheels rolling, man!

PS Don't forget to take a break every now and then. My only criticism of you is that you work too hard.

- an aNt supporter