A few years ago, I was walking in front of a bank in Gaya Street during my lunch break when a man approached me with a pamphlet. He and several of his friends were soliciting for donations for Majlis Kanser Nasional (MAKNA). According to its website, MAKNA’s mission is “to mobilise resources in order to provide curative, preventive research and support services to cancer patients and their families, high-risk groups and the general public, in Malaysia and the World.” I spent the next few minutes filling up the relevant forms and then pledged a fixed monthly amount of donation. I’m still donating to MAKNA up to now.
A few weeks after I pledged the donation to MAKNA, I was stopped once again at that same spot in Gaya Street, this time by representatives of The Budimas Charitable Foundation. According to its website, Budimas’ mission is “to provide guidance and funding in support of welfare and well-being of orphans and underprivileged children in Malaysia.” Again, I filled up forms and then pledged a fixed monthly amount of donation, and that has also continued up to now.
The donations to MAKNA and Budimas come up to just a little shy of RM1,000 per annum. In the earlier years, I’ve been receiving annual reports in the mail, basically to keep me informed what’s been happening in these foundations. I also received official receipts meant to be submitted to HASIL. I think I’m entitled to some sort of income tax rebates for the donations to these foundations. But these recent years I have received neither reports nor receipts. I sent emails a year or two ago to enquire why, but I received no reply up to now. I’m gonna assume that they are continuing to put my money to good use. However, I’m thinking of stopping the donations; maybe then I will get their attention and will hear from them.
Anyway, there was a third occasion when I was stopped at the same locationyes, that’s a popular location to get donations and promote Digi, Maxis and Celcom. This time representatives from WWF. That’s the acronym for World Wildlife Fund, not the World Wrestling Federation. The former is a leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species. The latter is just a club for comedians.
I did not donate to WWF, not only because I have more or less used up my allocation under the heading of “donations”, but also because I would rather donate to help other humans, rather than animals. If I have extra cash for donations, I would rather donate for the purpose of, say, providing piped water, electricity and education to the poor folks in Kota Marudu.
I’m not saying that animals are not important, mind you, I just give more priority to humans with my limited resources. I think it would be good if the government could allocate more funds to finance the protection and breeding of endangered species in Malaysia such as the Sumatran rhinos and the pygmy elephants. At the same time, efforts should be made to curb the overpopulation and breeding of the unwanted species, i.e. the many Datuks and Tan Sris that’s sucking on the economy. Obviously, all this calls for the prudent employment of limited funds.
If necessary, we could spend RM60 million to save the Sumatran rhinos, the pygmy elephants, and several other endangered species in Malaysia, instead of spending that money on just a pair of pandas that’s not even ours.