Posted: 11 Nov 2011 11:41 AM PST
A few months ago, YB Gobind Singh Deo (Member of Parliament for Puchong) and I had a conversation about town hall meetings and co-operation with the police. Naturally, we touched on the issue of application for police permits for such meetings and the person in charge of considering such applications – the late OCPD Tuan Zainal Rashid. When his name was mentioned, YB Gobind's description of him stayed in my head until today: "A good man".
A good man. That's him. Our Tuan Zainal. Ever since I was elected the State Assemblyman of Subang Jaya, I have attended 3 funerals for police officers at USJ 8 Balai. His is my third. When I received news of his sudden death from MPSJ councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran, I was stunned. I could not believe the sms I saw. I wanted to just delete it and pretend that I never saw it.
Just a few days before his death, I hosted a thanksgiving dinner for rescue workers of the explosion at Empire, namely the policemen and the firemen. Tuan Zainal sat next to me at the dinner table and we had an interesting conversation. He gave me slimming tips when we started chatting about the weight I put on during pregnancy. We talked about my caesarean surgery. He spoke about the importance of "urut" to get back into shape. I wanted to stay back a little longer to chat with him and now regret for failure to obey that tugging at my heart. I didn't know that that would be the last time I saw him.
The last time I saw him - photo courtesy of SJ Echo
In the course of performing my duties as the State Assemblyman of Subang Jaya, I have met many police officers but Tuan Zainal stood out like a star. He was always down to earth and made me feel very comfortable around him. Always patient to explain procedures to me (he did the same at the Empire explosion site at 5am!). He had invited me to his house before for Hari Raya gathering and had the pleasure of meeting his wife. Sadly, I missed the chance to buka puasa with him at the new surau in IPD Subang Jaya this year.
Our karaoke session together
I will never forget meeting him at the first function organised by USJ RA in 3K. I was called out to sing a P. Ramlee duet with Tuan Zainal. I was nervous, firstly I'm a lousy singer and secondly, having to belt out a P. Ramlee song gave me double anxiety. Again, Tuan Zainal did what he knew best – making people around him feel comfortable and I did not just survive the song, I actually enjoyed it!
My colleagues in politics have often complained about the difficulty of securing police permits for their events. I did not share the same fate, simply because Tuan Zainal was a fair man. I count meeting him, knowing him and having fellowshipped with him as one of the great joys of serving as the ADUN of Subang Jaya.
He will be greatly missed! - photo courtesy of SJ Echo
Some days I still go to his Facebook page and see his photos. His sudden passing is a great loss to the community of Subang Jaya. I know he will be greatly missed by his family and those who love him. A tribute article like this cannot do justice to the nice man that he was. But this is the least I can do, to let Subang Jaya residents know what a fine man we had in our late OCPD. A good man indeed.
Posted: 11 Nov 2011 11:26 AM PST
Giving Credit When It Is Due
Ever since I became the state assemblyman for Subang Jaya, sleeping late has been a norm. Some days I get to go to bed early yet still remain awake till early morning pre occupied with so many thoughts. September 28 was no different. I happened to be awake at about 3am and was reading tweets on my phone when I received a tweet from a resident in SS17 informing me of a loud explosion coming from Empire Shopping Gallery. I immediately rang the police from SS17 police station and they told me they were already at the site. After notifying the MPSJ engineer, I rushed to the site too.
When I arrived, I was greeted by Tuan Ariffin from the SS17 police station and then Chief Inspector Sulaiman. As I walked closer to the site of the explosion, I noticed the firemen led by Deputy Supt Tuan Khairi bin Daud of the SS17 balai were already at work. Soon after, I met our OCPD Tuan Zainal who was also there at 5am. This article is not to talk about the explosion (which you can read from other news reports). I want to talk about the brave men involved in the rescue and inspection works.
This was the first time I had ever experienced a large scale emergency incident. Seeing the rubble in front of my very eyes was a numbing experience. I have been to Empire to have family meals and my immediate thought was "what if we were in there when this happened? My husband, my baby, my parents, sisters, brothers, friends and etc?" The next question that came to mind "wow, rubble, broken glass – do I dare to walk in to have a look if they allow me to?". I didn't have the answer.
And then I looked up and saw the bomba officers walking in and out of the building, looking unwavering and without doubt about their own safety. Something shifted inside me. I knew it was the "underestimated the risks involved" mindset when assessing the performance of some of our men in orange and blue.
When I tweeted about how impressed I was with them, someone replied commenting that I should not praise them for what is expected of them to do (their job). You see – it takes a lot of courage to walk towards the rubble and into the building to inspect (not knowing the cause of the explosion and whether or not it was going to explode again?!).
What if they don't walk out alive? What about their loved ones? I couldn't find it within me the same courage they had and for that, they deserve my praise! I hope in today's pessimistic society, we can be more generous with our praise and encouragement when credit is due. After all, it doesn't cost much to say thank you for being brave!
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