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Naka
03-01-2005, 06:32 PM
What Goverments Have Pledged:

1. $0.13M African Union
2. $0.14M Slovenia
3. $0.30M Slovekia
4. $0.35M Hungary
5. $0.42M Poland
6. $1.61M Turkey
7. $2.57M Algeria
8. $2.57M Libya
9. $2.57M UAE
10. $2.57M Venezuela
11. $2.70M Kuwait
12. $3.49M Austria
13. $3.49M Ireland
14. $3.98M Singapore
15. $4.62M New Zealand
16. $6.42M South Korea
17. $6.74M Taiwan
18. $7.86M Finland
19. $12.84M Saudi Arabia
20. $13.97M Portugal
21. $21.23M Norway
22. $30.58M Switzerland
23. $32.10M Qatar
24. $34.94M Germany
25. $42.38M Canada
26. $43.66M Netherlands
27. $52.41M EU
28. $60.00M Australia
29. $70.48M Denmark
30. $72.15M France
31. $77.59M China
32. $87.35M Spain
33. $102.74M Sweden
34. $122.00 M Italy
35. $321.05M World Bank
36. $449.47M USA
37. $642.10M Japan

TOTAL = $ 2.4 billions

It is noted that certain countries eg 7,8,9,11,19 are not that generous.

Wonder why ??

KH EE
05-01-2005, 01:37 PM
Dear Friends,

The Tsunami victims are in great pain in many, many ways... they have lost their loved ones, lost their homes - practically everything! We can do our small part to ease their suffering by contributing in kind.

The DAP PJ Action Team are working together with The High Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Airlines and The Embassy of Indonesia as well as other organizations to collect clothes, food, medicine and other essential items to be sent to as many victims as possible in Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia - the most badly affected countries. If we are able to collect a lot more, the extra items will then be channeled to Thailand, Myanmar, Maldives, etc.

To help you decide what to contribute, please refer to the following list :

1. Tents, blankets, linen, etc.
2. Food (canned or dry)
3. Water purification tablets (approximately 2 million)
4. Wheat flour, pulses (peas, dhall), rice
5. Intravenous infusions (saline and dextrose)
6. Portable generator

7. Medication

(a) Fever

· Paracetamol
· Disprin


(b) Diarrhoea

· Furoxone
· Selexid
· Ciprofloxacin


(c) Vomiting

· Domperone
· Motilium

(d) Dehydration

· Jeewani
· Rehydin

(e) Cough Syrup

· Corex D
· Chericoff
· Ascoril
· Piriton (syrup and tablets)
· Cetrizet tablet

(f) Antibiotics

· Amoxyl
· Ceporex
· Flagyl

(g) CVS

· TNT
· Atnol
· Lasix
· Diltiazm
· Losartan

(h) Diabetic Drugs

· Daonil
· Metformin

(i) Sedative Medicine

· Diazapam

(j) Plasters
(k) Bandages
(l) Cotton Wool
(m) Savlon
(n) Betadine Lotion
(o) Saline.

As soon as the volunteers from the Airlines and Embassy complete filling up one container, that container will be dispatched immediately.

Please send your contributions FAST - Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! The faster you deliver, the quicker the poor victims will receive these essential items! Especially for those up north - it's winter... it is a matter of saving lives...

Collection Centre - DAP PJ Action Team
77, Jalan 20/9, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya

For Further Enquiries
Please call: 03-7875 4724

THANK YOU and May You Be Blessed for generously donating to this good cause!

Naka
05-01-2005, 02:14 PM
Aid Pledges by Muslim Governments

Country Amount ($AUS)

1. Qatar $32.2m
2. UAE $25.68m
3. Kuwait $12.9m
4. Saudi Arabia $12.9m
5. Bahrain $2.6m
6. Libya $2.6m
7. Turkey $1.6m
8. Brunei $ 0 m
9. Iran $ 0 m

TOTAL = $90.48m

SOURCE: REUTERS
~~~~~~~~~~~


5 January 2005

“Wealthy Arabs give little aid to victims”
by Karen Middleton

The rich oil states of the Persian Gulf and the sultanate of Brunei were yesterday accused by fellow Muslims of miserly indifference towards tsunami diaster victims, compared with the immense generosity of Australians and other Western countries.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Dr Ameer Ali said that the $83 million donated by Australian residents and companies since Boxing Day was a shining example to the rest of the world.

Dr Ali lashed out at the oil-rich Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Libya, for offering so little, despite the devastation in the world’s biggest Muslim nation, Indonesia, and across southern Asia.

“They haven’t opened their minds and their hearts and their wallets,” Dr Ali said. “We can only express our disgust at what they do.”

Dr Ali spared Qatar from criticism as it had given US$30 million. But he blasted Saudi Arabia, which reacted quickly to the disaster but had given only US$10 million, and other states such as Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have given a mere US$2 million each.

He also criticised Brunei Darussalam, a near neighbour of the affected countries, for making no cash donation at all, so far. “We know that the sultan is worth billions,” he said.

But Dr Ali said he was criticising the countries’ leaders, not their people, with Muslims in many countries taking up private collections.

“These countries are not democracies,” he said. “They are ruled by one family or one (individual).”

As well as military and financial aid already contributed, Prime Minister John Howard is set to unveil a $500 million package in Jakarta tomorrow. “Australia is an example for every country,” Dr Ali said. “Generosity is unlimited.”

This Press was unable to contact the missions for Brunei or the Gulf states yesterday. WA ethnic communities council president Suresh Rajan said the Gulf states should be doing more but he would not link generosity to religious belief.

KH EE
05-01-2005, 03:28 PM
from http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/01/04/tsunami.saudis/

Kingdom also plans telethon to raise funds for victims
Tuesday, January 4, 2005 Posted: 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- Saudi Arabia, criticized in the Arab world for not offering more money for tsunami disaster relief, said Tuesday it will triple the aid it has pledged to $30 million and will hold a fund-raising telethon to benefit victims.

The Saudi government, which initially pledged $10 million to the relief effort, issued a statement that it is raising its emergency humanitarian aid "in light of the recent assessment of the magnitude of the tragedy."

The government said it would continue to assess the situation.

The December 26 tsunamis killed more than 150,000 people in at least 11 countries along the Indian Ocean.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the world has donated or pledged more than $2 billion for the relief effort.

The U.S. government has pledged $350 million in tsunami aid, the second largest single contribution behind Japan's $500 million.

In addition, the Saudi Press Agency said the country's interior minister would supervise a charity fund-raising campaign on television Thursday.

In some Internet chat rooms, users expressed anger at the reaction among Arab governments and media to the tsunami disaster.

An Arab talk-show host said, "Many Arab viewers have become racist. Unfortunately, the tragedy that befell Asians has no effect on many of them."

Another observer wrote, "This is a chance for Arabs to show their humanity" and prove that they can give generously "regardless of race, ethnicity and religion. Giving just because it is the right thing to do."

Others pointed out that Indonesia, with a death toll of 94,000 in the disaster, is the world's most populous Muslim nation.

orchipalar
05-01-2005, 04:15 PM
Err...buddy KH Ee :) ...have you noticed whether Israel has donated anything towards any nations affected by the Tsunami disaster?... :rolleyes:

Ahem...where may Orchi ask...Christianity was born? :)

keroncong_asli
05-01-2005, 04:22 PM
World: Are Muslim Nations Doing Enough For Tsunami Relief Efforts?
By Jeremy Bransten

http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/01/cc04b256-453b-4fed-a79b-0186b96ebf70.html

Some have accused Muslim nations of not pledging enough aid

Accusations by a Kuwaiti newspaper that rich Muslim countries are doing too little to aid tsunami victims has provoked a debate throughout the Gulf region and beyond about whether Muslims are being stingy in the face of suffering --compared to non-Muslim Europeans and Americans who are rushing to donate for relief efforts. Is the charge justified? Indonesia -- the country worst-affected by the disaster -- is also the world's largest Muslim nation.

Prague, 4 January 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Kuwaiti newspaper "Al Qabas" sparked a fire storm last week when it said the country deserves its reputation for stinginess, in light of the small amount of aid contributed to victims of the tsunami disaster in South Asia.

The newspaper noted that more than half of Kuwait's labor force is made up of workers from India, Sri Lanka, and other countries affected by the catastrophe. They are largely responsible for the country's economic success but, the newspaper argued, few Kuwaitis seem to care.

Immediately after the editorial appeared, the government upped its aid contribution to the tsunami relief effort from 2 million dollars to $10 million. But the commentary touched a raw nerve. Are rich Muslims being stingy?

In fact, it is hard to find anyone who agrees with this premise -- both inside and outside the Muslim community, in the region and abroad.

Muslim charities in Britain, for example, have been especially active in launching aid appeals for tsunami victims.

Inoyat Banglawala, press secretary of the Muslim Council of the United Kingdom, says many governments and private charities were initially slow to respond with aid pledges. But when the full scale of the tragedy became apparent, most increased their support.

"Our largest Muslim charity, Muslim Aid, initially gave an allocation of 100,000 pounds [$189,401]. That was on Monday, 24 hours after the Sunday earthquake and tsunami. But this weekend, they upped the figure to 1 million pounds -- so it's a tenfold increase," Banglawala said. "Similarly, we saw the same kind of response from the United States. Initially, they only pledged $35 million dollars, and the United States, of course, is the world's largest economy. But after public pressure, after criticism from other governments and other countries, they upped it to $350 million -- a tenfold increase. So I think many countries initially pledged a certain amount, but following a realization of the terrible scale of this tragedy and pressure from their own publics, they have increased those initial amounts very substantially."

Banglawala also notes that European countries and the United States are better skilled at communicating with the media and their own citizens, which gives them a higher profile internationally -- but does not necessarily mean they are providing more aid than others.

He notes that the Gulf states, for example, have a strong track record of providing development and humanitarian aid to poorer countries in Asia and Africa.

"One of the main criticisms of many Gulf countries is their lack of communication. These are not democratic countries, and in democratic countries, we are more used to governments being accountable to the public and answering questions. And those countries do not have the same traditions, so it's always a bit more difficult getting information out of them. So at the moment, no, it is not easy to try to get details of the amounts they have pledged," Banglawala said."Muslim Aid, initially gave an allocation of 100,000 pounds [$189,401]. That was on Monday, 24 hours after the Sunday earthquake and tsunami. But this weekend, they upped the figure to 1 million pounds."

The latest official statistics show that, so far, Saudi Arabia has pledged $10 million, the small Gulf state of Qatar has promised to donate $25 million, the United Arab Emirates is offering $2 million and Bahrain another $2 million.

In contrast, Norway is contributing more than $180 million, Britain $96 million, Sweden $80 million, and Denmark $55 million to tsunami relief.

Banglawala says the Muslim dimension should not be overly stressed. He points to examples of interfaith solidarity from the disaster zone and says the tsunami tragedy points to the common humanity of all affected -- regardless of religion.

"This disaster transcends religious differences, and we saw in Sri Lanka, for example, mosques opening their doors to allow people who were made homeless from the Hindu faith, the Buddhist faith, the Christian faith, to take refuge inside mosques. So I think this disaster has brought people together and shown them that their commonality, their shared humanity, transcends those kinds of traditional, religious differences," Banglawala said.

Prem Chandran, editor of the Dubai-based "Khaleej Times," told RFE/RL that people in the Gulf states are now as aware as anyone else in the world of the tsunami tragedy. Media coverage has been extensive, and the outpouring of support from the public and private sector continues to grow.

"Even our own organization itself is raising some funds from among the staff to be sent over to the affected areas. And similarly, we have been getting news of various organizations here -- at their own level -- collecting funds, sending them over to the affected areas -- Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India. That's the situation now," Chandran said.

Chandran said many people in the Gulf have reason to feel a personal connection to the disaster.

"Even in my organization, the person sitting in the next room -- he has lost about 40 or 50 relatives in Sri Lanka. So, there are instances of people from India and Sri Lanka and even Indonesia, who are working here. They tell us that they have lost their near and dear ones. And there are several cases of this -- students studying in one of the schools here. Today, we have a report saying that a student studying in one of the schools here -- she went over to Sri Lanka and died over there on vacation. So there are quite a few similar cases in this region itself," Chandran said.

Marie-Francoise Borel, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, which groups together the world's national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, also tells RFE/RL that the global response -- from both Muslim and non-Muslim donors -- has been unprecedented and speedy.

The challenge will now be how to distribute the aid most effectively.

KH EE
05-01-2005, 04:41 PM
have you noticed whether Israel has donated anything towards any nations affected by the Tsunami disaster?

they tried but:-

from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4130599.stm

Sri Lanka rejects Israel rescuers
Israel has cancelled plans to send a 150-person rescue mission to Sri Lanka after the devastated island objected to the military composition of the team.

The delegation - including 60 soldiers - had been due to set off on Tuesday to help after Sunday's tsunami disaster.

Instead, a smaller team will escort a convoy carrying emergency supplies, Israeli officials said.

Sri Lanka restored diplomatic ties with Israel in 2000, despite objections from the island's Muslim minority.

Neither side has officially explained the change of plan, although some reports say the objection came from Sri Lanka's military.

Sri Lanka Ambassador Diffa Digeratna is quoted by Jerusalem Post as saying that the change was due to the "the lack of accommodations in Colombo".

Israel's army had planned to send staff to set up field hospitals, including internal medicine and paediatric clinics, an Israeli army spokesman said.

Other Israeli agencies have sent emergency relief to Sri Lanka and other tsunami-hit countries.

Humanitarian organisation Latet sent a jumbo jet carrying 18 metric tons of supplies to Colombo, medical teams have been dispatched to Thailand and help offered to India, Haaretz reported.

A rescue-and-recovery team from the Jewish ultra-Orthodox organisation Zaka left for the region on Monday with equipment used for identifying bodies, as well as body bags.

Israel's foreign ministry has set up a situation room for relatives to track down hundreds of Israelis on holiday in the tsunami zone, who have not yet made contact.

No one from the country has yet been confirmed dead in the disaster.

Naka
05-01-2005, 04:54 PM
A local newspaper editorial:-

5/1/2005

Quake victims all but ignored by the oil-rich Muslim nations

The spirit of religious solidarity appears to be missing in international relief efforts for southern Asia.

Never has there been a natural disaster whose death toll encompassed so many countries as the Indian Ocean quake and tsunamis. In all, 51 nations are represented on lists of those who have died or are missing.

But absent among the generous international donors are the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries like Libya, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Libya has pledged just $2.6 million, Kuwait $12.9 million and Saudi Arabia $12.9 million.

Turkey has come up with a risible $1.6 million, despite being on the receiving end of foreign aid in the wake of its 1999 earthquake, and another oil-rich country, Brunei, has given nothing.

This is surprising, since a huge number of the people most affected by the tsunamis also share the Muslim faith with these least-generous contributors. Countries like Saudi Arabia appear to feel little responsibility for their religious counterparts in Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim nation.

And this is despite the massive oil wealth they have at their fingertips. Many of the workers in the Gulf states come from Asia, too, but this does not seem to have engendered feelings of generosity from employers.

Foreign aid is at an unprecedented level, pouring in to help the millions whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by an event of almost unimaginable proportions. Governments, corporations and individuals alike have pledged staggering amounts of money.

Other countries capable of making a significant contribution to the relief and rebuilding of southern Asia also have failed to do so. Some European countries, too, are avoiding their humanitarian duty.

The level of aid from wealthy countries like Germany, for instance, simply is inadequate. The country has pledged $35 million. Yet 34 of its nationals are included in the death toll and rescue workers are trying to find another 1,000. This means that potentially Germany has one of the highest death tolls among foreign countries.

It is an unconscionable abrogation of the country’s moral duty as one of the world’s most robust economies. It can well afford to dig far deeper into its coffers. Germans clearly are regular tourists to the Asian countries which now are on their knees.

The Germans cannot take what countries like Thailand offer them in the good times, and then turn their backs when times are tough.

By contrast, countries with comparable or smaller economies have been much more generous. Sweden has given $102 million and Denmark $70.6 million.

This is a time when the world community should be working together. Countries which can afford to help but choose not to are shirking their responsibility.

Of course the question of foreign aid should not become a bidding war for top honours. Each country’s circumstances are different, just as their ability to contribute varies.

But every country has a moral obligation to support its fellows in their time of need, to the very limit of their capacity. To do less than that is an affront to humanitarian values.

And after all, no country can be sure that its turn to be on the receiving end of international charity is not just around the corner.

keroncong_asli
05-01-2005, 05:59 PM
Quote :-

The rich oil states of the Persian Gulf and the sultanate of Brunei were yesterday accused by fellow Muslims of miserly indifference towards tsunami diaster victims, compared with the immense generosity of Australians and other Western countries.

Dr Ali spared Qatar from criticism as it had given US$30 million. But he blasted Saudi Arabia, which reacted quickly to the disaster but had given only US$10 million, and other states such as Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have given a mere US$2 million each.

He also criticised Brunei Darussalam, a near neighbour of the affected countries, for making no cash donation at all, so far. “We know that the sultan is worth billions,” he said.

__________________________________________________ ________

Based on the above statements, shouldn't OIC be playing a major role in helping their brothers & sisters and others in rebuilding their shelters?
Mind you, OIC headquarter is presently hosted & station in Malaysia.

OIC in Brief
http://www.oic-oci.org/

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is an inter-governmental organization grouping fifty-six States. These States decided to pool their resources together, combine their efforts and speak with one voice to safeguard the interest and ensure the progress and well-being of their peoples and those of other Muslims in the world over.

orchipalar
05-01-2005, 07:11 PM
Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Germany significantly increasing aid to tsunami affected regions

BERLIN (AP): German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was meeting with his Cabinet on Wednesday to finalise plans to significantly increase financial aid to countries affected by last week's tsunami disaster as European nations moved to step up help to the devastated region.

Germany has pledged euro20 million (US$27 million), and Schroeder would not deny widely reported rumors that the country would raise its pledge for relief and rebuilding to as much as euro500 million (US$674 million), which would make Germany the largest single donor nation.

"The speculation is not completely incorrect,'' he said Tuesday evening in an interview with ARD television. "This will be a sum that lies significantly above what has been offered so far.''

So far, Japan has pledged the most with a commitment to provide US$500 million (euro376 million) with the United States second with its pledge of US$350 million (euro263 million).

Britain has pledged US$95 million (euro71.5 million) but Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that his government would step up that contribution to "several hundred million pounds.''

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/1/5/latest/20564Germanysi&sec=latest

orchipalar
06-01-2005, 10:08 AM
Err...heard over the LightnEasy radio news this morning...7th Time WorldChamp Formula 1 Driver Michael Schumacher (http://www.inboxrobot.com/news/MichaelSchumacher) personally donates $10 millions towads the Tsunami Relief fund...he stands currently as the biggest single donor to the fund :)

BTW...good to see KeroncongAsli back :)

keroncong_asli
06-01-2005, 11:18 AM
Hello Orchi,
Nice to be back especially reading your interesting "Rape of Nanking" etc.

We're pleased to note an overwhelming International support for Tsunami Fund and the amount is expected to escalate to US$4 Billion when International leaders meet in Jakarta today.

However, based on Transparency International (TI) Corruption Survey 2003, Indonesia was rank 122 out of 133 corrupted countries. http://www.transparency.org/cpi/2003/cpi2003.en.html

Therefore, for the sake of humanitarian & compassionate move, we hope & pray that there should be some form of accountability. UN should handle the Relief work & payment themselves esp in Acheh, the worst tsunami devastation area. As stated by TI, 'It is essential that all aid raised for disaster relief reaches the tsunami victims'.

The following is Transparancy International (TI) statement on Tsunami Tragedy:http://www.transparency.org/pressreleases_archive/2005/2005.01.03.tsunami_south_asia.html

TI extends its condolences to the victims of the tsunami tragedy

It is essential that all aid raised for disaster relief reaches the tsunami victims. TI calls for governments to conduct reconstruction efforts as transparently as possible to prevent waste and further suffering

Berlin, 3 January 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Transparency International Secretariat joins its national chapters in South Asia and South East Asia, and throughout the world, in extending our condolences and solidarity to all who have suffered from the recent tragedy of the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

TI Indonesia is very involved in the emergency operation undertaken by the Coalition of Indonesian NGOs for Humanitarian Operation in Aceh, including establishing a management system for operations in the western coast of Aceh. Most managers of TI Indonesia have been seconded to support the emergency operations.

TI Sri Lanka has issued a call for politicians, both government and opposition, and all Sri Lanka’s communities to unite together around a “national strategy on relief distribution and reconstruction to be planned and implemented with the participation of all sectors, and the effort should be properly co-ordinated to achieve optimum benefits to the victims and affected areas”. It has offered the President of Sri Lanka its assistance in efforts to ensure transparency and accountability.

The affiliate of TI India, Lok Sevak Sangh, is organising relief camps at various places in India. Towards these efforts, it has used its own funds as well as donations from various volunteers and institutions. Its volunteers are already in the affected areas to assist needy victims.

TI strongly urges international organisations, governments and relief organisations in all the affected countries to join forces to ensure that all possible measures are taken so that vital life-saving aid, in the form of food, clothing, clean water and medical supplies, reaches those who need it. In particular, TI urges governments to prevent all forms of corruption, misappropriation and theft of aid supplies and funds intended to support disaster victims.

TI calls upon everyone to ensure that the money raised to support victims of the disaster does reach them – and that all governments and organisations involved in the relief effort conduct operations in a transparent and accountable manner. Unfortunately, the experience with similar emergency relief in the past shows that great care is needed in this respect.

In the vital reconstruction work that lies ahead, TI urges the governments and international donor organisations to pledge to take all possible measures to avoid corruption. Without a prompt decision to introduce transparent tendering for reconstruction, large amounts of money will be wasted and the burden already falling on the people of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, as well as the parts of India and Thailand severely affected by the tsunamis, will continue unnecessarily.

TI offers its sincere sympathies to all the victims and their families.

Media Contact

Berlin
Jeff Lovitt

Tel: +49-30-3438 2045
Fax: +49-30-3470 3912
press@transparency.org

saudivoice
06-01-2005, 12:08 PM
Hi all I was just intrested in knowing what my country did to aid the tsunami victims.. and just passing by ur forum.
I am not gonna excuse my goverment's pitty 10$ first offer..(which was raised to 30$)
but I am gonna hope for the best today june 6th as they start the telethon to raise funding for the aid.
I really hope also that the clerics in friday prayer support it also.. and hope the telethon continues till saturday morning. because friday speeches are very enfluncial.
I pray that today telethon would be as successful as the one that was raised for Palestine last time. which went over 100$.

orchipalar
06-01-2005, 12:14 PM
Welcom to the forum...SaudiVoice :) ...so far this is what we know...hope this info is what you are seeking for...

Aid Pledges by Muslim Governments

Country Amount ($AUS)

1. Qatar $32.2m
2. UAE $25.68m
3. Kuwait $12.9m
4. Saudi Arabia $12.9m
5. Bahrain $2.6m
6. Libya $2.6m
7. Turkey $1.6m
8. Brunei $ 0 m
9. Iran $ 0 m

TOTAL = $90.48m

SOURCE: REUTERS :)

mysticalangel
06-01-2005, 12:25 PM
Err...heard over the LightnEasy radio news this morning...7th Time WorldChamp Formula 1 Driver Michael Schumacher (http://www.inboxrobot.com/news/MichaelSchumacher) personally donates $10 millions towads the Tsunami Relief fund...he stands currently as the biggest single donor to the fund :)

Orchi, read in yesterday's papers that Sandra Bullock also donated about the same amount in aid of the victims wor.....

saudivoice
06-01-2005, 12:28 PM
thank you orchipalar
I the world community should not just focus on how to collect and send the money fast.. I think as some of the posters said that the money should be tracked also and ppl who paid their money should know where did it end.

the telethon that was raised for Palestinains was a great achivement.. but I think many were thinking that some currupt individuals might benifit from it.. but still the fund that was raised was large. but the problem was that most ppl do not know what happend to the money.. did it really reach those in need..? or did end in some1s pocket? on an indvidual level.. it was a mystery and quite frankly the media is not a source to trust.

orchipalar
06-01-2005, 12:39 PM
"...read in yesterday's papers that Sandra Bullock also donated about the same amount in aid of the victims wor....."

Err...MysticalAngel :) ...its true... Sandra Bullock (http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/37788.htm) has made a generous donation to The Red Cross Society for $ 1 million...but it is still very much short of Michael Schumacher's donation thus far.... :)

BTW...she was very generous also to have donated $ 1 million towards the 9-11 tragedy...

wildbill
06-01-2005, 12:42 PM
The Times, London, Guest contributors

January 06, 2005

Camilla Cavendish

WHEN THE tsunami survivors start to lift hollow eyes to the future, they would do well to beware of politicians bearing gifts. Massing behind the heroic aid workers are world leaders eager to out-proselytise each other in a new assault on poverty. Gordon Brown has announced a “new Marshall Plan for the developing world”, and wants to double aid to halve poverty. Yet there is a big difference between helping Oxfam and Save the Children to deliver food and medicine to disaster victims, and channelling reconstruction money to governments with a history of siphoning it off into Swiss bank accounts.

The goodwill is welcome, but it must be clear-eyed. An aid worker told me yesterday that in one small section of the Indian coastline affected by the tsunami there are 51 nongovernmental organisations helping 49 villages. The local people are joking that the greatest threat to their safety now is being run over by a big white jeep. They are, of course, the lucky ones — and a bit of duplication is undoubtedly a price worth paying to save lives in the next few desperate weeks. But as we start to think about how to rebuild the economies of these and other countries in the longer term, we must remember that there has been historically an inverse relationship between long-term aid and poverty reduction.

Ever since foreign aid became a multigazillion-dollar industry, poor regimes have been demanding money with moral menaces. It seems terrible, and incredible, that Indonesia’s debt now amounts to 80 per cent of its national income. African countries owe more than $10 billion in debt repayments each year. Forgiving debt, which looks set to be this year’s fashion, sounds right in principle. But should we really encourage countries to believe that debts do not need to be repaid?

One reason such countries cannot repay their debts is that they have failed to spend the money on what it was intended for. In Indonesia, the IMF has been trying to persuade the Government to liberalise monopolies, reduce harmful taxes, and make its public accounts more transparent ever since lending it a huge $33 billion in 1997. As recently as December 21, the World Bank lent another $300 million to Indonesia — with precisely the same objectives. Yet the Indonesian Government has still not consolidated its own accounts, because this would enable outsiders to see where the money is going.

This is a case where the bank manager is more frightened of his clients than they are of him. For years, the World Bank and IMF have indulged in the charade of lending debtor countries extra money to let them pay the interest on their loans. The case for lifting the burden of loans from poor people is that they should not have to pay for the profligacy of their leaders who squandered the capital, sometimes many years ago. But if we are going to enter a new era of debt forgiveness, let us please stop advancing money to politicians who are keeping their people poor.

Aid cannot lift people out of poverty if they are living in countries which refuse to let them own land, or to start businesses which might threaten crony-run monopolies, or which prefer to buy missiles than schoolbooks. The dramatic reductions in poverty in countries such as China and India over the past decade is due not to the ministrations of eurocrats but to better governments which have freed markets and recognised the need for improved education and healthcare.

The scale of destruction in the Indian Ocean has put once-discredited infrastructure loans back on the agenda. Yet these are fraught with difficulty. As an aid worker in Bangladesh I once found myself surrounded by angry women on a road that they were building as part of a Western “work for food” programme. They wanted me to know that they were having to shovel earth in the baking heat for three extra miles across the plain, in order to divert the road to the local chieftain ’s house. My colleagues shrugged. This, it turned out, was small beer compared with the vast and unnecessary World Bank flood-wall project a few miles away, where French and Japanese contractors were eager to get cut in on the deal by their friends in high places.

If donors want to rebuild houses, roads and airports, they must try to channel far less aid through governments and far more through charities. Bodies such as Oxfam and Care — that the public is supporting through donations to the tsunami earthquake appeal — touch barely a fraction of the funds that are transferred to governments of poor countries. Yet their standards are much higher. The Red Cross memorably attracted criticism for refusing to go into Ethiopia at the time of the original Band Aid — because the Mengistu Government insisted that the emergency food supplies be loaded on to government lorries. The integrity of that decision was demonstrated after many of those lorries drove to the homes of government supporters. In Australia, Médecins sans Frontières has temporarily been turning down donations because it has raised as much as it can handle at present in its response to the tsunami. Such organisations take much more trouble to watch where their money goes than do most donor governments and public agencies.

In all the shouting about saving the world in recent weeks, our politicians have been remarkably silent about lowering the tariff barriers that they use to protect their own farmers and industries. Oxfam has calculated that a 1 per cent increase in Africa’s share of world exports would be worth five times as much as its current aid and debt relief. Indonesia and Thailand face average tariffs of 20 per cent on exports of textiles and shoes. The single most useful contribution that our leaders could make would be to address this issue. Otherwise, millions of well-meaning people will become accomplices to the cruel charade that is the aid industry. And millions of poor people will continue to suffer.

Copyright 2005 Times Newspapers Ltd.

http://www.mggpillai.com/sections.php3?op=viewarticle&artid=9056

orchipalar
06-01-2005, 05:45 PM
Bush donates 10,000 dollars to tsunami relief

www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-06 05:33:14

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush has donated 10,000 dollars from his personal funds to the relief effort of tsunami-hit nations, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday.

McClellan, White House press secretary, said Bush has written checks totaling 10,000 dollars to several organizations listed on a Web site set up to direct Americans to various charities collecting private contributions for tsunami relief.

However, McClellan did not identify the charity organizations to which Bush contributed. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-01/06/content_2422134.htm)

KH EE
07-01-2005, 11:48 AM
Media Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday, 6th January 2005:

Malaysia as Chair should convene emergency meeting of OIC to raise US$1-2 billion from its oil-rich member nations in aid of the stricken peoples and countries of the Asian tsunamis catastrophe
======================================

Malaysia as Chair should convene an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to raise US$1-2 billion from its oil-rich member nations in aid of the stricken peoples and nations of the Asian tsunamis catastrophe, which had killed more than 150,000 people, injured 500,000, rendered five million homeless with the warning by the World Health Organisation to the international tsunami summit in Jakarta today that the death toll could double to about 300,000 unless action was taken this week to prevent disease.

It has not escaped notice of the world or their conscientious local opinion-makers that oil-rich Gulf Arab states, home to millions of Asian workers, have so far pledged less than US$93 million to victims of the Asian tsunami disaster despite reaping six times as much in crude revenues daily.

This is not even two per cent of the global pledges of tsunami aid which is now nearly US$4 billion – when the oil-rich OIC members should have been prepared to shoulder some US$2 billion of tsunami aid.

Australia now leads the table of major government pledges – including loans and grants – by promising US$764 million, followed by Germany’s US$674 million, Japan’s US$500 million and the United States’ US$350 million.

Other official tsunami aid pledges include: Asian Development Bank US$325 million , World Bank US$250 million, Norway US$183 million, France US$103 million, Britain US$96 million, Italy US$95 million, Sweden US$80 million, Spain US$68 million, Canada US$67 million, Denmark US$66 million, China US$61 million, Taiwan US$50 million, South Korea, US$50 million; European Union, US$40 million; Netherlands, US$34 million; Switzerland, US$23 million; Belgium US$16 million, Ireland, US$14 million; Portugal, US$11 million; Austria US$11 million, Luxembourg US$6.8 million, Finland US$6 million, New Zealand US$3.6 million, Singapore US$ 3 million, Greece US$1.34 million, Hungary US$1.2 million and Poland US$1.0 million.

Donations from the the predominantly Muslim nations are: Saudi Arabia US$30 million, Qatar US$25 million; United Arab Emirates US$20 million, Kuwait US$10 million; Algeria, US$2 million; Bahrain, US$2 million; Libya, US$2 million and Turkey US$1.25 million.

Some observations are in order:

1. Statement by Chairman of the of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, (Republican), that the United States tsunami aid may hit billions of dollars to help Asia recover from the devastating December 26 tsunami.

2. World Bank President James Wolfensohn said on Sunday that the World Bank may double or triple the US$250 million it has pledged for reconstruction in the Indian Ocean basin after the devastating December 26 tsunami.

3. Undertaking by the United Kingdom government to dramatically increase its tsunami aid to hundreds of millions of dollars.

4. The outpouring of generosity by ordinary humanity and private donors which in many countries not only match but exceeded government tsunami pledges.

5. The urgent need for an effective international mechanism to ensure that countries honour their pledges. A little over a year ago, donors promised Iran more than US$1 billion in relief after an earthquake killed 26,000 people, but just US$17.5 million or less than a quarter of 1 per cent of the pledged amount has materialized so far.

There is however the dark cloud in the generous and humanitarian global response to the Asian tsunami catastrophe – the cold and indifferent attitudes prevailing in the oil-rich OIC countries in Middle East.

Kuwait, which is running a US$10 billion budget surplus and recently distributed US$700 million to its citizens because of the doubling of the price of oil, is only offering US$10 million as tsunami aid. It originally offered US$1 million, then another million, and then raised it to the current amount after a local newspaper wrote that Kuwait apparently “deserved its reputation of being cheap”.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, started with a pledge of S$10 million – equal to a donation by seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher – before announcing on Tuesday that it was tripling that amount and organizing a telethon to raise more funds. Added to Kuwait’s US$10 million, Qatar’s US$25 million and UAE’s US$20 million, that took the total pledges by the four oil producers to US$85 million, compared to some US$500 million a day in oil revenues.

As Chair of OIC, Malaysia should play its role to ensure that OIC and in particular the oil-rich member countries play a commensurate role in the post-tsunami rescue, recovery and reconstruction efforts, with their governments pledging US$1-2 billion reflecting their oil wealth.

KH EE
07-01-2005, 12:02 PM
LHOKSEUMAWE (Sumatra), Jan 6 (Bernama) -- The biggest shipment of humanitarian aid from the government and people of Malaysia for the tsunami victims in Indonesia arrived at Krueng Geukueh Port, here Thursday.

The Royal Malaysian Navy's KD Mahawangsa, with 550 tonnes of goods, docked at 5 pm (6 pm Malaysian time).

The aid includes dry food (110 tonnes), drinks (245 tonnes), medicines (3 tonnes), clothes (20 tonnes), blankets (15,000 pieces), rice (80 tonnes) and sugar (20 tonnes).

Apart from that, the aid also includes 31 tonnes of sodium hypochloride which will be used to control the spread of diseases.

RMN's Public Relations Officer Lt Rosdi Mohamad said that the aid would be distributed to the people in this area, 230km north-east of Banda Aceh.

The ship, under Commander Abdul Hadib Abdul Wahab, left Northport at Klang Port at 5 pm Wednesday, 300 nautical miles from here.

The 4,500-tonne multipurpose command support ship, travelling at a speed of 14 knots, also carried two bulldozers, three backhoes, six three-tonne trucks and three four-wheel drive vehicles, which will be sent to the relief centre at Banda Aceh.

Fifty military personnel from the Indonesian army helped to unload the aid apart from its 211 crew.

Lt Rosdi estimated the unloading of aid would take two days.

KH EE
07-01-2005, 12:06 PM
now for the bad news...

from http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/32620

Corruption among the Indonesian military is hampering relief efforts in Aceh, which is the hardest hit area in the Tsunami disaster.

"We are concerned that the big amount of money pumped in to rebuild the region might not be successful if the aid is 'controlled' by the military," said AltAid Aceh-Tsunami representative Alice Nah today.

"They (the military) have prioritised themselves over the Aceh people," she told a press conference at the United Nations office in Kuala Lumpur.

In view of this, she urged civil society groups, non-governmental organisations and individuals to coordinate with the UN to assist the tsunami victims.

KH EE
07-01-2005, 12:16 PM
back home...

from http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/32632

LETTERS: Frustration over tidal wave relief operations
MC Jan 6, 05 5:42pm

It's been a harrowing 10 days for everyone in Southeast and South Asia. But hopefully with the arrival of aid and relief teams into the disaster areas, the situation will slowly become manageable.

In a time like this, those of us on the outside (i.e. not directly affected) try to do what we can but I have been getting increasingly more frustrated and depressed by what is going on locally. There have been many reports from people who have been to aid centres in Kedah who have terrible things to say about the operation.

1) Someone I know has a friend with Mercy Malaysia who said that when they went to deliver supplies direct to Kedah, saw a lot of people standing around and drinking the box drinks (those which were very likely donated), as well as "eyeing" some of the stuff piling up in the centre.

2) Another friend spoke to a head of an organisation who delivered some donations last week to a centre, as well as 100 relief packages consisting of water, biscuits, towels, sarongs, pillows and blankets. When he got there, he was not allowed into the school compound "for security reasons".

The Youth and Sports Ministry was in charge of receiving donations and they directed him to a storeroom where he had to leave the goods. He was not allowed to go inside to see what else the people needed. He was told that the goods would be distributed when the people "go home".

3) A friend told me his uncle had donated 10 crates of Milo to an agency "supposedly" collecting on behalf of a collection centre, and as he left, he heard the receptionist say to an office boy, "Bawa satu masuk dalam."

4) In an article from Malaysia Today:'Anwar Ibrahim was prevented from entering the disaster area to meet the refugees at the Kota Kuala Muda relief centre and the excuse given was that they are conducting a clean-up of the area. Just prior to that, the deputy prime minister was allowed in. The truth is, there is no clean-up going on and whatever attempts being made to restore sanity to the area are being done by PAS members. Puteri Umno members were there, as well as other 'senior' members, but they are merely loitering around and eating and drinking the supplies that should instead be distributed to those in dire need.

"Fortunately, the Mercy Malaysia doctors as well as Dr Lee Boon Chye from Perak have based themselves full-time on site. Other than that, no other doctors are available, in particular the government doctors who should by now have set up their medical tents to render medical assistance to those in need.

Some of the relief centres are well-stocked but they are being closely guarded by the Puteri Umno members and are not being distributed to those in need. Puteri Umno refuses to distribute anything until a minister or the deputy prime minister can find time to personally do so with the TV crew and reporters in tow. Quietly distributing food and drinks has no political value, never mind how hungry or thirsty the refugees may be.

"There is no chain of command at the relief centres. Malaysia has somehow turned chaos into a fine art and, in the meantime, the refugees go hungry and their health deteriorates."

5) The Star/ Maybank Tsunami Relief Fund stands at RM567,304.26 as of yesterday (Jan 1) but how much of it has already been distributed to the aid or relief agencies in the disaster areas? The same goes for the Tabung Bencana Alam Tsunami Kerajaan Negeri Melaka which has received RM750,000 in cash and kind. Are they dishing out as they go along or are they waiting until a bigger amount has been reached and they will do the whole photo opportunity thing in a couple of weeks? I wonder.

It said that all donations to the fund will go to Tabung Bantuan Bencana Negara, managed by the Malaysian National Disaster Management and Relief Committee. Now, many Malaysians are of course wary of donating any money to a federal government-managed fund as we know only too well what can happen to that money, so a lot of people this time around (from the many I've spoken to) have decided to give straight to Mercy Malaysia or the Red Cross/Crescent, and religious organisations instead.

5) The DAP PJ Action Team yesterday delivered over 140 boxes of clothes, foodstuff and water to the Indonesian embassy but we wonder how soon will it be transported to those in need. We were supposed to deliver to Sri Lankan Airlines but the plane was full yesterday. As we wanted to get the stuff out as quickly as possible, we thought of the Indonesian embassy. What's worse, someone mentioned the possibility that the government may not be in such a
rush to deliver aid to Aceh since the two sides are fighting a civil war. In BBC, it was reported that in Aceh, "the government is unwilling to allow the US military unfettered access," says the BBC's Jonathan Head, and there are few UN personnel on the ground.

It saddens me that in a time like this, when aid should get to the disaster areas as soon as possible, that we have to contend with all these uncertainties, red tape, and clueless and arrogant officials.

==================

looks like our worst concerns are coming true... :eek: :rolleyes:

orchipalar
07-01-2005, 12:45 PM
Err...buddy KH Ee :) ...it may seem lika not many people listen to Orchi :o ...ahem...on the first day itself...Orchi says...donate generously but smartly...err...nobody listens anymore... :(

Ahem...when casualty rates increase across 11 nations affected by the Tsunami disaster...so do the donations from the general public...n governmental bodies...err...then now in the eyes n minds of the unscrupulous n heartless people...they see n think $$$...from now

Err...the problems you are beginning to see n realize now...is only the tip of an iceberg...n sadly how many of the poor n unfortunate victims gonna get some bits n pieces of what is left behind...by those bastard vultures? :mad:

BTW...people should realise by now...it may take 100000 people to donate 10 bucks each...n only 1 bastard to squander n swindle that 1,000,000 bucks away...ahem...under our very nose...

KH EE
07-01-2005, 01:10 PM
Err... nobody listens anymore...

we are, err... listening NOW!



...n only 1 bastard to squander n swindle that 1,000,000 bucks away...ahem...under our very nose...

in the immortal words of pcyeoh, "MAY A THOUSAND TSUNAMI SMASHED UNTO THOSE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SITUATION!"

mysticalangel
07-01-2005, 02:15 PM
I've also heard some stories from some agencies purportedly collection donations/foodstuff for the victims.

KH EE
07-01-2005, 02:22 PM
http://www.petitiononline.com/Aceh2005/petition.html

"We urgently call on the Indonesian government to respect the ceasefire that you have declared yourself. Please ensure that the Indonesian armed forces stop their military operations, intimidation, corruption and pillaging in Aceh at this time of suffering. Please prioritise the saving of lives in Aceh above political and vested interests. The people of Aceh are citizens of Indonesia and have every right to the protection of the state. Tens of thousands have died in Aceh as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami. Please do not add to this death toll. Please do not inflict yet more suffering on the people of Aceh!"

orchipalar
08-01-2005, 10:07 AM
AP Poll: 3 in 10 in U.S. Give Tsunami Aid

52 minutes ago

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Almost three in 10 Americans say they have donated to victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, according to an Associated Press poll taken as the private total begins to approach the amount given by the government.

Despite the outpouring, the amount still pales in comparison to the donations in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks. But much more is expected. Twenty-nine percent say they have given for tsunami aid; an additional 37 percent say they plan to.

"It's heartbreaking," said Charla Mear, a 52-year-old mother of two from Manitou Springs, Colo. who said she had contributed $150. "People should give money if they have it. We're all humans, we should all treat each other as humans. Those children who have no parents, have nothing — the devastation on their faces is just terrible."

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_re_as//tsunami_donations_poll/13931240/*http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050108/ap_on_re_as/tsunami_donations_poll&cid=516&ncid=2337

Naka
09-01-2005, 11:16 AM
Latest Governments donation ( Australain dollars):


1. Australia $1 billion
2. Germany $867.23 M
3. Japan $643.25 M
4. USA $450.28 M
5. Norway $235.43 M
6. France $147.43 m
7. Britain $122.22 M
8. Sweden $97.13 M
9. Denmark $96.49 M
10. Spain $86.72 M
11. Canada $86.20 M
12. China $77.19 M
13. South Korea $64.33 M
14. Taiwan $64.33 M
15, Netherlands $41.17 M
16. European Com. $39.88 M
17. Switzerland $30.23 M
18. India $29.59 M
19. UAE $25.73 M

~~~~~~~

Private donors

1. Indian Hindu Guru Mata Amritannandamayi Devi $30.10 M
2. Michael schumacher $12.87 M
3. Steven Spieberg $1.93 m
4. Sandra Bullock $1.29 M
5. Australians in private and corporate donations $120 M
6. Saudi Arabia-Teleton $109 M

pcyeoh
09-01-2005, 12:44 PM
I would discount the Saudi Arabia Telethon figure by 90% so don't put too much hope on that. We have done that similar drive before a few years ago and the figure collected is pittance compared to what was being pledged over the phone and displayed on TV. Even a 6 year old kid called and pledged RM 10,000. That is why they never practise that anymore. SMS is very much more effective as your money is being zapped - no belakang kira punya arrangement. The sms initiative follow the line 'sikit sikit lama lama nya jadi bukit - yang tak boleh runtuh' if I may add. Likewise, I also expect those mock cheque masquerade publicity in the paper and on TV to be a joke. It will be a mockery when the moment of truth arrives. Will all those cheques be laku? Even Wong Chun Wai of The Star commented today that people/organisation have the cheek to call up to ask for the minimum amount that needs to be donated before their handsome photo can be published. I would say the most sincere donation is one even the left hand does not know the donated amount in the cheque held by the right hand.

PianoMan
09-01-2005, 04:51 PM
Sometimes, i dont know whether or not these Indonesian people are deserving of all the help they are getting. Before this disaster, these Indonesians were all out waging jihads and the likes against the Americans by bombing the Marriot and embassies. Now look who's the main ones helping them back on their feet: the EUROPEAN nations!

And look at their so-called "Muslim Brothers", countries like Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Their donations are not even close to what the Americans are offering. They should feel lucky that the Americans still bother and should stop all their religious nonsence when all this is over.

keroncong_asli
09-01-2005, 05:47 PM
Give credit where it's due
by Oon Yeoh
http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=6899

In my year-ender piece, "Making sense of a disaster" (Dec 31), I wrote that in trying to understand why such a terrible disaster can occur, some people will become even more religious while others will lose their faith.

It's natural for human beings to look for someone to blame when such things happen. If you aren't sure if this was indeed an "Act of God" (and there's no way to ever be sure of something like that), what do you do?

Blame governments, of course!

One of the earliest criticisms to emerge after the tsunamis hit was that governments across the region did not warn coastal dwellers to flee inland after the earthquake struck.

The lack of an early warning system was another common complaint. These are all legitimate issues.

What I found surprising, however, was how the United States was also targeted for blame. Then again, I should have expected this. Anti-Americanism is ever so fashionable.

Still, one would be hard pressed to blame President George W. Bush for the tsunami. That didn't stop the London Times columnist Gerard Baker from penning a sarcastically titled article "Tsunami must be the fault of the US".

In his article, the pro-US Baker says he is impressed with the perverse "originality" of the various efforts to assign blame to the US. ...

And there has been plenty of blame hurled at the US. Since anti-Americanists cannot prove that Bush actually caused the tsunami (by secretly drilling for oil off the coast of Sumatra and thereby causing the tectonic plates to rupture, for example), they whack him for not responding fast enough and not spending enough money to help the survivors.

True, Bush did not exactly respond in lightning fashion. But that is characteristic of his style in general.

Those of you who watched Fahrenheit 911 will recall how after he was alerted about the attacks on the twin towers, he did not leap into action straight away.

He was criticised for being too slow to react, but look at the leadership he showed in the days and weeks that followed, which helped to heal a nation.
Now, too, Bush is more than making up for his initial slow reaction to the disaster by showing just how effective the US can be in disaster relief efforts.

True, the initial pledges of US$15 million (RM57 million) and US$35 million (RM133 million) seemed paltry. But one must remember, the full extent of the tragedy was not immediately obvious.

As I had said in my Dec 31 article, initial reports put the death toll at a few hundred people.

As the scope of the tragedy became horrifyingly clearer, the US' pledge of aid increased ten-fold to US$350 million (RM1.3 billion).

Some critics say this is not enough but they obviously don't take into account contributions by the US in the form of critical logistics and support -- two naval battle groups, transport aircraft and a 1000-bed hospital ship has been sent to the disaster area.

These cannot be easily quantified financially although UN emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland tried to do just that when he said that "US military assets are really worth their weight in gold now".

Egeland, it's worth noting, has been misquoted endlessly in the media as saying the US was stingy with aid.

He has, on every occasion, pointed out that firstly, when he made the "stingy" remark, it was not about the Americans exclusively but about rich nations in general.

Secondly, and most significantly, he says he was not even referring to the tsunami relief efforts but to humanitarian relief in general throughout much of last year.

So, why does the US attract so much of criticism?

My colleague Jackson Ng has an answer. "No matter how much good the US does, it will always get the blame because people are jealous of the fact that it's a superpower," he said.

"It's as simple as that."

Is it as simple as that? I believe it could be. It's amazing just how many people refuse to believe the US is capable of doing good, of doing it effectively and of doing it faster than any other government in the world.

Those who still claim that the US is not doing enough just because there are countries that have pledged more money are clearly of the mindset that the US must shoulder the bulk of the burden and responsibilities of the world.

Yet, these are the very same people who would deny the US any respect or global leadership rights.

The US has attracted a lot of criticism for its handling of the war in Iraq. Its massive tsunami relief effort will go a long way towards improving that image.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius notes that it was a good move by Bush to send his brother Jeb to visit stricken areas, and not just because of his experience in dealing with hurricanes as governor of Florida.

"I'm glad because in any culture, sending a member of your family is a personal way of saying you care."

On Monday Bush also named two former presidents -- his father and Bill Clinton -- to help raise money for privately funded relief.

This effort will eventually raise the total amount of US aid to billions of dollars as private charity in the US is massive.

Still, no matter how much aid and critical logistical support the US gives, some critics will not give the US any praise for the good it does, just the blame for its shortcomings.

But the survivors of the tsunami disaster are being treated, food is being delivered, suffering is being alleviated. These people, who have lost everything, will eventually get back on their feet again. And in the end, that's all that matters.


Oon Yeoh is editor of Sun2Surf.com

orchipalar
10-01-2005, 09:02 AM
Monday, January 10, 2005

Australia committed to Asian tsunami relief as long as it takes

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Australia will remain committed to the reconstruction of tsunami-ravaged south Asia as long as its help is needed, Prime Minister John Howard said Sunday.

Australia became the biggest single donor in the relief effort last week when it promised 1 billion Australian dollars (US$757 million; euro579 million) to Indonesia - half in grants and the remainder in interest-free loans - to be delivered over five years.

Canberra also has pledged A$60 million (US$45 million; euro34 million) in aid toward the relief effort across south Asia.

Howard said Sunday that Australians are playing a leading role in one of the biggest humanitarian aid operations since World War II.

Australia provided the first foreign emergency response teams to arrive in Indonesia, hardest hit in the Dec. 26 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, he said.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/1/10/latest/20613Australia&sec=latest