A friend of mine (I'm going to refer her as Jane in this entry and please take note that Jane is not my friend's name and it's not even her nickname. I created the name just for the sake of creating a name) just lost both her mother and her stepfather recently. I was in Shah Alam when I heard the news. In fact, I was writing down the last paragraph of my answer for the Family Law test when I received a phone call from a very old friend. I didn't answer the call, of course, since I was battling against time (I even left a question unanswered what on earth), so I decided to call her back right after my test ended.
The first question my friend on the other line asked was whether I heard the news about Jane's mom. I said yes (my heart broke into little pieces when I found out the news about her mum's accident). Hani and I (and some other close friends) were planning on giving Jane a visit since both of her brothers were in Sarawak at that time to iring their mum's jenazah. At first, she didn't allow us to come because according to her, her house is very far and she didn't want to trouble anybody to travel for two hours just to console her. But I guess it goes without saying, whether she likes it or not, whether she allows us to be there or not, we are still going to meet her anyway even if we have to drive for five hours straight. Her mum, the most important person in her life just passed away, how can we not be there for her?
It turned out that Jane's late mum was someone who is very well-known. The rakyat all around the country knows her, especially those living in Kuala Selangor and a few places in Sarawak. Even the Ministers know her personally. When we found out that she passed away, we were certain that there will be a lot press gathering around her housing area to get some scoop/news regarding her death.
While waiting for the jenazah to arrive from Sarawak, my friends and I (Jane included) sat around a round table outside of her house. There were so many people present in that area at that time; the reporters were everywhere; the cameras were here and there; they were even some television companies doing live broadcasts from her house; her relatives were also there besides the rakyat who came all the way from different places just to pay the arwah last respect. Jane was called by someone (whom I believe was her relative) all of sudden and she stood up to talk to the person before the person asked her to get into the house.
When the reporters saw her move, they literally jumped out of their seat and started to gather around to interview her; about how she feels, how she (and her siblings) will continue their life now that their mum is gone. I was so mad at that time I swear I could skin a person alive. The reporters were so insensitive, inconsiderate and heartless, in my opinion. All of them, not even one was an exception. My friends and I were concerned about Jane because we knew she wouldn't be able to handle all the questions from the press. Jane was totally not ready for the interview, all of us knew that from the look of her face.
Two of our male friends (lets call them A and B) pushed away the reporters and stood beside Jane. A asked Jane whether she was ready for all of this; for the endless interview questions and for all the attention the press has been giving her; for being photographed while she was sobbing (the harder she sobs, the better the picture will turn out), Jane shook her head immediately. She was totally not ready to face the reporters and to be interviewed regarding her mum and stepfather's sudden death news. I am not ready, that sentence was obviously written on her forehead, I was unsure whether the press were too blind to see that or they were actually blind. Hearing that she was not ready, A pushed the press away, telling them to conduct the interview at a different time and he also asked the reporters to make way for Jane to enter her house. Seeing all that, the reporters got angry at A and B. Some of them started to call A and B names and there were also some pressmen who told us that we were being dramatic and overprotective of our friend. When A and B returned to our table, all of sudden the cameras were all on us, bright lights were directed at our direction. Some of the man with the camera started filming all of us. One of them even said, Kita nak interview orang lain, orang lain pulak yang nak dapat spotlight, jadi jom bagi budak-budak ni spotlight.
I swear I was this close to punching someone in the face at the moment. Excuse me sir, our friend's mum just died and at the same time, she had to deal with all the preparation for her mum's funeral, she had to layan all the rakyats and guests who came from different parts of Malaysia all by herself considering that her sister was in a very weak condition since she heard about the news, she had to maniskan her face and put on a fake smile to the people from different organizations who came to her with a donation and asked her to smile for the camera while holding the donation money etc. Can't you see that she had a lot on her plate already? Despite all that, you still insist on interviewing her and when she refused to do so, you started to make her feel bad by using some other ways? Man, you guys are disgusting. I was very much aware that what the reporters did was a part of their job but what happened that night was just too much. I wouldn't be this mad if the press respect her decision and interview her at a different time, perhaps when everything is settled, instead of forcing her to proceed with the interview. What they did was wrong in every possible way and at that point I knew, they hurt Jane even more.
|You are so strong Jane, so mature. Your mum might not be here anymore but know this, I'm sure she's very proud of you. You will always be the Kakchik that she loves, forever and ever. |
To my blog readers who are reading this post right now, please do me a favour by reciting Al-Fatihah for my friend's late mother and stepfather and may they be placed among the righteous. InsyaAllah, Amin.