MALAYSIANS should redouble their efforts to build a truly caring society that is willing to help less fortunate, especially senior citizens, says social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
Lee, who is patron of the Maha Karuna Foundation, said affluent Malaysians of all races should also come forward to help the needy, including senior citizens abandoned by their children.
“In the pursuit of success in their respective fields, affluent Malaysians must not lose the human touch and forget about helping the needy and the poor.
“They must never become so caught up in the race for success that they lose all interest beyond their personal interests and rewards,” he said after presenting goodie bags to about 1,500 senior citizens at Bodhi Dharma Vihara building in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
While it is gratifying to note that by and large Malaysians are a generous lot, Lee said more could be done by the affluent to help the poor and the less fortunate.
He said the young people should also be taught to respect senior citizens who have helped develop the country all these years.
Lee, who is trustee of Malaysia Unity Foundation, said the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry should promote universal noble values such as respect and filial piety for the elderly.
“Civilisation and progress are not to be measured only by the gross national product and technological capacity.
“They are also measured by the development of the human conscience and its response when faced with human sufferings, denial of human needs and violation of human rights,” he said.
Lee said a caring society was one which attached great importance to the development of humans who are imbued with compassion, understanding, a sense of justice and a generous attitude.
“These are essential ingredients for creating a caring society in which all will have their rightful place.
“To reach this goal, it is essential for society to recognise the inherent values of each individual,” he said.
The programme was jointly organised by Malaysia Mahayana Buddhist Association, Bodhi Dharma Vihara Association and Dharmakaya Vihara Malaysia.
Also present were Maha Karuna Foundation chairman B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thero and director Jacob Chan Teng Meng.
Apart from receiving the goodie bags containing food and essential items, the senior citizens were also given free medical and dental check-up, manicure and hair cuts.