"These resilient Temiar Orang Asli (indigenous people of Malaysia) put their hands on their hearts and just smiled on receiving aid that we flew in for them. They had been left stranded following Malaysia's worst ever floods in December 2014. They are giving people and live by their 'tan haq' code: that they will never let another die of hunger even if they have little food themselves. They don’t have a word in their language for 'Thank You' because they see it as their duty to help another, for which they don't expect thanks. We felt their gratefulness from their soul." - Rishiwant Singh, UNITED SIKHS Humanitarian Aid Coordinator, Asia Pacific, who has led six flood relief air missions flown by Capt Bagawan Singh and his team since January 3rd to Jan 26th, dropping 15 tons of relief for the Temiar natives, who were stranded in the interiors of Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 4th Feb 2015 – The Baaj (falcon) Flight for Humanity, which was carrying UNITED SIKHS volunteers and supplies for the Temiar natives last week, was caught in a low cloud that was stagnant between 1,000 to 6,000 ft. Captain Bagawan Singh, who was flying a sixth relief mission to the interiors of Malaysia, was concerned because usually the cloud rises when the sun comes up. But that was not happening. The Baaj helicopter was forced to divert to Mount Tahan, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia (7,000 ft above sea level) as the very unusual carpet cloud was thick as cotton. Twice the Baaj tried to take off encircling the mountain but was just not able to find any gaps between the clouds.
"We waited about two hours and suddenly I had three bars on my mobile network. We called our ground control at the make shift Landing Zone (LZ) in Kampung Betis. They reported that gaps of blue sky were visible from the ground. We jumped into the Baaj and flew straight out for those coordinates. The Baaj of Humanity punched through the clouds and landed swiftly. We were able to reach three villages previously unreached following landslides, well before the December floods," said Rishiwant Singh, UNITED SIKHS Humanitarian Aid Coordinator, Asia Pacific.
Since January 3rd, the Baaj Flight for Humanity has dropped about 15 tonnes of food and necessary supplies and reached more than 5000 Temiar aborigines who have been cut off from civilization after the landslides and floods hit their villages. The Baaj has also ferried eight volunteer medical teams consisting of four Flying Medics per team who provided medical assistance to 1000 Temiar natives in 11 villages. This was part of a UNITED SIKHS flood relief mission that also delivered about 85 tonnes of relief supplies, by road, to the flood victims of Kelantan and Pahang states.
Watch here for a video interview with Capt Bagawan Singh on how his Helistar became the Baaj Flight for Humanity.
When participating organisations and volunteers asked Rishiwant Singh if UNITED SIKHS’ relief mission for the Temiar natives was completed he sent them the following Whatsapp message:
"The mission is never over. There are so many more Temiar whom we have not yet reached. It costs a minimum of 35,000 MYR (10,000 USD) to run the Baaj helicopter, per trip. We need to raise funds if we are to continue. We have reached 5000 Temiar natives but there are thousands more in need. I saw the Seva Lakh spirit in you (one standing for 125,000) , in a pastor who told me that even though he has a small congregation they gave so so much. I saw it in the Sai Ram people who packed their lorries and drove out in treacherous conditions to serve Muslims who were at the point of starvation. I saw it in the Lakshmi Narayan Temple devotees who kept calling me for locations as to where they could take their goods to the Orang Asli (indigenous people) areas and Muslim areas in Temerloh. I saw it in the old and young, these people have shown us that we do recognise the human race as one"
Dr Colin Nicholas of COAC (Centre of Orang Asli (indigenous) Concerns) said, "It has been an honour to work with the UNITED SIKHS as they were not only resourceful but also had the heart to help these unfortunate Temiar who were stuck in the jungle. We hope in the future they will step in again to help us if the need arises." You may read about the Temiar aborigines here.
UNITED SIKHS would like to convey our gratitude to:
Dr Kumar and Dr Kiran Jeyaraman and Dr Ranjit Kaur, Dr Palvin Singh and Dr Sanjay Sarna from our first team of collaboration with UNITED SIKHS Baaj of Humanity Flying Medics Mission.
TheNanyang Foundation (Kampung Balar): Led by Dr. Tan, Dr. Subash, Brother James and Mr. Lim, assisted by Sister Kathy; Naam Medics (Kampung Simpor): Who started a free clinic in Chow Kit led by Dr. Mandeep and Dr. Rupinder; Dr. Harwant Singh and his team who visited Kampung Tameng;
Special thanks to Dr Colin Nicholas of COAC as none of this would have been possible without his full support and coordination.
We ask our supporters for donations in order to continue providing essential items that many Temiar natives are still without. As we continue our mission, we hope you will HELP US TODAY!
You may read the previous press release on our relief work for the Malaysian flood victims here.
UNITED SIKHS Aid Director