Saturday, January 02, 2010

An Amazing Lady


Nam Wha feeding the 23 dogs in her rented house.

Junox with her favourite toy which she treasures after the death of her two puppies.

Nam Wha's elderly mother who is unable to walk.

Nam Wha, getting ready on her bike, to deliver food to feed the strays
at the Christian Cemetery

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On the last day of my visit in Penang, I decided to roam around on my own. Second brother Kee Seng dropped me off at my favourite market at Jelutong. This is the market where I used to help mother carry her heavy shopping basket. This is the market where our dog, Bobby would visit to get his usual gift of bone or pork skin from the butchers.

I decided to visit our old house in the village. As I arrived, I was surprised to hear loud barking and by golly, there were so many dogs. I saw a lady moving around the compound. I introduced myself, and she seemed somewhat happy and relieved that I was not some officer from the government department. She was even more thrilled when she realised I am a dog lover.

Nam Wha and her mother have been renting the house which she found suitable because of the huge compound. Sadly she told me that the house would be demolished soon, maybe in a year or two. My brother and his family had moved to a new condominium, while awaiting for the demolition.

Nam Wha introduced me to some of the dogs. She pointed out to one, Brownie which looked healthy. The dog's liveliness belied the ugly truth - he had been slashed on the head with an axe! Nam Wha rescued the dog and rushed him to the vet for his wound to be attended to. After carefully nursing the dog back to health, the four legged creature also gradually learnt to trust people. There were also some 5 cats kept in cages in the house.!

I saw another three legged dog and was told that the dog lost a leg in an accident.
Nam Wha introduced me to Junox, a mixed breed of shih-tzu and maltese. She found Junox weak and heavily pregnant. The kind lady brought Junox home. Junox gave birth to two puppies but she accidentally suffocated the puppies to death. To give comfort to the bitch, Nam Wha bought her a soft toy which became her favourite...perhaps a reminder of her lost puppies.

Nam Wha's mother was lying on her foldable bed and though at the age of 79, she could still remember me! She had lived in Jelutong Village before and spoke about papa and his great interest in music. As a dog lover, she too supported her daughter's work of caring for dogs and cats. Nam Wha shared with me that a snake had entered the house, and the dog's barking had alerted her to it. The snake was overwhelmed by the presence of the dogs and slithered away. How dangerous it could have been for Nam Wha's bedridden mother.

The dogs stopped their barking after they realised I was their owner's friend. Nam Wha proudly told me that at night, the dogs are very quiet. It was as if they understood that if they were to make too much noise, they would not be allowed to stay in the house. Amazing animal instinct!

Nam Wha told me that I was lucky to be able to come at the right time, for if it were later she would have gone to feed the strays and then proceed to work. She works as a part time seamstress in a factory manufacturing jeans and pants.

Nam Wha shared that some foreigners who had heard about her work came to visit her once, and one of them is giving her some financial support. However, she would need more financial support as her strays now total around 100. I told her I would share her story in my blog to help garner some support. If any reader is interested, the following details would be of relevance:-

Name: Yaw Nam Wha

I.C. No. 470205075302

Snail Mail: 240 Jalan Madrasah,
Penang 11600,
West Malaysia.

Mobile: +016-4239477

Bank Simpanan Nasional

Account No.: 07105-29-84833906-2

I love dogs but I can never do what Nam Wha does. Though 63, she looks ten years younger. I saw her lugging the rice and chicken she had cooked and fastening the food safely onto her motor bike. Nam Wha reminds me of the founder of Noah's Ark, Raymund Wee. Compassionate animal lovers like them are indeed admirable. The least I can do is to help in whatever little ways I can, such as writing about them in my blog. It is not possible for them to do it alone - they would need help from you and me. So let's play a little part. I will give Nam Wha some little financial support - money that I save by not taking the bus or money saved from not buying an unnecessary item. This will help to keep me on my toes and to resist temptation.

May God bless the works of Nam Wha and Raymund. May their love and compassion for these pitiful strays strike a chord in our hearts. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man".

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