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On January 1, in response to the major floods that hit the East coast of Malaysia from mid-December 2014, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) held special prayer meetings at 25 venues across the country. The floods, described as the worst the area has seen in 30 years, rendered more than 100,000 people homeless, as well as causing power outages and shortages of food and water.
The meetings were attended by a total of some 10,000 SGM members nationwide, and prayers were offered for the safety of those affected and improvement of the situation in flooded areas. At the meetings, SGM also collected donations totalling RM80, 000 (US$22, 000) in aid of the flood victims.
SGM members in affected states such as Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang were quick to respond to the situations in their local areas and participated in local relief efforts.
Five SGM youth members from the Kuala Lumpur area teamed up with members of Fo Guang Shan Malaysia, the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia and the Young Malaysians Movement, as part of a relief effort spearheaded by Fo Guang Shan Malaysia and Sin Chew Daily, one of Malaysia’s leading Chinese-language newspapers. From January 6–11, they accompanied a medical team to Kuala Krai in Kelantan State where the floods had submerged large areas of the town, making access by road, air and even boat challenging.
From January 10–14, a second group of nine SGM youth volunteers were dispatched to Kuala Krai to assist with clearing debris from streets and houses and the distribution of food and medical supplies by boat to people affected by the floods.
[Adapted from a report from Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM); photos courtesy of SGM]
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