Meet Stanley Yeong, he works as a Marine Salvage Diver and a Recreational Pilot. He is also a shining example of a true Malaysian.
Three years ago, when the Rohingyas were drifting in shoddy boats in the Andaman Sea and the Straits of Malacca, Stanley Yeong led a group of KL based activists to help the stranded migrants at sea.
A commendable act of kindness and courage, but that's what this story is about. It's about how this kindhearted man raised his Malay-Muslim foster daughter since she was nine years old.
Stanley recently shared about his experience on Facebook
According to his Facebook note, which starts off with, "Today, I picked up enough courage to share one of my secrets", the little girl is now a grown up woman and is married.
In the past week, Stanley's Facebook post has gone viral as he shared the story of how his handyman and wife perished in a road accident. This caused him to symphatise with the situation of their daughter, as she was left without the care of her parents.
He subsequently fostered the girl and looked after her in terms of her well-being, welfare, and finances. According to the post, Hayati's late father Sudin assisted Stanley when he laid the pipeline for the supply of clean water from Jerantut River to Taman Negara several years ago. Stanley shared in his post that the pipeline was part of a programme by the state government of Pahang to improve the livelihood of those in the rural areas.
Hence, when Sudin and his wife died in a car accident a few years ago, Stanley recognised the responsibility he could play in another person's life. He took the late couple's daughter under his own care, as his own.
Today, Hayati has her own family and runs a food business in Kota Baru with the help of her in-laws. But her's isn't a smooth-sailing story as she encountered several struggles while growing up.
When Hayati turned 12, she had troubles registering for a Malaysian identity card because her birth parents never registered her at birth. The process was an arduous one and it took two years but with the help of a senior police officer from Tumpat, Hayati was finally able to obtain her identity card. Hence, her story has been filled with kind people who have helped her along the way in her life.vulcanpost.com
Stanley writes that it took him "hours deliberating whether to share this secret" of his. After giving it much thought and seeing how Yati is with him now, he decide to share this story thinking that others who will read this could be encouraged to do good in their life.
"It would also bring positive thoughts and change in the present tense situation facing Malaysia with extremist views threatening peace and harmony."
He expressed hope that people who read the posting would be moved to spread goodwill among the races.
"In humanity, we are to be colour blind. We are not to look at their religion or culture. We are all created by God. Therefore, let's foster this goodwill and friendship among the races and allow our wounds to heal, so that peace and harmony may prevail."
It's important to note that Stanley was in no way obligated to take Yati under his care when her parents died. But he knew what it's like to grow up without one's parents.
Stanley lost his own parents when he was young and grew up in an orphanage house. Perhaps it was his own life story that caused him to have compassion for another child who was orphaned.
He could have let the difference in race stand in the way and let her be picked up by a foster home or her parents' relatives. Yet, his humanity spoke louder and he took care of the orphaned child, right until she was big enough to fend for herself.
Even so, Yeong did not publicise his selfless act all these years, until he saw the need to tell everyone about it now. For that, he deserves kudos from all peace-loving Malaysians. A timely move indeed, Malaysians need to be reminded that we have co-existed all along, and will continue to – be damned with provocateurs.
Every race that calls this nation home, forms pillars that holds up the nation to where it is today. For one race to try and knock down another is akin to removing one leg off a table - the structure will collapse.