Ebit's row over Palestine aid takes centrestage

Even a good thing can turn into a bad thing. A good deed is sometimes perceived with an evil eye. But still, nothing ever turns out the way we expect, good or bad.

Take preacher Ustaz Ebit Lew. Over the good deeds he has been doing over the years, there are always people who love to hate him. They criticise, slander and call him names.

Muhammad Nadir Al-Nuri Kamaruzaman, a Malaysian living in Gaza who runs a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Cinta Gaza Malaysia, is another outstanding individual who does charity and humanitarian work in the Gaza Strip. He, too, bears the brunt.

While rapper Caprice, considered a new kid on the block in charity work, has good intentions as well in his aid missions, including to Palestinians. He is adding his name to the many Malaysian NGOs that have made their presence felt with humanitarian aid missions to the Israeli-occupied areas in Palestine over the past 30 years.

Now, these three gentlemen are embroiled in a tiff, something that they did not expect to happen. The squabble between Lew, on one side, and Nadir and Caprice, on the other, seems to have been blown out of proportion.

Thanks to netizens, who rubbed salt in the wound by making disgusting remarks about all three.

They exacerbated the issue by name-calling, especially on Ebit, who lodged a report over allegations made against him about his aid mission to Gaza.

Unexpectedly, he also lodged reports against Nadir and Caprice.

It was unusual for Ebit to resort to such an extreme measure, but according to him, the taunting and provocation against him have gone overboard.

Slander or insults circulate on social media. These are offences that fall under Sections 500 and 504 of the Penal Code for defamation, intentional insult and provocation, respectively.

Slanderous acts can be investigated under Section 505 of the Penal Code for making statements with intent to incite the public or Section 233(3) of the Communications and Multimedia Act for misuse of networking facilities.

Nadir had questioned Ebit's method to enter Gaza and the source of the funding for the mission, while Caprice had questioned Ebit's methods of handing out aid.

He had since apologised to the preacher.

Ebit said he had proof that they (the allegations) were untrue. He challenged Nadir, Caprice and those named in the police report to provide evidence.

This is an issue of acknowledging each other from the beginning.

It is a matter of endorsing and accepting each other.

Nadir and Caprice had felt slighted by the way Ebit and his team had given them the cold shoulder, although it was not snubbing.

Nevertheless, they have a common mission: to ease the burden of Palestinians who are in need. Perhaps they need to understand each other better and that there are thousands of others, like them, who thronged the occupied territories every other month to render aid.

Every other aid organisation has its way and approach to helping the needy.

Some Malaysian-based organisations — like Malaysian Relief Agency, Aman Palestin, Mercy Malaysia, Global Peace Mission, and Viva Palestina Malaysia — have their own ways, rules and regulations.

It has never been easy to send aid to the Palestinians as each organisation has to go through many procedures and red tape imposed by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, besides the blockades these organisations had to go through.

One good thing about these organisations is that they work hand in hand with each other. They understand one another. They acknowledge and endorse each other, although they have their own ways of aiding the Palestinians.

As the Palestinians' plight has been a monumental concern for many Malaysians, there have been claims that some funds collected from the public have not reached the target groups in Palestine.

Palestinian ambassador to Malaysia Walid Abu Ali in February last year claimed donations raised by Malaysian NGOs had failed to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque fund for years.

But, as I said earlier, NGOs have their own ways and methods to channel aid to target groups. When there's a will, there's always a way.

The writer, a former NST journalist, is a film scriptwriter whose penchant is finding new food haunts

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