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If you had to run for your life, what would you take with you?

Published on 20 June 2018|
2 min read

You have sixty seconds to run for your life. What would you take with you?

It’s World Refugee Day, and according to the United Nations there are around 68 million refugees or internally displaced people living today. That’s two times the population of Malaysia. A refugee is someone who has been forced to leave their home because of war, conflict or natural disaster. For many, a life of hardship and an uncertain future await.

We’ve asked a few Malaysians what they would take with them if they had only sixty seconds to leave their homes (not knowing if they would return). Here’s what they have to say.

You have sixty seconds to flee your home, what would you take?

Chang, lecturer

  1. Identification card
  2. Birth certificate
  3. Money and ATM card
  4. Clothing
  5. Canned foods
  6. Knife
  7. Drinking water
  8. Towel

Fay, account manager

  1. Important documents (all ready in a folder)
  2. Sweater
  3. Sneakers
  4. Mobile Phone
  5. Umbrella
  6. Swiss army knife
  7. A bottle of water
  8. A packet of nuts

Elffie, assistant engineer

  1. Medication
  2. IC / birth cert / passport
  3. Empty bottle / food container
  4. Compass (just in case I have to hide in the jungle)
  5. Small radio (to listen in to the latest news)
  6. Knife
  7. Rope
  8. A set of clothing

Elffie’s bag


Ming Foong, corporate social responsibility executive

  1. My dog
  2. Passport
  3. Cash
  4. Mobile Phone
  5. Dried food
  6. Water bottle
  7. Charger
  8. Bible

Stanley, writer

  1. Important documents
  2. Knife
  3. Sweater
  4. Drinking water
  5. Lighter/matches
  6. Mobile phone and portable charger
  7. Dried foods
  8. Money


Stanley’s bag


Michael, animal trainer/presenter

  1. Wallet
  2. Phone
  3. Change of clothes
  4. Important documents
  5. Medications
  6. Laptop
  7. Bag of toiletries
  8. Jacket

Danielle, student

  1. Identification documents
  2. Small photo album
  3. Toiletry kit
  4. Mobile phone and charger
  5. Money/jewellery/small valuables
  6. A change of clothes
  7. Bible
  8. Pocketknife

Danielle’s bag

Through this exercise, all the participants had to think about leaving home for the first time and it was a struggle to decide what to pack. Often, we think being a refugee is something that will never happen to us, but it’s important to remember that all of the refugees today never planned to be one.

War, conflict and natural disaster can happen anywhere and at anytime. No refugee has prior experience, for who would want to leave their home? This World Refugee Day, let’s remember to count our blessings and see how we can lend a helping hand to those seeking a safer future for themselves and their children.

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