Archives for category: Imperfect Malaysia

The lovable Malay Male blogged this first and shared this Al-Jazeera Everywoman video (in English) on youtube on yet another Hindu couple being torn apart by religion.

I blogged about Malik Imtiaz’s short but passionate entry in his blog about Marimuthu and Raimah.

Read Datuk Seri Lim Kit Siang’s entry on Suresh and Ravathi’s plight on April 4th.

Can’t help but think of the character Pi Patel in Yann Patel’s Life of Pi, who wanted simply to love God when asked why he became a Christian, a Muslim and a Hindu all at once.

He asked the question, why not one nation in heaven?

When will this madness end?

Reading news like this tears me apart.

What gives a government the right to take away a man’s family on account of religion?

I am heartbroken.

Firstly, I wish to thank someone who may have read my blog on Siti Aisya and sent a US$200 donation to the cause.

Daphne, the incredible young lady behind this plight, sent me this email a while ago:

Dear Mdm Tai (aiyo, don’t call until so old, Daphne! lol),

Hi, this is Daphne Ling from Malaysia…

Aisya’s parents have received a cheque all the way from the USA today (US$ 200), and they have asked for me to please convey their thanks…But they could not give me a proper name…

I can only remember you (From US) asking me about Aisya…If this is not you, please forgive me and ignore this email…

Anyway, donations, as of today, have reached around RM 9400 RM12840.

For further updates, please go to my blog: http://daphneling.blogspot.com/2007/04/aisyas-list.html

Cheerio, and do have a nice day,
Daphne L

You can still donate or sponsor items. Where and how to help, here.

On a more sombre note, I read with sadness and anger the words of hatred sent Daphne’s way from Malaysians at Marina’s blog, unfounded accusations soaked in racism and bitterness and jealousy against motives so pure that they (the accusations) sound almost demonic. Marina has put it best against such malevolence.

But to take them to heart is to let them tarnish Daphne’s goodness. This young woman is an inspiration to us all and as they say, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Daphne, the seeds of suspicion will never flourish in the presence of light. Have courage in the good work that you do and let the faith in your heart lead you.

I follow Penangite and lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar’s blog, Disquiet, religiously and the man is…just amazing.

I excerpt:

 

There is another layer to this. Sad as it is, and as difficult as it is to say, we are no longer the learned or mature society that we perhaps once were. In place of sophisticated and objective analysis of crucial issues, there is now a regime of sensationalist ignorance and belligerence.

Worse still, we live in a state of denial, insisting that we are more advanced and intellectual than we really are. Look at the issues that figure prominently in the arena of public discourse. How many of these relate to the fundamental aspects of our lives as Malaysians. Admittedly, civil liberty issues such as nude squats and burial rites are important, but where do a lack of coherent economic policy, a lack of coherent governance, a lack of political foresight, an overemphasis on vested interests, institutionalised and crippling corruption and a lack of direction for this great country of ours figure? They do not, in any meaningful way. In having allowed these crucial issues to fall by the way side, in having allowed ourselves to become more interested in being titillated by insane billionaires, sex scandals, Mawi and Academia Fantasia, we have begun throwing away our future.

Read the rest of this entry on waking up.

Just read this at Malaysiakini (subscription required).

On April 5th, the National Alliance of Bloggers was born and a pro-tem committee was set up.

Some excerpts of the article:

Rather than fading into oblivion in the wake of the ‘attacks’ from the powers-that-be, bloggers here have banded together to form an association – the National Alliance of Bloggers.

Ahirudin said the alliance was not formed merely on the impulse to protect themselves from the authorities’ hostility.

He said while some bloggers often tell ‘painful truths’ about those in power, they have yet to come under siege as a whole.

The alliance could also serve the positive aim of promoting blogging and improving its members’ skills and knowledge through training and educational programmes, he added.

The bloggers, who agreed unanimously to the proposal, set up a pro-tem committee that would oversee the write-up of a constitution and registration of the alliance with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

These are the heads and council members of the alliance:

This was the result of a recent proposal by Malaysia’s Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor to make mandatory the registration of bloggers, a move Malaysian bloggers believe will only stifle the local blogosphere and increase hostility among those who blog, and those who are being blogged about.

Most of Malaysia’s mainstream-media are government controlled or owned, and because our ex Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir has promised not to censor the Internet, cyberspace has become a hotspot for those who wish to report – and read – real news.

A video of the report shows Rocky listing the reasons for the Alliance:

  • to promote blogging (setting the record straight about the different bloggers out there to, say, the government)
  • to protect bloggers (mostly on legalities)

Thoughts on such an Alliance: I think unity is necessary where the territory is unchartered, and such is the blogging environment in Malaysia. Having a physical group of people, people who are well-known and respected in the media and other industries, people who are heard and read all over the world, is at least a substantial stumbling block for a government that can suddenly change its stance on free speech on the Net tomorrow.

Questions: How will setting up such an Alliance help change or drive policy? How can the Alliance help with problems such as cyber-bullying, which is bound to happen as blogs become a mainstream source of info and news for our country?

Thoughts, anyone?

In Malaysiakini‘s Vox Populi section, a response from a reader to this article (registration needed):

Dr Mahathir has argued that Chinese Malaysians could move elsewhere given the lackluster economy in Malaysia. He is right, many Malaysian ethnic minorities are moving – some to China, some to Australia, some to Canada or some to New Zealand. The reason however is fundamentally rooted in the bigotry and racism which has been wildly fanned by none other than ruling party Umno and its youth wing.

When a large sum of money from the government coffers are blatantly dispensed only to bumiputera contractors and when Umno leaders boldly declare that the “pendatang” or “immigrants” can go back to their home countries (as if there is any) then it is time to look for a safe haven for the future generations.

There are systematic courses organised by Biro Tatanegara that teach bigotry and racism. This is further fuelled by the leaders from Umno Youth who make racist remarks and wave the keris for their own selfish political gains. You see, Dr Mahathir, it is not that we don’t love Malaysia, but that Malaysia loves us not.

In The Economist, a summary of what is getting from bad to worse.

 

Sometimes, I feel that I have no right to complain.

I’ve left. Jumped ship, so to speak.

I should be home, joining like-minded Malaysians to fight for our rights.

And yet, I cannot help but think, much as the Malaysiakini reader did.

What’s in it for me?

What’s in it for my family?

What if these rights never existed?

What if they never will?

A friend tells me that it doesn’t seem as bad when one is home. People are still going on with their lives. Driving their new Mitsubishis. Going for rides on a brand new 60m tall observation wheel.

Another tells me angrily that if these people want what they think is theirs so badly, we should just give it back to them. See what they do with it.

What will happen to our beloved tanahair when we are gone?

What will happen to those who are not able to leave?

Who will be left to fight for them?

Saw on Marina’s blog a sad piece of news regarding three-year old Siti Aisya, who has Fraser Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes hidden eyes or webbing of fingers etc.

Originally from this post.

An excerpt:

 

Little Aisya went for surgery to create eyelids for her last December, using tissue from her lips. Unfortunately, the operation has backfired, because her eyelids have fused back together. Doctors have decided (this is according to Aisya’s mum) that there will be no more surgery for Aisya for another 2 years, as surgery is difficult for her young (and small) body and immune system. So it would be another two years before they re-attempt to create eyelids for her, and later, try and fit her with artificial eyeballs. That is the time when the family will need financial help the most.

Read the rest here.

Cash or cheque donations can go to her father

SHAHIDAN BIN YANG GHAZALI.

Mail to:

45, Persiaran Putra 5,
Bandar Baru Putra,
31400 Ipoh, Perak
MALAYSIA

I read with shock and indignation the news on Susan Loone‘s site that Nila Tanzil, the Indonesian journalist who sparked off Malaysian tourism minister Ku Nan’s tirade on how bloggers are liars, has been suspended by her TV station because of her criticism of her Visit Malaysia experience.

And to think he can just laugh it off, that arrogant SOB.

Well guess what, Tengku? You can’t fire bloggers. Unless it is to fire us up more to speak up on what you have set in motion here.

But let’s see the positive. What is happening today may have lost the powers that be more than a seat or two in parliament.

And that, my friends, is the good news.