Archive for the ‘Freedom of Expression’ Category

 

 

[Zorro]              :  Are you a registered Voter?

Cheryl                : Nah, I’m not really into all that. It’s not like it makes a difference anyway!

Bernard             : Well, then you don’t have a say in anything that happens in the country. So don’t complaint.

Cheryl               : Isn’t that my right as a citizen, to say something, especially if it is wrong?

 

                           ” My dear, voting is a privilege. It gives you a voice. It gives you the power to make a difference.

                              Whether you decide to use that privilege or give it up, is up to you. But don’t you dare say anything, if you don’t

                             contribute  because you have revoked your right by not voting.”- Bernard of Zorro Unmasked]

 

* my conversation with Bernard@Zorro, a very nice old man, I met during my days as an active blogger at National Press Club. Bernard has since passed on [ 2014], but he has always left a lasting impression on this once young lady.

My journey as a researcher led me to my journey as a blogger. I became more of a blogger than a researcher by the time I completed my masters in early 2009. I was a true-blood blogger, my spirit was full of fire- I wanted to make a difference, I had learn so much in my journey as a blogger. This was the time I met the likes of Haris Ibrahim, Malik Imitiaz, SK Thew, Walski, Marina Mahatir, Anura Bird, Bernard@Zorro that opened my eyes to the importance of of making a difference of having a voice.

Does it matter? Why? Let me tell you why.

Why you should RECLAIM your Rights?

  • You can make a differenceUSE your VOTE! Why let someone else decide for you? You have a voice- that is your vote.
  • It’s a privilege. Vote on behalf that those who can’t. Many minorities and under-represented groups do not have a right to vote around the world. Did you know that women fought for the right to vote?
  • Feel underrepresented? REPRESENT! Are you one of those passionate Facebook or Twitter warriors that has a lot to say about what the government should and shouldn’t do? Do you feel that they could do better? Do you feel your state does not get what it needs:?
  • $$$$$/ RM Each vote equals money. YOU DECIDE THE CAUSE, it is your Money that fuels the state. Don’t you care where your money goes? Money that your MP [Member of Parliament] will fuel to causes he thinks is good, is needed and necessary. You think there is a need for more Youth Education? Local Content? Child Abuse?
  • CANCEL out someones Vote. Your decision to vote might cancel out someone else’s vote. Your vote could be the decider, of whether that corrupt person continues to yield power in your state. Also it balances the votes out, so at least those in power will feel the pressure to WORK and not laze around. Majority votes make it too safe, makes the winner feel too much pride that they forget, they serve the nation.
  • Be a True Malaysian. Have a VOICE! Yes ,exercise your participation as a citizen. Don’t call yourself a citizen, for without this vote, you have no voice. Want to have a voice? VOTE!
  • Want stability? A prosperous economy? VOTE! Want someone who talks sense, knows what he is doing with the country’s billions? Want someone who not only has a background in Finance  but an expert in it, running the Finance ministry? Put him or her there! How many of your Ministers know anything about their Ministry?
  • Want to be Educated? VOTE! Wonder why English keeps failing among our ministers, our graduates? Who makes those policies? Who do you want sitting in those seat deciding the fate of our future? Without knowledge, our country will perish.  Do you really want to leave our education system in the hands of those who know nothing? You enjoy policies changing every 5 years at the whim and fancy? English in Science, Malay in Science [Recall being part of this system?]
  • Want a Job/ starting a business, based on how awesome you are? You decide policies on tenders [who gets them], diversity in jobs not based on race/religion, job opportunities etc
  • Unhappy with companies polluting our rivers? Getting rid of our beautiful Penang hills?  Constant water cuts or electricity? You have a choice, don’t let them. It’s your backyard, your land, your rivers, your home. Put those who know what they are doing in place. VOTE!

At the end of the day, it is your choice whether to vote or not. But as a very wise old man told me once,

   “Voting is a PRIVILEGE. You have the power to make a difference, it just whether you want to make a difference or just rant”.

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Life After Penang

Posted: October 3, 2016 in Freedom of Expression
I hear faint shouts in the distance…..
“Traitor! Traitor! We knew, the city would change you, it always does!”
That’s just it- The city didn’t change me. He did.
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With a booth packed to the brim, I left Penang with a heavy heart, one August morning, a week after graduation.
If it worked, it worked…if it didn’t I could always go back, right?
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How could I know …that it would completely change me?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
#rebelwithacause #lifeafterPenang #Him

Last Saturday, I lost my grandma who has been battling Alzheimer since her 70s. A fighter, this woman fought her last battle in her 82 year.

Growing up, Pati spoilt us silly, us grandkids with anything we desired be it a radio or walkman. Staying in the same town we received more gifts, trips to town, the playground and weekends/ school holidays spent being pampered.

We knew the day would come. Yet somehow I felt that she would always be there, she would always be around. It did not seem possible to have a life without her in it.

Yet that day has come. Armed with memories of her dancing to the Lambada, giving and receiving kisses, being subjected to her interrogation about boyfriends, about traditional remedies or just listening to her stories, I’m left here, feeling empty-feeling lost.

How do you deal with the loss even when they are old? Even when you know its their time. Knowing you will never ever lay your eyes on them again.

How do you?

Pati, on the 7th day I finally feel .

You are leaving us for good to be with him….

Yet it still hurts…. But I’m glad to finally let go. It’s hard holding back and trying to be strong..

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On the way to work and back, on the way to groceries and back, on the way to practically anywhere, the sight is similar. The last few weeks, we all have been subjected to the eyesore that they call campaigning.

With flags, banners and picket cards line-up at your local barber shop, that favorite playground, the beautiful open landing, defaming ads in the newspapers,wherever you can imagine, they have it plastered reminding you that the time is now. It’s all dominated by the colors of blue, green and red, it is a wonder any of us can recognize any other color moving forward.

It does not end there either, even our personal lives are invaded. With manifestos arriving in our mail, SMS-es taking up space in our inbox to video-MMs-es defaming one party over another- the harassment by these parties are endless. To make matters worse, social media has exploded with the sharing of racist youtube videos, blog postings and images inciting nothing worth mentioning most of the time. As usual of course there is the coffee shop talk, where you see the uncles discussing politics over their morning coffee and newspapers (although the newspapers are hardly seen much these days). One thing that differs I guess is that you can easily see youngsters taking heed of the elections, you can see them taking an active role, an active part actually discussing of what is and what will be.

56 years and counting, nothing much has changed in terms of the sights and sounds as election looms near. There is the same ole talk. Same ole propaganda passing around, same ole promises. So what is so different about these upcoming elections that keeps me cringing?  Elections, politics- basically anything equating to those two words are often dirty, what makes this any different?

For a country that has been dominated by a single party made of up component parties (only for election purposes of course), time is changing and tensions are running high. What used to be a walk in the part for this party has truly become a race(no we are not talking about Indians, Malays or Chinese), a battle of the titans. It is no longer assumed or expected that they will win as they always have and then in it creates a whole lot of chain reactions.

Why in the first place can a single party or individual be allowed to rule for such a long period of time? Well, that requires an analysis of the political system that we are apart of that I will not be discussing. It is what it is.

This elections in fact is the dirtiest ever. They say 1Malaysia but is is merely a propaganda tool for they still use…race.. Races. Yes races are used as a pre-requisite to demand, to incite, to hurt and to insinuate nothing good. The words you keep hearing is I,My …..repeated over and over again. It is us against the world sort of situation. We don’t really see campaigning do we? We see defamation at every possible level. We see hate campaigns. Why do we allow it? Why do we allow people to campaign and trample another’s image and dignity as a basis for us to defend the worthiness of a party.

If a party is defined by how bad/unethical another party is, well I have to say your party is baseless and has no stand indeed. Also I believe there is no purpose of defaming another to look good- that is like every custody case in the country. If I have to choose to vote base on who is worse, that is truly sad.

Gosh look at the ads in the newspapers below;

dap silent dap

It does not end there either. We hear words constantly repeating about how we the Indians and Chinese are Pendatangs and we should go back to our own countries. It’s weird they didn’t feel that way when we contribute our salaries, business etc to the economy nor do they have such sentiments during non-elections. Oh come on, its pretty obvious. You are using race to define the General Election as a way to win. What better way to fuel people’s emotions? Religion of course. Race of course. That’s how you get people to get ticked off, to get angry, to get pissed, to fear the unknown  and to vote in anger and fear.

They don’t care how it goes down. They only care that it does in their way. To fill their pockets with money and power. You think they care about you at all? Think again. Once they are in power, your wants and their promises become a distant memory. So before it become another term of them deciding what happens to you, why not you show them who is in power. Show them that the people matter. Show them that they are working for us like how we work for our companies. They are in power because we wanted them to not because they are god almighty.

So when you place your vote this Sunday.

Think. Think. Think

What do you want for yourself, for your children, for your country?

“Our masters have not heard the people’s voice for generations and it is much, much louder than they care to remember.”
― Alan MooreV for Vendetta

Do you want to live in fear? Do you want to live knowing that those who are in power will blackmail you at anytime if you do not sing to their tune?

Let us remind them who is in power. Let us remind them that we are not indeed afraid of them. Any government that will rule regardless of party.

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
― Alan MooreV for Vendetta

We need them to realise that so we can truly be free. We need to send a strong message this elections .That the citizens rule. Time and time again we will need to remind them at each elections be it the opposition or the Barisan Nasional.  So break out of your prisons that hold you captive and make an educated choice.

The time is now. Vote wisely.

Psalms 31:9 

O’ Lord have mercy on me in my anguish. My eyes are red from weeping;
my health is broken from sorrow.

Those of us who have lost someone dear to us, be it a parent, a sibling, a good friend or even a relative can understand this-all too well…

When you weep till you have no more tears.

When you try to speak but are left with no voice.

When your heart aches as though someone has punctured your soul and left a knife in it.

When you feel that nothing anyone says can make it better… can make it go away.

When you feel like no one- no one truly understand how you feel, how you ache?

How you would take that person’s place in a heart-beat- if only.

It’s hard to even imagine a day without that person, let alone eternity. Yet, the truth being that it has happened You have no control over it- you wish you did. But the fact is that nothing anyone says or does can bring that person back.

So I’ll  pray that you have the strength to carry on, for the will to live through everyday-the  knowledge that he is safe within the arms of the Lord

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
Psalm 91:4

I pray that you find peace within this chaos. I pray that he will take you under his wing and shield you from the pain that overwhelms your soul. I know Glen will be there to greet him, to take care of him as you have taken care of me…

He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5

You love someone, you open yourself up to suffering, that’s the truth. Maybe they’ll break your heart, maybe you’ll break their heart and never be able to look at yourself in the same way. Those are the risks. That is the burden.

Like wings, they have weight, we feel that weight on our backs but they are a burden that lifts us. A burden that allows us to fly.

 

 

 

Excerpt: S.4:26 Bones

Who likes racist? None of us do. Who likes people who are ethnocentric? I doubt any of us do.

I mean who would like a person who blatantly disregards another human being on their barring of race, religion, culture or anything else. But let’s be real honest here. Let’s be direct, let’s not put icing on the matter shall we?

Before you attempt to read this post, read it with an open mind. Keep emotions out of it. For this post is not a post one can read on an empty stomach, that’s for sure nor read when emotions are in high tide.

The Anti Presana Narayanan Wave

Who is this woman? Why is everyone placing such an importance towards this person? What sort of media coverage has this sole person attracted?

Has she done any good to society? Perhaps won an award? Perhaps she is a missing child?

Nope.nope.nope. She is now a famous character not only over Facebook or in the mainstream media in Malaysia and some say overseas but among the Tamils or would it be accurate to say the Indians- she has become the talk of the town.

Presana Narayana- an Indian female model, in her 30s who recently became a household name after making racist statement about Tamils on her Facebook wall through her idiotic status. According to valid sources, this is not a first time offence so to speak, she has previously made such strong racist statements on a Malayleee Youth Group on Yahoo via email to other members. I shall not disclose the content of that email nor the status message she posted up. Rather, I want to address somethings, least we forget.

Just a few facts I would agree on before heading down that road.

Yes, the woman is racist- no doubt about that.

Yes, she has to understand that she cannot be allowed to speak in such a tone about anyone be it about Tamils or anyone really.

Yes, she should be taught a lesson (which I think she has)

Yes, her excuses for such an outburst is not only lame, but ridiculous silly [which one of us have not been whistled at or disturbed by our fellow Indians in the community (regardless whether they are tamils, malaylees, telugus etc)

Below,  what the community has done about it;

  1. Opened up a Facebook page called Anti Presana Narayanan which has 11,555 likes which was opened on the 21st of May 2012, barely a week ago.
  2. Raised the issue up to mainstream press where Malay Mail covered the story.

The reactions of people?

The bulk of them hatred =with comments on wanting to rape the girl, hurt her family among other hateful things.

I mean get your head on straight, if you are indeed anti-racism,you would first not start a page on a person, specifically targeted a single human-being, fine if your intentions was to actually get the issue out fine, but why still continue is my question?

If the issue is indeed about her actions or her words? Why swing below the belt and talk about how skinny she is or what her face looks like or how you think she would fare in the sack?

Are you just having an adrenaline rush by being part of this wave? Are you truly understanding the meaning of anti-racism? No point claiming to be anti-racist when your pro-hatred, don’t you think?

Come one, like I have mentioned before ,none of us are saints. Especially in Malaysia, there is a slang/special words used for every race from the Chinese to the Indians, Malays and other races. If you have never said anything bordering on racist fine, but I doubt anyone of you are  a saint.

Racism is ugly. Coming from a mixed marriage I understand this better than most. I know how it feels to be labeled by your race, religion etc. What is uglier is hatred, what is uglier is people getting together under the guise of unity of anti-racism but instead or targeted a single human being with acts of hatred.

I do not agree with what she said, how she said it, why she said – frankly speaking I think no attention should have been given to this women. She is not worth even talking about yet here we all are debating about her, talking about her and worse still being ugly because of her.

What makes you and her different? If you are just as ugly..You might not be throwing out racial slurs but hatred?

And you think you are taking the high road? Think again.

If only we cared as much about other things like how corrupt our systems are or how children go missing everyday, if we put as much effort towards all the other issues that really mattered, as much as we did for this particular person, wow- how great life would be.

But, oh well people will be people. Do think about what you are doing and what you are saying. Karma can be a bitch, the question is are you really certain that god will only punish Presana Narayanan, cause the way things are going look likes tens of thousand of people are dangerously drawing close to being , if not just as bad, but worse than all the things she says or is doing.

God bless us all.

This is going to be a short post [yes I do know what that means].

I had major issues the first year I came to live in Kuala Lumpur mixing a little too much with certain quarters. Let’s say it got ugly and leave it at that. But that is not what this post is about, it’s about that gel that holds everything together even though at times, I do feel I should do away with family ties altogether due to the constant drama [yes every family has it I know :P].

What is it that holds everything together? Cousins.

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No matter what, no matter when, no matter how- we somehow always ensured that we were OK. We always ensured that our relationship flourished, it grew-regardless. Although I don’t see my cousins much, as much as I would like too, I know deep inside we all know that we can rely on each other when it does matter. I know that I can rely on them, that they won’t let anything affect us being family.

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                                If nothing else, I’m blessed to have my cousins.

p.s- to da cousins yg tak der gambar jgn marah yer, tht’s all I could find-most picture ripped off cousin punya FB walls!

With all the drama going-on with families these days [mine-included], it makes you kind of wonder about what is really happening around you. It really makes you think of things way ahead of your time. It makes you question, what would you do.

The thing is when such a thing appears to me, be it in my mind, through a conversation or even when I see the realities occurring right in front of me- the answer is always the same and it always will be. There will be no question of economics, comfort, convenience or any such thing because like the post says, it is a given! There should be no question at all.

What am I rambling about? Parents.

As I see my grandparents getting older (hitting their 80s and older) I see all the squabbles, the hesitance of their children in taking care of their own parents and it makes me really sad. I mean imagine years from now, you too will be in that position. I just can’t fathom how anyone can even consider, even for a moment whether they should or should not take care of their parents.

Imagine if your parents thought that about you too. Now that would be real COOL don’t you think. Nah, my daughter is crying too much, my son shits too much…she started writing on the walls again, she keeps asking me questions and bugging me. If our parents threw us out then, we would not be where we are. 

Now, don’t get on your high horse and tell me it is different. Frankly speaking, it is not. When your parents reach that age, they will fall back into that cycle, they will become kids again. The question is will you care for them, as they cared for you?

For me, it is a given. Should it not be for you too?

Living practically half of her life alone[my dad works overseas], taking care of three kids, holding up the fort at home and caring for our furry friends, she has been the torch of the Withaneachi household.  She was always the picture of calmness, strength, love and composure.

She never had it easy, we had to go through a lot as a family and had many incidences of ugliness reigning down on us at our home many a time from extended family members especially when my dad was away and some assumed we were left unprotected, little did they know mum is a warrior and nothing could shake her… My dad is Sinhalse Buddhist and mum Indian Catholic. Need I say more? 

During our younger days, she kept us in check, ensuring we were disciplined, held steadfast life principles while always reminding us that she had our backs and she believed in all that we were.

It isn’t easy being a women. It isn’t easy being expected to be strong all the time. It isn’t easy having to care for 3 kids with minimal help. It isn’t easy to be the picture of composure while carrying out all this task.

It was surely WAS not easy,..

When….

I got stuck in a Samsonite suitcase[I was probably around 2 or 3 yrs of age] as my naughty brother decided to lock me in just for fun and scramble the codes[my dad was again working overseas]- but she was calm, she told me to not be afraid-she spoke to me and calmly got me out of that scary predicament.

I got sick and starting having fits, without warning the sickness would attack- she would have to stay by my bedside during those long nights to make sure I was ok, to ensure I was safe.

I had to go for MRI scans and my mum had to hold my hand and tell me it was ok.

My brother had to go for a eye operation and he was barely 6 months old to correct his squinting.

My elder brother kept falling in drains and cutting his head open every single birthday…when mum had to pick him up and wash away the gushing blood, rushing him to the hospital each time.

She had to call my dad who was overseas to tell him that their son had been taken away from them…

She had to accept the fact that her son was gone and yet hold the fort, take care of arrangements and continue to care for us remaining siblings-she had to be strong even then..

She  shared my tears when my heart was broken,and helped me recover, piece by piece. She was my pillar of strength, my guardian angel.

 

This woman of steel has always been there at every point of my life and I always wish I could do more for her. I wish I could take away the pain she has to endure from all the trials and tribulations she has gone through in her life. I wish I could make it all better.

I aspire to be like you ma, to have her strength,courage, determination, intelligence…. to be the woman that she is gorgeous inside and out… I aspire to be everything she is…I wish that one day if I’m privilliged enough to be a mother, I will be at least half of what she is because she really brought us up well.

She made me who I am today, all I am and for that I thank her with all my heart and soul. I’m glad you are my best friend.

If I had even half of your strength and courage…I’d be quite a woman.

Love you ..