November 29, 2007

KUBUNUDU!

Posted in Happenings at 8:44 pm by meldee

I did it! *pats self on back and grins smugly*

Three years of uni. Six semesters of slogging, worrying, stressing and being really close to tears. 78 weeks of my life spent wanting it to end, now it officially has, and I want to go back for more.

Because I can, is my answer to the question, ‘Goddammit why is she such a smug braggarty bitch’.

FOUR HD’S, BABY. *does stripper dance*

Bring on the Honours year!

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celebrating rights/ idiots in cinemas

Posted in Happenings, Malaysia, My Home, Ranty Pants, Social Responsibility According to Me at 4:34 pm by meldee

I know I know, a record of two posts in one day πŸ™‚

If I’m in a good mood as of tonight, I may even blog ranting/bragging about my results. Hopefully it will be the latter, not the former! Anyway, just heard that the girl who was kidnapped was found this morning, not too sure if this is really the case, but just thought I’d update.

There’s another peace gathering coming up! In celebration of International Human Rights day on December 10, the Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee is hosting the Festival of Rights on Sunday, December 9.

Heaps of NGOs and movements will be involved, among them The People’s Parliament, AWAM and…er, well, other NGOs lah. I know the Yellow Wave will be present, but the feminist movement will be wearing purple πŸ™‚ The march starts at 7.30am from SOGO and will end at Central Market/Pasar Seni where there will be a host of events and activities.

For more details, click the link above! Or go here, the blog for Human Rights Day in KL.

I’m terribly excited and I don’t care, I’m going this time! And don’t rain on my parade (or shoot tear gas cannisters, or spray at me with chemical-laced water, ahem) because this is part of our (Malaysians, all of us!) right to peacefully assemble.

It would be great to see some new faces there la. SOGO’s so accessible via public transport, you can take the KTM to Bank Negara and walk from there. As my friend was commenting to me, the NGO scene in Malaysiais waaaaaay too small, everyone knows everyone else. As I am very new still, I only know a few people here and there, but am so looking forward to knowing more πŸ™‚

Whee! Imma gonna be part of the Purple Parade!

***

Ok firstly I know this is damn old news lah. BUT SOME PEOPLE CAN BE SUCH IDIOTS IN THE CINEMAS.

Last night I went to watch Beowulf with my brother in Pyramid (my dad very kindly offered me his ticket while he went to his office to do his reports). It was pretty good as far as plots go, a bit overdetermined but the CGI was pretty dang fantastic. What surprised me though, was no censorship of bare CGI bottoms (Beowulf has a thing for being buff—literally, but then again this was in olden times before sex and sexuality became so overrated) and Angelina Jolie’s CGI tits.

Perhaps that explained the presence of so many young men in the audience, I could almost feel the stiffening (ahem, pun intended) of the crowd as they realised that, ohmyGod, she is naked (!). There were the obligatory nudges and jostling among the people in front of me, giggles, and whispers. There was even a group of young men up front who were whispering really loudly throughout the movie. I felt like throwing the bucket of popcorn seeds at them. Needless to say I was plenty relieved when they left before the end.

Like, get over it la, half the population has tits. And everybody has an ass and bares it a few times a day. What’s the big deal?

Another gripe was the fact that even though there were the usual public service messages reminding people to put their phones in silent, this blatant message still managed to slip through the think numb skulls of at least five people in the audience. One even had the audacity to answer his phone!

The movie was also rated PG-13 for violent scenes. Yes, I know it’s freaking animated, but still! I found some of it pretty gory too, especially with the ripping-bodies-in-two and impaling. This guy brought his four-or-five year old daughter into the cinema, sitting next to my brother, and she was whimpering and whining throughout the movie.

Listen, punk, if you don’t care that your daughter is scared or can stand the scenes of violence, at least give some consideration to the other people in the cinema with you who may not find her so cute while she talks throughout the movie, ok? I love kids at the best of times, but you have to remember that there’s a time and place for everyone/everything.

I was remarking to my brother too, during the advent of adverts in the beginning when a PSA came on reminding pedestrians to stop when the lights are red and walk when it’s green, that my God, we need people to tell us something as basic as this? We should be ashamed.

Then when the phones went off, people chatted and the poor little girl whined, I see why we need reminders for the most basic things.

HONESTLY. Gaah.

public service message

Posted in Malaysia, My Home, Social Responsibility According to Me at 1:57 pm by meldee

As a favour to my friends at Youth4Change (Y4C), Imma put this up πŸ™‚

***

Pusat Janadaya (EMPOWER), Youth for Change (Y4C), Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section, Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) and National Young Lawyers Committee (NYLC)Β jointly organise the Preliminary National Youth Consultation Conference with the theme β€œAn United Force for Change : Opportunities and Challenges For Youth”.

The following are the details of the Preliminary NYCC:

Date: 2 December, 2007 (Sunday)

Time: 8.30am-5.00pm

Medium : Bahasa Malaysia

Venue: Bar Council Auditorium

No. 13, 15 & 17 Leboh Pasar Besar, Kuala Lumpur

Youth leaders and representatives from various organizationsΒ are invited to attend the Conference to share their thoughts on how the youth groups can work together, how it could work better and be more inclusive before, during and byond the coming General Election.Β  The youth voices and perspectives have always been ignored by the political parties and authorities whereby they are lack of comprehensive and wholesome focus of policies, programmes and activities on youth issues.

 

Please log on to www.nyccmy.orgΒ for more details.Β 

Β 

Kindly send inΒ the registration formΒ before 30th Nov (Fri) to info@nyccmy.org.

Thanks. Β 

Warm regards,Β 

Chian Yi

Empower

 

*** Β 

 

Whoever can go should totally try to. I won’t be going, however, as I have an Aikido Workshop from 9am-12.30pm and have already pledged my allegiance to it. Have a good weekend, all, and be careful—recent forwarded e-mails and text messages about the kidnapping of a young woman in Glenmarie.

 

I pray for her safe return.

November 27, 2007

corporate/sleazyguy fuckwittage

Posted in Bah!, Ranty Pants at 10:00 pm by meldee

I’m going to rant today. I feel very ranty.

Doing corporate work/editing can be the shites at times. Especially when one’s boss happens to be an acquaintance (who has little or no respect for your time, hence, shows up late) who has a reputation for being NATO—that’s No Action, Talk Only, to the uninitiated.

At times I seriously want to say ‘screw you‘ to this corporate codswallop, but then again I think of my loans, my expensive lifestyle (not really, actually, but this sounds more dramatic, sooo….) and by George I have to swallow my pride and slave on because I need the money.

It’s just seriously so annoying when you have no fixed deadline, constantly changing job scope, inconsistent promises of contracts/payment and have NO CLUE as to what you’re doing.

RAWWWWRRR.

I suppose I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to bitch and moan and gripe about corporate fuckwittage, but I really admire those who put up with it and take it so well (but then again, money talks, bullshit walks, le sigh).Β  Give me tips please on how to grin and bear it?

***

I don’t get why some guys still hit on, or pretend to ‘want to be friendly’ with someone who’s already attached. These are the sleazy guys on Facebook or Friendster who message going, “Hey, (insert compliment), want to be friends?”

Pardon my stuck-uppity-ness but I have an inbuilt radar for such instances, and many other girls have it too—dude, we can so tell when you’re trying to honestly be friends or trying to hit on us! No need to get all defensive and shit too, saying we’re being ‘perasan‘ or vain, because honestly we just know.

Especially when you get emo and send message after message about how we’re being snobbish. Honestly, why does it matter so much if we don’t want to be friends, isn’t that our prerogative? Yeah so we could be snobs or bitches, but as far as I’m concerned I’d like to be discerning in the formation of my friendships. If I feel threatened or uncomfortable in any way, why put myself in that situation?

Urgh I just find people (guys and girls alike) like these so…gaaah I shan’t even dignify that with a comment.

November 25, 2007

finding a voice

Posted in Friends, Happenings, Malaysia, My Home, Snapshots at 6:27 pm by meldee

I’ve barely been home an hour from the AWAM WWRP5 Workshop in Armada Hotel in PJ, and let me say (gloat, rather), I have never had so much fun, or been so pampered, or felt such an incredible connection with people before—that is, until the last time I said such a thing, which was probably my World Vision Trip (see Permalinks by the side :P).

This is it la, folks. My raison d’etre. I have found my kindred spirits and I am almost bouncing off the walls in glee and unadulterated excitement in having had such a mindblowing experience. Digression: My friends who signed The Book published by AWAM, Young Women Speak Out, said I have a lot of energy. A lot of energy meh?! It’s only about 5 cups of coffee!

Anyhoo, briefly. The 4-day, 3-night live-in workshop, generously funded by the European Union required 20 (15 participants, 5 facilitators/trainers) almost complete strangers united in better understanding human rights and women’s rights issues in this country, to live, eat and sleep together. Write together. Grow together. We talked about things like the Malaysian media, representation of women in the media, sexuality and rights and responsibilities, especially within the context of the Federal Constitution.

Dry and boring, you might think? Hell no, I’d yell! The speakers were all lovely and fiercely intelligent and smart (yes, I felt about 5 inches big at times) and I guess we all walked away with something new that we’d hopefully carry on with us. Now I know why so many people (er, well, ok, just two) have said that the WWRP is one of the funnest things, like, ever! Think about it right, a room full of smart, witty, incredibly driven and compassionate young women who are beautiful inside and out—chuck in a mix of sleep deprivation, caffeine and alcohol, and there you have it, the recipe for fun fun fun! πŸ˜€

One of the specific skills we learned was how to write Letters to the Editor—an extremely empowering thing to do (apparently!). It was really quite humbling for me, especially since I’ve been writing and working in social justice issues on/off for the past few months, to realise that there’s still heaps out there I don’t know and still have ages to go.

Apparently I also looked really sad at certain points of the discussions/forums; something I guess I do is wear my heart on my sleeve. Social justice issues are a big part of me and always have been I guess, though I suspect I often very unfairly expect others to also feel the same passion I do which is not very good, to say the least!

But I shall save all this termitty-terms for my actual write up (which I shall link after I write it and it—fingers crossed—gets published in R.Age) and yibber on instead about the fun times. Mainly because I am still running on about 4 cups of coffee (feral stuff it is, I don’t care. As long as it’s got caffeine, I shall consume it! I am utterly not discerning this way) and am excited. And pissed off that my mum’s camera pictures didn’t turn out too good. Maybe because I forgot to set them to high resolution (dammit, you’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now!), or because the lighting was not good.

This is why I need my giant phallic DSLR.

Ahem, excuses excuses. Anyhow, I will upload pictures, not too many though as both Flickr and Dropshots have shat themselves over the volume of photos I’ve uploaded *sniffs haughtily*. And I refuse to pay for space ya, mainly because I have no credit card. But if anyone wants to fund my upgrading, please do so la ok I won’t say no πŸ˜€

BUT I HAD SO MUCH FUN. *runs around chasing imaginary tail* I met new people, recognised old friends, formed new ties with people over so many different things and I am SO EXCITED at the idea of working with them in the future.

BY THE WAY, TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL WHITE RIBBON DAY*! (*see previous post, or Google it, dammit) The NGOs in Malaysia will be organising 16 Days of Activism (again, Google this, as I myself have yet to) starting today and ending on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Again, please remember to wear a white ribbon, guys! Do your bit to raise public awareness for the elimination of all forms of violence against women πŸ™‚

There’s gonna be a peaceful march on December 9th at 7am from Sogo in honour of international human rights—I’ll keep you guys updated ok because I am super excited πŸ˜€

I think I really need to cut down on my caffeine intake by the way. I am practically buzzing. Now! For picca-tures *beams*


A room with a view! Sarah, my roomie and I, quietly discovered on our last night that not all the rooms were the size of ours (and Shazana and Jee Wan’s—heh!) with our bathtub, sofa, two writing tables and ample space! I regret not taking photos of my room now so I can gloat πŸ˜› Anyway this is a view of the Federal Highwa, Amcorp Mall, and KL in the horizon.

We basically had about 12 sessions, usually from 9am-10pm (I know), but we were (extremely) well-fed and the hours went by really quick for most of the part. 3.5 days of intensive and intense (and at other times, not so) discussion on current affairs, activism and social justice. Nyummy πŸ˜€


Gayathry from the Centre for Independent Journalism gave us a talk on the Malaysian media. Most sobering, and very very provoking. At least for me it was.


To wake us up at one point, we were divided into two groups and had to spell ‘Mississippi’ with our bums in unison! This was a hoot, especially since my bum has gone on a sabbatical and hasn’t quite come home yet. But, aw, look how happy we are πŸ˜€ L-R: Anna, me, Meena, Chian Yi, Apsara.


Our ‘Social Session’ on the second night, which involved playing funny-silly games like Big Fish, Small Fish, Truth or Dare and Charades πŸ˜€ Things are so fun when the people you’re with are not stuffy and stuffier!


In most cultures, purple is the colour of homosexuality; in Malaysia it is apparently the colour of the feminist movement. Woo hoo, I say! Also, this book, edited by Alina Rastam (an incredible role model I am now gawping up at) is one of AWAM’s babies. You (yes you, my faithful reader!) should get your hands on it as it is filled with writings and poetry from wonderful writers and friends of mine, namely Dahlia, Pramila, Vizla, Tze Yeng and Yi Xing, at the very high risk of name-dropping and coming across as a snob.

Also, observe the two chocolate thingamajigs! THEY ARE AWESOME *salivates*. Crunchy crumbly pastry with a rich, moist chocolate filling, lightly dusted with sugar *dies and goes to chocolate heaven*.


Eva Diva, my Orientation Week Buddy (whom I fled from, poor thing, as I already knew the campus at Sunway) and now my fellow booty-shaker every other Saturday with the WAO CCC kids.


Group pic! πŸ˜€

On our last night (yesterday), the session ended at about 10. As the previous two nights we hadn’t done the usual sit-around-yakking-all-night thing, we decided it was about ruddy time πŸ˜‰ After being chased out of the conference room, we headed to the in-house bar/pub type thing in the hotel—whereby we were eyeballed and ogled by Dirty Old Men (yeeeccchh) and subject to moldy music sang by a group of scantily-clad girls o_O After we discovered the beers were RM18, we decided ‘screw this’ and decided to buy our own drinks from Kiosk and head up to someone’s room and talk all night πŸ˜›

It was the funniest thing, crossing the bridge and streets. Being a large group of females walking around PJ at close to 12am, we were subject to many looks, of course—but we were hollering and scampering around, “Watch out people, feminists crossing the road!” We didn’t mean to be pains, of course, we were just in high spirits you understand, later to be high on spirits, which was in fact just me, really πŸ˜›


I am such a closet alkie. Remember what I said in a previous post about not drinking anytime soon? Ha-bloody-ha. Anyway here I am with Malati, Jee Wan, Chian Yi (and her lemon juice), Alicia (and her Root Beer), Eva and Seetha. Who is actually from SMKSU too, and one of the founding members of the Interact Club! *marvels* She left school in ’97 though, meaning we never met as I only started at SU in ’99 πŸ˜‰


I think people on that floor must have hated us. First, when taking a photo, we yelled ‘breasts!’. For this one, it was ‘vagina!’ πŸ˜› Others who came later told us it was ok if they forgot the room number, as we were laughing loudly enough to guide them from the point where they exited the elevator πŸ™‚


We are women, hear us roar!


Anna, an intern at CIJ as part of her degree program in Canada, and me. By this time, I was buzzing quite high as I had had four drinks, including some Cointreau+Apple Juice earlier, and the remainders of Jee Wan’s green apple wine cooler.

Whee!


Before we left, we took more photos in the dining area, in our lovely yellow shirts! πŸ˜€ The colour of freedom of the media! And assembly! And sovereignty! And God-knows what else! I love what it says on the front though, “Speak. Write. Fight. For Women’s Right”. So empowering πŸ™‚

And that concludes it for my brief photo-entry; I smell grilled lamb downstairs and I am about to pass out from exhaustion. I’ll most def blog more later on, especially more insightful entries than this fluff *looks at self disdainfully*, but take this as a teaser for more, and better, things to come.

In terms of writing, but of course πŸ˜‰

P/S: Have yet to find out about Hindraf Rally. Am glad the BERSIH one has set a precedent of sorts to the media not totally blacking out on coverage of these issues. Bravo.

November 21, 2007

mini-break

Posted in Happenings at 11:33 pm by meldee

I’ll be away for the next four days for the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) Writers for Women’s Rights Program in PJ. As it is a live-in thing, I’m not going to be all that far away, really, but without my internet…*big teary eyes*.

Oh poof, I’ve done it before. Can do it again. Will be back with fresh insights into the world of feminisms, the Malaysian media, sexuality and activism.

And yes, I’m scared shitless.

Back soon with pictures and all that jazz I mentioned above.

xoxo

November 19, 2007

emo post #328.2

Posted in Bah!, Random Ramblings, Strange Feelings at 7:23 pm by meldee

I’m so not drinking anymore alcohol for…well, a while.

After a night of emo-talk with an emo girlfriend in Stabucks Taipan (where we got pissed off with snoopy customers giving us weird looks as we did our Goddess/Angel card readings respectively, so my friend offered them readings—sadly, our efforts to extort money from them did not work, but we did manage to convince them we were from (a fictional, as far as I know) Paranormal Institute of Australia, P.I.A. and to go on vacation wtf), I got home and emo-ed some more.

And listened to (and leeched off another friend) more emo acoustic songs, I decided for the first time since….well, a reeeeeeaaaaalllly long time, I needed alcohol.

So I went trip-trip-tripping downstairs and attacked the Baileys (had three glasses, on the rocks) as I had no mixers for the vodka, and didn’t feel very much like red wine (though I suddenly do now, hmm!). I then embarked on a journey of Feeling Sorry For Myself, which is actually a road I take quite often lately, especially at times when my life feels pointless.

But don’t we all have that? Those niggling, nasty moments when routine seemsΒ  more dreadful than anything else in the entire world (I have no earth planets whatsoever in my astrological birthchart, if that explains anything) and the idea of doing this (i.e. continue living as per usual) makes you want to rip your hair out, strip buck naked and run screaming the lyrics of an aggro Linkin Park song, running down your street. No? Well then, maybe it’s just me.

When do we ever know when ‘our time’ is up? Why are we so preoccupied with studying, getting good grades, making money, etc? Hasn’t there got to be more to life?! *cues Stacie Orrico music*

But oh, you know what I mean. I was playing with my Angel cards today when the question, ‘what will my life’s legacy be?’ popped into my head, and I drew the Family card. Which is actually quite sweet because it totally resonates with what I want to do with my life. Um, which is, to get married, have kids and continue saving the world from home (I am perfectly capable of doing this, thank you).

What irks me is the limitations society imposes dictating when you can get married and have kids, and to whom. By virtue of my, oh, well, upbringing, education, qualifications (because all this counts, the way good teeth, etc matters when farm animals are being bought wtf), potential (like farm animals have the potential to give birth to many healthy young for meat wtf) and all that…the average age for someone in my position is to settle down by 27. At the very least. 32 is about the max; after that it’s all downhill and people (i.e. nosy gossipy relatives) will start speculating that you’re too fussy or fatally flawed in some way (like maybe, you cannot cook, for instance)—you’re never gay or single-by-choice, because those are both Unnatural States to your typical Chinese family.

But what if I only had enough time to live till say, 24? Does this mean I have to give up my dreams of having a family of my own simply because I’m not the right age? No no no, don’t ask me whether I’m sure I’ve met ‘The One’ or whether I’m sure I want to do this, this is purely hypothetical and thus completely inconsequential. But just for argument’s sake, yes, say I’m abso-positivite-luuuutely sure.

Then again, how sure am I that I’d die at 24, hmm. Hell, I could die any time. Like…even in 5 minutes! Or 5 years ago! Or…

Oh, bugger it, this could go on forever.

I just hate how we’re all contained in small little neatly compartmentalised boxes. Ping! Time’s up, move on now to the next inherently natural phase of your life. This is all bollocks. A friend of mine told me how she had a minor disagreement with her colleagues about why she should get married now and start having kids so she can have someone to look after her in her old age.

LIKE HELLO, HOW NEANDERTHAL IS THAT.

Ya, ya, ok maybe it’s not Neanderthal; it’s tradition, it’s sweet, it’s being pragmatic, proactive and far-sighted. But with cases of child abuse on the rise (as per today’s The Sun; but for some reason I cannot find the story online), even the educated elite cannot escape from being abusive parents if they are that way inclined. Because honestly, don’t flout someone’s education as a reason why they would not abuse their kids, education is inconsequential in that sense.

Raaaaaaah! I am such an angry child.

And incredibly random too. Just verbal-diarrhoeaing again. The point of this entry was to blab about how I felt so sorry for myself I drank alone and ended up a tad bit inebriated and sent silly text messages (which I now deeply regret) to my poor boyfriend at 3am (my time) telling him all sorts of Really Embarrassing Stuff. Which I am obviously not repeating here.

There, that wasn’t so hard was it? I am too cheong hei (long-winded, one of my 5 Chinese Terms) for my own good. Now let’s all get on with our boring, mundane and utterly pointless lives *flings hand around dramatically*.

November 17, 2007

al-jazeera on the BERSIH rally

Posted in Bah!, Malaysia, My Home, Social Responsibility According to Me at 12:28 am by meldee

I just watched a two-part interview discussion on last weekend’s peaceful rally to hand over the memorandum calling for free and fair elections to the Agong on YouTube, starring Khairy Jamaluddin, Nazri Abd Aziz and Malik Imtiaz, moderated (very effectively, might I add) by Teymoor Naibili.

I actually laughed out loud at Nazri’s bumblings, shook my head with utter disgust at Khairy’s cocky statements and arrogant air, and quirked more than one grin at Imtiaz’s incredible cool and quirky facial expressions (more often than not amusement expressed at the statements of those two clowns).

For those of you who may be familiar with Khairy and Nazri (you may also know them by their various nicknames so affectionately given to them by members of the public, some of which are too colourful and varied for me to deign to mention here) but not with Malik Imtiaz, well, Imtiaz happens to be one of the most respected human rights lawyers in the country. His claim to fame of sorts is probably his handling of the conversion case of Lina Joy—he has faced death threats even, but remains in the public eye. He even blogs here, have a read.

I advise you to have a watch. It’s 20 well-spent minutes of your time. In fact, I’m so keen on you watching it I’ve very kindly embedded it here for you πŸ˜‰

This is Part One.


This is Part Two.

God, you gotta love the things Malaysian politicians say. A perfect system? No changes required? Then why bother have elections, why call the country a democracy?

My cousin is right, I’m very politically-inflamed at the moment. But how can one not be, and merely stand aside watching things pass, hoping our ‘rice bowls’ will not be affected? I speak of the apathetic, business-first mentalities of the Chinese, something I experience too often and too frighteningly, who continue to blindly support the MCA because they are still under the impression that their ‘kinsmen’ in the government will not betray them.

Wake up, friends. The MCA has been accused of being UMNO’s ‘running dogs’ (the argument of the infamous Raja Petra Kamarudin), rightly or wrongly I shall let you decide for yourselves. Stop trying to ignore the realities in front of you and only get caught up in worries regarding business and education; don’t you get it? With the way things are going now, what guarantees do you have that your business and children’s education are not going to be affected by the government at the helm?

Sigh. Too many thoughts, too much work left undone, so many hours of sleep I need to catch up on. Bombard me with thoughts, please.

November 16, 2007

10 years/ white ribbon day

Posted in Happenings, Love and Relationships, Malaysia, My Home, Social Responsibility According to Me at 9:46 pm by meldee

First of all. I have five (Five! Good grief) stories due soon, and a website to work on, but I have been procrastinating very successfully for the past two days. My time is running out (howled a la Muse) and here I am, blogging. La dee dah.

Anyway I swear this blogpost has a point, unlike some others.

First of all, I’d like to say how impressed I am with Fahmi Reza’s short documentary ’10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka’ (’10 Years Before Independence). Read reviews and find out where you can download it (but for free, why of course, we only like free things) here, and take my word for it, it’s worth the watch. I myself only watched it because of Petra’s insistence (and I saw her name in the credits, along with other familiar names like Yeoh Seng Guan and Sonia Randhawa!

Watching the clips on Veoh TV (in 4 short 9 minute snippets), I could not help but shake my head at the similarities between how the British handled the then-opposition, the PUTERA-AMCJA and how the current government is handling the opposition and NGOs as well as activists. It’s chilling. I’ll leave the rest for you to decide, but I liked Reza’s background music choice (the Sex Pistols!) and the images he used to highlight the events of the time, especially for the hartal.

It makes one wonder, will things have to come to that? For the ones unfamiliar with the term, hartal is defined by Wikipedia as strike action. It raises goosebumps imagining a silent current-day KL, though I have my doubts this would happen. But I could be wrong.

***

Sometimes the boyfriend drives me nuts (literally—today he was eating pistachio nuts non-stop throughout our Skype conversation, needless to say I did not get much out of him but nut-cracking sounds and munching) but then he does something so incredibly sweet I forgive him immediately.

To distract me from being narky about his nut-crunching, he stuck out his chest and cheerfully asked me if I had noticed something pinned to his chest—he was sporting a white ribbon on his t-shirt. “Aren’t you proud of me? I support the elimination of violence against women,” he beamed.

Now as a self-proclaimed activist of children and women’s rights, I was a little embarrassed when he had to explain the cause it represented (he’s getting to be quite the activist too—he proudly groomed his ‘mo’ (mustache) for November, Men’s Health Awareness Month) , and after Google-ing and reading up about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women I am proud of him.

White Ribbon Day is officially on November 25, and according to the WAO website, there are Things That Men Can Do To Help, one of which my man is already doing πŸ™‚ In the US/Canada it ends on December 6th, according to The White Ribbon Campaign office, but in Malaysia the WAO is extending it to December 10th which happens to be International Human Rights Day. Find out more about here at the WAO site.

I think it is incredibly significant, and I have decided to adopt a mini pet-project. Tomorrow, before going to the shelter (we’re gonna be dancing to the ‘I Like to Move It’ song from Disney’s Madagascar—unfortunately I could only find the techno version, and darn it, I can’t abide by the stuff! All I can hope is that the kids wouldn’t want to dance to it 20 times, but this is most likely a fat hope as they probably will, and we will have to indulge them at the risk of our limbs being tugged off our bodies by kids cajoling, “Akak, one more time la, please-la, one time only..”) I am going to buy a reel of white satin ribbons and I am going to make white ribbons for….well, whoever! I’m going to make my dad wear one to work, and give it to my male friends and relatives.

Hell, I will make sure I personally pin it to my dad’s office shirt every night when he leaves it out for the next morning. He’s grown up himself knowing what violence against children and women can do, I will be horribly mad at him if he shrugs it off. So ladies, get the men in your life to pin on their white ribbons (Make it la! For goodness’ sake.) and save one for yourselves; guys…! *waggles finger in lieu of nagging*

Why? The WAO site had a persuasive argument: “Wearing a white ribbon s your personal pledge never to commit violence against women. It is a personal pledge not to condone acts of violence, not to make excuses for perpetrators of violence, and not to think that any woman “asks for it.”

It is a pledge not to remain silent. It is a pledge to challenge the men around us to end violence.

Wearing a ribbon provokes discussion, debate and soul-searching among the men around us. The ribbon is a catalyst for discussion. It is a catalyst for change.

Working with children who are in hiding from abusive fathers, whose mothers have also been abused and as a result have to be apart from their children is heart-wrenching. Please don’t be apathetic towards this, if you as readers are bored by my political yibberings, fair enough so—but please don’t turn a deaf ear (blind eye?) to this. This is something really close to my heart, and we women and activists cannot do it without the help of men.

So girls and boys, women and men—All those for change, wear a white ribbon from November 25th! Better yet, wear it as often as possible πŸ˜‰

/edit

I know it’s rather belated but I finally got around to reading the open letter to our allergic-to-challenges Prime Minister, as written by local author Beth Yahp, as posted on the blog of Elizabeth Wong.

I think it is brilliant, cogently argued and graciously put. Her points are good ones and as a journalist myself, I understand completely where she is coming from. But this is just my opinion. I know it’s a bit wordy (as most of my posts have been lately) but it’s worth the read. Your two sen’s worth is most welcome, especially since those coins aren’t going to be minted any longer, har har.

November 14, 2007

danger gardens, woo~

Posted in D'oh!, Malaysia, My Home at 5:43 pm by meldee

I was bunny-hopping around online for a public transport how-to to PWTC for an event tomorrow and I found this on the official PWTC site.


See this? Β  ^ Taman Bahaya as opposed to Taman Bahagia. For the non-Malay speakers, it may not sound like it, but there’s hell lots of a difference mmkay! Because from Happy/Peaceful Gardens (Taman Bahagia), it’s been changed to Danger(ous) Gardens (Taman Bahaya).

Haha. Boob watch of the day. I wonder if Danger Mouse (remember Danger Mouse? And his eye patch?) lives in Taman Bahaya.

***

I vow never to undertake a project of such meticulous detail, ever again. For the first time in 8 years, ‘we’, as in, my family, have decided to re-paint the God-awful grilles and doors in the house because, well, dammit, it’s been 8 years.

Guess who the lucky painter is. Yup, just me.

I’d give my brother some credit (because he painted one coat of paint on one door, and did the base coat for the front grille) but each time after he paints he complains of being so tired he can die, and promptly drops off to sleep.

Today I painted for 6 hours straight (nope, not even a toilet break!) and now I’m aching all over.

I hate the sight of paint now. And I still have a long way to go. Gaah.

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