December 12, 2007


Posted in Bah!, Dahlings, Happenings, Malaysia, My Home at 3:36 pm by meldee

Again, more depressing news in the media.

The unwarranted and completely unnecessary arrests of several Bersih and Opposition leaders and supporters intending on peaceably handing over a memorandum to protest the extension of the retirement age for the EC chairperson.

This time, I actually personally know one of those arrested. I neglected my news-reading yesterday as I was feeling under the weather, but feeling much better today I did a bit more reading (digression: I really do need to start work on my Honours thesis ideas).

All I can say is that I am appalled that the authorities have resorted to such scare tactics to prevent the public from speaking out against the way ‘they’ do things. Our democratic system is clearly a farce.


On to other stuff, as I’m quite distracted by my incessant and extremely painful back pains.


After months and months, Esther Phan is finally home and in great form πŸ˜€ Hanging out with the girls this morning over our roti brunch and then heading to Sushers’ for the cool air (and clean toilet, heh) to yabber on and on, was just like old times. Lovely.

Expect my updates to peter out slowly, as the Boyfriend arrives in 10 days and I am getting busier and busier.

I hope everyone keeps well and has a good holiday season to come, and that we’d stop hearing so much depressing news about our abusive authorities, dense policies, and plain stupid statements.


December 9, 2007

iron-clad irony

Posted in Bah!, Family, Happenings, Malaysia, My Home, Ranty Pants at 12:57 pm by meldee

Some incredibly ironic facts about yours truly:

  1. I am a faux-Chinese. I think my only Chinese traits (besides the physical, which is rather obvious) are that I can be chronically kiasu and I’m always looking for ways to save money (so I can splurge it on something else). Language skills are zilch.
  2. With a name so musical it borders on hysterical (I outgrew it’s ‘cuteness’ about a decade ago), I am completely and utterly non-musically inclined.
  3. I am, so it seems, an adult who has nothing to show for said adulthood save for monthly cramps, mammaries and a driver’s license. And oh, the right to vote and pay full fare on stuff.
  4. Β For a Piscean who’s supposedly all fluffy and flighty and lovey-dovey, I am not feeling any of those right this very moment.
  5. I am a passive ‘activist’. I’ve added the ‘…’ because clearly I am not actively doing anything except breathing furiously through my nostrils like my yoga instructor taught me this morning, while the rest of my friends are out there actively defending their rights, and the rights of others.


Because my Daddy told me so *grumbles*.

It had been all worked out, I was even on my way to the train station with Apsara and Seetha (I was driving—and I had my aunt in the front seat as I offered to drop her for her class at UM on my way) when he called asking me to turn back immediately, or else (I am quite used to these threats now, lately they’ve been threatening to take away my car keys).

For good measure, Daddy rang my aunt, and then for contingency, rang my lawyer aunt to call me and tell me to go home.

Honestly, am I that much of a child still? I ranted to my cousin, who said something which struck me and just totally reflected the attitudes of so many out there, I reckon: “Human rights is just a myth in this country. You already have everything you want, what else do you need?”

Has it really come to that? Can we as civil society merely turn the other cheek and shrug, saying “I am comfortable just the way I am, why bother?”.

The thought of it both saddens me and makes me incredibly furious at the same time.

Β ***

I heard from Seetha that eight people were arrested this morning, four of them lawyers, for walking around *ho hum*. Geezus H.Krispy Kreme, are they going to arrest people for getting some ‘morning exercise’ in groups now and detain them under the Internal Security Act (ISA)?

This is fucking bullshit. All of it.

Honestly, the ISA is the best scare tactic the government has created so far. Even small fry like me and you are terrified of making anti-government statements for the fear of “being detained under the ISA”. Fuck that, are we then supposed to obediently bob our heads and agree with everything they shovel at us?

C’mon people, we can do better than this.


I am so so so embarrassed 😦 And disappointed.

And worn out because taking anger out in the gym for two solid hours is most wearying.

I hope those who went to the Bar Council today are safe and well.

Apologies 😦

I am such a failure *drops head into hands and wails*

December 7, 2007

tiptoe-ing on

Posted in Happenings, Malaysia, My Home, Random Ramblings, Social Responsibility According to Me at 3:35 pm by meldee

Just FYI. Got an email from a dear friend πŸ™‚

Since I don’t want to do the mass-emailing thing, here it is.



The Bar Council has called off the December 9 Human Rights Walk. I
think it was a mistake to have done so, but I have no interest in
debating here the rights and wrongs of that decision. I write solely
to declare that Iawyers who are determined to defend the freedom to
peacefully assemble will nevertheless march on Sunday Dec 9 at 7.30am
from Sogo to Central Market in commemoration of Human Rights Day.

We will march for the following reasons :

a) because it is our inalienable right to do so;

b) because Article 10 of the Federal Constitution gives us the right;

c) because they’ve got some cheek telling us we’ve got to petition
the constabulary before exercising our fundamental rights.A right
which can only be exercised with the consent of the District Police
Chief is a shrivelled up and pitiful kind of right. It is a shadow of
the shadow of a right;

d) because we’re not inclined to be part of a culture of obedience to
the high-handed directives of a tainted and unjust state apparatus;

e) because we’re even less inclined to be menaced by a State which is
so pathetically terrified of its citizens peacefully assembling.

Let us be clear about this: Any march/walk that is carried out under
the authority and indulgence of the local police chief is not an
assembly of free citizens. It is then nothing more than a chain-gang
of miserable citizens marching under a cloud of fear.

The Bar Council as an institution has decided to cancel the march;
but there is no reason why lawyers in their individual capacities and
civil society groups should not carry on with the Sunday march. In
view of the increasingly strident attacks by the authorities on the
right to peacefully assemble, we have formed ” Lawyers for Freedom of
Assembly” to defend and protect that right. Caving in to the threats
and hard tactics of the authorities will seriously set back the
ongoing struggle for a just and free Malaysia.

All lawyers and civil society groups are welcome to join the ”
Lawyers for Freedom of Assembly” for our march on Sunday. Support this
move to preserve the basic rights of all Malaysians.

Written by: N Surendran

For Inquiries:
N Surendran

Latheefa Koya
012 3842 972


I wanna march! Or tiptoe, rather, though my Inner Wuss demands that I run at the first sight of trouble (takkanlah so boh chai see right, with the two previous gatherings eliciting tear gas, etc—Imma gonna run if they bring them cannons out!)

But then again I’m not too sure if I can wake up that early. Meeeeeeh.


So I’ve been giving the old muscles a good workout lately. Needless to say, I am currently at my most chipper (and by extension, annoying) and energetic, albeit sore. I also attribute the good cheer to the fact that many of my friends are back from Australia (and Sush, from the UK tomorrow!) or are coming back soon, along with The Best Christmas Present Ever, which is the arrival of my other fishy (we’re both Piscean, heh) half next next Saturday!

This is so funny (and lame, but I don’t care), I actually made him a Welcome sign which I am going to brazenly hold up at the Arrival gates! It’s hot pink too, and dotted with cut-out hearts, the most juvenile thing ever but oh, who cares, really, I’m finally going to get to physically huggle and snuggle and cuddle him after 11 months apart!

I’m going to go make an itinerary of plans now πŸ˜€

See you this Sunday in KL, I hopes!

December 5, 2007


Posted in Bah!, Malaysia, My Home, Ranty Pants at 12:45 pm by meldee

This is extremely messed up la. Reading about it in this morning’s papers after hearing it on the news last night just made me shake my head in disbelief at how screwed up things have become here in this country: the 26 individuals affiliated with Hindraf, charged with attempted murder at Batu Caves. Read the short report from AFP here.

As my mum commented, during one of her rare moments of lucidity with regards to the public interest (bless her, I say this because it’s true—she’s pushing 50 and hasn’t registered to vote. Go figure. We fight about this all the time.)—“If you rape someone, you get three years. You protest in the streets, you get 10. A bit of a priority mix-up, eh?”

And it’s true. The Johor Bar website states here: “The law has laid down a minimum sentence for rape which is not less than five years and not more than twenty years and shall also be liable to whipping. Section 376 Penal Code. This means that the court pass(es?) a sentence of less than five years if it finds the accused guilty of the offense.”

There is further information on the status of women under the Malaysian law, available here.

Another thing that angers me is the cancellation of the People’s Freedom Walk that was to be held this Sunday. I know many of my friends who wanted to go but were afraid of getting gassed, but now it looks like it won’t even happen.I’ve got mixed feelings over this; on one hand I know it’s not advisable to shit-stir with the government especially in light of recent actions taken against the Hindraf protesters, but at the same time this is a clear violation of our right to peaceful assembly!

Clearly, it’s sending out the message that while yes, the Federal Constitution is the highest law in this country, no, you cannot assemble albeit peacefully because of internal security. Like hell we’re going to want to react violently on the eve of International Human Rights Day, that’s rubbish!

It really annoys me at the blatant double-standards practiced by the government and their henchmen.

By the way, I don’t remember if I mentioned seeing dear Subang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng at the R.Age self-defense workshop. I did, and to Jolene’s chagrin was muttering stuff about him the entire time. “Showing your face here, eh, Datuk, because elections are near? Well I hope nobody votes for you, rawrr.”

I had in mind the interview with Malaysiakini this August. Since I don’t have access to M-kini (I keep losing my password), I’m gonna cut and paste from an email forwarded to me. Subang folk, seriously. Have a read of it and ask yourselves what kind of person we have as our representative.

Funny, also, how his website states that he lives in USJ, but the M-kini interview states he lives in Tropicana.

But seriously, read this for yourself. Especially his definition of a sexy woman. And his comments re: Subang being well-planned (I hear shouts of laughter at this point) and how people here are too rich, that’s why each household has 2-3 cars. Umm, maybe that’s got to do with the public transport system being absolute shite?

Anything But Politics: Beng only had eyes for Soo Soo

Hon Yi Wen | Aug 10, 07 12:16am

LEE Hwa Beng, the Subang Jaya state assemblyperson, sat down with Rentakini recently and talked about his life outside of the political arena…and how he persisted in wooing pretty Soo Soo some 30 years ago.This techno-savvy politician also has his own website and blog us something about your childhood. What was it like?

My father was a rubber tapper, and I used to help him mangle the rubber. After the latex was collected, we would use formic acid to coagulate it, then use our hands and feet to press it into a thin sheet so it could be placed into the mangling machine.

It was hard work! I used to do this in the morning, before school which was in the afternoon.

Those kids who came from rubber tapping families were easily identified, because after you had worked on rubber, you would smell so bad for the rest of the day!

It was difficult to get rid of this smell, no girl would want to date you…you just smell rotten, very bad!

We understand you have a happy family. Care to share your family with us.

My wife and I celebrated our Silver Jubilee wedding anniversary only last year, So we have been happily married for 26 years now.

We have three daughters, one of them is working while the other two are still studying.

What is your wife’s name?

Lee Soo Soo

Oh, same surname. No wonder you and your wife are a good match.

It so happened to be that way. A Lee guy wooed and married a Lee gal. Doesn’t it sound kinda romantic?

So how did you meet your wife?

Well, we went to the same college many years ago – TAR (Tunku Abdul Rahman) College, in KL. She was one of the college’s most pretty and popular girls!

The boys she dated then had nice cars, and all I had was a motorbike. Of course this meant that they were a lot more ‘cool’… It was difficult to compete, because all I had to offer was this old bike.

But I persisted…you know… pak see boh chow (never say die attitude). When a girl catches your eye, you must only have eyes for her. Forget other girls, just concentrate on one.

So in the end, she chose you…

Yes! Well, maybe she somehow saw into my future! (

Ho ho, you must be quite a Romeo eh!

So so lah, can do lah. Not bad hoh. (Laughs)

And your daughters, what are their names?

Hui-Ni (eldest), Lyn-Ni & Yun-Ni (youngest)

You’ve upgraded your motorbike for a car since then?

My first car was a white Nissan Datsun 120Y. It was A second-hand machine, falling apart. But now I drive a Harrier 4×4.
In your opinion, define a sexy woman.

A woman with a good figure, young with a pretty face and if possible, scantily dressed.

Oh, you’re terrible, YB!

Well, you asked the question and I’m trying to answer in the manner you want – the fun way. (Laughs)

Since you’re in a ‘sexy’ mood, which celebrity would you consider the sexiest?

Here we go again.

There are so many! Really, it is hard to narrow them down. These days the media is overloaded with so many good-looking people. J-Lo has got a good figure, Angelina Jolie too… Well I don’t know any local celebrities, but from Hong Kong and China, I would say Zhang Ziyi or Gong Li when she was younger.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I don’t really listen to music these days, so it’s difficult to say. When I do, it’s usually evergreen stuff like Elvis Presley or the Beatles, music from when I was younger… ‘Love Me Tender’ is my favourite song.

Will you sing us a few lines of ‘Love Me Tender’

Love me tender,
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.

What comes next? I’ve forgotten-lah… (Laughs)

Do you have a favourite movie?

Not really, I don’t have time for movies these days. Well if I have to name one, I guess it would be Ten Commandments.
You know, I actually watched that movie before I joined the Christian faith, but it moved me deeply even then.
Is your faith an important part of your life?

Yes, very much so! I am a member of the Charismatic Church. Religion is very important, it helps you stay on track. It keeps me away from the temptations of power abuse and corruption, and inspires me to serve the people in whatever way I can. My whole family are active members of our church, It’s a good activity to do together as a family..

So where do you live?

Actually, I don’t live in Subang Jaya. My house is in Tropicana, the other side of Petaling Jaya.

What’s the worst thing about Subang Jaya?

The traffic! These days, everybody has a car and the congestion is terrible. We can blame this situation on our people – these days, you see so many cars with only one (1) person inside, Car pooling will not work in a city like KL as everybody goes in different directions. I think the only way it could work is if we introduce area pricing like in Singapore where cars with less than three people have to pay a charge in high-congestion areas.

Subang Jaya was well-designed, but it simply cannot cope with the level of affluence that people now enjoy. Each house seems to have three-four cars each, people are just getting too rich! I think public transport such as the LRT is the way forward. I’m looking forward to the extension of the system to include the Subang Jaya area in 2009.

If you were appointed mayor of PJ, what is the first thing you would do?

I would say ‘No’ to become mayor! I don’t think I could do a good job. This is because I wouldn’t be able to act freely, I would have no power over what I was doing. If I was mayor, I would have to comply fully with the terms of the elected office, and I don’t think this is the best way to help people. The main thing I enjoy is giving them good service, helping with the small things…

I treat politics like a business. If I can solve the people’s problems, then I am doing good business. If they don’t come to me and I cannot help them, then I say that business is bad.

Do you own any firearms?

Yes, I do

If you could shoot one person, who would it be?

I would never shoot a person unless it was in self-defence.

What if you could pick someone to shoot in self-defence?

No, I can’t say! I wouldn’t want to shoot anyone unless I absolutely had to. I think it is wrong to have hurtful intentions towards others.

What about Osama?

I don’t think I will ever meet him in person.

What’s the strangest phone call you’ve ever received?

It was very late at night, a few months ago. When I answered the phone, I think I must have sounded quite soft, so I guess the person on the other end thought it was a woman.

A male voice started making some funny sex noises! I listened to these noises for a few minutes, then shouted “Oi!” very loudly. He hung up pretty quickly… (laughs) These people are quite strange. I think if you answer the phone in a manly voice they get scared and run away, because I received another anonymous call quite recently but this time the person just hung up quickly.

What was your reaction upon receiving the datukship?

Well I was very honoured when conferred the award in 2000. But it was in a way expected. The person who held my post before me had received a datukship after several years in office, so I figured it would come my way too.

Aren’t they too many datuks around these days?

I think sometimes this award is not given based on how well you do your job, but is instead given just as a custom. This is why I am looking forward to the plans to reduce the number of datukships given out in a year to less than 20, because by doing this the true value of the title will return.

It’s about dignity and respect here. These must stay with the honorific title.

HON YI WEN is an intern with Malaysiakini. Comments can reach Rentakini by emailing (Anything But Politics is an occasional column featuring political personalities, activists, intellectuals, about everyone really!)

December 4, 2007

no pain no gain?

Posted in Friends, I Wonder..., Random Ramblings at 6:43 pm by meldee

It’s been an intense three days of pain. Pain seems to be a recurring theme across the last few days, which is interesting, really.

Sunday was the R.Age Self-Defense workshop in 3K Hotel Hall which I went for with Jolene. We learnt some pretty cool Aikido techniques applicable to everyday scenarios, such as if you’re getting your bag snatched, or grabbed by a guy. I love how Aikido works with the attacker’s movements (to his/her detriment, I assure you!) and by putting very little pressure on very painful points, like the wrists, elbows or neck.

Jo and I felt like two aunties there (almost everyone else came in jeans, we came for a workout -.-; plus almost everyone there was below 20) and paired up with each other to try twisting and er, shouting.Β  Good fun, though we (ok, fine, I) ended up in giggles for most of it, along with making the usual rude comments (one of the instructors was pretty shaggable-looking, until we saw his teeth up-closeish which made us both recoil with disgust).

Unfortunately now I feel about 61 instead of 21 as all my joints ache—my knees, elbows, oof. Dragging my sorry ass up the stairs was an effort and a half. That night, I headed to Anna (from AWAM’s WWRP) and Brendan’s place in Jln. Raja Chulan (RM2500/month for rental, madness! But they have a POOL!) with Malati and Seetha who both live in Subang, for Anna & Brendan’s going away party. Great fun, heaps of food (we did it potluck) and lots of scintillating conversation πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, hm, pain manifested itself in terms of wallet-aches as I drove to Amcorp to buy Tim’s dad’s camera, but forgot that the shop’s closed on Mondays, so I went shopping.

There’s this awesome bookstore there, BookXcess, where they sell awesome new surplus titles for REALLY cheap. I swear, you can get bestsellers and Really New Stuff (paperback) for around RM17.90-RM24.90! I was in there for almost two hours. The store’s ambiance is pretty nice,Β  lovely warm orange walls and wood flooring, and best of all they were playing those lovely old old Christmas carols πŸ™‚ It really got me in a shopping mood so I bought a couple of books for gifts (belated birthdays and possibly Christmas prezzies!) and was literally bouncing down the escalators as happily as my stiff joints would allow me.

The evening was followed by a movie (Enchanted! Bwahahaha what a pisser it was!), drinks and ice cream with my favourite girls (who are home at the moment, don’t the rest of you get huffy! You know I love yous ;)) Chien, Jo and Mun Teng.

I found Enchanted hilarious how satirically it banged the shit out of Disney movies, though it is one itself. Though it was quite predictable, the acting was pretty decent (for a kid/chick flick!) and some of the dialogue was quite funny, really. I was in stitches as Giselle and Robert go dancing through the park with a whole entourage of random people behind them singing! It’s an ironic fairytale, and I can’t say I’ve seen too many of those in my day πŸ˜‰

Today, now, ugh. ULTIMATE PAIN. I’m gritting my teeth now thinking about it.

Chien’s mum was lovely to get me a 2-week free trial to True Fitness in Taipan, and I tagged along with Chien and her sisters for yoga after seeing their mum for my second HPV vaccine injection (the first one hurt like a mofo, this second one wasn’t too bad). Unfortunately, Chien and I didn’t quite realise it was an intermediate/advanced Astanga Vinyasa yoga class, so it was pretty hardcore for a relative noob like me!

I mean I’ve done yoga before (very very very basic stuff, and nowehere near the warp speed at which the instructor was going), and did pilates when I was in Australia, but this was major ouch-stuff. All that contorting and stretching, my goodness! I used to do gymnastics in primary school (so I’m relatively o-k flexibility wise on a good day—in fact my ‘alternative’ sleeping positions are with one leg curled under me and the other one out straight, or while I sit cross-legged, bent forward at the waist into my pillow)Β  but this was Seriously Hard Shit.

I’m talking bizarre balancing, strenuous stretches and terrible twists! I am so going to feel this tomorrow -.- But call me a bully for punishment, I’m going back tomorrow, for the beginner’s class though πŸ˜› I’d almost forgotten how awesome it feels to have a good stretch, and that horrid burn in your muscles that you know is actually good for you.

On the subject of pain, anyone know where’s good for a Brazilian wax? πŸ˜› I know there’s the place of the moment, Strip, along Jalan Telawi in Bangsar. I’ve also come across places (in the course of my research, ahem) like Nail Studio in Midvalley, Rupini’s also along Telawi, Glitters in One Utama and some place in Times Square.

I’d like to say money is not an option (actually, it really isn’t, considering who’s buying me my wax, bwahahaha) but I suppose one must be careful even with luxuries. I want hygiene and privacy too, dammit. If I’m going to have to pay (or rather, if money is changing hands) to have my privates assaulted with hot wax causing me much pain (actually I think I have quite a high pain threshold, excepting for yoga), I might as well suffer in a dignified silence in a clean place.

Suggestions, comments or views on any of my painful practices of late?

I suppose I really am a masochist, I’m even setting myself up for more abuse by asking this πŸ˜›