July 15, 2008

on power

Posted in Malaysia, My Home, Social Responsibility According to Me, Uni at 3:22 pm by meldee

You. Listen to me.

Canon EOS Kiss, World Press Freedom Day at Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.


So there have been a whole lot of stupid stuff going on in the media lately. Stuff that’s contributed to my rage (see previous post), which died down for a brief moment (short attention span–what did I tell you) but is now back in full-force.

I read the most ludicrous, badly-written article by a Melati Mohd Ariff who alleges herself a journalist for the national news agency.

The link is available here, and basically slams homosexuality to the ground, likening it to a ‘cancer’ that is ‘spreading its tentacles’. Now, everyone is entitled to their views, but seriously folks. What adults do in the bedroom with consent (and I cannot emphasise this enough) is nobody’s business but their own.

There are heaps of enraged responses already floating around, one of my favourites is the letter to the editor written by Michelle Gunaselan, available here.

It irks me to no end that pseudo-journalists put out stuff like this, with no right of reply to members of the LGBT community; neither were any sexuality rights NGOs asked for their opinion. Using such value-laden terms and coming from a ‘National News Agency’ like this is akin to propaganda–but then again hey, what’s new?

Seriously. The policymakers of this country seem obsessed with sex and nothing but(t?). There are so many other pressing issues out there–abused children. Poverty. The dismal state of education (Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia? Maths and Science in English or Malay?). Families abandoned by fathers who then go on to marry other women and start up new families, repeat cycle.

It pisses me off so badly, especially because during times like these I think of my kids and wonder when their voices will be heard. One of the girls, D, is sitting for her UPSR examination soon and she cannot even read in English, what more hope to write essays?

Get your priorities right.


On a more humourous/ominous note, being a sessional has its benefits.

I now have access to the timetables of all the students. I can even filter according to name, subjects taken and days.

Totally awesome possum.


July 14, 2008

on rage

Posted in Strange Feelings at 9:07 pm by meldee


Canon EOS Kiss.


Another one of My Moments. Pure, unadulterated Arien rage.

When I feel the hot bile choking me as I draw breaths and struggle to keep my screams down.

The blood rushes to my temples and I really do believe I could seriously beat the next person that pisses me off in the very slightest way to a pulp.

My knuckles ache to bleed. Bleed to ache.

Muscles coiled, ready for anything. Waiting for an excuse to pounce and roar and fight and frighten.

I’m wound as tightly as a spring on Prozac (if you catch my drift).

I despise everything, these heinous circumstances, all that I’ve done, all that I am.

I’m scared. And angry. Unspeakably so.

What the hell am I playing at? What did I expect? Why am I being so utterly foolish? Didn’t I always know it would end up like this? I wanted it this way, didn’t I? Now I’ve got what I wanted, and the truth is, it hurts. It sucks. It’s utterly maddening and I wish I weren’t me just so I could beat myself up.


Then my timid fish comes out from behind the seaweed and begins to weep.

I’m sorry.

July 10, 2008

on being outside, looking in

Posted in Strange Feelings at 1:52 pm by meldee

‘Does anybody hear me?’

Taken with my Canon EOS Kiss, Jonker Walk, Malacca.


I often get the feeling that I’m living someone else’s life. I’m not meant to be here. I’m an imposter. A fraud.

But the question is, where else would I be if not here and now?

July 9, 2008

on peace

Posted in Strange Feelings at 10:43 am by meldee

Life from death.

Canon EOS KISS, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.


I am restless. Listless. Unfocused.

Yes, again.

Then I found this post ( and this one, too!) and it reminded me that this will all make sense one day.

I hope.

All I need to do is sit tight and hopefully find peace within myself.

Possibly, one of the hardest things to do when your mind is traveling at warp speed, and you know your thoughts should be trailing your work (or vice versa) at a similar velocity.

I need to get away. Somewhere, anywhere. This weekend.

Lie on my back and watch clouds roll by and take no heed of the insects crawling with their pokey little feet across my limbs. Feel fresh air fondle my (badly in need of a trim) hair and sunshine kissing my cheeks. Eat too unhealthily and drink too much. Listen to my own out-of-tune hummings and do clumsy two-steps barefoot in the grass with no one watching. Read a trashy romance novel and cry at the soppy parts where undying love is realised and declared.

Take technically imperfect pictures and write silly poetry nobody reads anyway.

Find some part of me that still has faith that everything will turn out A-OK.

July 8, 2008

on you

Posted in Poetry at 10:19 am by meldee

Draped and waiting.

Taken with my Canon EOS KISS, M.University Cultural Night.


words sail on a velvet dream

sailing on a dream of velvet words.

i am dreaming of velveteen sails

forward, onward on sails of velvet.

my dreams a foreword of velvet folds

selling souls and soup and crushed—

–crushed vulgar dreams blanket my soul

curling words on a serpentine tongue lashing—

–eyelashes fall like vicious violet teardrops

crushing dreams on a rumpled stained gown.

i dream of words, vulgar, violent, velvet, sailing on skin

your words sailing on my velvet dreams.

July 6, 2008

on colourings

Posted in Happenings, Kids, Malaysia, My Home at 5:38 pm by meldee

Don’t box me in.

Taken with my Canon EOS KISS.


As the English/Malay speaking half of World Vision Malaysia’s Youth Ambassadors (hah! I sound so self-important) I had to today emcee a colouring contest at the Putra World Trade Centre in conjunction with the My Family Showcase. All registration fees went to World Vision Malaysia (yay! Methinks about RM4,000-RM5,000 was collected) and kids between the ages of 5-12 stood to win cash prizes.

Now, hardly exerting stuff, but it was quite challenging, and hilarious how miscommunication was so rife and there wasn’t enough space for all the kids to colour together; the younger ones remained inside the hall while the older kids had to colour outside (poor things).

Now, why this is blogworthy: it was scary.

Like, seriously—the air of competition, the hardcore coming-early-to-book-a-spot, the doting parents who watched their kids like hawks…now, I’ve entered a few colouring contests in my time (haven’t we all? It’s like some Malaysian child’s rite of passage)—never won, obviously, because when I was a kid my 5 second attention span was much worse and I never got the hang of the shading thing—but I don’t remember those colouring contests being less of a contest than it was a battle!

Ok picture this yeah—clearly some of the kids go for art classes (in addition to the music/piano class, the taekwondo class, swimming class, maths class, English class, spinning class cooking class upper-middle class…yeah I’m kidding about the last three, but you catch my drift); these kids were the ones with the hardcore parents.

The parents that buy them full on mini-tables and chairs and lugged it to PWTC just for this. The parents that forced me to return submitted artwork “because the full two hours are not up yet; Ah Boy, colour some more until time is up, I don’t care if you are tired or not”. The parents that crushed littler kids in the melee that happened during prize-giving up on stage.

Gaah! The kids are almost as scary….especially among the older ones, many of them actually brought pieces of cloth to cover their half-completed artwork to prevent other children from seeing what they’ve done! They’re sitting there on their cushions/mini-chairs, barefoot, little scraps of crayon-stained cloth around them, dusting and scraping away at their artwork, giving their opponents sneaky looks and glaring quite dangerously at me when I make announcements, like they’re thinking “stuff yer gob, ye crazy woman, let me colour in peace! Yer disrupting my artistic train of thought as to whether I should colour the man’s hair cornflower yellow or sunshine yellow.”

Speaking of which, is something else I noticed—call me over-analytical but my Arts training has done me well. I noticed that almost all the kids, colouring artwork that featured families and kids (and a cat, for the older group of children), coloured the skin of the characters in the pictures light. As opposed to dark. Yes, even the children who were Malay or Indian (dan lain-lain).

I just found this so problematic and sad. Things are such that these little ones think that fair is beautiful and dark is not? Sigh.


I also found myself asked twice over these last two days, once by a salesgirl at a cosmetics counter, and another time by a DJ at PWTC (I digress here, but why do DJs always put on this fake ‘ohmygod I’m so cool listen to my sexy raspy deep’ voice when they’re at the mic, but when they’re not on it they can talk like a ‘normal’ person again? Gaah.): “So what are you? Malay? Chinese? Mix?”

Everytime I am asked this lately, my answer is always the same. “I am Malaysian”.

This always throws people. “Yeah, ok, but what are you? You speak Malay so well” to which I usually reply, “but that’s inconsequential. I’m Malaysian and I don’t think I should be defined by my ethnicity or my language.”

I always make them uneasy with this…haha.

The DJ-type person also interrogated me on why I couldn’t speak Chinese, because I told him that Jia Xiang (the other WVM Youth Ambassador) was doing the Mandarin version while I spoke in English/Malay. (Gaah. Because!) I was a little offended by this, even though it happens to me so often you wouldn’t believe it, and I told him so. Because I choose not to, and why does it matter, especially to him anyway? Does it make me less of a good person because I can’t speak what society deems my mother tongue?

It’s a personal choice and I don’t think I need to justify myself to anyone.

Call me a shit-stirrer but I think it’s high time we embraced this on a personal level to not be defined in terms of these things. The more we harp on issues of ethnic pride and the whole my-language-is-better-than-yours and all-English-speaking-people-have-forgotten-their-roots issue the more we are perpetuating this vicious cycle.

There’s only one race, and that’s the human race, and we’re all citizens of this same country. So why the labels? Why the need to put everything in boxes? Why can’t we be free to be you and me?

July 3, 2008

on openings

Posted in Strange Feelings at 9:56 pm by meldee

God, where’s my open door?

Taken with my EOS KISS, 50mm lens. Jonker Walk, Malacca.


Sometimes when all entries and exits have restricted or no access, the best thing to do is to sit inside and wait for a door, or window, to open.

If you wait long enough and miss the sunlight, open a window. Or door.

If not, break through.

It can be done.

July 1, 2008


Posted in Happenings, Malaysia, My Home, Social Responsibility According to Me at 2:41 pm by meldee

I wrote this letter to The Editor of The Star (as you would) yesterday, but it didn’t come out—am not disappointed or pissed, because knowing me, I won’t shut up about these things 😛

(And with the recent spandanglings involving Anwar? Mad.)

Anyway I thought I’d share it here, and leave it up to you to make up your own minds.

Mind you, I’m not asking anyone to take sides—just be careful and know that this could happen to you. In a way I’m glad it happened to me, because I am aware of these things—I’d hate for it to be someone who’d not say anything.

And..ahem…I’m sure it’s pretty clear which club I’m talking about.


Dear Editor,

I am writing about a recent incident that had me disturbed and disappointed when I paid a visit to a new club in Sunway. Being that is part of an international chain of clubs, it is understandable that they have certain standardised rules and protocol, among one of them allowing a one-time entry after the cover charge has been paid.

While I understand that this measure is put in place for crowd control, this incident I experienced I felt, was bordering on the unreasonable.

At one stage, I wanted to leave early for home. As I had driven there with a friend and she did not want to leave yet, I requested that she and another friend walk me to my car that was parked some distance away. I did this because I am conscious that there have been too many instances where people are accosted, raped or kidnapped while alone at night.

The bouncer at the exit, however, was adamant that once my friends had exited the club they would be required to pay for re-entry, even though we explained to him that my car was a good distance away and that I was alone.

While I realise that I made some mistakes on my part, namely having parked so far away in the first place, I feel it does not justify the attitude the club bouncer had to deny me the relative security of having my friends escort me back safely.

If he could not make an exception for my friends to re-enter, he should have at least offered to escort me to my car personally, or ask one of his colleagues.He was also rude about the whole incident, which I feel is unacceptable.

I would like to say that this has nothing to do with chivalry, it is more common sense and concern for another human being.

This is a brand-new club that has not even been officially opened yet—while they pride themselves on being the only smoke-free club in Malaysia I think they should also take pride in something as simple as extending concern over the safety and comfort of their customers. If they truly wish to provide a good overall experience, they should remember little things like this count, too.

In my opinion, club bouncers need to take every measure to ensure that the safety and well-being of its patrons are well and truly taken care of, not merely just inside the clubs. Club management, too, needs to ensure that their parking lots are well-lit and have one or two security personnel patrolling the area.

I have every right to go out once in a while to socialise with friends and should not have to live in perpetual fear of my safety. I try to be as proactive as possible but sometimes, like in this instance, I was not careful enough.

I would like to remind other young women to adopt the following precautions in light of my own errors: if you can avoid it, do not drive out alone at night. Always park in brightly lit-areas and don’t stall in your car after you get in—always lock your doors and be on the alert for shady-looking characters. If you have to commute alone, make sure you constantly update friends or family of your whereabouts and what time you are expected to be home. And lastly—never drink and drive.