January 19, 2008


Posted in Reads, Social Responsibility According to Me at 11:52 am by meldee

Thank you everyone who saw my letter to the editor in The Star yesterday (my third letter in two weeks, woots! A friend joked they should just give me my own column already, heh) and expressed your support.

It wasn’t easy deciding to share this with…uhh..pretty much the entire country and I know I will have to face the consequences. There will be unhappy parties from the uni (I anticipate more hate blog-entries about me, but la dee dah so what it just proves I’ve touched a raw nerve) and perhaps some who’ve read it will think, “So? Doesn’t she have any sense of humour?”.

I refer to my letter “Sexual Harassment is Not OK“. Yes, I’ll probably be questioned by relatives on my experience during Chinese New Year, etc, but you know what? I don’t care. I’m proud that I have the guts to speak out and I will reiterate this fact here: I AM NOT A VICTIM.

Yes, I was sexually harassed. But instead of keeping quiet about it, I empowered myself and spoke out. I shared my experience. I told people who’d previously thought there wasn’t anything wrong with it that there IS, that it’s a violation of their rights.

And now, it heartens me even more to find that I’ve accomplished what I hoped to do: inspire other young women out there to speak out.

There were two more letters in today’s paper: “It’s Not Funny to Degrade Women” and “Angry and Distraught Over Sexual Harassment“.

I am so proud and inspired by these two other women who spoke out against sexual harassment. I hope that this will only be the beginning. I know it’s a long, hard road to travel especially if one feels alone, but real change takes a long time.

I’m glad I took the first step. If anyone is going to call me a bitch about this, yo, ma, I don’t give a shit. Cos as cheesy as it sounds, the corny acronym for BITCH could totally apply to me: Babe In Total Control of Herself.

In yo’ face, child.

(pardon the drama -.- I’ve been watching too many episodes of America’s Next Top Model from previous cycles)


October 25, 2007

no more assignments, woots/ ponderings: illegals or expatriates?

Posted in Happenings, I Wonder..., Malaysia, My Home, Reads, Social Responsibility According to Me at 6:54 pm by meldee

Handed in my final assignment for Consuming Otherness: Gender & Global Culture today, after the IMU Art Comp closing ceremony and prize giving (which I got a bit lost, because I took the first turning to Bkt Jalil after the Sunway toll—ended up on the freaking Kesas having to pay an extra RM2.20, gaah). It was fairly interesting, ye gads I even got called up to the front and given a souvenir mug for being ‘The Press’, which oddly made me very very shy. I’m not normally very very shy :/

Maybe because I felt so inferior to all these medical-y people—one of the VIPs gave some speech illustrated on ATP + Pi —-> ADP (whatever the hell this is) and how it was the most important equation ever, rarara…I just sat there with this look of horror on my face because I had my life flashing before my eyes (no, I’m kidding).

This doesn’t beat the line about Einstein’s theory of relativity and the universe though that was spouted by some physicist on Discovery Science’s Brilliant Minds—“When we physicists look at his equations, we weep. Because it’s so beautiful. Because life as we know it can be summed up in an equation less than an inch long”.

I guess art really is relative ey? 🙂

Good thing though, I made a new friend and we bonded over bitching about how private universities try to screw their students over (and we, erm, bitched about Medical students. But in all fairness some Med students are really nice! Others, well, are horrid and ought to be shot) 🙂


I was forwarded an e-mail by a close friend who works with NGOs (let’s call her X) asking for help—donations, cash, manpower, etc—for some Myanmarese refugees. Apparently the UNHCR has temporarily shut down registration for the Myanmarese because so many are fleeing here due to the bloody conditions back home. I asked another friend (let’s call her W) if she’d like to chip in some money, as I have pledged a small amount to buying food for them, X promised to help buy food, etc to give to them on her trip to the families.

But W said something that made me stop and think, and it unnerved me a little, which could be both good and bad. “Honey”, she typed, “You realise you would be supporting illegal immigrants?”

There was just something about this simple statement that struck me, the connotations, the underlying messages…hm.

Now I admit I used to (and still do, depending on the context—but forgive me, old habits die hard) look at migrant workers weirdly, especially those who don’t bathe regularly (you can smell ’em :() and make rude catcalls and try to perve at your legs. I do agree it’s a problem, illegal immigrants, expatriates, whatever you want to call them—but to some extent I feel it’s different with the Myanmarese.

But is it really? When can we draw the line? I have a whole bunch of thoughts jumping around in my head that I can’t even begin to articulate.

At the end of the day, we’re all part of the same human race,  and we all have the same fundamental rights. Is extending a helping hand in a time of need really ‘supporting illegal immigrants’ or just being a decent human being? Can we really chose to include/exclude those of a certain nationality from being ‘worthy’ or receiving our aid?

I don’t support illegal immigration. I  do, however, sympathise deeply with displaced peoples who have to flee worsening conditions in their home country, and I would try to help them in any way I could. But as W also said, if I help one family, more and more will be coming in and then…she trailed off at this point, but I got the message.

Our country will be overrun with migrant workers. They’ll crowd public places, ‘steal our jobs’,  be responsible for social ills and goodness knows what else. But then again, how’s this different from what many of us aspire to do?

Many of us plan on migrating overseas to more developed countries, get a job, start a family there, and enjoy better standards of living. That is exactly what they want too.
Some might argue, but we’re educated, they’re just blue collar workers. And so? Someone still needs to do blue collar work, and if none of us will, they would. It’s just another bloody double standard, I feel, beefed up by bureaucracy  and paperwork. And I always find it so hypocritical that whites or Europeans here are ‘expatriates’, while those from third world countries are ‘illegal immigrants’ or ‘foreign workers’.

It’s just another way of us sucking ass, I think. Pardon the crude analogy.

I dunno, maybe some of you will have some thoughts to throw around too. Please do. In the mean time, if anyone wants to help out with refugees too, drop me an email and I’ll point you in the direction of X, or someone else that can help you help others.

Me, I’m going to take things one day at a time: for now, it’s this World Vision trip, then when I come back, my kids at the childcare centre. This doesn’t mean I’m stopping there, but for now, these are my priorities.

I do want to save the world 🙂

On another note, I was also forwarded another email by X, an article on The Sun’s website about how within the last 7 months (within KL/Klang Valley, I’m presuming?) there have been 1830 reported rape cases. That’s an insane number.  And those are just the cases that are reported! I’m not sure if this number has increased or decreased from previous years, but reading it made me shake my head in horror.

This means that every day I, or friends I know and love, are not raped, is a miracle. That’s scary, sad and….oh gosh, I don’t have the words for it. What is this world coming to :/

October 18, 2007


Posted in Friends, Reads at 7:31 pm by meldee


Just found out my library card is valid till the end of summer school, huzzah! I forsee many many trips to the library over these holidays. *rubs hands in glee*

I know, I am such a dork. I even have the picture (on my phone, though, boo—can’t find the bluetooth on my computer to switch on so I can’t transfer it to show you) to sorta prove it—me in Ethan’s sexayy specs, or me in sexayy Ethan’s specs, either way you put it.

I really am thrilled though, because this means I can read as many books as I like and not pay for it, because technically, I have, by way of library fees. Books here are not cheap—and for a lit lover like myself it can put a strain on one’s pocket. So I’m using this opportunity to take out as many books as possible—comprising, mostly, for now, Booker/Nobel Lit/Whitbread Award winners.

It has always been my fantasy to be able to walk into any bookstore I like and buy whatever books I wanted without having to think twice about the cost. *sigh* Someday, someday.


I’ve already read, finished and returned Vernon God Little (abso-fucken-lutely hilarious!) and am currently savouring the deliciousness of Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. From what I’ve read so far, Ishiguro’s prose is like hot scones with melted butter on top—a delicious indulgence that of course, is terribly British. All prim and proper, if you please. I like. Vernon God Little, by contrast, was about as redneck as you could have it—a boy detained (and on the run) from charges for murders he did not commit in the barbecue sauce centre of America. It was incredibly satirical, and quite witty—and of course I appreciated the colourful words he Pierre used to invoke images of more…provocative…things.

My holiday reading list (because I want feedback, recommendations, etc):

1. The Impressionist, Hari Kunzru

2. Incognito Street: How Travel Made Me a Writer, Barbara Sjoholm

3. An Artist of the Floating World, Kazuo Ishiguro (yes I’m on a rampage)

4. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

5. The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi

6. Shopaholic & Baby, Sophie Kinsella

Don’t laugh ok, especially at the last one! For your information I used to be quite the chick lit chick before I turned into a quasi-book snob, and old habits die hard. But sad to say for chick lit I usually switch off la, because plots are usually overdetermined and characters can be quite blah.

But for those who want postmodern chick lit, I highly recommend Cecelia Ahern’s A Place Called Here. I reckon it merges the genres quite well, and you can spot all the recurring themes, imagery, etc. I want to write like Ms. Ahern, I really do.


In typical me-style I’ve already finished Shopaholic & Baby. Get it out of my system quick, you know? While there were the requisite laugh-out-loud moments, I’ve decided for the life of me why would anyone consciously create such a stupid character. Of course Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) may be lovable in her ditzy own way, but honestly, at times her sheer stupidity makes me want to knock her over the head with a cudgel.

That’s it, no more chick lit la. Unless of course I decide to do my dissertation on chick lit (any passable Malaysian/Asian chick lit for me to massacre and analyse to death? Please don’t even bring up that annoying chick May Zhee—something with a little more substance, please), which would require me to devour many chick lit books in the name of research.

I can’t stand these stupid, vapid, vacuous portrayals of women so frivolously caught up in the world of consumerism, sex, and patriarchal ideologies. But it’s sad because not many people (myself included at times) want to really soak up strong, independent, ballsy women.

/end edit 


To commemorate our final day of class, Temme, Kathia, both Cheryls, Ethan and I sat around for almost a good 6 hours (aye, 6 hours!) gas-bagging in the cafeteria. Meaning to say we talked. About everything and nothing, which often make for the most fun conversations ever.

It evokes a sense of nostalgia, because this is it; the end of our undergraduate year. Kathia’s going off to China, Cheryl Yab’s wanting to work in Singapore, Cheryl Dunn wants to abscond the country (smart girl), Tems will be around but working, Ethan will be here one more semester and me? I still don’t know yet for sure where I’m going, but this is sort of like the end of an era, you know? The fin de siecle.

Has it really been three years? My God, time has just whizzed by.

From being wet-nosed first years who hadn’t a clue about discourse or semiotics and ideology, to jaded third years who are constantly bemoaning the stupidity, passivity and general dead jellyfish-ness of some of our juniors. I know it’s been said a million times before but university life really has been the best years of my life (“so far“, sniffs the Homer in my head). The combination of really being exposed to new things (some radical, some not so), taking on responsibilities, coming into one’s own…I feel a little wistful that I kind of studied most of it away, though I guess it will pay off in the end.

And it’s not like I haven’t been without friends. I’ve met amazing people, been taught mind-boggling things, seen more than I thought I would. *gets all misty-eyed*.

Ramblings aside, cheers to you, my friends, classmates and countrypersons (I’m being politically correct here). It has been, in short, fabulous, dahling.

September 19, 2007

my 15 seconds of fame/hairspray/i hate you lim su-hsien

Posted in Dahlings, Happenings, Reads, Shopping! at 10:21 pm by meldee

Me! Only a matter of time, my friends, before it’s my byline in the paper and not just me as an interviewee.

I got my 15  seconds of fame in today’s Youth2 section in The Star, available at this link. There’s also a follow-up story here which talks about my blogging, work, and (hee hee) Tim. While I am no doubt wriggling my toes with glee for the publicity (as a writer, communications student (not mass comm, yaaagh!) and er, general person with weird-ass name) I am also anticipating the day when it’ll be my byline in the national papers.

Went to Pyramid to watch Hairspray today with Sush, Adrian, Smuggy! (a.k.a. Yijin) and Adrian’s girlfriend/Sush’s housemate Delene. I loved Hairspray! It’s a text absochockfullutely of potential analysables. It’s also possibly one of the most (positively?) racist movies I’ve seen in a while, by virtue of the fact that highlighting the race issue brings the minorities further under the spotlight.

Yeslah, yeslah, i was anal-ysing it. I like la. But it was also a brilliant laugh—John Travolta in drag and dancing in heels, oh my! And Michelle Pfeiffer’s Velma Von Tussle is absolutely hateable in the most delicious manner! The songs were amazing, the costumes were to die for, and I’d love to learn me those dance moves!

Also, I am currently not too happy with Sush because see here, my hard work of not spending money unnecessarily for all these months, depriving myself of shopping, then BOOM! This woman comes back from the UK and in less than a week I’ve blown my entire monthly allowance *grumbles*. Last Saturday was this gorgeous kitsch parachute dress from Bangsar (my other purchase, a sheer-ish eyelet cotton tunic I fell in love with on my own accord), today was a killer pair of skinny jeans from Mango.

They’re also possibly the most I’ve ever spent on a pair of jeans (I cringe thinking about it) but this damn woman, my God, her silver tongue *blows raspberries at Sush*. Yaya, don’t give me nonsense about having a good eye ok woman. I know you’re secretly happy you didn’t walk out of MNG the only one with something.

But seriously, I look like a baby giraffe in it. As in, my legs look fab! *big shiny eyes* They’re also the first pair of jeans I’ve had in a while that actually fit—because, by George it’s a miracle—I’ve since gone down to a freaking size 6 since my last jeans purchase in…July?

Ugh. My ass has officially gone on a sabbatical. I know I used to gripe about having one, but now I really miss it and want it back 😦 But until then I shall gleefully wear my leg-elongating skinny jeans to death just to get enough mileage out of them for the price I paid.

I miss my ass 😦 It was kinda nice having something to flaunt; from a former hourglass figure I am now a….ruler. Baah.

And I don’t have an eating disorder by the way. I love my food. I need to eat three times a day, at least. I’ve just been scrimping on spending to save up for the Big Australia Trip—but then along came Sushers who’s shot all this to hell. Rawwwwwrrr!

Woman, I’m not going out with you again. Like, never. (or at least until next week ;))

August 15, 2007

of dreamers

Posted in I Wonder..., Poetry, Random Ramblings, Reads at 4:20 pm by meldee

I just sent this email to a close friend of mine, and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s an excerpt taken from a chapter of the thoughts and reflections of my favourite author. Just a reminder to keep hope alive, in the spirit of the previous post 🙂


“A rose dreamed day and night about bees, but no bee ever landed on her petals.

The flower, however, continued to dream. During the long nights, she imagined a heaven full of bees, which flew down to bestow fond kisses upon her. By doing this, she was able to last until the next day, when she opened again to the light of the sun.

One night, the moon, who knew of the rose’s loneliness, asked: “Aren’t you tired of waiting?”

“Possibly, but I have to keep trying.”


“Because if I don’t remain open, I will simply fade away.”

At times, when loneliness seems to crush all beauty, the only way to resist is to remain open.”

– Paulo Coelho, (2007), “Remaining Open to Love”, Like The Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections, Harper Collins Publishers, London, p.222


Ahem. Pardon the Harvard referencing,  I am currently doing much research into my major project for my Consuming Otherness: Gender and Global Culture unit.

On that note, which may be a bit jarring considering my posts lately have been in a very touchy-feely-emo-emo mood, I’m looking for potential interviewees for my project. I can’t (and won’t) expressly say what it’s about (PLAGIARISM! *guards skeleton of research project jealously*), but basically I’m looking to interview people (guys and girls alike) in the Klang Valley who grew up reading Archie Comics.

Heh, yes, laugh all you want, but I swear my paper will have a serious dimension *mysterioso grins*. It’s a 3000-word paper ok, and I’m doing it at third year level, so it’s bound to be something serious. Anyway, I’m almost always serious *deadpans*.


arrogant, I
am a Moving
piEce of your imagination.


 (I love postmodern poetry)


July 5, 2007

wonderings/working holiday

Posted in Random Ramblings, Reads at 2:17 pm by meldee

When I was a kid (not in the same league as my four year-old precocious cousin sometimes-Jack/Daniel gravely telling me “when I was young..”–he’d follow up with something like “I used to say bah-djzoo  instead of baju” before flashing a shy dinosaur-toothed grin and wiggling onto my lap) I used to wonder who gave all those cool names to paint colours.

I used to really enjoy looking through paint catalogues and just looking at the colours and their corresponding names: Coral White, Popcorn Yellow, Amethyst Haze, Icy Blue—I used to always think, even at age 7, that I could do a better job than that.

If I could name paints, I’d call them things like So White It’s Fright-ening,  Mellow Yellow, Amaranthine Amethyst and…well, you get the drift la. Weird names, because I couldn’t think of any romantic ones.

I really love the names they give OPI nail polish though 😀 I seriously do. They have the most fantabulous names to match the colours! They’re all so vibrant and…*waxes lyrical*.


I’ve been pretty much devouring books these hols. After The Kite Runner,  I moved swiftly on to Billie Letts’ Where The Heart Is (I loved it!), and am now reading Rebecca Wells’ The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. This book reminds me of the Dahlings, and makes me wish I were a little more gila when I was younger instead of the nerdy, 3-in-1 Nancy Drew-toting, rule-abiding goody-two-shoes I was!

On my reading list is also E. Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, Gregory Maguire’s Son of a Witch (the continuation of Wicked) and Noam Chomsky’s Imperial Ambitions.

I’d almost forgotten how much simple pleasure I derive from lolling about in bed on a hot afternoon sipping iced Milo, engrossed in a good book 🙂

July 3, 2007


Posted in D'oh!, Dahlings, Reads, Shopping! at 1:53 pm by meldee

It’s official; Jolene and I are doinks.

It’s a sweltering Tuesday afternoon, 1.30, to be exact, and we’ve just concluded a weird MSN-convo which involved both us us griping about Maybank2U.

We both accused each other (jokingly, of course) of clogging up the customer service phonelines, and upon inquiring what each others’ business in calling them up, we both discovered we were both having problems with our TAC/mobile phones.

Because we were both buying things online at the same time.

From the same website.



Ahem. Conclusion is, we’re both idiots. Heh.


Guess who’s going to be writing for hip magazine KLue 😀

Ok, it’s not set in stone yet, but I’ll be doing two nightlife reviews, which I find highly amusing.

Me, the poster girl for curfews, going ot at night to KL/Bangsar and doing nightlife reviews.

D’oh indeed.

I’m grouping my homies, to see who’s interested in scouting out some places with me 🙂 My deadline’s July 13 (the mother’s birthday, the day results come out, Friday the 13th!) so I’ll definitely be done by then. I’m not going to tell you which place I’m going to, because you should buy KLue when it comes out and search for my byline, and my review 😀

On a happy-dappy-frappy note, another MATTA fair is coming up on September 7th-9th at PWTC 😀 Needless to say, I’m going to be there to buy my ticket to fly ‘home’ (because home is where the heart is?)  to Melbourne. Now I know there are lots of cases of people being swindled, but I intend on going directly to MAS or whosoever has the cheaper rates to fly there.

Hopefully no conning involved.


On another note, I’ve just finished Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. If you haven’t read it yet, or are in the process of reading it, beware, spoiler alerts.
Thanks to Writing Techniques, I now analyse everything I read. It’s frustrating and annoying, let me tell you, but it also coaches you to recognising truly exceptional pieces of literature.

Hosseini’s debut novel was rather enjoyable, but what I didn’t like too much was the extremess of his characters. I believe you don’t have to make your characters ‘extreme’, as in extremely bad or extremely good to relate to them. By having human characters, your readers relate much better. At least in my opinion they do.

You had meek, scholarly, privileged Amir; his big, strong, tough, manly father who does not shower with him the attention he wants; hare-lipped, uneducated, brave, loyal Hassan, Amir’s servant and childhood friend; Ali, Hassan’s father who is also disfigured and has polio…later on in the book, Amir’s father dies of cancer, his future wife is a non-virgin, Hassan’s family is murdered, Hassan’s son Sohrab is raped and later attempts suicide..honestly, it’s one malady after another. One malady too many, if you ask me.

However, I liked the simplistic prose, and the scattering of Farsi words that lent an air of realism to the story—you felt part of Afghani culture, and I must say it presented an alternative view of the Afghanistan we all know today. The book also explores themes of diaspora, ethnicity (the Pashtuns and the Hazaras), religion (Sunni vs. Shi’ite Muslims), loyalty, redemption…There was also a lot of symbolism; the kite representing freedom, liberation, fellowship; books and literature standing for education and a transition to a ‘higher’ class, etc.

I also could not put the book down; Hosseini’s words flow smoothly, though the transition from Amir’s childhood to his adult life is very…bumpy. I didn’t quite like the transition, but as two separate parts of a book, they work fine.

Like I said, I liked the book fine; it’s pretty darn good for a debut. However, I will maintain that there were too many cliches and predictable eye-rolling instances, like when Sohrab tries to kill himself, and when the evil Taliban man turns out to be this horrible Afghani/German who raped Hassan as a child.

But yeah, ramblings aside, it’s a good book, and I’m looking forward to reading more of Hosseini’s work 🙂

You can wipe the drool off your chin now, I’m done. Heh.