Showing posts from July, 2011

Outreach into The Unknown

A long stretch of poorly-paved road runs along the plantation, which still shows evidence of harvest and activity. The sweating migrant workers, four of them, slaving away in the scattering shades of the gigantic oil palm, monstrous trees towering. Though this doesn't protect us from the humidity.  Whatever is left of the breeze has evaporated in the shadows. Its been a raw, back-breaking walk with mostly dry hills covered with wild scrub and ferns, and punctuated by coconut tree. 

Exhausted from the outreach, met too many out-of-school young people using substances (usually the local fermented brew), sniffing glue and the local dodgy pot for shooting heroin. The absence of harm reduction activity in the rural areas is primarily because of the lack of will NGOs and government agencies, society's apathy and the finger-pointing cesspool of complacency. I'm fucking tired. 

After an excruciating journey through the plantation and through the Orang Asli village, the sight, with a…

HIV/AIDS, NGOs and Malaysia

So does the Malaysian AIDS Council, a secretariat, serve its partner organisations OR is it a "corporatised" entity looking mainly the needs of the Government OR does it serve itself (and it's pet projects)? Or none at all?

With so many people, many service providers from the POs, bitching about MAC's complacency of the needs of people living/affect with HIV/AIDS and vulnerable groups, and MAC's own grievances of the flip-flop attitude of the NGOs, one wonders why last year we saw an increase of infection among women, and why the intervention of most-at-risk communities remain stagnant, lacking rights-based approaches and sustainable advocacy of community representation. 
So is there a voice for sex workers? What happened to harm reduction urban/rural programmes for young people, especially girls who are more vulnerable than boys? What about advocacy, or is it merely a PR exercise for those sitting in comfortable workstations, fiddling their thumbs, drowning in the…

Needle Exchange Program PSA

Clean Needles Save Lives

UNICEF faces a $50 million shortfall in aid to victims of Pakistani floods

UNICEF faces a $50 million shortfall in aid to victims of Pakistani floods:
"A year after devastating monsoon floods hit Pakistan, for which the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched one of its largest operations, the agency today reported it faces a shortfall of more than $50 million to meet the continuing critical needs of the country’s children."
Another highlights of flooding in Pakistan:

Thailand: Investigate Murder of Environmentalist

Thailand: Investigate Murder of Environmentalist:
(by Human Rights Watch)

The Thai government should urgently and thoroughly investigate the murder on July 28, 2011, of Thongnak Sawekchinda, a prominent environmental activist in Samut Sakhon province.

(Bangkok) – The Thai government should urgently and thoroughly investigate the murder on July 28, 2011, of Thongnak Sawekchinda, a prominent environmental activist in Samut Sakhon province, Human Rights Watch said today. More than 20 environmentalists and human rights defenders have been killed in Thailand since 2001, and few of those responsible have been held to more

West Papua - The secret war in Asia

The forgotten land of West Papua is under brutal Indonesian military occupation. Its tribal people are being slaughtered, and their unique environment destroyed. But the world is doing nothing to stop it. 

In 1963, in violation of international law, Indonesia occupied and colonised the West Papuan homeland in the western part of New Guinea. Since that tragic event the West Papuans are asking for a fair referendum about their independence...

Prison needle exchange needed: report

This is what we need in Malaysia!

UNICEF and partners race against time as Horn of Africa crisis worsens

UNICEF and partners race against time as Horn of Africa crisis worsens:
"NEW YORK, USA, 28 July 2011 – History is repeating itself in the Horn of Africa. Images of severely malnourished children – and of people walking great distances across parched earth in search of food and water – haunt the public conscience. A combination of drought, conflict and soaring food prices is turning deadly for the region's most vulnerable children and families."

Jeyakumar: Too ‘politically costly’ for BN to continue holding us

Jeyakumar: Too ‘politically costly’ for BN to continue holding us:
By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar asserted tonight that the order to release all Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) detainees had been a political decision and not because the “police had come to their senses”. -----------------------------------

Sad but Malaysian politics have been reduced to a group of barbarians flings sticks and stones at another group of barbarians, with Malaysian society screaming, froth in the mouth, for more scandalous carnage. What an embarrassing state of affairs!

UN calls on Malawi to set up inquiry into allegations of human rights abuses

UN calls on Malawi to set up inquiry into allegations of human rights abuses:
"The United Nations human rights office today urged the Malawian Government to set up a transparent investigation into allegations that its security forces committed grave rights violations when they clashed with protesters last week."

Malaysia’s King at eco awards as Sarawak’s forests destroyed

Malaysia’s King at eco awards as Sarawak’s forests destroyed: Deforestation caused by loggers in a Penan region in Borneo, Malaysia.
© Andy and Nick Rain/SurvivalThe King of Malaysia and HRH the Prince of Wales attended a reception in London yesterday on behalf of The Earth Awards. The event was hosted in partnership with START, an initiative of the Prince of Wales, to help people in the UK lead more ‘sustainable’ lives.
The irony that the King of Malaysia was at an exclusive cocktail reception to view ‘innovations in sustainability’ will not be lost on the Penan tribe. The hunter-gatherer Penan rely on their forest for their survival and live some of the most sustainable lives on the planet. However, in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, the Penan’s forest is being cut down for timber and cleared for plantations.
The traditionally nomadic Penan live in the rainforests of Sarawak, one of the most ancient and biologically rich forests on earth. The Penan have lived i…

The Lord of Famine

The UN estimates that more than 11 million people in East Africa are affected by the drought, with 3.7 million in Somalia among the worse-hit because of ongoing civil war in the country. Its predicted that 800,000 children could die, in misery and agony, across the Horn of Africa. Famine victims are defenceless against the rot of the strife, the swollen fat greed of the lords of war.So what will you do to stop this madness? Nothing? As I had expected, the Horns of Complacency has struck you.

Definition of GENOCIDE

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (UN General Assembly)

Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as

...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
A simpler definition of Genocide: 
Thedeliberateandsystematicexterminationofanational,racial, political,orcultural

Famine children dying on east Africa's "roads of death"

Famine children dying on east Africa's "roads of death":
"Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme told a conference in Rome that a deadly combination of natural disaster and regional conflict had created an emergency affecting more than 12 million people. "We are seeing all the points able to distribute food completely overwhelmed ... our food is not adequate, so we are airlifting in more life saving supplies," she said."

Brazil to ‘do to Indians what Australia did to Aboriginals’

Brazil to ‘do to Indians what Australia did to Aboriginals’:A Kayapó indigenous man. The Kayapó tribe is one of many whose livelihoods will be devastated by the Belo Monte dam.
© Antonio Bonsorte/Amazon WatchA Brazilian government official has suggested that Brazil will treat its indigenous peoples like Australia treated the Aboriginals.
Curt Trennepohl, President of Brazil’s environment agency IBAMA, replied ‘yes, yes’ when an Australian journalist asked him, ‘Are you going to do to the Indians what we did to the Aborigines?’
In the same interview, regarding the impacts of the planned Belo Monte dam on tribal people in the Amazon, Trennepohl stated that his role was not to look after the environment, rather to ‘minimize the impacts’.
The Belo Monte dam, if built, will devastate a large stretch of Amazon rainforest upon which thousands of tribal people depend for their survival.
The indigenous communities have not been consulted about the project. They have held several protests against th…

Protection safeguards must be enforced as part of Australia-Malaysia refugee deal - UN

Protection safeguards must be enforced as part of Australia-Malaysia refugee deal - UN:
"The United Nations today stressed the need to ensure that protection safeguards are enforced as Australia and Malaysia carry out a refugee exchange deal aimed at curbing people smuggling and the dangerous boat journeys that lead to loss of life at sea."
Its a fucking sad day, where nations treat refugees as live-stocks to be exchanged and bartered. Sounds awfully like fucking slavery to me. Sick and tired of the complacency in Malaysian society and the inability of our NGOs to protect the rights of refugees; interestingly enough, Malaysia doesn't recognize the UNDP refugee status: the authorities deem refugees as "illegal immigrants". And that is not fucking sick?

Exposed: Ethiopia gives farmland to foreigners while thousands starve

Exposed: Ethiopia gives farmland to foreigners while thousands starve: The Omo River is home to eight separate tribes.
© Joey L / joeyl.comA Survival investigation has uncovered alarming evidence that some of Ethiopia’s most productive farmland is being stolen from local tribes and leased to foreign companies to grow and export food – while thousands of its citizens starve during the devastating drought.
Vast blocks of fertile land in the Omo River area in south west Ethiopia are being leased out to Malaysian, Italian and Korean companies, as well as being cleared for vast state-run plantations producing export crops, even though 90,000 tribal people in the area depend on the land to survive.
The government is planning to increase the amount of land to be cleared to at least 245,000 hectares, much of it for vast sugar cane plantations.
Tribal peoples will be devastated by the current boom in dam-building.
© E. Lafforgue/Survival

The region’s worst drought in 60 years has left millions starv…

Blame game and political suicide of Indonesian elites

Blame game and political suicide of Indonesian elites:
"Democratic Party executives are supposed to question themselves over the
party’s politicians getting entangled in corruption. Much to everyone’s
surprise, the party’s patron, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, last
week put the blame on the media, accusing media organizations of ..."
Sounds like Malaysian politicians ya... or somewhat.

India: New Killings, Torture at Bangladeshi Border

India: New Killings, Torture at Bangladeshi Border:

(New York) ­- The government of India should undertake a speedy, fair, and transparent criminal investigation into fresh allegations of killings, torture, and other abuses by the Border Security Force (BSF) at the border with Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said today.

read more

I am who I am because I choose to be what I am

I must not fear the establishment. 
Fear is the killer of empathy, it breeds apathy, it dilutes emotions. Fear is the destroyer of worlds, the bringer of doom, it brings upon total annihilation to free-will and individuality. It destroys hope, and ravishes senses.
I will face my fear, I will challenge it. And when it has gone, I will turn my profound sense of liberation to see its path, where it stood. Where the fear has vanished, there will be nothing left, nothing to procreate redundancy. Only I will remain. 

Man has no greater enemy than himself

"Man has no greater enemy than himself. I have acted contrary to my sentiments and inclination; throughout our whole lives we do what we never intended, and what we proposed to do, we leave undone."

--> As quoted in An Examination of the Advantages of Solitude and of Its Operations (1808) by Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

The Urge to Travel

Time flies when you're having fun. It doesn't matter where you are, whether you're hobbling down the narrow back lanes of the slums, or wandering about in the entertainment area of the city at night, or walking across the raging river towards an Orang Asli village in the humidity, or even painfully tracing your footsteps at the base of the mountain. 

Doesn't really matter to me, the location is not important. I guess its been deeply ingrained in me since childhood of the passion for adventure, for the excitement or for the love of travelling. Give me an opportunity, and I would just hop into an airplane, and fly away...

I'm keen to travel South East Asia, to see the sights, to embrace the rituals of being lost in history, to plunge into the unknown, interlocking with life, grasping at the smell and fragrance. I want to be free. Freedom is a joy, forever.

The Situation of Young Malaysians

Young people everywhere: 
Have aspirations and want to participate fully in the lives of their society.They are key agents for social engineering, economic development and technological innovation. Young people should live under conditions that encourage their imagination, ideals, energy and vision to flourish to the benefits of themselves and society.  
Quite an ambitious set of ideals but nothing close to the reality especially when you assess their lack of participation in policy making, be it related to HIV/AIDS, indigenous concerns, education, healthcare or even gender discrimination. At this point, I am not keen in embracing and believing fancy slogans and honey-coated promises of politicians and academics. Its the sad truth that many times, adults dismiss ideas of young people as something so illogical and the obscene ramblings of young "inexperienced" people.  
The reality is that we are failing. We are molding young people to become exact replicas of the ultimate failu…

Human Rights, Questions and Young People

On Dec 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the UN adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that "State Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child."

My questions:

1. Has your government played close attention to promoting the rights of young people?

2. Do these rights include education, employment and health for young people?

3. What about the right of a child to clean, drinking water?

4. What about the right of young people to evaluate your national youth policy?

5. Is human rights education taught in schools? What type of curriculum is taught? At what level?

6. Do young people participate in the planning, implementation and existing monitoring and reporting procedures linked to …

Self-Advocacy and Change of Behavior

I serve vulnerable, marginalized communities. Why? Isn't there another career option for a social worker like myself? Isn't there a "safer" job, which clocks in at 9am, departing swiftly back home at 5pm? 

There's so much that corporations are offering people like us, to diligently serve the management, to passionately comply with the hierarchy, to adhere to the system, to be incorporated into the rat race of bliss, money and entertainment.  

No thanks. I'll stick with what I do. I do my best to help, to empower, to fight for the rights of individuals who are left powerless, thanks to the corporations, thanks to our complacent society, thanks to the many NGOs that have lost focus of their duty to serve, and thanks to the government for the hypocrisy. No thanks, I'll do what I have doing for the past 20 years, why? Simply because I can
Life starts when people make a conscious decision to embrace empathy, to show compassion, to make a difference via activis…

Tijah: Seluruh pentadbiran Orang Asli sudah tercemar

The ignorance of society towards Orang Asli is disgusting. This creates a generation of Malaysians only interested in themselves and thinking that our indigenous community are better off in poverty, living at the brink of extinction.

NGOs flowing into the Cesspool

Malaysia's inability to advocate for the rights of the marginalised community, isn't the sole responsibility of the government.

Civil society, being in the midst of work, has failed to sustain the advocacy needed to inspire, empower and enable Malaysians towards social engineering, or even towards positive behavioural change. I'm just so fucking fed-up when advocates preach about human rights to the government but they themselves fail to "turun padang" to help disadvantaged, homeless, indigenous or poor people. 

Yes, our government and the policy makers are a bunch of morons, practising the art of apathy and embracing the ignorance with a multi-million Ringgit budget. However the NGOs are falling on themselves, fighting bitterly amongst each other for the funding pie, lacking any plans for solidarity or long-term partnerships towards not just advocacy but also activism.

Society is screwed, and you're fucked, courtesy of your own complacency.

Behind the Torment, The Joy

Hitherto your eyes haven soften and you have looked too much, yes, far too much, upon the things of earth; the sorrow, the pain, the misery. 
If these so much torment you, beyond belief, what shall be your rapture when you lift your gaze to things of joy hiding in the chest of mankind.

All West Papua Refuse Indonesia Illegal Occupation & Asking Referendum


Young People Using Drugs in Malaysia

Young people in Malaysia are obviously moving away from injecting heroin (old school way of taking dadah); the whole aspects of the needle, syringe and the stigma placed by society on injecting users has unnerved young people. 

Demand reductionists would advocate for the same old principles of total abstinence, quitting cold turkey, suffering in a govt-run boot camp, drumming religious virtues and moralistic values into a recovering user. Does this help young people? No it doesn't. Many of us grow ill at the sight of demand reductionists spewing hideous lectures of death, misery and self-destruction, IF young people experiment, consume or actively use drugs; and their way of abstinence is "our way or the highway" techniques. 

Its fucking depressing when young people who use drugs are criminalized, stigmatized, and marginalized. Civil society, the government and authorities place no importance to young users in participation, decision-making and enabling the environment con…

West Papua - Freedom or Slavery?

While we live in a world that advocates democracy, we still experience the essence of what it truly means to be free. There are so many nations and communities bent on championing the cause of democratic change, yet civilization has never really advocated, strongly, for indigenous people.   

Let us take West Papua for example. The imperialist yoke of suppression and tyranny of a foreign power, Indonesia, on to the rightful owners of the land, the Papuans. 
Despite the coverage (little it may be, at times pathetically sad) on the international media, civilization is still spiraling into it's own cesspool of apathy. There are still no positive indicators of true democracy in that land --> Freedom for West Papua. 
While ASEAN commits itself to a campaign of non-interference, and in the same breath it preaches about its own refined version of human rights - this leaves a foul bitter afterthought. An abomination of values, in deed. A complete mockery of the core foundation of humanity.…


It is very good to copy what one sees; it is much better to draw what you can't see any more but is in your memory. It is a transformation in which imagination and memory work together. You only reproduce what struck you, that is to say the necessary.

-- Edgar Degas

Society Cannibalizes Itself

I have to say, I think that we are in some kind of twisted crossroad as to whether civilization is civilized, or has it turned onto itself in its raw prejudicial and cannibalistic way, consuming others due to their "bizarre" desire or merely because the individual is different from the rest of the common folk. 

Are we really qualified to take on the responsibility of nurturing life; or have we grown in complete redundancy as the institution that claims to speak for us?

Life is not about society and its conformity to society's standards. 

It has everything to do with the individual. Does the individual have the courage to really go along with the truth? Is one life more important than the thousands? Or does one voice brings about justice compared to a million? 

Life is precious. Don't forget that.

Quote of the Month

No human being is constituted to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and even the best of men must be content with fragments, with partial glimpses, never the full fruition.

-- William Osler

My Initial Thoughts of Bersih

Police fired tear gas at Bersih participants and supporters. Police armed with weapons, batons, shields, and violence. What about the right of any Malaysian to engage in peaceful demonstrations? Or has the govt robbed us of that right?
"Karma evolves & changes. I am Karma"

Bersih Malaysia - Police and Protests


Bersih 2.0 Malaysia Protest (Pictures)

Bersih 2.0 Rally

by azlan zamhari