Showing posts from August, 2011

Everyday, more than 10 Malaysians are tested HIV positive.

In Philippines, local responses to HIV/AIDS epidemic boosted by UN-backed plan:

"The United Nations is helping the Philippines tackle the mounting number of new HIV cases by putting local governments in the vanguard of the battle, mobilizing more than 1,000 officials and over 250 activists so far across 17 regions in the South-East Asian country."

Everyday, more than 10 Malaysians are tested HIV positive. While according to the Malaysian government, the epidemic is largely dominated by injecting drug users, this is mainly because of the mandatory HIV test forced on drug users while the rest of the population goes almost undetected. My concern is on the heterosexual transmission as in 2008, 27% of new reported cases were attributed to heterosexual unsafe sex. In 2004, it was 20%.  

West Papua: Violence is a recreation of Indonesia's Past

JAKARTA: "The International Crisis Group (ICG) called on the government on Monday to speed up the creation of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B) to provide solutions for the many problems in the region." 

The rising violence in West Papua is an indicator that Indonesia has long ago lost its iron grip and influence over the country. What outcome do you expect from a brutal campaign of foreign occupation and genocide? Do people think that there would be peace in West Papua as a result of military violence? And the offer of Indonesia's autonomy package to West Papua, is that really freedom from the yoke of imperialist design? 

"For more than 50 years West Papuans have suffered at the hands of the Indonesian colonial army while huge profits are extracted from the resource-laden land."
Let's cut through the bullshit, shall we? West Papua is controlled by Indonesia. The people are enslaved by the Indonesia administration. The…

Bisexuals exist. Duh! Or duh?

Bisexuals exist. Duh! Or duh?

Earlier this summer, scientists at Northwestern University found that bisexual men exist.

Duh! Or would that be: Duh?

Malaysia condemned for deporting Uighurs to China

(AFP) – 16 hours ago

KUALA LUMPUR — A human rights group criticised Malaysia on Tuesday for sending a group of ethnic Uighurs back to China and urged an end to such deportations over fears of mistreatment and even torture. The UN refugee agency also said it had sought access to the 11 people deported on August 18 as well as five others still in custody in Malaysia but had been denied by Malaysian authorities.

Malaysia/China: Prevent Forced Return of Uighurs

Malaysia/China: Prevent Forced Return of Uighurs:

The Malaysian government should immediately ensure that five Chinese citizens of Uighur ethnicity among at least 16 arrested in raids on August 6, 2011, are not forcibly returned to China.

Convention on the Rights of the Child - A Summary

The Convention on the Rights of the Child has 54 articles in all. Articles 43-54 are about how adults and governments should work together to make sure all children get all their rights.
Article 1
Everyone under 18 years of age has all the rights in this Convention.

Aussie gov't treats refugees like a football, say NGOs


Thailand: Some Children's Voices You Never Hear

A well-produced advocacy material by UNICEF.

Yet people wonder why the abuses and neglect continues, regardless of the campaigns initiated by NGOs, international organizations and government agencies.

Thai society is flawed, and not because of its culture. The flaw of thinking that children's participation in decision making is superficial and offering them tokenism. This is quite common in the region, a sprawling mass of bodies - 600 million of us in Southeast Asia.

The Yingluck government and lese majeste

In an earlier PPT post, Ji Ungpakorn was cited on comments by the new minister of Information and Communications Technology. Ji stated:
On 13th August Group Captain Anudit Nakorntap, the new ICT Minister declared that the new government would be even more repressive in the use of lèse majesté and the computer crimes law. Clearly nothing has changed on the issue of lèse majesté.

Young people are a major force in the contemporary world

The challenges facing youth confront and test not only today’s societies but future generations as well. These include gender discrimination, youth unemployment, inequities in social, economic and political state of affairs, limited resources available for funding youth activities, social exclusion, insecure livelihoods, armed confrontation, increasing hunger, unchecked diseases, changes in the role of the family, lack of opportunity for education, and homelessness.
Young people are a major force in the contemporary world. They are at the vanguard of worldwide social, economic and political developments: in addition to their intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, young women and men have unique perspectives. 

How our societies progress is determined, among other things, on how much we involve youth in building and designing the future. But in many countries, it has become more complicated, and at times, thorny, for young people to be involved in the life of th…

Embassy Statement on U.S. Citizen Joe Gordon

The United States is disappointed by the prosecutor’s decision to file lese majeste charges against U.S. citizen Joe Gordon. We have discussed Mr. Gordon's case extensively with Thai authorities, stressing at every possible opportunity his rights as an American citizen. We urge the Thai authorities to ensure freedom of expression is respected and that Mr. Gordon, a U.S. citizen, receives fair treatment.
source : The US Embassy in Bangkok

Questions to Ask Your MP and NGO on HIV/AIDS

1. Are young people provided with information and education about HIV/AIDS? Are these government or NGO programmes? Is this information age-appropriate and relevant for young people? Does the available information include information on sexual behavior, condom usage, safer sex practices, and harm reduction (on drug-use, especially on designer drugs). 

Female genital mutilation becomes less common in Egypt

Female genital mutilation becomes less common in Egypt:

Legislation is finally helping to reduce the numbers of girls undergoing traditional genital mutilation in the north African country


This is indeed great news. (FGM/Cutting), is defined by the World Health Organisation as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."

So will Malaysia abide by WHO, or continue to do it...

Youths attack police in Sweden overnight

Youths attack police in Sweden overnight:

"Swedish police say unrest erupted overnight in Goteborg, the country's second largest city, as several officers were attacked by youths hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails."
Well there is obviously a problem when young people are revolting against the establishment. Should the authorities respond in kind, with zeal and violence, against the youth?

That life is wretched and rough?

I ask no more from mortals
Than your beautiful face implies,
The beauty the artist beholding
Interprets and sanctifies.
Who says that men have fallen,
That life is wretched and rough?
I say, the world is lovely,
And that loveliness is enough.
~ Robert Williams Buchanan

The Cost of the War on Drugs

Fantastic. An assessment should be done in Malaysia of the effectiveness on the war on drugs. 

The Heritage of the Orang Asli

In Peninsula Malaysia, the poorest and most vulnerable Malaysians are the Orang Asli. They confront geographical disparity, living in remote and under served areas; they constantly have to fend off the Government and corporations for their land rights; and are commonly neglected when it comes to their heritage, education, healthcare and are subjected to all forms of exploitation. 
Civilization has forgotten Malaysia's roots, and in turn practices barbarism in the form of "development" and prejudice towards the rights of the Orang Asli. 
----------------- The video source: Center for Orang Asli Concerns

Missing ~ Ameerah Asha


The War Against Humanity

The war. It's here. In your backyard. In your city. In your village. In fact the war has been around for quite some time. It's because of your ignorance, arrogance and apathy that society hasn't been able to win the war.

The war on Poverty. A cycle of poverty, generated by society.

It's a sad fact that you are not even fighting to eradicate poverty. Oh yes, do tell us about your RM1 donation to the poor, when they stick their dirty faces at you, especially when you're having a meal, thus forcing you, due to pure pity that you stick out the RM1 towards them (and hoping that they would disappear, quietly).

It's a sad fact that those faces would be dispelled within seconds. You continue eating, caring not of the misery and agony of what poor people face. The daily hunger, the absence of shelter, the lack of clean drinking water, the void of safety and the oblivion of compassion.

You're the misery that spreads freely, stimulating the hunger, the thirst and the abse…

Hepatitis C Support Groups For Drug Users: Facilitator Manual

"This guide was developed with the collective input of syringe exchange participants and service providers involved in hepatitis C (HCV) support groups throughout New York City. Together we have compiled some ‘best practices’ for establishing HCV groups within a harm reduction framework. We also offer facilitators practical suggestions and creative tools for effectively maintaining a group that meets the unique and varied needs of drug users."

A pdf copy of the: MANUAL

Malaysia Country Advocacy Brief Injecting Drug Use and HIV

Key actions to be supported 
Rapid expansion of the methadone maintenance therapy (MMT), needle and syringe programme (NSP) and antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme to reach a much larger number of people who inject drugs will save lives. Close monitoring of the scale up progress will help in this process

Censorship: Why Should You Care?

Censorship: Why Should You Care?

"As the war between the CCP and the CBCP reached fever pitch during the past few days, culminating in the eventual closure of an artist’s exhibit deemed ‘blasphemous‘, it has effectively polarized those involved into two camps: those who say that freedom of artistic expression should supersede religious sacred cows or vice-versa. If you were an artist, then you’d support the freedom to express yourself. If you were the conservative type, then you’d prefer that religious symbolism be given special immunity against the more radical artistic interpretations.... "

Irian Jaya - Fighting for W. Papuan Independence -Indonesia


Random Pictures


Tragedy of Marriage

"The tragedy of marriage is that while all women marry thinking that their man will change, all men marry believing their wife will never change."
-- Len Deighton, London Match

The Street Kids of Kota Kinabalu

The street kids of Kota KinabaluThere were a group of them possibly siblings roaming around the street of KK with no parents around. They were as young as 4 years old. I can sense the sadness in their eyes

West Papua: No Longer Silent

"10,000 demonstrators took to the streets of West Papua, in coordination with the UK-based 'Road to Freedom' conference, to challenge the legality of the 1969 'Act of Free Choice' which has enslaved West Papua to an Indonesian rule that is, at best, negligent, and, at worst, genocidal."

Source: AK Rockefeller


Enslaved by a brutal regime, the West Papuans are working and fighting for Merdeka. So many have lost their lives, while South East Asians ignore the revolution. Its so typical of the complacency, brewing to the core. While many SEA activists and NGOs focus on protests and revolutions in the Middle East, they conveniently ignore West Papua and the rights, the heritage of its indigenous people.

Ignorance breeds arrogance. Arrogance breeds an epidemic of apathy.

Your apathy is truly despicable. You live in an ignorant world of the highest order.

Where Did The Money For The Poor Go?

"KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Influential cleric Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin questioned today if red tape and the lack of state alms have forced impoverished Muslims to seek help from Christian churches. The former Perlis mufti said it was not a sin for destitute Muslims to receive aid from non-Muslims, pointing out that the blame lay with practitioners of ..."

Out-of-School Young People and Poverty

Its quite depressing and disheartening, to see out-of-school young people living in pitiful, dark conditions, in small wooden huts, hidden far away in the borderless oil palm plantations. Yes, I know, child poverty in rural areas is not a new phenomenon in Malaysia, whether in the Peninsula or Borneo. 

Marginalised Malaysian Youth and Decision Making Opportunities

Our government and civil society organisations must allow young people and children (especially those most-at-risks, vulnerable and marginalised) to be involved with monitoring and evaluation of the performances of national youth programmes and initiatives. In this case, let's use Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) as an example, and where young people (within the MARPs) are in their 'bureaucracy' of participation:

"Papua lacks modalities to promote good governance""Another series of alarming events occurred in Papua on July 31, when 19 people were killed in a community clash caused by a disagreement over the registration of election candidates in Puncak Jaya. This was followed by the murder of four people in Abepura by an unknown perpetrator. Finally, ..."---------------------Regardless. I'm more interested in the complete withdrawal of Indonesian troops and administration from West Papua. The escalating violence is a testimony of solving violence with violence, and how the international community has forgotten that West Papua is still under hostile occupation. And what about the terrible injustice and violation of human rights? And what about Genocide?

Thailand confirms Yingluck Shinawatra as first female PM officially pass Thaksin's sister as leader of nation after her party won elections in JulyThai lawmakers have elected Yingluck Shinawatra as the country's first female prime minister on Friday, setting the stage for the 44-year-old political novice to take charge of a deeply divided nation wracked by turmoil since her brother was ousted in a 2006 coup.Before Yingluck can officially assume the post, however, King Bhumibol Adulyadej must endorse her in a separate ceremony expected within days.The vote comes a month after Yingluck's Pheu Thai party swept the country's 3 July elections, winning an absolute majority of 265 seats in the 500-member lower house of parliament. Since then, Pheu Thai has consolidated those gains, building alliances with smaller parties to form a 300-seat-strong coalition.But Thailand remains politically split, and Yingluck will face the immediate chal…

Zen Thoughts

Working this late, not such a bad time, adrenaline pumping into my body, the absence of caffeine merely indicates that I am high and eager for more. I've just finished typing the 1st draft of an article, eager to submit to the editorial team for review. 

I'm not in such a bad shape after all, just need to control the flow of my energy, least my mind takes control of my creative juices, imposing logic and order when there is a need for none.

I continue to live in a realm where almost everyone expects the conformity of everything to order, sacrificing the right to live their way, their passion, their individual thought. For tonight, I've been able to skip to the tunes of nothingness, tap my feet to the rhythm of zen.

Kids from drug-making homes mostly healthy: study

Kids from drug-making homes mostly healthy: study:
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most children raised in homes where illegal drugs are produced appear to be in good health, according to a small Canadian study.
Very interesting... indeed.

30 Years into the HIV Epidemic, Still Locked Up and Left Out

30 Years into the HIV Epidemic, Still Locked Up and Left Out:
by Katherine Todrys

Worldwide, funding for HIV programs decreased last year, and UNAIDS estimates that there is a $6 billion annual gap between what is needed and what donors are prepared to provide. Until more funding is available, demanding more funds to address HIV in prisons risks robbing Peter to pay Paul. But there is a better approach. I met Hellene in a Ugandan prison. She was 16 years old and living in rural Uganda when she was raped, leaving her pregnant and HIV-positive. Hellene told me that her rapists also kidnapped a child in her care, and she was arrested soon more

Abhisit's farewell on TV Thurs night

Abhisit's farewell on TV Thurs night:
Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will make a farewell address to the nation in a special programme on all TV channels on Friday night, PM's Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey said on Wednesday.
GOOD BYE! FAREWELL! OK, now life continues...

Homophobia stymies HIV fight in Islamic countries

Homophobia stymies HIV fight in Islamic countries:

"HIV has not spread far among the gay community in north Africa and the Middle East, but it is on the rise"
Well in my work with people living with HIV/AIDS and most-at-risk communities since 1996, I agree with the statement, seeing the challenges generated by pressure groups, religious institutions and some faith-based NGOs.
This year, we still see a "hush-hush" approach when it comes to dealing with the gay community, especially when religious-inspired leaders are involved, they would see a radical solution to the LGBT community in respect of the "war on HIV". Its an ugly truth that Malaysians would prefer to deal with the heterosexual community in prevention and intervention work. For example: How many Imams have "turun padang" to do HIV-outreach work (in a non-judgmental way) in venues frequented by gaymen or transgenders?
Malaysia has a lot to learn. Its sad but civil society…

A journey to meet vulnerable young people

Started in Banting town by visiting 21 out-of-school young people, mainly boys, for a focus group discussion and identifying their concerns, which was obviously related to unemployment, homelessness, lack of reproductive health knowledge and harm reduction, and possessing little or no knowledge on HIV/AIDS. Many have not heard of the Malaysian AIDS Council, though they are aware of Prostar.

Then, with the help of a dear friend, we drove to Morib, somewhat a scenic smooth drive, partially hidden by oil palm trees and a cluster of villages. We stopped to meet other out-of-school youths, the youngest being 13. Two dozen young people gathered, over a period of three hours, listening, and engaging in a candid discussion about drug use (injecting and chasing heroin), and safe sex practises (condom usage seems unimportant to them).

After building the rapport over a simple hot meal, and collecting data, furiously writing it on a note pad with a blunt pencil, we headed deeper into the plant…

You Call It Piracy