Showing posts from May, 2013

Riddle within an Enigma - Guy Fawkes and Communists in Thailand

Might have been peculiar, but then again these days one can see an amusement park of eccentricity in the politics of Thailand. Gone were the days when one admire, if at all, the clear affiliation of political foes pitted against each other in their spartan-like arena.

However odd the Thai-style drumming of political propaganda and the spirited call for patriotism, they sure know how to blend, and bend, public sentiments to their cause. 
An ultra-monarchist, Paisal Puechmongkol, has adopted the Guy Fawkes mask, commonly associated with the global Anonymous movement. Quite a bizarre representation, intentionally perhaps, that Paisal chose the Guy Fawkes mask and the historical representation of the real-life hero - who died in 1606 before his execution, in England for an attempt at the English King's life. Fawkes, with his elite band of collaborators wanted a removal of a Protestant King, so as to allow a Catholic to take over the throne. 
Either Paisal knows nothing of English hist…

Plunging into Obscurity in the Plantation

I walked through the shadowy plantation. In silence, and out breath. At the end, a ditch of murky brownish water marks the border between the palm oil estate, a lone rundown sundry shop and a small fishing jetty. Life within the plantation is never easy; workers, both foreign and local, waking up at ungodly hour and working in between the tall imposing trees. Poverty menacingly follows the people, forgotten among society.

All Evil System Never Deserves such Allegiance

You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. All evil system never deserves such allegiance. 
Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. 
A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul. 
-- Mahatma Gandhi --

Genocide is the Negation of Humanity - Welcome to Extinction

Societies and governments have achieved many wondrous feats, but for all its declared successes for mankind, have we moved a step of two closer to extinction? Have we truly moved away from on hatred and violence or have we made them the civilized virtue of the human species?

Genocide is the negation of humanity. Confrontation may be unavoidable sometimes, but does it warrant the violence and rampage of destruction? Genocide is terrible to contemplate, yet we remove ourselves from the obvious violence against indigenous people.

Nowadays the killing fields are done in meeting rooms, among politicians and corporations. The deliberate and persistent propagation of hatred and greed is justified by plans for development, which gradually becomes the normal yet perverted habits of the society.

Indigenous people living in suppressed conditions face a world filled with prejudice and stigma, from the Amazon jungles to Botswana, then from Tibet to West Papua. Discrimination and violence is fuele…

A Temporary Exile in the Plantation

Source: Uploaded by user via Zashnain on Pinterest

Hiding in the makeshift hut, sinking in the shades and shadows. The realm around the hut seems to creep forward, eager to consume the rotting planks. I can almost see the tentacles of green, from those wavy branches of the palm oil trees, waving at me.

Source: Uploaded by user via Zashnain on Pinterest

Plantations: Economic Plague of the Corporations

Oil palm plantations, or often known as palm oil estates, are the success stories of the Malaysian government. Resources and propaganda have been specially allocated to meet the demands of the owners, usually large corporations with profitable goals at the expense of the struggling estate workers, their families and the environment.
Source: Uploaded by user via Zashnain on Pinterest

Institutionalized life greets you, as one wanders deeper in the plantations. The people living and working in near-isolation, away from the bustling madness of Kuala Lumpur, are themselves in a daily attempt to survive. There is no richness nor comfort here, one is surrounded by remnants of devastation - where hills and forests were bulldozed to make room for trees that are not indigenous to the land.

Despite it all, people live, people work and people die; mere dots of brown and black in the suffocating sea of green.

A Dreaming Child of the Sun and Shadow

Light, that blinding ray that penetrates through the clouds. As confusion of sight dies away, you feel the essence remains, enhancing the need to shade the eyes. 

Mists, we crave for them, preferring one that mask our eyes from the eternal sunlight. We crave a balance, one that forms delightful thoughts of the unreal, within the midst of a shapeless void. 
Surrounded by our comforts, protected by the stones and steel, we dream away of a realm infused with water and sun... and shades of grey and of darkness. 
Contradiction of our needs, the nameless mass of dreams, we drift into a state of mind where we ignore our inadequacy, pretending that everything is blooming in a sun-filled world. 

A Child Surviving the Struggle for Water

The swelling heat, burning the skin, blistering the mind.

The young boy stands up, sighing weary, unsure of his bearings. He's completely unsure of his surroundings, the extreme elements have disorientated his senses. His legs feel wobbly, mainly due to his lack of nutrients, but his stubbornness compels him forward; forces his limbs to react.

The boy, a mere lad of 8 years, is a survivor of the urban jungle, surrounded by impressive super structures that defy gravity, towering to the heavens. The boy, stands defiantly, upright, compelled by a craving, a basic need to survive. He rewards himself a weak, crooked smile, not caring of the odd glances from those who had initially ignored him.

He walks, his thighs balancing his moves, each step reminding him of his purpose, for that minute, that goal that he has to fulfill. 

The busy t-junction doesn't stop him, despite the dangers of heavy vehicles zooming past, murderously. The boy shakes his head, clearing his thoughts, he only had …

Young People in the Palm Oil Plantations

The challenge: working with young people and adolescents living in the palm oil plantation is that they feel as neglected as city-based streetkids. Building a rapport with them is as difficult as the government giving homes to the homeless.

The adult perception that young people should not be loitering and instead should be productive members of society is simply over abused and wrong.

Poverty and prejudice plays a large part in the ostracization of young people in the plantations. Activities prepared for them are usually irrelevant and merely superficial. NGOs and government are fond of prescribing projects that does not cater to their issues, needs and concerns.

The reality of many failed corporate social responsibility investments are evident, as many out-of-school young people continue to work to help make ends meet for their parents and themselves. Child labour is the norm in the plantations, despite the existence of the UN's the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)…

Bloodied Encounter with People Loving the Malaysian Institution of Subjugation

One can expect political violence when a ruling UMNO-led coalition is bent on the furtherance of the Institution. Democracy without change is merely an ideology of subjugation; stagnant with fear and bloated from the resources bled for the elite few.

May Day in the Realms of the Damned

Standing, waiting, squatting and hanggling for the right price, they are without protection. Those working on the roadside, with their mobile carts, selling food, clothes, repairing torn shoes and whatever that's in fashion.

Many living in the slums, that crowded stench of sweating bodies, suffering from their low stations in life, unrepresented by the politics of the unions, pariahs of the working class.

They brave the heat, the flood of humanity, and the careless gesture of those who have the money. They live in a cycle of the damned, societal rejects of worker rights.
To the workers in the #slums of Bangkok, those who labour through urban hell, working in the informal sector; I salute you. #Perseverance
— Zashnain Zainal (@bedlamfury) May 1, 2013