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Showing posts from July, 2013

I WANT YOU TO GET MAD

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Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression.Everybody is out of work or scared of losing their job.The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shop-keepers keep a gun under the counter, punks are running wild on the street and there's nobody anywhere that seems to know what to do.And there's no end to it.
We know the air is unfit to breathe,Our food is unfit to eat...
We sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes -- as if that's the way it's supposed to be!
We know things are bad; worse than bad.They're crazy!
It's like everything, everywhere is going crazy.So, we don't go out anymore; we sit in the house and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and we say; Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms, let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything -- just leave us alone.

But I'm not …

Uncertainty, the articulation of your feelings and hesitation

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Express yourself. Freely and fearlessly. Hail those around you, convey your emotions, that oh so strong agitation of feelings caused by your hesitant veneration for the opinions of others.
Your emotional state of mind should not be dependent on what others think of you... you are, after all, living with the pain; surrounded by the rusted bars of insecurity and of the strained, nervous unpredictability, harboring in a prison of your own making. Speak your mind, the ultimate expression of resistance against society that is eager to consume your senses, a delicacy for their wagging tongues, constricted dry throats and made redundant by half-baked thoughts. Express and wedge yourself into the darkened face of society, and subject yourself then, to the whiplash of immortality.

A mega city's hypocrisy on poverty

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Poverty in this mega capital of Thailand is interpreted differently by many. Some say its a human trafficking problem, some point out to syndicates that depend on beggars for income, others point out that they are not responsible for the lives of the damned... and there are people who don't really care about anything except for their bank accounts, or their next fuck session.
Well, people are full of themselves. Lecturing about human rights, eagerly sharing views of how this and that should take place to improve the welfare system, or even delightfully comparing their country's success with poverty-reduction. All talk, and yet these very people have done nothing sustainable or anything at all for the poor. Excuses.
It's just, simply, that some, or many, have given up on empathy. There's no other great mystery to it. Compassion is on low supply nowadays, and unfortunately the urban poor will continue living in hardship... whether in the slums or under the filthy bridge…

The Plot develops slowly, surely it shall come my way

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Bleak society, such thoughts don't invite positive vibes to the creative, empowering mind. These thoughts, and those of a country, that seems to invoke provocative consciousnesses, brings about pain, the rage and occasionally sorrow.
Despite the many I know so well back home, in this wondrous country we call Malaysia, it seems festering in greed, deep resentment and that eagerness to snatch what does not belong to them. Power, wealth if one can seize it from the trembling hands of an orphan, corrupt individuals to believe what only they think is right, and in the process of theft, would not hesitate to hide behind god-fearing religion, culture and wicked racial sentiments.

Abnormalities of behavior has become the norm, the days of my late father are gone when honor used to symbolize something. 
Whether it is for the sheer pleasure of owning what is not theirs, or the unstable excessive desire to punish, the scoundrels take sheer delight, to inflict the pain that I know so well.
I …

Walking the wretched roads, through the maze called Bangkok

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Swollen feet, protected by tough sandals, but these are the consequences of walking on those uneven wet pavements, and rushing across the roads to avoid the murderous heavy vehicle. Yet, despite the decades, I can't stop travel dependence, on foot whenever possible. How can I truly absorb the sights and sounds of life, especially if I'm on a bus or a speeding taxi.
I see and meet the homeless, the urban poor, almost at every corner of the back lanes, even on the busy main roads where the high-society are found, rubbing shoulders with rich tourists and loaded expatriates, with the black smog rising in the air.

Dusty faces, wrinkles near the cheeks, rough dark hands, wearing clothes befitting abandoned rags, the poor are still struggling to make decent wages, and hopefully one day, secure stable housing in the city, in this colossal maze called Bangkok. I find myself, alone, wandering the streets even at such ungodly hour, where Thai Buddhist shrines lit eerily alone in the nig…

Harm Reduction in the Pisspot of Malaysian Advocacy

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Needle Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) in Malaysia is not a new invention nor a service of a secretariat that seems bent on publicity. It was initiated in Chow Kit, by a community based organization called Pink Triangle.
Malaysian society is unaware, or purposely ignorant, of the service primarily because of the prevailing stigma of injecting drug users, and with the usual dose of prejudice against marginalized folks.

Despite ASEAN's determination to turn Southeast Asia into a drug-free region, harm reduction programs are still focused on its HIV-link rather than the issue of drug-use and addiction. Governments and NGOs are still determined to neglect choices, or informed decisions. Compulsory rehabilitation, as part of so-called harm reduction process, does not work, nor have we seen a progressive decline of addiction through state-sponsored initiatives much less detention of those in the equation.

And what of non-injecting users? The NSEP, the NGOs and the Malaysia's Nationa…

Expressions, absence of regret

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People. Clueless, ignorant, at times, with the roaring rage back in Malaysia, and where society is unable to stop the brewing foul politics and seems to live with an absence of contentment.

Oh well, many Malaysians are just far too disconnected with realities, not as if we're eagerly longing for societal change or the need to move the country to some form of unconventional positive action. Instead we bitch, goad others to react, or merely shake our legs while pretending ignorance is bliss.

Post-general election, GE13 for short, has been nothing more than anticipated redundancies and an embarrassment of repetitive mistakes and regrets. Defective political judgments, religious prosecution, racial misunderstanding, bloated corruption, and the oversight of greed-infused dreams, have segregated marginalized communities even further from mainstream society.

Malaysian identity seems as fragile as our egos. The need for the "Melayu race" to ascertain the origin, nature and …

Remembering the Leaves Rustling in the Wind

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Some call this small sanctuary Tham Than Lot National Park, although popular among the locals, it is called Chaloem Rattankosin National Park. Within an area of only 59 square kilometers, the protected park gave me a night of peace, filled with soft fluttering of leaves as a gust of wind approaches and the creaking of bamboos under the pressure of strong moving air.
An evening of trekking in the tropical dry forest, and the exquisite flood of crisp fresh air into the lungs... quite intoxicating. In fact, being away from Bangkok even for a while is always a welcome change to routines.

Meals were swiftly consumed, in small portions; didn't really mind as I was eager to make the best of my limited time in the park. Spent the night walking along twisted roads, insects buzzing with energy, an observant moon and graced by frequent, delightful cold wind.

Flying Visit to Khwae Yai River and the Death Railway

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A weekend visit to Khwae Yai River revealed the historical bridge dominated by a horde of wide-eyed foreign tourists and camera-snapping locals. The Thailand-Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway was a 415-kilometer railway between Bangkok and Rangoon (now known as Yangon, formerly a capital of Burma). Built by Japan in 1943 during World War 2, the line was closed in 1947.

Forced laborers, prisoners of war, tens of thousands, had worked to build the railway, often at the cost of their lives. The railway, the bridge, fused by the wretchedness of the dead, held on after all these years by memories.



Indeed, and at the present moment Homeless

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Suspended in a void, as the rat race within Bangkok intensify, the shirtless homeless man sits on the uneven steps near the dirty pavement. He coughs, unable to make out his surroundings of cement, steel and bricks. Homelessness is not an epidemic, only the apathy or indifference that society has embraced.


Silent as the Grave - S21, the Death Camp

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Tuol Sleng means "Hills of the Poisonous Trees" and was used by the Khmer Rouge as a prison, to detain, interrogate and torture; what more can describe a death camp in Phnom Penh. Before it was turned into the notorious Security Prison 21 (as such known simply as S-21) it was a school for children to learn from teachers, to mix with their peers, indeed then a center of the future.
Tuk-tuks and their riders wait outside of the compound, separated by the rusted fence. The imposing structure does remind me of a school, some resemblance of old school buildings in Malaysia and Thailand. The sunlight, the dust flying everywhere and the swaying tree branches in S-21, I'm absorbing the sights and the death silence... similar to what one would expect from a cemetery... silent as the grave. I remind myself anxiously, this building, those room, all of them, S-21 is merely a museum, a monument of painful days gone by, however not as easily subdued as my apprehension rises. Dread sta…

Cambodian Genocide: Souls Waiting for Justice

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A Buddhist memorial to the Cambodians. The Killing Field, 18 kilometers from Phnom Penh. A monument of remembrance, a testimony of the butchery in modern history. A time when humanity in a country located in Southeast Asia was reduced to a state of wretchedness, glued by blood and sustained by gruesome screams of the the dying.
There are 77 genocide memorials constructed by the people of Cambodia and supported by local and foreign institutions. The tribute to the dead.

Immediately after the Cambodian Civil War, in 1975 the Khmer Rouge regime laid waste to cities and towns, causing millions to flee their homes and displacement. Many did not return. The "Hitler of Cambodia", Pol Pot left a devastating legacy of 167 prisons, 373 killing sites and some 20,000 mass graves. In 1979, over 2 million dead, their souls remain in the death camps, the killing fields.
Barbarism beyond senses, a tyrant toys with a genocidal social experiment that fertilizes the soil with gore, the trees wi…

Tuk-Tuk Riders in Cambodian Poverty

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Eyes reflecting hardship, one could almost taste the sight of poverty. Determined looks, firm clean-shaven jaws and smiles that disrupt the senses when the tuk-tuk riders see a tourist or a local struggling to carry boxes.

Phnom Penh, the political heart of Cambodia. A city that offers much to the wandering traveler, a city bent on development and grasping on regional economics. Hopes and dreams of its people are often robbed by the rush. Debt-ridden rural women and men struggle against the tide, the adversity. Many Cambodians suffer from hardship, in competition with Vietnamese migrant workers, construction bosses from China or the South Korean, Japanese managers. Nationalism feeds into the local sentiments... people need jobs, away from the darkness of destitution.
The tuk-tuk rider, is more than determined to make his wage for the day, at this point he has no choice. That or the beggary, homelessness and starvation.

The Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal

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More information: Biak-tribunal.org
Watch the Tribunal live on July 6th: UStream.tvOn July 6th, 1998, shortly after the anniversary of the West Papuan declaration of independence, a Massacre took place in the city of Biak, West Papua. Papuan freedom fighters led by Filep Karma had raised the Morning Star flag, symbol of the free nation of West Papua, on July 1st, and staged a peaceful demonstration at the Kota Biak water tower for six days.At 5:00am on July 6th, Indonesian soldiers began to shoot at protestors from all four sides with live ammunition. Many were gunned down trying to escape. Witnesses said that even people who were already lying on the ground were shot by the cowardly soldiers. Survivors of the initial attack were rounded up and held in detention for several days.About 200 surviving demonstrators were then taken out to the open ocean by the Indonesian Navy, and thrown overboard to drown.Beginning July 27th, 33 bodies, including many young children, washed ashore in…