Wednesday, 29 April 2009

No Shit Please : Green Festival Winner

Watch this video. We are so lucky over here in this part of the world to have toilets.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Children torn apart by religion

So sad to see that children at the end of the day is the victim of a tug of war between parents and religion. In the recent case in Perak, we see a situation where there is no winners only victims of circumstances. Even the gods of individual religion would want to avoid such conflicts. Which religion promotes forced conversion? Does god promotes the suffering of children when they are subjected to choose between their mother and father? Does any god wants to see a family broken up into pieces? 

Malaysia Kini 17 Apr 2009 : Her three young children were forcefully converted to Islam by her estranged husband. And M Indira Ghandi is taking her plight straight to the doorstep of the Prime Minister's Office.

Calling on newly-minted Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain the matter, the 35-year-old kindergarten teacher said: "He talks about an united Malaysia. But what does this mean when only the Muslims have rights." 

"I am not anti-Islam and I am not saying that they (Muslims) are doing wrong things but why do non-Muslims have to suffer like this?" she asked as tears welled up in her eyes.

Indira's marriage is now is a limbo after her husband, K Patmanathan, 40, converted without her knowledge on March 11.

She claimed that her husband, who has since assumed the name Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, had also converted their three children - aged one to 12 - on April 12 without their presence and using only their birth certificates.

"He took my baby (their youngest child) from me and ran away... I have not seen her ever since and I don't know how she's doing," lamented Indira.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Who was promoting 1Malaysia first?

Fifteen years ago, I would never go to the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia fearing that I will be chopped into pieces if I was involved in an accident with a Malay fellow or their kampung chicken. Seeing a PAS flag would caution me to be extremely careful as it was a label of "unsafe" territory for non-Malays. 

Stories of non-Malay motorists being beaten to death was the first thing that crossed my mind whenever I saw these flags hung across the truck roads many years back. It also reminded me that if I was involved in an accident, never, never stop but drive all the way to the nearest police station, it was safer. (Police stations were safer back then).

Same goes for a DAP flag, the rocket. It was to me at that time never a symbol of democracy but a symbol of communism, the China way of administration. I was not comfortable with the party and kept a fair distance away as it was the opposition party. Well, that was 15 long years ago. Time has passed and people changed, I changed.

Today, I see PAS championing non-Malay issues, DAP fights for non-Chinese communities. What a change of perspective indeed. I believe this is 1 Malaysia, where leaders from different race care for other races without discrimination.

Maybe there were no policies changed all these while as far as these parties are concerned, and they have been promoting 1 Malaysia all along but it was just my believes that changed. It was the changes in the political scene that made me realized how easily one can be blinded by political "smoke screens". 

So, you tell me, who promoted 1 Malaysia first? 

Low Turnout at Abolish ISA Forum

My citizen journalism coursemate, Lucia Lai told to me not to be discourage with the lack of participants in this forum. She added if there were 50 people attending, it was considered a good crowd size. Well, I was thinking, a hot topic like ISA and there is no crowd? Serious?

Fellow CJ Lim Boo Seng and I volunteered to video the forum with the intention to save it in YouTube so that the general public can access to it.

The forum was very informative and there was an update on the remaining detainees in Kamunting, for me it was a eye opener, I did not know there were so many still imprisoned, I believe there are still 27 detainees all together. Some detainees jail terms have been extended to 2010, an addition 2 more years from the supposed to be 6 year jail term.

This was the first time I heard of these detainees’ names, the only one I recognized was Anwar Ibrahim, no more. But GMI memorized all these names, age, family and every single detail. This showed how diligently GMI followed the progression of the detainees.

In  my video clip, I have captured the details of most of the detainees. It is sad to know that they are still inside and longing to come out to be with their family. We were also informed that the ISA has destroyed many families and especially the children of the detainees.

If you viewed the video, you will come across an Indian man who was labelled as “Foreign Intelligence” aka “James Bond” but apparently he was only a mechanic. He was detained for a period of time and suffered “mental trauma” until he was paralyzed. We were told that he was released from ISA detention a few years back.

Another sad case was a detainee was unable to see his dying daughter before she passed on. It was a case of “documentation” that caused the delay of the temporary release of the detainee. Apparently, if the release was done 48 hours earlier, he would have been able to say goodbye to his daughter. It must devastating for him.

Nevertheless, there has been a lot of effort on the part of SUARAM and GMI to organize this event and even the rooms were sponsored by the state government.

But I guess both organizations need to come up with a better way to get participation from the public. Apparently, the Abolish ISA supporters are everywhere it seems, but wants to be low profile according to GMI.

But with only about 25 people (including press, Gerakan, SUARAM, GMI, DCM2, CJ and SB) attending, it barely calls it a forum, isn’t?

Sunday, 12 April 2009

GMI : Consultation What Next?

Attended this forum organized by GMI on the 12th Apr 2009, but sad to note that there was lack of attendance from the public.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Hunting for Tear Gas, Water Cannon and FRUs

The other morning I forced myself to get up and really needed a gallon of coffee to make me stay awake. I slept at 3:30am that morning because I was hunting for FRUs and tear gas.

I was looking forward to experience the FRUs and tear gas, but there was none to be found. You see, I was doing a coverage on the PKR ceramahs at Taman Kelisa, Bukit Selambau. Together with me was Malaysia Kini’s videographer Maran Perianen and a good friend of ours, Anil Netto.

Everyone was waiting for Anwar Ibrahim’s speech at 2 locations nearby. After a few vox pops, decided to walk to the next stop where Anwar Ibrahim will speak later in the evening.
Nevertheless, when you are carrying a tripod and a camcorder, people tends to ask which “TV station” you are from. Being a citizen journalist trained by Malaysia Kini, we tend to be carried away and yell back,”Malaysia Kini!”, you see, in this part of the country, Malaysia Kini is the people’s preference. So, I got a free ride on a motorcycle and I definitely saved some calories, not that I cannot part with them.

For the first in so many years, Anwar Ibrahim was just 4 feet away from me as he came out from his car, he looked tired, dressed in black and white. He sat for awhile and he walked to the make shift podium and started his speech with greetings in multiple languages, promoting multicultural bond and respect.

I tell you, he can really speak, I have a tape with a remaining time of probably 45 minutes. His speech filled the tape and I had to insert another to catch the finale of S. Manikumar and Anwar Ibrahim.

Overall, I believe the crowd was small, about 3500 people, but most of them went home happy and content, I hope that the long list of symbols of the independent candidates on the voting slip will not confuse the voters.

My impression of S Manikumar? Well, he is young of age, brilliant mind, good fighting spirit and most important, not corrupted. I think that is good enough…………..

Friday, 3 April 2009

Anwar versus Goliath

How will this end up? With the by elections at Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai on the way, Najib sworn in as the 6th prime minister of Malaysia, economic situation plunging even deeper than ever, will we see a prosperous Malaysia that we dreamed of?

"I, Najib Razak, who has been chosen to hold the post of prime minister, swear that I will carry out the responsibilities which I have been entrusted with to the best of my ability," 

"I will be true to Malaysia and will defend and uphold the constitution."

Will Najib Razak lead the rakyat to a better Malaysia? Will he be ruthless? Will he be the people's man? Will he fight for the rights for all races equally? Will he take stern steps to eliminate corruptions in the UMNO and in the government? Will he promote freedom of speech? Will he release those ISA detainees and abolish ISA once and for all? Will he lead economy recovery? Will he offer himself as a witness to the Mongolian woman's case?

All these questions are probably circulating in our heads and as of now, some good may just come our way. In order to gain some confidence from the public, he has to do something, to me among all the above "will he"s, I have the opinion that ramping back the stimulus package in such a way that it brings direct impact to the rakyat is the most crucial.

Secondly, he has to eliminate all doubts with regards to the Mongolian woman's case. I believe this issue is the most damaging to his image as a Prime Minister. The rest will have to wait, I guess, because he cannot be seen to bending too much to the demands of the rakyat, can he?

I was watching the appointment of Najib as the 6th Prime Minister this morning on TV and at the same time, checking out the speech by Anwar in Bukit Selambau on my laptop. Najib's occasion seems grant and prestige with the Agung, Pak Lah, ministers and Istana Negara, whereas Anwar's make shift podium at Bukit Selambau seems small and not so "governmental".

Nevertheless, Anwar's fantastic speech made up for what was lacking. 

Catch his latest speeches in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau in Malaysiakini.TV.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Zero Hardcore Poverty speech by YAB Lim Guan Eng

Penang is the first state in Malaysia to achieve Zero Hardcore Poverty status. It is, "Hari ini dalam sejarah" said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Penang Zero Hardcore Poverty Press Conference

Citizen journalists' follow up on the homeless and the poor. Lilian, Lim and I, went to the Zero Hardcore Poverty announcement done by the CM of Penang on the 30th March 2009 at Dewan Sri Pinang.

We did asked a few tough questions during the press conference with regards to the position of the homeless and the funding provided by federal government.