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Merdeka: Naguib & Project 366 August 31, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Note2Self, Readings, Writings.

What a most ordinary way to spend the eve of the 49th Merdeka anniversary — listening to 4 persons speak for 3 hours on the Constitution. Apparently I missed out on some singing at the start of the forum. Or not.

I found it strange that the national celebrations will be held in Kuching this year, considering Sarawak didn’t form part of Malaya in 1957. A bit like celebrating Bastille Day in French Guyana. In fact, I found it strange to be here this time of year as I’m usually abroad for my summer break.

From today onwards, I shall think of Naguib when I think of Merdeka day. Naguib Mahfouz, one of the Arab’s world best-known literary figure passed away on 30 August.



JerryWHO: Malaysia’s most hacked blogger August 30, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Malaysia, Miscellanous, Note2Self.

JerryWHO, the head producer / engine behind Asia247.tv and a well-known blogger on social and technology issues, should be crowned the *most* hacked blogger in Malaysia.

In the past two months, he’s been hacked at least 8 times. For my posse of tech-nuts, only one word can describe this – Awesome.

Just tonight, he had posted something new at 11:30 pm (Jeff Ooi? A Lone Gunman?) while we were having our extended dinner ritual of chats and plots. He dropped me home around 2 am, and when I went into his site, it was cleaned out.


《独立新闻在线》一岁了! August 29, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Malaysia, Politics, Readings.
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饶仁毅 说,《独立新闻在线》启航一年来面对无数压力,但是他感到非常开心,因为过去的努力终于换来了成果,包括“给人骂”及收律师信。

他说:“这是标准,没人骂,你就糟糕了。上战场总要有些阵亡,不可能毫无损伤,就算收律师信,公司也一样支持《独立新闻在线》到底!” (more…)

Go figure August 27, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics.
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I’ve had a very bad week with journalists this week.

No, they weren’t from the mainstream media, but the supposedly “progressive independent media”.

First, one of them wrote an fictitious account of what had happened in a press conference. The chap wasn’t even present. There was not even a fact-check. The apology was grudging – why bother then? Instead, I had a call, someone screaming down the other line, “No one is going vote for your stories… not even me….”.

Blackmail. For pointing out an erroroneous news piece.

Second, one of their junior reporters called me and said, “OY! I *WANT* YOU TO …..”.

I was stunned for a few seconds as I’ve never been spoken to this way by reporters. Not BBC or the Guardian; not the state-media agency Bernama or even Utusan Malaysia.

It’s bad upbringing and bad manners written all over.


The young and the racist August 20, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.

“The internal split within Umno will weaken the party’s position and this will pave way for the Chinese Malaysians to make various demands to benefit their community.”

Khairy Jamaluddin, deputy youth chief of UMNO Youth, was quoted as saying this by Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily. In fact, all the Chinese papers reported on this. Not the English or Malay language papers.

One. UMNO’s internal party problems are caused by their own party members. Decades of patronage, nepotism and corruption. When the pie shrinks, of course everyone fights for the last crumb.


Accidents and karma August 20, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Note2Self.

I have a sudden appreciation for karma and the strange laws of the universe.

One and a half years ago, Elaine, Wallace and I pulled out six unconscious kids from a car crash accident off the Damansara-Puchong Highway while 30 people and half a dozen tow-trunk operators stood watching.

I threatened the emergency service with a massive lawsuit if they didn’t turn up on time. We dispatched half of them to a private hospital because it was the closest. But when I went to see them, they were still lying in our van, bloodsoaked and all. I had to threatened the hospital attendants with another lawsuit as they didn’t want to do anything until the kids’ insurance policies were checked. We managed to get the hospital to give them shots, examine for broken bones and got them beds too.
The other half was sent to University Hospital. When we got there, we found out they weren’t looked after because they had no money. We dug into our pockets and paid for their treatment, even sat with them while they were being examined. I acted as their guardian as they didn’t want to tell their parents and were under 18.


Bill and AIDS August 18, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Note2Self, Women.

“A woman should never need her partner’s permission to save her own life.”

— Bill Gates, speaking at the opening of the 16th international conference on HIV and AIDS, Toronto, Canada

Peace is not an absence of War August 15, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Human Rights, International, Islam in Southeast Asia, Note2Self, Photography, Photojournalism, Southeast Asia.
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Today marks the first anniversary of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM) and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.Tens of thousands of people converged from all over the province to the capital city, Banda Aceh today at the Baitulrahman Mosque (picture above) to rally and pray for endless peace.

Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, was also in town, in another ceremony with former GAM combatants and officials from the Central government.

Although the special legislation for the province was recently passed by the People’s Legislative Assembly (DPR), there are some grievances which centred on some commitments which did not see the light of day, as stipulated in the MOU.

There were nonetheless great opposition from key political parties, including PDI-P, PKS and Golkar which claimed that the autonomy in the then bill amounted to a breakaway state. And the calm that followed was nothing short of remarkable. I was in Aceh at the time when the final handing-over of weapons were conducted and the last military tanks rolled out of the province.


Vigil for Lebanon in Kuala Lumpur August 6, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, International, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics.