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Gwangju, Korea October 31, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Human Rights, International, Photography, Photojournalism, Travel.


Gwangju, a city four hours south of Seoul, is a historical site for democracy activists, symbolic for both Koreans and Asian activists. A Mecca of sorts.

On May 18, 1980, the first uprising against the military dictatorship and martial law started in Gwangju by university students. This was in response after a series of setbacks, from clampdowns on the media and the arrest of then Opposition politician Kim Dae Jung (Kim later was freed from prison and went on to become the President of South Korea).



Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri October 24, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Islam in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Photojournalism, Travel.
1 comment so far

(Aceh, 2006)

Salam dari Korea Selatan
Dengan ingatan ikhlas
Maaf Zahir Batin..

Festival of Lights October 21, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Malaysia, Note2Self, Race Relations.
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The Festival of Diwali or Deepavalli is the most popular festival with Hindus. In Nepal, this is known as Tihar, where the celebrations continue for at least 5 days, with many who live in Kathmandu and smaller towns, returning to their home villages.

It is also known as the Festival of Lights. Metaphorically, it symbolises the triumph of good over evil, as in Ramayana when Lord Rama killed the demon Ravana and rescued Sita. In the legend, it was said that the people of Ayodhya lit their homes with oil lamps in celebration.

Hindus are joined by Jains, who mark their New Year and Sikhs, during this festival.

When Takaful’s Syariah head issued the now infamous letter, which forbade its staff from greeting Hindus during this festive season, not only were Hindus insulted, many Malaysians felt this had gone too far.


Free press but self-censorship? October 18, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said last Sunday that there is free press in Malaysia but it is the media which self-censors.

Yeah, that’s right. Blame the media.

Case 1. 17 Oct 2006: Press Conference of Coalition Against Water Privatisation

The press conference was packed with media folks. Standing room only. It was called by the Coalition to respond to the controversial 15% hike in water rates in the state of Selangor, which the controversy has all the makings of a major political drama (cronies such as Syabas, buy-outs of civil society groups, threats of bodily harm to activists…)

No news the next day. The coordinator of the coalition said there is a official directive not to publish this news.


Readings: ‘Kajian Asli: Wacana politik yang pincang dan wacana intelektual yang mengekorinya’ October 15, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Economy, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations, Readings.
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Sunday Readings 2: Have huge house to pack!

Kajian Asli: Wacana politik yang pincang dan wacana intelektual yang mengekorinya
Rustam Sani, 13 October 2006


Readings: ‘Umnoputras and their statistical charade’ October 15, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Economy, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations, Readings.
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Sunday Readings 1, while I pack up the house …

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM, 14 October 2006


Violence in the South (Part 1) October 13, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Human Rights, International, Islam in Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia.
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Right click to download. (best viewed with QuickTime)

asian-dialouges-yala-1-144.jpgWhispers have been rife, on the proposed peace talks between the interim Government of Thailand and former insurgent groups in Southern Thai. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the 4 Muslim-majority provinces but no one has claimed responsibility for any of them.

Are the perpetrators those former insurgent groups as suggested by then Thaksin government and the military, a mysterious new grouping or are they perhaps self-defense units formed by villagers who tire of inhumane treatment and intrusion by the state security forces who have amassed by the tens of thousands in recent years?


Page 11 October 13, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Economy, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.
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Stardate: 13102006. 0600H
Destination: Yumcha at SS2.
Menu: Double helpings. Tea. Kopi-O.
Feature of the day: Two pairs of raised eyebrows.


  1. New Straits Times: Page 1 – Bogus Doctors; Page 11 – ASLI story
  2. Sin Chew Jit Poh: Page 1 (Headline News) – Najib’s warning; *con’t* Page 11

And in Bernama news yesterday:-

October 12, 2006 17:16 PM
Najib Hopes No One Will Dispute Official Data On Equity Ownership

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 (Bernama) — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday he hoped that no one will dispute the government’s official data on the equity ownership of bumiputera and non-bumiputera.

He said the government stood by the accuracy of the official data.

“We hope this will be accepted and not disputed by anyone,” he told reporters after the presentation of Aidilfitri goodies from contributors to the Malaysian Armed Forces at the Defence Ministry here.

Just because the Government says it’s accurate, no one should dispute it? (more…)

The Economy of Truth October 11, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Aufheben, Current Affairs, Economy, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.
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One will find it hard to recall the last time a survey or study here has been withdrawn, as in the case of ASLI/CPPS, more so when the research team stands firmly behind it.

In a “normal” academic situation, when a body of study is presented, there will no doubt be challenges and debates, otherwise one will have just cause for worry. Either that or this team will be on its way to win the next Nobel Prize for Economics.

I, for one, have been looking forward to an ASLI/CPPS seminar, where they would publicly defend their work amidst variant strands of economists and statisticians. Suffice to say, this isn’t going happen, and it will go the way of, for example, the Suqiu memorandum.


Anya October 10, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Readings, RIP.

“The journalist’s job is to produce articles, commentary, interviews. The tears you sometimes shed are irrelevant: you describe what you see, get the facts together and analyse them. Full stop.” Anna Politkovskaya (1958-2006)