Thirty Nine Years Ago This Day

On the tragic night of May 13, thirty nine years ago, scores of us lost a bit of our blood but for a different reason. We were trying to fill up the fast depleting blood bank at the University Hospital in Petaling Jaya. In the ensuing confusion, it didn’t occur to us to enquire whether our blood would go to a Malay, or to an Indian, or to a Chinese.… Read the article

Examen 35: I’m Not Sure I’m Pure…

“So what race are you?”, a question is posed to me. My reply, “I’m supposed to be Chinese, according to my identity card. I’m Hokkien. I can’t speak the dialect though. My mom is Chinese Cantonese I think but rumor (actually pretty reliable family history) tells me I’m not a pure Chinese.… Read the article

Extolling Mothers

In a sense, Mothers Day, like other internationally-designated days, while sincere in the recognition it bestows on Mothers, is a misnomer of sorts. Since being a mother is a life-time calling. The marking of a birthday, for example, does not mean that the person does not have to live for the rest of his or her life or that he or she will not need to be valued each and every day.… Read the article

You Surpass Them All, Mother

My mother was born four years after the First World War and has since lived through many more wars and rumours of war. Her few precious possessions act as time markers for her long life. These can be little things like her silver chain-link belt. She bought that shortly after she was married at nineteen.… Read the article

So We Voted For Change… But Have We Changed?

The dust has yet to settle after the 12th General Elections when the question of ethnic quotas raised its ugly head again. While observers seem to think that the Malaysian electorate has finally had enough of ethnicity based politics and were willing to give the alternative a try, we saw Umno organised demonstrations against the newly elected state governments for allegedly not having enough Malays in their EXCO lineups, folks upset because certain parties were not given their due rewards in terms of representation (I read it as having not enough Chinese), and now in Malaysiakini’s Vox Populi today and apparently e-mails sent to KeADILan’s HQ (so I heard); people upset that the Makkal Sakthi movement was not rewarded with enough Indian representation in the Selangor EXCO line up.… Read the article

Of Eight Who Got Involved : Seeing Democracy In Action

“Can you be a Polling Agent/Counting Agent for the opposition? They are desperately short of people.” I had been getting several such SMSes and e-mails about two weeks prior to the elections. I chose to ignore them. But when I started thinking about how I wanted a change to the country’s corrupt, inefficient and unjust system, I realized this would never come about if there were no PACAs acting for the opposition to observe the voting and counting.… Read the article

Let’s Get Moving Now On The IPCMC

I spent approximately 45 minutes on Polling Day sitting in a pondok polis in Bukit Damansara. My mother had been involved in a small traffic accident earlier that morning, and so after we had cast our votes at S.K. Bukit Damansara we went to report the incident. It surprised us to realise that Bukit Damansara does not have a full-fledged police station.… Read the article