On a free and fair media…

From “BENAR for a Free and Fair Media

I Walk for Media Freedom

This is the Button commemorating the Walk for Media Freedom on 1st June 2008. Since we are operating without any sponsorship, we need your help to defray the cost of these buttons as well as other expenses incurred to organize this event. It will therefore be highly appreciated if you will kindly make a small donation for this button.

Due to budget constraints, we have ordered only 500 pieces of this button and they will be made available on a first come first served basis.

The program for the morning is as follows…

9 – 9:45am Walkers arrive individually at the National Flag at Dataran Merdeka, show their respect, and then proceed immediately to the National Press Club. Please DO NOT gather anywhere at the Dataran. If there are any blockades, simply avoid those and find another route to the NPC. No confrontation and no heroics please.
10:00 am Welcoming address by the organisers
10:15 am Keynote address by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim
10:45am Sharing by participants followed by Q&A
11:30am Reading of the 1st June Statement
11:40am Re-reading of the 3rd May Memorandum
11:50am Launch of the signature campaign endorsing the 3rd May Memorandum
12:00 noon Participants take the Pledge Resolution on Media Freedom

Dataran to NPC Walking Route

Come and show your support, ladies and gentlement. It is after all, for the common good.

Trying to convince my brain that this particular Sunday sleep-in should be sacrificed – Jasmine.

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On school uniforms…

From young, our parents, teachers, and friends teach us that we have choices about our lives and that we’re responsible for what happens to us. We frequently hear that if you are beaten, you’re said to have incited it, and that if were raped you’re said to have invited it. We inculcate in them that they are responsible for the things that happen in their life both positive and negative.

Thus, when a rape occurs, usually what a victim’s thinks is: “What did I do that was wrong?” The victim blames herself and society is quick to blame her as well. Now we read that even the innocence of children is questioned. Schoolgirls are now responsible for seducing their perpetrators. Read about it here.

In my opinion we seem to be saying that we won’t take responsibility as a society and we will continue to blame the victims. We have to start discussing about who rapes. Who is that somebody? Why do men rape women? And how do you stop them?

We have to examine the various types of rape. There is anger rape which is characterized by physical brutality; power rape in which the aim is to control the victim; and sadistic rape in which the driving force of anger and power is translated into a sexual attack and sex rape where drugs are the instruments of the attack.

Very few rapes involve provocative dressing on the part of the victim. In fact, I would say that convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing.

Rape victims range from days old to senior citizens in their nineties. Where is the evidence that provocative dressing causes rape? It is a myth that rape only happens to young, beautiful women who dress provocatively. All women are vulnerable to rape, regardless of age, race, class, education or physical appearance.

I won’t even start talking about how ridiculous it is to imagine that the baju kurung promotes pre-marital sex… It’s just mind boggling how their mental acrobatics came to that conclusion.

Perhaps I can now see why some people have school uniform fantasies – Jasmine.

On blogging…

Been having a relatively tough week… Tough because I’ve been manically packing and cleaning and organizing the old house, in preparation to move to the new house. Relative because I’ve taken the week off work, meaning no early mornings, or rush hour traffic jams, or rushing to find some semi-decent clothes to put on, or dealing with difficult people or having to prepare the monkeys in the morning before I leave… It’s been a much needed break away from work, which has been like a pressure cooker for the last 6 months or so.

It was particularly tough because I’ve been not-so-gently told to stop blogging, or rather, more appropriately, to stop airing dirty laundry in public. Well, not so public, as I don’t get much of an audience, really… My highest viewed posts are never about my personal life, but mostly on my quasi-political commentary and satirical pieces…

The whole purpose of blogging, for me at least, is a form of expression and relief, so that I don’t self-combust or implode with whatever it is that is making me do so. Perhaps it is anger, dissatisfaction, hate, happiness, joy, whatever… It is simply a way for me to express myself.

Perfectly described in Wiki as :

A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

But then, the government has said that bloggers are usually jobless, lying women who have no credibility, and nothing better to do. If you believe the government, then there’s nothing to worry about, is there?

I apologize, if there are people out there who feel that my blog intrudes into their personal or professional life. It is not my intention. But I do not apologize for its contents, for they are the truth, as far as I’m concerned. It does not matter to me if it bothers you. This world does not revolve around you. I do not spend endless sleepless nights scheming how to take over the world…

As said by Joseph Pulitzer, “Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”

Reminding myself that this blog is about me, and my life, and no one else’s – Jasmine.

On hate…

Today, the woman whom I used to loathe came by the office, apparently to collect her father’s belongings that was left behind in my car from the last expedition. I first encountered her two years ago, when she came on the expedition, and thus began my hate-affair with her, to be continued by her father in the next year. Read about her here and here. On the next expedition, her father brought me grief to no end. And even now, almost a year has passed, he still bugs me sometimes…

I’ve always thought that I’m a good judge of people, and rely very much on my first impressions. And I might add, I’m very rarely wrong. This was the girl that I disliked on sight, and I could not get over my dislike of her even after spending almost 60 days in close quarters. Throughout the expedition in 2006, she was clingy and irritating, and got on my nerves constantly. Perhaps it was convenient for me to have an object of loathing on the expedition, if only for me to focus my unhappiness on…

I have not seen this woman for two years. Not that it bothered me if I never see her again. The funny thing though, was when I saw her this morning, I was immediately reminded of how much I disliked her, and wouldn’t even wish to spend 10 minutes witn her in idle and mindless chatter.

Its like an unpleasant smell that you get a short whiff of, and know what to expect and imagine the worst is yet to come. I find it rather disturbing that I would dislike someone so much. Perhaps she became the embodiment of what that didn’t go well for me on the trip. Perhaps she’s not likeable. I wasn’t the only one who did not get along with her.

And then I got to thinking, there must be someone out there who thinks the same of me… 😛

Hoping not to see this woman ever again in my life, so I am not reminded how hateful I can be – Jasmine.

ps – I don’t think I’m an angry, pissy, self-combustible person… So this hatefulness was quite out of character for me…