Tag: activism

Malaysia: The Few Fighting Against the Masses

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One can expect political violence when a ruling UMNO-led coalition is bent on the furtherance of the Institution. Democracy without change is merely an ideology of subjugation; stagnant with fear and bloated from the resources bled for the elite few.

Originally published on zashnain.com

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709 ~ This is Our Land

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Rohingya: A Dying Community

http://akrockefeller.com/media/rohingya-the-forgotten-people/

They are branded as one of the most persecuted communities in the world by the UN, yet nobody knows their name. They are the forgotten people.

In recent weeks, the escalating violence has displaced more than 90,000 Rohingya people. Villages are being burnt, people are being abducted, concentration camps are being created, women are being raped and children mercilessly killed. The persecution against the Rohingya can be described in no other terms but that of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Check out: Burma’s Rohingya – The Human Story

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Demonstration: Land Rights and Poverty in Thailand

[dmalbum path=”/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Land Rights/”/]

 

There was over 900 marginalized people in front of the Government Building on 2 Oct 2012 [Bangkok]. They gathered, to show solidarity and for the government to address their needs and concerns affecting their land, homes and rights. Many are poor folks, those living in urban slums, in hardship and a minority of those struggling against statelessness. 

Despite the incredible heat and humidity, hundreds listened to the speeches of their community leaders. Some spoke about the delays of development, others mentioned rights to land, housing and an identity, while words of unhappiness against the encroachment of corporations and people who live by the whims of greed.

By evening, I was informed that the Government of Thailand had responded to act upon the issues expressed by the demonstrators. I admit, I found that their prime minister, Yingluck, has proactively set a culture of assembly where Thais can gather to express themselves on most issues. I eagerly hope that more Thais embrace the peaceful concept of demonstrations and the government sets the benchmark of good governance for and by the people.

The right to a land is not just a human right, it sparks the life blood of a community. These folks seek to remove themselves from poverty and peacefully advocated their rights to a better life. 

P-MOVE = Justice for the Poor

 

Read Isa Ibrahim’s post: Faces of the Ostracized

 

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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A Chat With @kwanruenb The Child Rights Activist

Despite the incredible heat this morning, I walked eagerly to meet a dear friend: Kwan, an activist. Didn’t let the last minute plans stop me from rushing to the nearest MRT station. Was eager to meet her as it was a rare occasion for her to make the odd trip down to Bangkok. She had a meeting in Bangkok, although scheduled a few hours for me. 

Kwan works with disadvantaged children and refugees near the Burma-Thailand border in an almost isolated location, according to one Bangkok resident. She is a humanitarian worker who specializes in child protection and her approach towards her work has always inspired me, not to mention her sensual smile. 

I was early, not really knowing the exact location, fumbling through the madness of  finding a landmark in Bangkok. Eventually she found me, we hugged and spoke rapidly about her work, some challenges faced by refugees in Thailand Its similar, somewhat, to Malaysia however NGOs in Thailand seem more involved in the rights-based needs of the marginalized community. 

I think about the refugees in Malaysia — the absence of sustainable activism in championing the rights of refugees. Malaysia is a hub for refugees, some coming from the Middle East, and with a growing population of stateless and migrant workers. Those seeking sanctuary in Malaysia are treated as “illegal immigrants” with no rights as refugees in accordance to UNHCR; and there seems to be a bloated community of migrants from Indonesia acquiring citizenship in East Malaysia (i.e. Sabah). Obvious discriminatory policies of the federal and state governments, and yet there is barely a hiccup among Malaysian NGOs on the issues, needs and concerns of the refugee/migrant communities. 

Anyway, back to Kwan — I admire her passion for her work and the community that she represents. Amazing, as working with marginalized children is tough, taxing one’s core abilities in order to do what needs to be done, for the rights of the child.

She is a member of a small circle of child protection activists in her country. At times, I know she works against a monstrous wall of societal apathy, isolated and swamped with cases. However one person can make a difference, hopefully inspiring other Thais to action — an empowerment of justice and human rights. 

I wish her the best, and I look forward to meeting her again, just to listen to her speak, exchange opinions and see her smile.

  

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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My Neighbourhood – Official Trailer – A Just Vision Film

(25 mins) When a Palestinian boy loses half of his home to Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, he joins his community in a campaign of nonviolent protests. Efforts to put a quick end to the demonstrations are foiled when scores of Israelis choose to stand by the residents’ side.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BBC News on #Bersih 3.0 – What the govt doesn’t want you to know

Feast your eyes on what was reported and what was censored.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BERSIH, human rights and Malaysia [video]

A video made by a Malaysian.

The illusion that shrouds Malaysia now reveals the truth –> Malaysians cannot sit around, complacent anymore. The upcoming elections must be freed from the tyrannical grips of a fearful government, and the madness of corruption. Do we have any other choice to be free?

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Who is @PurePapua and what does he stand for?

  On Twitter he is simply known as @PurePapua « a Papuan-rights activist. His goal is to see the liberation of West Papua from the imperialist, Indonesia. He believes in self-determination, he believes in the right of an ancient indigenous population to decide on their future, their land, their sea, their heritage, and their children.

Can @PurePapua achieve what he and many others have decided decades ago? West Papuans risk their lives, their families, their livelihood, their way of life ~ they risk everything, to be free from the yoke of slavery, to live without the rotting touch of the colonists, to embrace each other and live as free men and women of their land.

He tweets, like a frenzied whirlwind abomination gripped by hunger. He tweeted:

“West Papua: Loss of freedom, violent assault, environmental destruction and total disregard for human life”

A simple tweet, but meaningful, heartfelt, surrounded by depths of burning emotions, especially one that displays a cynical view of West Papua, the lack of international attention, and the continued tyranny of Indonesia.

Follow him, ignore him, hate him, admire him, I don’t fucking care. I know that he can count on me for support, for my arm, for my fist, for my compassion and for my desire to see freedom for West Papua. I see @PurePapua as my brother, and I stand by his side in our quest to enable West Papuans the freedom for self-determination. For the Present, for the Future, for Life.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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We are Thai. #ThailandOnly

วันนี้อ่านบทความออนไลน์ชื่อ′ความเป็นไทย+ความเป็นคน′ โดย เกษียร เตชะพีระ หนังสือพิมพ์มติชนรายวัน ฉบับประจำวันที่ 3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2555 แล้วประทับใจบทกวีเก่า ขอคัดลอกบทกวีเหล่านั้น มาไว้เพื่ออ่านย้อนรำลึกเองอีกครั้งค่ะ Read More

Moui

I'm not Geek, just a Thai internet addicted gal. Love to be surrounded by good heart people. Follow me on twitter : @moui or Facebook : PoomjitS

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Social Media & Advocacy. Are Malaysians effectively utilising ICT?

Nowadays many Malaysian social advocates and activists utilise the social media. It is very popular, it is part of the growing lifestyle and it is part of communication. I have yet to meet any who does not have an account with Twitter or Facebook, not to mention at least a couple of email accounts stored in their BlackBerry. Advocates depend on social media and their multitude of gadgets (from iPhones to Tablets), not forgetting the thousands of apps, to supposedly increase efficiency in their work and perhaps their much-needed fashionable lifestyles.

Before the New Year, I was invited to share best practises of harm-reduction (drug use) work among young people. Naturally I was excited and forwarded some concepts and thoughts via email. The response I received from another Malaysian harm-reductionist was bitterly disappointing. He was unable to share his thoughts using email (perhaps he was lazy imbecile) and instead was eager to conduct a face-to-face meeting. It is not as if he does not have any proficiency in email correspondence, and he is quite skillful with his Facebook-time (hundred of his FB friends can testify to that). The mentality of some (or many) social advocates are the same, like this sod. There are still dependant on conventional meetings and gatherings to communicate; this is despite the advancement of ICT and their capacity to purchase an assortment of hardware and flashy gadgets.

Are Malaysians really utilising ICT to enhance their work? Or are they more keen on exchanging pleasantries and to socialise? Is ICT a tool for community-work or is it merely a platform for mental masturbation?

We have seen the effectiveness of ICT (for example, Twitter) during the Bersih protests, where the flurry of messages, photos and online whirlwind coordination enabled Bersih and human rights advocates to work their magic for their Cause. Quite impressive, mind you. However there is also a question of sustainability of momentum. After the protests, Malaysians are back in the comforts of their office or drop-in centre, bitching about loads of human rights violation or political dissatisfaction, but it seems venting and barbaric rants does not solve the bigger problem: – who’s going to do the actual work with the grassroot and marginalised groups? Homelessness is still a major problem in urban settings of Malaysia, not to mention new HIV cases are detected at an alarming rate of 10 people infected per day. Where does ICT play a role in Malaysia’s sensitization of knowledge or skills needed by the poor and hungry?

ICT is an interesting concept of advocacy yet I am not convinced that Malaysians are fully aware of its potential. Raising the issue of sexuality and freedom in Malaysia is a right thing to do, however once said (or tweeted) it is forgotten almost immediately. People are now more concerned about their cup of coffee, their shopping spree agenda or further digging into the pisspot of apathy.

I am all for the freedom of usage of ICT by social advocates for recreational purposes. But it seems that is all what they use it for, to bitch about the establishment and to socialise. Obvious indicators of social media and social advocacy exercises that worked in Indonesia and Thailand, and its effectiveness in influencing the general public, are excellent examples of fully embracing, harnessing and utilising ICT to champion a community or a Cause (such as the floods in Thailand and Philippines).

All in all, Malaysian social advocates need to learn from our neighbours in the region. Let us not just tweet a link or two but most important the incorporation of social media into advocacy, and enabling a suitable environment to the actual work, on the ground, in the streets, the rainforests, the slums, the plantations or wherever. What is the point of Malaysians merely tweeting, lecturing and talking, when the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled and the homeless are still rotting in our lack of action.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand
This work by Moui is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand.
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