Tag: Empowerment

ICT Future: Lets Start with Participation in Thailand

Often young people are the first to take advantage of information and communication technologies. I see this in developing countries within the region, a prevalent desire for continuous content consumption, be it via sharing on social media, engaging on the internet, advocacy with mass dissemination and, or simply for one’s private entertainment. Traditional sense of socializing, at least during the “old days” of my youth, have been aggressively challenged and even in this day and age of modernization, we still see the present socialization challenged by young people and by people of my generation.

New technology is not only bringing about the uniformed culture of information. There has been frequent outbreaks of anti-conformism to this culture, bordering on the right to internet freedom to socio-political self-awareness of ideas and propagandas. Such culture is visible in almost every corner of the youth community, where experimentation, tentative prodding and the curiosity swells.

Though often, such in Thailand, this behaviour of internet autonomy is discouraged by the cultural conservatives, right-wings and the authorities. Some groups, traditionalists fearing a backlash to their lives or to their sense of “order” and make it a point to exclude young people in decision-making process, such as in consultation for the country’s national internet-related policies.

I’ve noticed, such exclusion takes place when authorities demand for development (in this case, a so-called “reform”) of national strategies with the secret introduction of a new set of laws, governed by a rebranded government strong-arm, called “Ministry of Digital Economy“. Though in truth, its a far-removed agency with politically motivated individuals championing its conception. I worry about the digital divide, in itself caused by the junta-inspired groups of decision-makers, with unsolved social inequality, marginalization and that obvious institutional desire to ensure conformity.

So let’s start with basic questions, by facilitating the brain juices of young people:

Are there government programs and policies that specifically address the right of participation of not just young people but also the masses into consultation in drafting laws that affect ICT? If so, what areas of focus?

Are there government-related programs to empower young people to be part of the growth of ICT in Thailand? What about NGO programs? Is the private sector involved, and what about individuals?

Have young people or youth organizations been involved with the present planning of the proposed laws? And what about the evaluation of the future impact of such laws on them?

Without their active participation in decision-making and problem-solving, and without taking into account of their concerns on censorship, surveillance and other internet regulations, the government will surely place young Thais on the wrong side of the digital divide.

 

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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The growing gap between South Thailand and the rest

Sharing my thoughts…

Ever since I had left Narathiwat, I grow edgy about the violent state of affairs in that province. I spent five days in the town and rural areas, talking to the people – Muslims and Buddhists alike – about their lives, their concerns, their children and their hopes. The ordinary people, not some middle-class Hi-So Thai, had lots to say, questions to throw, and especially on the bewilderment case of being caught in the middle of what many would say as a conflict between the military and militants who seek to destabilize life.

There has been many speculations about South Thailand, whether a climate of retaliation, a drug-infused-war, people seeking revenge upon those who had radicalized them, or for the sheer pleasure of chaos and terror. The sad fact is regardless of the motive, people from the other provinces are ignorant of the situation and the lives of the southern Thais.

Its not as if South Thailand is a melting pot of carnage, many other provinces and countries are riddled with violence and societal differences. However the continued state of ignorance and fear elsewhere prevents people in Narathiwat from an improve quality of life. What you see in the local English Thai newspapers (I would say, more tabloid-type) are usually associated with death, destruction and doom. Such perversion (sensationalism) of the news creates a wider gap between the south and the other provinces.  It seems other Thais have stopped caring for their kins and fellow citizens in the south, well in this case, people from Narathiwat.

Narathiwat is a province of Thailand. And as a community, people should find a common ground for contemplation and solidarity. I saw no antagonism or hatred between the Buddhists and Muslims. I merely saw the collective desire to build peace and a betterment state of their lives. Yet how can Thai society achieve this when many in other provinces choose to remain in their own suffocating cocoon of prejudice and ignorance?

 

 

 

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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709 – This is OUR land

An inspiring, empowering video of the BERSIH protest in Malaysia.

 

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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The compassionate bodhisattvas within our society

As practised in India, early Buddhism preached that every man must strive alone to escape into eternal peace from a cycle of reincarnation. The version of Buddhism that became popular in China was different. It elaborated on the concept of bodhisattvas » godlike beings, sometimes called potential Buddhas, who postponed their own salvation so that could help living men to find the true path.

Various bodhisattvas were endowed with the power to dispel greed, to protect men against ghosts who might interfere with spiritual practices and to confer merit to the faithful.

I do not subscribe to Buddhism although I do respect all faiths, though not necessarily their institution. However my point is how many of us are seeking the bodhisattvas-like enlightenment for the sole purpose of helping others in need? How many of us truly possess the compassion to leave the ill-hearted norms and greed of society, and embrace empathy?

I leave this message at your feet, please consume it when you are ready.

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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If I Had HIV, Would YOU Kiss Me? [video]

The stigma experienced by people living with HIV and AIDS is immensely destructive and can further damage people who may already be in a vulnerable state.


 

How to make a DIFFERENCE.

 

 

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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The Calming Effects of a Mind in a Storm

No Comments Poem ,

Comforting sight, those angry clouds above. Continuous rumbling of thunder, vicious and gracefully brutal, accompanied by the sudden whiplash, the kiss of the wild wind. Such a day, waiting impatiently for this moment, it promises a cleansing, and its worth the wait.

Smile, a tired crooked smile, is what I can offer the menacing sky. So little, yet sincere do the warmth I generate, gratitude to the monstrosity of what seeks to engulf me.

The Storm, my moment of calmness.

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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Pop One Cherry Now – Your Life

 

 

 

As frantically I scramble over the research materials for my work, I ponder at times why life (my life!) is so complicating: partners, nagging bosses and constantly being swallowed by the system.

It’s frustrating, at times, when you’re trying to make ends meet, robbing yourself of the opportunity to be with your loved ones and to be at peace, constantly engrossed with what the Boss wants (commands!) you to do, and yet in a zombified state of mind, you crash alone at home on your messy bed and your dirty bathroom, completely drained of humanity and the ability to have fun.

It seems the more we wait for that “right” opportunity, we seem be lose it over and over again. A hell-bent cycle of misery.

Yes, you say you are having fun, after all, tonight is a Saturday night, with promises of visiting the local pub with your mates. Wait a minute, didn’t you do just that last week? Has it been a ritual, a boring cycle of deeds to justify or rationalize the other 5 days of misery. In that abyss you call an “office”. Perhaps you are merely delusional, like so many of my friends and friendly acquaintances.

Whats my point? Simple. Break out this routine. Spend more time doing something that doesn’t require you to burn money or swiping your obesed credit card. Or are you still unclear, thanks to years of conditioning to the corporation and the rat-race.

Just treat your life like a cherry. Pop one now. Savor the taste. That’s how fast your life will be if you don’t escape from your own delusional state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Anarchy of Individuality

This twisted world crashing upon itself. The implosion of complacency, growing amidst the tide. Can we claim to be a civilized country when we ourselves are breeding the apathy. Apathy, a monstrous organic decay, is prevalent when governance prioritize conformity to the laws, traditions and religions, above life itself. You can expect society abandoning the individuality for the greater good.

So whats the substitution? Simply, anarchy. The belief that order stimulates the eventual destruction of society by eradicating personal thought, personal freedom and personality itself. I say, screw everything, screw you, screw itself. Without the evolution of the individual, one can never expect the growth of society.

So what are am trying to say? I say what I say because I care what I say, believing in the substance that my voice and views would make a difference to me, and me alone.

I am my own change.

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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