English: There, here and over there. Basically, in a sense, to mean restless. A collection of thoughts, musings and ramblings...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fundraising for SPCA KK in September / October!

September seems to be SPCA KK's month, with all the interesting developments taking place. 2 fundraising opportunies, all at once!

As the Head of Education for SPCA KK, one of the greatest issues I find facing the organisation is people's lack of understanding of what it actually does. Mostly on funding matters, or on our 'unpaid volunteer-only' basis and that we don't actually spend (or could afford to spend) time running around and tracking down homeless animals. Which led me to write a press release a few months ago.

While it is a globally-known name, SPCA KK basically runs on its own resources, getting no fixed funds at all from government or any other outside sources. Therefore, it is a constant struggle to keep sourcing for donations and other sponsorships from other organisations and the general public in order to keep the animals fed and other important matters.

We've done plenty, from monthly fundraising campaigns, to small musical fundraising events, to hosting a Shave to Save event. 

So it is indeed a wonderful thing, when 2 things crop up to make our fundraising efforts a little easier.

#1 Animal Welfare Awareness Concert in conjunction with World Animal Day 

Organised by Valiant Events and Entertainment, it is the first time ever that World Animal Day (usually held on 4th October) is celebrated on such a large scale, with several other animal-related organisations also taking part. There will be booths and campaigning activities from 2pm - 7pm at KDCA on 5fh October, with a concert to cap off the day.

Tickets are priced at RM20, RM40 and RM100 based on your love for animals (and seating arrangements!). For each ticket sold by SPCA KK, 30% of the ticket price will go back to the organisation. 


#2 The Body Shop Foundation Campaign Product - Dragon Fruit Lip Butter

Indeed, it is an to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of proceeds from sales of Body Shop's latest product! Beauty retail therapy for a good cause. Feel good with soft and smooth lips.

So help me to support SPCA KK, by buying either one (or both) of these great offers! A little effort goes a long way.



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Saturday, September 22, 2012

A picture paints a thousand words, but...

"That is not me!"

I shifted in my chair to stare a liittle closely, and uncomfortably, at the picture - recognisable as me, yet not recognisable at the same time. What have they done to my picture? I couldn't quite focus my attention on it and say "Wow, don't I look great?"

It was a mixture of despair and confusion.

To others, they probably can't see the significance, but for me, it's a moment of sad truth.

Like a slap in the face, it says "You're not pretty enough. Your face is too round, too dark, too imperfect.... and ta-dahh... now we've improved it! THIS is how you should look like, if you are truly to be pretty"

I have a copy of the original unedited copy - the large but gentle smiling eyes, lit up with a hint of laughter, lips curved upwards in a relaxed, confident smile. Softly rounded jawline. Messed up hair.

That girl I am talking about may not be model perfect, and a little too chubby, but she is 100% me. I remember when the photos were first taken and I scrutinised each one to find the 'acceptable' ones. There weren't many, and I did think "if only I was skinnier, or younger, or fairer..." then every photo would have been jaw-dropping beautiful.

But that wouldn't be who I am. So I settled for 3, that I thought were nice enough to display as a memory of my 33rd year.

The girl I am looking at now in the edited photo is illuminated to look as if she had porcelain fair skin. Face less rounded. She just doesn't have the same warmth in her smile.

Is this what happens when we let technology take over? Memories are synthetic, made perfect with a little touch-up here and there. We want others to believe that we look like that... many years later. But it's a lie.

I am not sure how I feel about showing a portrait of 'me' at 33, knowing fully well that it isn't 100% me. Ahh yes, I know it's beautiful, but...

A picture paints a thousand words, but...

what if the picture ain't real?



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Friday, September 14, 2012

Breaking free - Part 2

This follows up my blogpost Breaking free - Part 1.

On the 1st day I I didn't manage to achieve much but to get some information from Biro Bantuan Guaman and the form from Mahkamah Syariah. However I had my mind made up, especially since I had many questions answered on the first day.

I lost my marriage certificate, so I decided to at least make a police report to make it official. Took me about 20 minutes of waiting, then to lodge a report, which they already had a template for. And I paid RM2.00 for it.

I decided to get all my relevant documents photocopied and verified, but first I went to get a photocopy of the form from Mahkamah Syariah. First, for my sister, and secondly, just in case I mess up the form.

The girl who took my form to photocopy glanced at the cover page interestedly. "Kakak.... where did you get this form? Do I need to pay to get it from the Syariah Court?"

"No", I answered, a little curious, "No payment, just ask it from them. But I think you have to be there early - I saw the notice that said the counter will only be open until 11.30am"

"Oh" was her only response, as she busied herself with photocopying the rest of the contents.

Handing to me the copies, she said, "I'm in the same boat. My husband has been missing for the last 3 years"

"Well, you definitely should go for it. No use hanging on to something that is no longer there" I told her encouragingly

"Yeah" she smiled. "And I've got a boyfriend now too"

I left the shop thinking and wondering how many girls were in that very same situation. Not knowing their rights, or too scared to take the next step.

But I felt good that I think I helped at least one girl that day.

****************************************************

My next stop was back at MUIS and I took the lift straight to the 10th floor. Most of the seats were already occupied as I took a number and a seat.

When it was my turn, I approached the counter a little apprehensive as I wasn't sure what to say.

"I have lost my certificate and I want to make a new one" I heard myself saying, showing the police report.

The lady didn't seem very interested in the report I was handing to her, instead rummaging in her drawer for a form

"Fill up this form. It costs RM1. You need to have certified true copies of both the husband and wife's NRIC submitted with the form" she said as she put a tick mark on the list of documents on the form

"Ummmm... well, what if I cannot get the husband's NRIC?" I asked

She stopped, and stared at me. "Why?"

I bravely continued on, "Because I am filing a case for divorce"

At this point she was staring at me with her mouth half open as if that was the most unusual thing she had heard all her life. C'mon... THIS is new?

"So... this is for a divorce?" she asked hesitantly. "I have to check with the officer" she said brusquely and hurried to the door behind.

She came back in about 2 minutes and told me curtly that they didn't need to issue me a new certificate, I just need to make 3 photocopies of the photocopy I already have, and they will verify it.

I wanted to ask more, but seems like she was in a rush.

So I went down, to look for a photocopy machine, made 3 copies and went up again. Pressed for a number, again.

By the time it was my turn (which didn't take too long), she already knew what I wanted.

In a jiffy, I had my copies certified. A little miffed though that they called out the name of my (ex)husband instead of mine. Took me a while to recognise it.

Cost? None. If you overlook the nominal cost of making 3 copies.

******************************************************

That night I filled up the cerai fasakh forms, made sure I had all the rest of the documents that needed to be verified. Almost there!

******************************************************

The next day, I needed to get the identification documents verified - NRIC, birth certificate of child, and other relevant documents. It says on the guidelines that only issuing departments and government officers can certify a true copy.

My mum decided to drive me. We went to JPN in Inanam, and that was a breeze too. Took all of 10 minutes or less for us to be done there. Also at no cost, except for the costs of photocopying.

And my documents were complete! 3 copies of everything, including the cerai fasakh form.

So, there is no more need to hold back.... back to MUIS / Mahkamah Syariah.

The counter was a lot less busy than the first time I was there. I approached the first counter, and handed to the lady all my completed documents. She flipped it open and had a read.

"So, your husband has been gone for 3 years. No support at all in terms of money and companionship?" she asked

"No"

"Ok, write that down as well. What about children?"

"I have one"

"Does he give her money?"

"No"

"Men" She grumbled. "If it was just us women, we could live on RM300 no problem. But pity the child. Write that down too - that he doesn't give the child any monetary support" she pushed the forms back to me and guided me on writing the right words down (My BM sucks)

"And you have had no contact with him whatsoever in those 3 years?"

"No"

"Write that down too"

I like her, like a wonderful long-lost relative. Maybe because I look so young in spite of my age, I've just been asked couple of times lately if I was still studying and where :-p

She then asked me to take a seat. I hadn't even noticed there was a long corridor lined with seats until then.

A man dressed in blue and handcuffed walked by with 3 police officers as escorts. I wonder what he had done, since this is the Syariah Court.

I heard my name called, and it was to to sign a summons. Then I was asked to take a seat again.

The next time they called me, they had my documents ready, and with a letter that I will need to pass to my ex. Court date is set on 9th October at 9 a.m.

I am proud of myself. I did something that I was scared to do for the past 3 years. And it really wasn't such a big deal. Maybe it was because I have experienced so many things, and communicated with so many different people over the last few years that the idea of anything worse than failing, is not trying at all.

The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life (Confucious), I couldn't help but think.

Now I need a lawyer. Back to BBG?

Stay tuned for Breaking free - Part 3



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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Breaking free continued - Part 1

Knowing is better than not knowing. It's about overcoming your fears
I wrote Breaking Free in mid August 2009, when I had just applied for an Interim Protection Order against my ex. Due to some circumstances that I would rather not mention again, it took me 3 months after the incident before I could finally have the courage to apply for it.

And now it has been three years since, and nothing has been done. Same set of circumstances that held me back, but now I have decided once and for all 'to hell with what other people think I should do, this is my life which they are not the ones living in' and face my fears.

My first stop was to the Biro Bantuan Guaman, which is on the 2nd floor of the MAA building. I just needed some legal advice on how to proceed.

The first thing I was told to do was to fill up the form about my financial details. If your yearly income is less than RM25,000 you are qualified for legal aid. Above that, you may still qualified based on case-to-case basis, but you cannot earn more than RM30,000 annually.

Mine was slightly above the RM30,000 limit, but I was able to ask for advice anyway, for a small token sum of RM2.00. The lady lawyer who served me said I could still have them represent me at the court hearing, but I will need to write a letter to appeal for legal aid, and that I need to file my own case at the Syariah Court and get a date set.

Otherwise, I can get a Syariah lawyer, which may cost around RM2,000 - RM3,000 depending on the firm.

According to my case, she said it was sufficient enough for me to present the case that my husband has been MIA for 3 years now, and has been uncontactable or that I do not want to contact him. I do not even need to dig up the painful details of what lead to the IPO, only that it was the reason for him to leave, unless the court asks for more information.

For a case where the man has gone missing for over 4 months, all a woman like myself needs is 1 witness. For abuse cases, I would need at least 2 men witnesses, or 1 men and 2 women witnesses, which will result in a longer process.

The below are the conditions set in the marriage certificate, and I have translated it best as I could (not easy, with the flowery Malay language used). But basically, I believe it captures the gist of the terms given.

Adalah saya (nama suami) dengan ini berta'liq, jika...
I (name of husband) hereby agree that the marriage will be considered null and void, if....

1. Saya tidak bermu'asyarah yang ma'ruf dengan isteri saya (nama isteri) sama ada saya meninggalkan dia dengan sengaja atau  paksaan atau dia meninggalkan saya dengan paksaan selama empat bulan qamariah berturut-turut atau lebih; atau
1. I have not been living in good terms with my wife (name of wife), whether I had left intentionally or with coercion or forced her to leave me, for four months in a row or more, or2. Saya atau wakil saya tidak memberi nafkah kepadanya selama empat bulan qamariah berturut-turut atau lebih dan dia tidak disabitkan nusyuz oleh mana-mana Mahkamah Syariah; atau
2. My representative or I have not given her support for a living (financially or otherwise) for four months in a row or more, and she has not been convicted of any ill conduct by the Syariah Court, or
3. Saya melakukan sebarang mudarat kepada tubuh badannya, penganiyaan atau lain-lain dharar syarie terhadapnya;
3. I have caused any sort of bodily harm, abuse or other wrongdoings under syariah against her;

dan apabila dia mengadu kepada Qadi atau Hakim Syarie dan sabit aduannya di sisi Qadi atau Hakim Syarie dan dia memberi kepada Qadi atau Hakim Syarie bagi pihak saya sebanyak RM10.00 atau senilai dengannya maka ketika itu tertalaqlah dia (nama isteri) dengan satu talaq khul'
and when she has complained to the Qadi or Syariah Judge and upon her complaint and she gives to the Qadi or Syariah Judge on behalf of myself RM10.00 or an item of similar value, thus her (name of wife) application to be revocably divorced is therefore accepted.

I left the BBG office, feeling as if I at least now know where I am heading, so next I was off to the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah (JHEAINS) office in MUIS to get them to issue an official letter for my marriage certificate. You see, I lost mine when I was in Australia, and somebody decided to move all my things back in KK on my behalf...

I checked the information board - it says JHEAINS is on the 5th floor, so up the lift I went. When I got there, there wasn't any direction pointing to where the office was. So I walked around in both directions before I found the office.

On the glass door, a sign was pasted:-


All dealings regarding marriages - 10th floor. Bugger!

So I went back to the lift and got myself to the top floor. Another surprise awaits...


They are off to some 'party' until 1pm, and will only be open for business at 2pm....

Double bugger!! Can't stay, gotta go to work!

Ok... so I go to the Syariah Court, to get their paperwork for submitting a case. First thing I saw...


We are only open until 11.30 in the morning!! Geez......

But luckily it was only 11.19am... so I had time.

I went up the stairs, and found so many people hanging around the counter area. Lines snaking in front.... really, the management have no will to improve this?

But anyway, I got my form from a harried-looking young woman, who breezed through the basics of what I needed to do, where to write and what to write. I needed a couple of documents to prepare, and there is 3 sets of everything required. Certified copies of NRIC, child's birth certs, marriage certs.....

Oh well, looks like I will need to come back again the next day...

Time for part 2 to begin.


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Saturday, September 8, 2012

First time ever garage sale in Farida's

Organised my first ever garage sale today!


Selling is nothing new to me. I've sold second-hand stuff and food at bazaars, and even organised a car boot sale. But a garage sale, is not quite the same.... It involves inviting people in to your house to look at what you have to offer. People have to go out of their way to come to your house, so some PR & marketing is definitely in order. Plus considerations on the best timing to hold a sale.



And for this garage sale, it was more of a collaboration of friends and family joining in as well. All I can say is, I had fun! And picked up some great bargains as well :) (oooh... the difficulty of holding yourself back from spending more than you are earning)

I even managed to convert my dad to a believer that the concept of garage sales DOES succeed in  KK. In the morning he was mumbling negatively that it is unlikely people will buy at garage sales, unlike in UK or Europe. But since giving me his jacket to sell and getting money for it, he was very pleased.



Other than that, I think my mum was pretty excited about the whole thing. More excited than me, actually. I think it reminds her of when she was young and did her own sales.

I wouldn't say this sort of thing is the answer to your prayers for quick money or if you are looking at this as a full-time job. But it was definitely fun to spend time catching up with friends, old and new.




I even got interviewed by Utusan KK :) Looking forward to when that comes out.

My reasons for holding such an event in my own frontyard:
- to give a new home to things that are no longer needed but still usable (De-clutter is the word! And upcycle!)
- to give an avenue for people looking to get a little pocket-money
- mingle, get to know more people and network!
- as a great thing to do on a lazy weekend



And oh, I found that it is a great way to source for clothes to fit 'juicy' sizes like myself ;-) Let's not also forget that this is a great way to combat capitalism. Haha!

I am definitely going to do this again soon! :)


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Friday, September 7, 2012

Where is the love?

I feel sad. Mostly disappointed really. I am shocked by how sick the society I was living in.

A society that thinks violence is ok.

I am talking about the case of Amanda Fong, who posted several YouTube videos highlighting abuse inflicted on her by her husband. This is her message on one of her videos:-

I AM AMANDA FONG KIM YEN, IM 19 YEARS OLD & IM 2MONTHS+ PREGNANT WITH CALVEN CHIK FOO KEONG'S BABY & I'M STANDING UP FOR MYSELF NOW. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCE WITH ALL OF YOU OUT THERE HOW ABUSIVE MY HUSBAND IS BY BEATING ME UP TERRIBLY & HE HAD BEEN TORTURING ME. I'VE BEEN CRYING HYSTERICALLY, HAVING ABDOMINAL PAINS & TRAUMATIZED BY THIS EXPERIENCED. AS YOU CAN SEE IN THIS VIDEO HE WOULDN'T LET ME OUT FROM THE SHOP EVEN I WENT TO PRESS THE DOOR ACCESS. HE HAS PUT ME UNDER TREMENDOUS PRESSURE, HURT, PAIN & SUFFERING. I CANNOT ENDURE IT ANYMORE LONGER. I'M VERY TIRED OF LIVING THIS MISERABLE LIFE. I HAVE BEEN ACCUSED, SUFFERED FROM HUMILIATION, PHYSICALLY & MENTALLY ANGUISHED. HOW WILL YOU REACT IF YOU WERE IN MY POSITION & IT HAPPENED TO ONE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBER?
Of course, in the beginning I wondered what she was up to by posting such videos online. While some people accused her of wanting fame, I think she's brave. She's 19, she know that the action of the husband is wrong, and she is trying to pass on the message to those other girls who might be caught in a similar situation.

I was 19 too when a similar situation happened to me. But I was too afraid and ashamed to do anything for 7 years. 7 YEARS! Because I had that low level of self-esteem to believe I deserved much better.

If I was angry and humiliated (10 minutes of being punched is a damn long time) as she was, and if YouTube and digital cameras existed back then, I might have done the same thing.

What was a few videos, compared to the amount of slapping and punching she had to endure? A lot of which may cause her permanent and long-suffering damage. Some even accused her of instigating the fights, but they wouldn't know, would they? Unless they were in that same situation. Did they really expect her to just sit down and shut up and be slapped into submission? I can see that Amanda Fong had the spirit of a fighter, and she was defending herself.

Maybe what people don't understand was that that video was probably just one time out of several times she had been abused in such a way. It just doesn't immediately happen that way. It probably escalated from a few red flags here and there that were not paid heed to. As he realised that he can do it and get away with it, it probably got worse and worse.

I remember my first red flag was when my ex (that time we were only dating) pushed me over a coffee table simply because I was angry that I didn't get to celebrate my 19th birthday as he was too busy sleeping the day away.

Maybe for him he referred to those earlier days as 'happy times', because what ever he said, I'd dutifully followed. Sure, he was happy, but not me.

But back to the case of Amanda....

The husband later was interviewed by Malaysian Digest to give his side of the story about why he beat up his wife http://www.malaysiandigest.com/top-news/99912-why-i-beat-up-my-wife-man-at-centre-of-cctv-assault-case-tells-his-story.html

In the interview he admits its no excuse for violence and will accept all consequences, including criminal charges.

Fine, I'll give him that, but I disagree with all those other people who were thinking this is a justification for beating the crap out of someone else. Whatever it is, he should have just let her walk away and take action in other ways. So what if the woman was a slut, or whatever.  If he 'didn't mean it', or is really sorry, all it would take would be a slap or a punch from him to feel remorse.

Pummeling away 10 mins or more doesn't exactly show that he isn't aware of what he was doing.
As one guy commented - even a street fight takes only 5 mins

Below are some of the answers I received for comments I made, because I was incredibly disgusted with the way people were siding him.

Sab79 wrote:

All those sob stories are supposed to justify his actions?? Really? Causing harm over another human being is ok? See how you feel if that is your mother, your sister or your daughter...

Eddie Lau (unregistered) wrote, in response to Sab79:

how do you feel if you find out your daughter is having an affair when she's married to someone and is pregnant? or better still, what if you find out your wife is having an affair??


can you keep your cool and just shout at her? everyone has their limits and having to sustain for over 8months since their marriage is a very long time.

Sab79 wrote:

No one expects him to keep cool, of course. He's angry. But then, he is not entitled to treat her like his property.

Stylo (unregistered) wrote, in response to Sab79:

Why are you only looking from 1 angle? what about her committing adultery? prostituting herself for monetary gains when she already has a husband? How is this fair to him?  


JunkinTheTrunk (unregistered) wrote, in response to Sab79:

So what would be your reaction if your mother or sister or your daughter gets beaten? Won't you wanna kill that person? ISNT THAT THE SAME SHIT!? Domestic violence is not punishable by death. He did not JUSTIFY his actions you tardcake. READ AGAIN. He says his actions are non excusable and prepared to receive punishment. Clearly your emotions are making you read between the lines. Self righteous, judgemental hypocrite you are.

Sab79 wrote:

Wow, just the fact that you have to call me names to make a point just shows what an INCREDIBLE human being you are (exactly who is the one being emotional and judgementalhere??) I am not talking about him justifying his actions, but all you other people who seem to think it is ok. It's not excuse. No one is entitled to hurt another person, neither do they gain ownership over another person. And I'm talking both sides here. But the fact is , the video showed clearly him beating up a woman. And really, you don't expect her to try to fight back?? What society has deteriorated to - it's ok for a man (oops, maybe he is NOT a man) to beat up a woman, and that it's not ok for her to try to fight back...

neutralparty (unregistered) wrote, in response to Sab79:

Hitting people has no sexual indifference. The law gave the same punishment for both sex. She knows very well there is a CCTV in the shop. She would had plotted the whole thing. The guy got angry due to her words because he loved her. That is why he gets bother by her words. Just think it over, if you don't love a lady, would you even bother what she says? Mental stress can cause many reactions and also what genetics that person obtained. Some can only react through violence. He just acted on his gene maybe... So, whose fault?can you blame it on god? No, right? So be fair, go to the source of provocation. Mental issues are complicated to describe or debate. Most probably he himself can't explain his actions during the climax of his stress. Just put yourself at his shoes and I strongly believe you cannot guarantee me you wouldn't react the same.

Sab79 wrote:

I;m sorry, but that is not a man at all. A real man would have just let her go and let justice take it's course in different ways. Do you:- - beat up a child who has been naughty? - beat up a dog for being hungry and rummaging through trash? - beat up your own mother because she didn't give you food? Then you're just a bully, plain and simple. Nothing gives you a right. You don't own rights over another human being. All those are just crap excuses. The only reason why people abuse is because they feel entitled to do it.


Tan (unregistered) wrote, in response to Sab79:

so u agree that the girl has the right and entitled to betray or happen to be unfaithful to the guy? did you
- fxxk with others when your loved one cant satisfy u anymore?
- fxxk with a dog when your loved one is not happy because of pressure in the working enviroment?
- fxxk with your own mother because your loved one is in her period week?
dont blame me for this because i think that u have put unrelated comparison on this case.
1 more thing bro, neither do you and i have the right the judge who is right and who is wrong in this case. FIY, i dont encourage physical abuse as well as unfaithful in relationship. 

At least he owns up to his mistakes and is prepared for whatever consequences. Lets see her owning up to her actions! then we'll talk 
Dude (unregistered) wrote, in response to Sab79:

let's not go there, to what the guy is, ok? because we've heard countless descriptions from females of how guys should be like, what a real man is like, etc. lets start with this question.

WHAT KINDA WOMAN IS THAT? can she even be called a woman? there's a an official description somewhere, someone check the dictionary please..

based on what this guy had just publicly rectified, his wife cheated and still dared to go berserk on him before this tape was aired. who's bullying who?

plus, what u just said, shows how borderline stupid you are. they're MARRIED. the husband is supposed to take care of the wife's well-being. from what many see, the husband is forcefully carrying out his responsibility (which is sad to say, well, sad, because who wants to be forced to control another person?), and the wife just doesn't give a cunt about anything but money.

so, you're either not married, or if you are, you seriously have no idea what the constitution of marriage is about. Oh, and if you are, why don't you try going out with another guy besides your husband, see what happens? =) good luck!



First of all, slut or no slut... she didn't deserve to be beaten up like that. If you want justice, seek a lawyer. Hit her in the pockets where it hurts. Why should you take it into your own hands like that. Nah kan kena sendiri, malu. Where to put face lah??

I am incredibly shocked that people said that he loved her and was taking care of her. Excuse, me but WHAT THE FUCK???? So not letting her out of the shop and beating her up was a way of showing love and protecting her from whatever might happen out there on the street??

I am afraid. Seriously afraid of these guys who for all I could know are abusers themselves and justifying their possessive and abusive actions.

Love = Right to be possessive??
You've got to be friggin' kidding me. I always thought that Love means respect, and appreciation for another person. It means wanting the best for the other. Could've fooled me then

And really, if you are such a great catch, there will be other girls so deserving of your attention out there. Why hang on to the person who doesn't love and deserve you?

I wonder how is it if the shoe was on the other foot: where it is the man that is having torrid affairs with everything that wears a skirt. Would you also go 'GOOD ON YA!' if the woman beat up the man to a crisp? Or the expectation that she will just sit there and cry for hours, begging for the man to come back.

Damn.



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