HOLDING HANDS IN SUPPORT OF Siow Ai Wei and Ooi Kean Thong 1 June 2006
We are here because…
- we want to show our support to Siow Ai Wei and Ooi Kean Thong;
- we applaud their courageous stance and resolve in retaining their right to self-determination, especially on something as private as the demonstration of affection;
- we believe that holding hands, or even kissing, does not constitute “indecent behaviour”;
- we deem that excessive and intrusive control of individual behaviour by the State, particularly under the guise of ‘morality’, is unacceptable;
- we think that we, as civic-conscious individuals, have the capacity to judge for ourselves, whether or not our behaviour will offend others around us;
- we reject laws that validate and enable voyeuristic behaviour by officials in power, or the potential for private individuals to ‘spy’ and ‘tell’ on each other – such laws encourage an environment of mutual suspicion and mistrust, and is gravely damaging to social relations;
- we do not accept the broad, careless and simplistic strokes made by some Members of the Parliament and the judiciary on what constitutes ‘Asian’ or ‘Western’ cultural values – norms, culture and values are ‘living’ concepts that are constantly being developed, redefined and reinterpreted;
- we hold that openness, tolerance and acceptance of diversity and difference is fundamental to a peaceful and strong nation – particularly for Malaysia where there are multiple and fluid ethnicities, as well as cultural values, norms and practices;
- we call for a focus of government resources, energy and attention on more substantive issues that are faced by people in this country, such as poverty, sexism, identity- based discrimination and violence, displacement, quality education, environmental sustainability, good governance and corruption.
Some media & writers have been great in showing their support to the issue by publishing the case and our action. You will definitely come across some inconsistency and oddity if you read them all, but consider this as an exercise in reading news critically ;-)
Front page, Sin Chew Jit Poh, one of the most widely read Chinese language national press (can anyone read Mandarin ah? we all blur... if can, help us translate okay?):
Page 2, The Sun, the nation's only free national daily:
Radiqradio, our very own Malay language community radio that you can also listen to online here
- www.Klue.com.my took some photoes for their blog as they marched with us.
- cheneille neo blogged a personal take to her participation
Send us your link now :)
It apparently is also out on Guang Ming, but we're not sure. If you come across anymore, in a small buried corner in the landscape of words, news and images, let us know.