Activism Environment Events

[2053] Of PSA: MyCJN-Wild Asia Young Environmental Leaders Symposium

If you are concerned about climate change, or simply want to know more about issues surrounding climate change, and you are young, this might be of interest to you. I have been to one of the events when I was back in Malaysia. This actually one of few things that will lift your spirit, if you think effort surrounding the issue is highly deficient on the international and local stage.

Empower for the Planet: MyCJN-Wild Asia Young Environmental Leaders Symposium

I am but one person – what can I do to stop climate change?

Plenty. Here’s how.

The Malaysian Youth Climate Justice Network (myCJN) and Wild Asia are daring young people to take on the challenge of becoming an agent of change, a catalyst to action, to address the most important issue facing our generation. We are organizing an empowerment conference where you will have the opportunity to learn skills and tools you’ll need to spearhead your own climate change initiatives that will grow the movement. Wilson Ang of Eco Singapore will be our lead trainer and we will be covering topics such as project strategizing, project managment, volunteer recruitment, media campaigning and leadership development.

Date: 28 – 30 August 2009
Venue: Jungle Lodge, Ulu Gombak, Selangor
Fee: Rm120 (inclusive of food and accommodation)

If you are someone who feels strongly about climate change and the state of your own future, come join us and the global youth climate movement in standing up to answer this call to action. The time is now.

For more details on the symposium including trainer profile and application process, please visit:


Also, contact emchanly[at]gmail[dot]com or 012 672 1796 if you’d like to communicate with a treehugger/ nutter =)

Events Liberty Politics & government

[2050] Of how many are protesting against ISA, on the ground?

And so, Kuala Lumpur is again the center of a struggle for liberty.

Estimating the number of protesters against ISA is hard but Twitter, specifically from the accounts of The Edge and The Malaysian Insider may be helpful.

The Malaysian Insider reports that there are about 5,000 protesters in Sogo area while another more or less 5,000 gathered near Masjid Negara.[1]

The Edge reports that 1,000 individuals are in Dang Wangi.[2]

Others estimate another 1,000 persons are in Masjid Jamek.

If these numbers are reliable, that makes 12,000 protesters at around 15:00 hours Malaysian time, making it much smaller than Bersih, but large nonetheless by Malaysian standard.

These numbers unfortunately are hard to be aggregated because these sources come from different time points. Crowds in one place may have traveled from one point to another, making double counting a risk. Or, even underestimating because these numbers may swell after time of reporting.

In any case, what about the pro-ISA number? Unknown and likely insignificant.

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

[1] — ISA – Anti-ISA protesters from Sogo number some 5,000, another 5,000 from National Mosque. [The Malaysian Insider. Twitter. August 1 2009]

[2] — Crowd of more than a thousand at Dang Wangi start moving behind Unit Amal human shield, chants “Reformasi”. No police yet. [The Edge. Twitter. August 1 2009]

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

p/s — as the dust settled, better estimation. It is over 20,000:

News services estimated that the rally on Saturday, which was broken up by thousands of police officers using tear gas and water cannons, drew about 20,000 protesters, making it the largest demonstration in two years. [Malaysia Cracks Down on Protests. Thomas Fuller. New York Times. August 2 2009]

Events Liberty

[1866] Of Freedom Academy 2009

The libertarian Malaysia Think Tank is organizing its second Freedom Academy this coming January.

Globalisation and the free market are taking a bashing. The global economic turmoil has resulted in claims that we are looking at the end of capitalism. And, for many years we have been told that globalization, trade liberalization, and capitalism are bad for the poor and for developing countries generally. But what does free market capitalism really entail? Are the criticisms justified?

University students, graduates, and young professionals from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei are invited to attend Malaysia Think Tank’s second Freedom Academy which will be held on 16 — 18 January 2009 (Friday — Sunday) at Residence Hotel, UNITEN, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.

At this Freedom Academy participants will study in depth the true meaning and morality of capitalism, how globalisation has brought prosperity to developing economies, and why free market capitalism is still the way for forward.

Speakers from India, Pakistan, China and the United Kingdom will provide thorough and detailed analysis of how free market capitalism has benefited developing countries.

We are particularly looking for those sympathetic to, or are curious about, libertarian and classical liberal ideas.

Come and enjoy the Freedom Academy! You will be challenged intellectually and you will get an invaluable opportunity to network with like-minded friends. [Freedom Academy January 2009. 2008]

Deadline for application falls on Monday, January 5 2009.

If you are interested, kindly visit

Activism Education Events

[1752] Of forum on liberal arts colleges in the US

The Descartes Education Counselling Centre is organizing a forum on liberal arts colleges in the US this coming Saturday, August 23 2008 at 15:00 in Damansara Utama.

I will be speaking there, tentatively about public universities with the hope of giving prospective undergraduates some idea of the difference between public universities like Michigan and liberal arts colleges like Swarthmore.

Fair use

If you have no idea where it is, just consult the map below:

Fair use

Alright. See you there.

Events Liberty Politics & government

[1737] Of while PM Abdullah sealed his reputation, Hishammuddin made his

I was there at the MSLS yesterday, I was there when the Prime Minister gave his speech and I was there to witness how badly Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi performed on the stage. It was a dreadful experience and I do not think I would not want to listen to the PM’s speeches in person anymore.

What makes it even worse was that he was delivering a prepared speech. If it were impromptu, it might be okay because not everybody is an orator but his prepared speech took a 180° turn and then to somewhere uncharted and irrelevant. It was uninspiring and more importantly, the speech lacked critical content. There is no real content worth mentioning at all and so, I shall not even try to paraphrase anything from his speech.

While struggling to stay awake, a friend sitting several tables in front texted me, replying to my earlier text about how I was falling asleep. The reply: “done that.”

A student later walked up to the microphone and requested the PM to address his topic, which he failed. The floor came alive, disapprovingly of the PM’s performance.

The consolation is that the Education Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, performed marvelously. He got me when he said schools are free to do whatever they like as long as they deliver results. He answered questions and did not shy from it even once. Though the speech lacked fire, it contained ideas and policies. He knew his stuff. I truly hate a politician that palliates and my respect for a politician goes down to the drain each time a politician does not answer a question.

Hishammuddin Hussein earnestly engaged questions asked instead of palliating. And each time he directly answered a question, my respect for him grew little by little.

I thought he carefully explained the rationale for vernacular school. And I thought, he appealed to liberty when he said the government cannot force people to go “national schools and national schools only.” I have established this for myself and I found myself nodding at the speech.

The same friend in a conversation said to me in a three-party libertarian circle later after the speech, ” I wouldn’t mind having Hishammuddin Hussein as the Prime Minister”.

I think, I would not mind either.

The question who should be the next Prime Minister is a question that has never been answered ever since PM Mahathir Mohammed stepped down. PM Abdullah is ineffective though his style allows organic reforms somewhat reign over top-down approaches. I am somewhat suspicious of Anwar Ibrahim but previously, he remained the sole choice thanks to his charisma and intellect.

Now, after attending Hishammuddin Hussein’s speech, I now think there is a choice. I am still reserving some dose of skepticism however. Politicians, Anwar Ibrahim included, or especially, tend to play to the gallery. I am sure Hishammuddin Hussein does that too but how much, that I will have to find out.

In any case, the Education Minister, yesterday, did not play to the gallery and appeal to rationalism. That, alone, deserve an applause. Apart from the PM for which I stood up and clapped just for the sake of respecting the Office, the Education Minister got my applause because I approved of his speech and the policy explained in his speech.