Wednesday, February 22, 2017

林吉祥是一个“坏人”?!我眼中的林吉祥

我的儿时记忆:林吉祥是一个坏人

我成长在一个叫峇都安南的小镇,就读于华校,学校里的核心价值观无非就是顺从和勤奋。在我整个小学和中学时期里,我经常以为老师、课本、国营电视台的新闻和报章里所说的都是正确的。我将整本历史课本背诵起来(是的,这是一个怪咖会做的事!),我真的相信我所读的都是真实的历史。我小时候很少阅读报章,但每当我阅报时,我只看头版标题。我也不在乎观看电视新闻,但每当我看新闻时,它都是在TVB晚间节目之前或之后播映的新闻(我在儿时曾经喜欢看TVB剧集)。

然而,我也从主流报章和电视新闻那里得知一些琐碎的资料,我是由此知道林吉祥的,并对他有看法。我猜想关于人类的一个奇妙的事情就是,我们对任何事物都有看法不管我们收集到的资料有多少。

对我来说,在那个时候,林吉祥是一个坏人,就像安华那样。火箭是一个麻烦制造者。我甚至都记不起那个火箭党的全名。我经常好奇为什么我儿时最好的朋友的父母都投票给民主行动党——那些坏人。从这里你可以看到,主流媒体的洗脑确实对儿时和青少年时期的我很有效

几年后,我去上大学,然后到国外工作和深造,我开始改观——历史课本不一定正确、报章和电视新闻并没有告诉我全部真相,还有政府当然不是圣人,它也并不是全知的!但即使在那个时候,我也不大关注马来西亚政治,虽然我会投票给在野党;我对民主行动党和包括林吉祥在内的领袖抱持着中立的看法。

和许多人不一样,林吉祥不是我的儿时英雄


Monday, February 20, 2017

Lim Kit Siang is a “bad guy”?! Seeing Lim Kit Siang from My Eyes.

My childhood memory: Lim Kit Siang is a "bad guy"! 

I grew up in a small town called Batu Anam and studied in chinese schools, where the core values were to be obedient and hardworking. Throughout my primary and secondary schools, I always thought that what teachers, textbooks, RTM news and newspaper said were always right. I memorized the whole history textbooks (yes, that's what a nerd do!) believing that what I read was the real history. I rarely read newspaper, but when I did, I would read only the headlines. I also didn’t bother much about watching TV news, but when I did, it would just be part of it as the news was before or after the TVB evening shows (I used to like to watch TVB drama during childhood days.

However, from the little things I knew from the mainstream newspapers and TV news, I did know about Lim Kit Siang and had an opinion on him. I guess that’s the amazing thing about human being, we always have an opinion on just about anything based on the information we gather, no matter how little it is. 

To me, at that period of time, Lim Kit Siang was a “bad guy”, just like Anwar Ibrahim. The “rocket” was a trouble-maker. I couldn’t even remember the full name of “that rocket party”. I always wondered why the parents of my childhood best friend voted for DAP - those “bad people”.  (Mainstream media brain-washing really worked on me during my childhood and teenage days.) 

As the years went by, I went to the university, then worked and studied overseas, my view began to change – history text books were not necessarily correct, the newspaper and TV news were not telling me the full truth and the government surely was not saint and did not know it all! But even then, I wasn’t that into Malaysian politics although I would vote for the opposition; I had a neutral view on DAP and the leaders including Lim Kit Siang. 

Unlike many people, Lim Kit Siang had never been my "childhood hero”.

With LKS at one of the DAP fund-raising dinners 

Friday, February 10, 2017

国家转型的三大关切

青年及体育部部长兼巫统青年团团长凯里在他于国家抱负及领袖大会上的演讲中说道,他对于“2050年国家转型目标TN50)最大的恐惧就是不能改变马来西亚人的公民意识。 眼下我们的国家面临这么多挑战,但他对国家转型最大的关切却是这个?我并不能认同。既然TN50是公开咨询的,所以我要在这里发表我对于2050年马来西亚转型三个最大的关切,好让巫统青年团团长参考一下。



关切1: 衰弱的民主以致贼狼当道

马来西亚的民主正在衰弱中——我们的选举受到操纵、确保三权分立的机关正在遭受损害还有言论自由被压制。衰弱的民主在近年催生贼狼当道的政治。《经济学人》在它有关纳吉和一马公司丑闻的文章的开头恰当的描述这样的情况,

先生女士们,请鼓掌。任何一个典型民主国家的任何一位典型领袖,一旦被发现在其账户里有一笔来自一名不具名的外国捐献者的接近7亿美元的无从解释的款项,都会经历迅速和致命的倒台。然而,在有关纳吉的银行存款增多的新闻首次报导的将近两年后,他的高风险行为依然如常进行。

纳吉现象并不是一夕间就爆发的,它是丧失制衡能力的民主的产物。我们的民主已经不再是典型的民主了。

Three Biggest Concerns for National Transformation

In his speech at the National Aspiration and Leadership Conference, the Minister of Youth and Sports, and UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said that his greatest fear for National Transformation 2050 (TN50) was the mindset, attitude and civic-mindedness of Malaysians[i]. I found it unbelievable that amongst so many challenges we face as a country, this stands out as his greatest concern for national transformation. Since TN50 is supposed to be consultative, here are my three biggest concerns for Malaysia in 2050 for the minister’s reference.



Concern 1: Kleptocracy in a Faltering Democracy

Malaysia’s democracy is faltering - our election is rigged; institutions to ensure separation of power are broken; and freedom of expression is suppressed. Faltering democracy has allowed the birth of kleptocracy in recent years. The Economist put it so rightly in the opening of one of its articles about Najib Razak and the 1MDB scandals,

“A round of applause, ladies and gentlemen. Any typical leader of a typical democracy, when found with nearly $700m of ill-explained money from an unnamed foreign donor in his accounts, would experience a swift and fatal fall. Yet, nearly two years after news first broke that Najib Razak’s bank balance had been thus plumped up, his high-wire act continues.”

The “Najib Razak’s Phenomenon” did not come overnight; it is the product of a non-functioning democracy that has lost its ability for check and balance. Our democracy is no longer a “typical democracy”.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

马华妇女组主席拿督王赛芝不应混淆了重复指控法律和性罪犯登记

百乐镇州议员杨美盈于201728日(星期三)在八打灵再也所发布的媒体文告

马华妇女组主席拿督王赛芝在担任妇女、家庭及社区部副部长不应混淆了重复指控法律和性罪犯登记。

首先,我要对妇女、家庭及社区部同意我加快建立性罪犯登记的呼吁表示欢迎。1然而,我希望该部针对何时才能完成这个登记给予我们一个期限。

无论如何,我对于马华妇女组主席拿督王赛芝就重复指控法律的课题对我的同僚牛汝莪国会议员蓝卡巴星的回应感到极度震惊。她随手引述我的性罪犯登记的立场来为她的重复指控的论据说项。[2她似乎混淆了重复指控法律和性罪犯登记!

首先,我要提醒拿督王赛芝她曾经是妇女、家庭及社区发展部副部长。那么她在担任副部长的时候究竟为建立性罪犯登记做了什么努力?还有万一她已经忘记了,她在马华的同僚周美芬是现在的妇女、家庭及社区发展部副部长。 靠着马华妇女组许多年来在政府的职位,他们老早就应该完成这个事项了! 当了官这么久竟然到现在都还在“呼吁”阶段,而王赛芝还有颜面自诩马华妇女组是首个呼吁展开性罪犯登记执法的妇女组。这真是太可笑了。

MCA Heng's Should Not Be Confused Between Double Jeopardy and Sex Offender Registry.

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Wednesday, 8 February 2017 in Petaling Jaya.

What has MCA Wanita Chairwoman Datuk Heng Seai Kie done for the establishment of Sex Offenders’ Registry when she was the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development?

First of all, I welcome the reply from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development that agreed on my call to expedite the establishment of a sex offenders’ registry[i]. However, I would like the ministry to give us a deadline as to when this can be established.

Furthermore, I am totally dumbfounded by MCA Wanita chairwoman Datuk Heng Seai Kie’s response to my colleague MP for Gelugor Ramkarpal Singh on double jeopardy law. She conveniently quoted my position on sex offenders’ registry to suit her argument on double jeopardy[ii]. It seems that she is confused between double jeopardy law and sex offenders’ registry!

Picture Source: Free Malaysia Today


First and foremost, I would like to remind Datuk Heng that she was once the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. What has she done for the establishment of sex offenders’ registry when she was a Deputy Minister? And just in case she does not remember, her MCA colleague Chew Mei Fun, is now the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. It is laughable that the MCA women’s wing actually has the cheek to be proud to be the first women’s wing to call for enforcement of a sex offenders’ registry. With the positions they have held in the government for so many years, they should have gotten this done a long time ago!

In addition, I would like to clarify with Datuk Heng that the establishment of  a sex offenders’ registry does not violate the Federal Constitution; hence there is no need for Ramkarpal to “rebuke me”. All convicted sex offenders, who reside in Malaysia, can and should be registered in the sex offenders’ registry regardless of where the crime was committed. This is so all sex offenders can be monitored properly. How a sex offenders’ registry should work depends on the legislation that provides it. However, despite many years of activists and politicians calling for the establishment of a sex offenders’ registry, the related law is still not in existence.

Last but not least, it is shameful that Datuk Heng quoted Richard Huckle’s case in her statement. I would like to remind her that Richard Huckle went undetected and roamed free in Malaysia for 9 years even though he violated at least 70 of our young girls here in that span of time. He was detected by Australian investigators due to his online activities and was arrested by the British police in December 2014 when he went home for Christmas. He was charged only in the British court. Huckle’s case is a painful reminder to all of us that there is still a lot for us to do to protect our women and girls, and that there is an urgent need to strengthen our criminal justice system in Malaysia.

If Datuk Heng is really concerned about sex crime, and since her party is in the government, I would like to propose that she helps to set-up a bi-partisan committee in Putrajaya, which includes not only concerned politicians from both sides of the political divide but also women activists and government officials. This committee should review all the existing laws and propose the amendments needed to the parliament. It should also come out with a holistic action plan against sexual crime that involves all relevant government agencies and monitor the progress of the execution of such plans. I will be very glad to be a member of such committee.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Set a Timeframe for Sex Offenders Registry

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Friday 3 February 2017 in Petaling Jaya.

We call upon Putrajaya to give us a time frame as to when a proper Sex Offenders Registry can be established.

Many Malaysians are worried upon receiving the news that a serial rapist Selva Kumar Subbia, who has served 24 years sentence in Canada, will be deported back to Malaysia this coming Sunday. He was suspected of violating as many as 1000 women and girls and was described as “the worst offender with the highest risk ever” by Andrew Laut the chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearing .[i]

Upon the breaking of the news, many women groups once again urged Putrajaya to establish a proper sex offender registry, which purpose is to ensure proper monitoring of sex offenders.  This is not the first time that Putrajaya is urged on this matter. In fact, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri agreed with the call of such registry back in May 2015 after public uproar when convicted student Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, who owned over 30,000 videos and photographs of child pornography, was returning to Malaysia[ii]. What is her follow-up on that?  

Picture Source: Free Malaysia Today

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My 2016 by Yeo Bee Yin


As we welcome 2017 and have many plans and goals, I look back to the journey I have taken in 2016 and write down the milestones arrived. The destination is still far away and many times I ask myself "is it worth it?", it is by looking back the journey to see the lives changed, little differences made and remembering the many good people that run along with me and cheer me up in the journey that keep me going. 


Milestone 1: Tasik Biru 

I was the campaign director for DUN Tasik Biru but no matter how much the team and I tried and how much risk I took upon myself, we weren't able to win the rural seat to make this the first Sarawak rural seat won by the DAP. While there's no excuse to lose, we achieved progress we never made in previous elections. This is a constituency comprises of 68% Dayak, 6% Malay Melanau and only 26% Chinese, which was the traditional support base for the DAP. Yet we were able to win 45% of the votes and majority in 4 out of 20 Dayak villages! This was totally unimaginable for the DAP even until 2013.

When the result that we had lost was announced, many of us in the campaign team could not hold back our tears. We hugged each other and cried. All our hard works in the past few months especially that of the candidate Mordi Bimol for the past 5 years could not overcome money politics, cash handouts, election promises as well as fear and intimidation.

But the DAP cannot give up on Tasik Biru and our rural outreach because of this temporary setback. I remember the lady who wore the UBAH t-shirt with pride carrying her baby and walked with torch light in the dark kampong path leading up to our ceramah venue; I remember many of the villagers despite having financial difficulties stood with us against the big money from Barisan Nasional; I remember having discussions with the single mothers who canvassed for us but were fearful that their involvement in the campaign would deprive their children of the opportunities to study and scholarships; I remember the village lady who told me determinately that her vote and dignity cannot be bought with money; I remember the faces of all of the campaign workers that were full of pride when the candidate Mordi said in his defeat speech that “we have fought the battle with dignity and principle”; I remember every face that looked to Mordi with the hope of change and for a better future. I remember all of them.

We must remember that the history is long and we must become the worst enemy for the corrupt government, an enemy that will never give up until justice prevail on our land. Ubah Sarawak! Ubah Malaysia! 


Milestone 2: Youth Development
My office has been working on youth development since 2013. For 2016, we have organized 4 Youth Parliament and State Assembly visits (Jan, April and Oct), a Creative Activism Bootcamp (Sept), a personal finance workshop (Dec), 4 youth political forums/events (May, Aug, Oct, Nov) and at least 6 voter registration drives, which in total benefit more than 1,500 Malaysian youths. We have also empowered our youth community organizers to organize a Chess Competition in October. Personally, I took 6 interns this year so to allow them to have first hand experience in the political office. And I’ve also tried my best to accept the invitations to speak to youths from different walks of life and interview requests from university and college students. 

2017 is going to be even more exciting for us in youth development. We have a few new plans in the pipeline and will continue to do what we’ve been doing. There are things we’ve done right and things we need to improve on in our 2016 projects. But I would just like to take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks to my team and those who are involved in helping us in our journey to engage, equip and empower the youths in Malaysia in 2016! My office is small but I am definitely are blessed with a group of dedicated staffs and volunteers!

Why youth development is important for nation building? 

According to the National Statistics Department, there are about 7 million youths aged between 21-35 in Malaysia. This is around 25% of the population and 50% of the workforce, allowing the country’s economy to enjoy the demographic dividend as a result of expanding and young workforce. Politically, youths are not only a gigantic vote bank, they are also the best activists. Obama won his 2008 “Change” campaign starting as an underdog because young people came out in droves to campaign and vote for him. That’s the power of youths. We can make history, nothing less. Nevertheless, there is no free lunch in the world, elected representatives like us must engage with Malaysian youths to expose, equip and empower them, so that we can together rise up to the challenge before us.




Milestone 3: Women Empowerment 
In Malaysia, there is very little representation of women in the parliament and state legislatures. Except for Selangor, which has women representation of 28% in the state legislature, all other state legislatures and parliament have only around 10% women legislators. Hence women issues have not been effectively raised, which then lead to very little reforms in women-related public policies. Every 35 minutes, a girl/lady is raped in a corner in Malaysia and every 3.5 days, 1 baby is dumped and half of them did not survive. Such statistics although serious have not been widely talked about. 

Although more than 60% of tertiary students are women, only around of 50% working age women are in the workforce. (Malaysia’s women labour force participation rate is one of the lowest in Southeast Asia region). This is not only about the value of the society but also about working environment that is inconducive to pregnant women, breastfeeding and working mothers. The World Bank estimated a 2.9% additional GDP growth if Malaysia can push our female workforce participation rate to 70%. Working mothers are not only breadwinners and household managers (most of the time) for the families; they are also one of the drivers for country's economy. We need better women policies to protect our girls and to allow our women fulfill their full potential both in families and workplaces. 

In 2016, I continued my work on anti-rape and affordable childcare advocacy. In 2015, we launched “Rogol adalah Rogol” rape awareness social media campaign to spread the awareness about rape in Malaysia. The YouTube video we produced garnered more than 200,000 views to date. This year, I continued to allocate some of the state government allocation for my office to build a website and launches the first anti-rape website in Malaysia: www.antirogol.com to help rape victims and families to get information in a website as well as activists in term of policy advocacy. 

On affordable childcare advocacy, I continued to raise the issue in the media, state assembly and whenever possible – forums, dialogues and even party congress. Accessible, good quality and affordable childcare is one of the deciding factors for women when they consider whether to leave the workforce. Not only that, the World Bank reported that every dollar spent on preschool education earns between 6 to 17 dollars of public benefit, in the form of a healthier and more productive workforce with fewer wrongdoers. Good early childhood care and education (ECCE) is tantamount to national development. Therefore, I continue to raise the issue although sometimes I am being teased as to why I like to talk about about childcare since I have no children (and not sure if I’ll ever have, haha!). 

In Selangor, 25% of the main state government buildings are already equipped with public childcare. I’ll continue to raise the issue to ensure all of them have one. Selangor must lead by example in promoting workplace childcare. In addition, the Selangor government in 2017 budget has also increased RM2 million to our current childcare and pre-school subsidies for low-income families under TUNAS and Si-Kembar. 

These achievements however, is far less than what we really need for reform. In order to bring significant difference to ECCE field in Malaysia, we need reform in the federal level as it is under its jurisdiction and only federal budget can afford. I’ve raised the issue on Permata a few months ago, calling for greater transparency and most importantly, Women Ministry to spearhead all ECCE related programs including Permata instead of different initiatives being handled by different ministries with Permata absurdly put under the Prime Minister Department. I believe that the first step to long lasting ECCE reform is coordinated and strategic actions, not programs all over the place. I am still following-up on Permata and ECCE development in federal level and will continue to raise this issue. 

Beside continuing my work on anti-rape and affordable childcare advocacy, this year I’ve also started to advocate for breastfeeding facilities in Selangor too. And in my constituency, we are going to launch a public toilet that comes with nursing and breastfeeding room in SS2 commercial center very soon! Breastfeeding mothers and their difficulties need better attention from lawmakers and government agencies. We are still at infancy steps. 

Looking forward to 2017, as I’ve gained more experience in raising women issues in the last 3 years, I am planning a wider scope of work for my office next year in this aspect. We are also going to run projects related parenting workshop, women in leadership etc etc. In short, it’s going to be much more exciting! 



Milestone 4: Education

Our struggle and conviction towards social justice should not just be in words and rhetoric but real actions. Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change our country. I entered into politics with a dream that every child in Malaysia, regardless of their skin colors, religions, family incomes or where they are from even the deepest jungles in Sabah or Sarawak or the low-cost flats in the cities, will have opportunity for good education. When a country give access to good education to every child, the country will prosper because talents will be most discovered and used. 

Of course, real reform in education system will not be possible without federal power but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. Here’s a project that my office started since early 2014 to give free tuition to low-income families in Damansara Bistari low cost flat in my constituency. It’s been 3 years since! (we made this video a year ago). 

I am always reminded of what my aunt told me when I was young “be faithful in little, much will be entrusted to you.” Yes, I want a reform in education system in Malaysia, although I can’t do that now, I can in my capacity as an ADUN do this to make small changes in my constituency and with the experiences gained, advocate better policies for reform in the future.




Milestone 5: Constituency Works
It’s been a happening year in Damansara Utama constituency. I’ve been trying my best to attend all the invitations to events/ forums/dialogues made by local associations to stay in touch with my constituents (would only skip when I wasn’t not in town or I had prior appointment.) I think this year I’ve attended at least 300 of them in the constituency, big and small, haha! In addition, our office also organized dialogues with residence, walkabouts as well as program mesra rakyat such as open houses or carnival. For low income families with food security problem, we have food bank programs that give RM50 assistance every month for them to purchase daily necessity. I also took time to do house visits on special cases. Although dengue cases was down y-o-y this year, Zika was a threat mid of this year, so my office ran constituency wide Anti-dengue and Zika campaign to raise awareness. 

My office also actively engages with the police and fire departments as they protect our people. This year, I’ve allocated some of my state government allocation for Sea Park Balai Polis and Damansara Utama Balai Bomba to do some small upgrade as their premises were very run down due to insufficient building maintenance fund from the federal government. 

On local issues related to the council MBPJ, our councillors (Daniel Lee, Jamaliah, Billy Wong, Ang Ming Ern and Sia Siew Chin) have been following-up on the issues. Here is the summary of some major issues. 

On some development projects: 
1.New public toilet in SS2 commercial center has been completed and will be launched soon.
2.Pintu Gerbang of Kg Chempaka: construction started and hopefully will be completed before Chinese New Year 2017.
3.New community center including multi-level parking, multi-purpose hall and badminton courts at Atria area: construction has started and it will be completed end of 2017. (This is one of the requirements imposed on OSK by MBPJ when they developed the area.)
4.RM3 million new parking space at Taman Bahagia LRT station.
5.Pilot project of waste composting just started at the kebuk sampah next to SS2 Medan Selera.
6.The council is now in preparation for the design of upgrade of SS2 Wet Market to construct roof and build better amenities. The open air SS2 marekt will finally have roof over the top (hopefully by end of 2017)! After the upgrade, the council will continue the SS2 redevelopment work in 2018 such as upgrade of Wai Sek Gai, Ibume and the park in the middle.
7.In 2017, all landed residential properties in Petaling Jaya will receive a new rubbish bins from MBPJ – the distribution will be area by area.
8.Sg Kayu Ara continues to pose threats of flooding for area like Kg Chempaka. River has been deepened with no major flood caused by river overflow reported this year. However, the river is still a tricky problem to solve especially now that the river deepening work has caused other issues such as collapse of river bank at Taman Mayang Jaya and there’s limited fund from JPS for major overhaul of the entire stretch of the river. My office is following-up the issue with relevant agencies and we’ve written all necessary letters. 


On the issue of maintenance, 
1.MBPJ spent about RM4 million to resurface at least 60 roads in the constituency in 2016. There are still some short-comings in the way the council handles road maintenance and our councillors have been raising those issue up in the relevant committees in the council. In the mean time, my office will need to intervene from time to time. For example, we proactively compiled a list of request for road resurfacing from feedback from residents and our self-initiated audit to submit to council for consideration for resurfacing projects.
2.More than RM1 million was spent on upgrading 8 parks in the constituency. With that, 25 parks have been upgraded in DU since 2013. 


There are still many things yet to be done and many things we can do better. Let's welcome 2017 with hope and anticipation that greater thing is yet to come. Here's to a purposeful and fruitful 2017!