Tuesday, 31 March 2009

2009 International Woman Of Courage

I always knew Malaysian women were something to be proud of. Don't get me wrong, I love Malaysian men as well (and I don't want to start naming names because there are so many great fellows, both famous and relatively unknown).

But Malaysian women have the knack for being firebrands.

Ambiga Sreenevasan has yet to be jailed (as far as I know) but she has managed to promote what is right through her influence and standing as the president of the Bar Council of Malaysia.

I swell with pride when I see her standing next to Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton to be recognised for the courage that she has displayed.

Ambiga could possibly face what Irene Fernandez has been put through for the latter's expose on human rights violations on refugees.

Just soon after becoming president of the Bar Council, she organized the “March for Justice,” (or what we call the Penguin March) in Putrajaya, calling for judicial reform and investigation into V.K. Lingam's now infamous judge-fixing video.

For her efforts, she has received hate mail, death threats, and had a Molotov cocktail thrown at her house.

She organised a forum on religion, at the risk of incurring the wrath of religious fanatics and conservative members of government. They protested at the Bar Council building and called for her arrest.

Oh, she has courage indeed.

You see, in Malaysia, we need the intellectuals to speak up and put forward their opinions. Heck, even stand up for it. It's not an easy thing to do, to speak up against the establishment.

She did it and is rightly awarded Woman Of Courage.

I applaud her recognition and support it wholeheartedly.

But really, it shouldn't be considered something extraordinary. If you and I, and people like Ambiga don't do it, we will only have ourselves to blame for not standing up to the bullies.


donplaypuks® said...

A winner in my book no matter what UMNO/BN and penyokong Ketuanan Melayu might say!

Antares said...

Oh goody! You picked up on this story the same time I did. Amazing I didn't stumble across any reports on this event till late last night on Pak Sako's blog! Evidently there was hardly any coverage in the local media - or perhaps it was obscured by the hoo-hah over the first anniversary of 308... and the huge flap over the return of the Incurable Dr M!

Mr. X said...

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Crankster said...

DPP, thank you. :) A winner in mine as well.

I just saw your post. A full, comprehensive one. :)

Zaharan Razak said...

This is fine as fine goes, but I'd rather she gets recognition at home than elsewhere first or at all. It turns things upside down a bit. It reminds me a story of a cucu who declined to rub her own granny's headache only to be mortified later when an exchange student from a different clime and culture did just that and on her own initiative too upon seeing the elderly woman's condition ... Historically, we have had a string of foreigners digging up our heritage - both humans and artifacts - and giving their pride of place and due respect. One case that comes to mind is the study at PhD level of famous Malay Muslim scholar Sheikh Daud Patani by a Christian American who knows old Jawi and the Hadith like the back of his own hand while most young Malaysians would be clueless and cares even less as to who the hell is this Daud whatshisname ...