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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

KONY 2012

Kony 2012 charity to release new video addressing criticism of viral campaign

Glenna Gordon
Glenna Gordon
Invisible Children founders pose with soldiers from the Sudan People's Liberation Army near the Congo-Sudan border in April 2008. Jason Russell is pictured holding an automatic weapon on the far right. Bobby Bailey, left, and Laren Poole, centre, are also pictured.

The makers of Kony 2012, a staggeringly popular online video campaign about capturing Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, plan to release a new video on Monday that will respond to criticism about the film’s methods and messages.

Jason Russell’s 30-minute video, now viewed 74 million times on YouTube, highlights the atrocities perpetrated by Kony, head of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group that once terrorized northern Uganda.

AFP files
A file photo taken on November 12, 2006, shows the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony, answering journalists' questions in Ri-Kwamba, southern Sudan, following a meeting with UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland.
The film, funded by the San Diego-based charity Invisible Children, tells the story of a former child soldier named Jacob and then issues a call to action to viewers to help “make Joseph Kony famous.”

Although the film has raised more than $5-million and won the backing of millions of people, including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Rihanna, the charity behind the project has faced criticism over their message, methods and financial transparency.
During an interview on CNN on Sunday, Invisible Children said they will release a 10-minute new film on Monday to answer to those criticisms.

“There’s nothing to hide. Invisible Children has been transparent since 2004, when we started,” Ben Keesey, the group’s chief executive, said in the interview.

“That’s our intention and we want to show that this campaign is part of a model and strategy that’s comprehensive.”

Forced marriage: Step-father, elderly ‘husband’ arrested

Girl, 12, says her step-father agreed to marriage to settle his debt.
FAISALABAD: Four people were arrested by Mochiwala police on Sunday on a girl’s complaint about her forced marriage to an elderly man to settle a loan her step-father had owed him. 

Police said an FIR had been registered against the girl’s step-father Muhammad Nawaz, a resident of Chak 170, and husband 60-year-old Sher Muhammad under Sections 371-A, -B and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code. They said the nikah’khwan and three witnesses were also mentioned in the FIR. Raids were underway to arrest them, they added. Police said two relatives of Sher Muhammad had been arrested to question them about the whereabouts of others suspects.

The complainant, who said she was 12 years old, told police that her marriage with Sher Muhammad took place two months ago to settle a Rs110,000 loan her step-father had taken from him.

She said Sher Muhammad mostly kept her locked in a room at his house and beat her up whenever she requested him to free her. “Whenever I protested against the marriage and asked to be freed, he told me I was his property as he has purchased me from my father,” she added. She alleged that Muhammad’s younger brother sexually harassed her whenever Muhammad was away. She said she escaped on Sunday as Muhammad was away.

The child’s step-father said he had committed no crime. He said it was beyond his means to repay the debt so he had agreed to give the child in marriage to Sher Muhammad in return for the settlement of the debt. Mochiwala SHO Ayub Sahi said the girl would remain under police protection until someone from her family approached.

He said the child’s mother had yet to approach the police station. He quoted the child as saying that her mother had separated from Nawaz and was living with her parents. “The girl says she had wanted to go with her mother but her step-father did not allow her that,” the SHO said.

Six Indian poor orphans need your help, Najib told by Hindraf.


NONE
 The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has urged premier Najib Abdul Razak to assist six children, whose father was found dead in police custody in 2007.

The children were orphaned when their grief-stricken mother, R Letchumy, committed suicide in February 2009.

Their father, K Letchumanan, had been found dead in a cell at the Raub police station on Dec 21, 2007. Police claimed that he had hanged himself with a blanket.

"I have spoken to Sarasvathy, who is Letchumanan’s sister, and who is now taking care of the children on top of her own five children," said Hindraf Youth chief S Thiagarajan (centre in photo).

Sarasvathy is also taking care of the five children of her other brother, Chandran, who died last year.
The 16 children have to be fed and cared for on her meagre pay of RM900, which she earns as a cook, he said.

Thiagarajan said Hindraf is taking up the matter, following a report by Malay daily Kosmo on the family, and has submitted a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office.

"We hereby call upon your good self to forthwith grant these two families and the estimated 500,000 Indian poor in similar predicament a permanent and meaningful solution, i.e. 10 acres of land ownership in (agriculture schemes)…" reads the letter in part.

Thiagarajan added that Hindraf representatives will visit Sarasvathy, who lives with the children in Kuala Lumpur.

Torture in police cell: Witness to come forward

A NGO monitoring the case of 13-year-old S Sunther says the whistleblower would speak only to Bukit Aman police

PETALING JAYA: A witness is willing to testify that he saw two policemen torture a 13-year-old at the Jempol police station last month.

However, he would speak only to Bukit Aman police and not to the officers appointed by Jempol police to carry out an internal probe, according to an NGO monitoring the case.

“I will only produce the witness to the special investigations team appointed by Bukit Aman, not the Jempol police,” said R Sri Sanjeevan, vice president of Astivaaram Foundation, an organisation formed in 2010 to cater to the welfare of Malaysian Indians.

He would not give any other information about the witness, but said Astivaaram was in touch with Bukit Aman.

Sanjeevan last weekend lodged a report with the Jempol station, urging the police to suspend the two officers from duty or transfer them out of Jempol to “show that the police are committed to impartiality in its probe of the case”.

He said the two, using a third party, had been trying to persuade the boy’s family to withdraw a March 2 report against them. In that report, the boy, S Sunther of Helier Estate, said the officers beat him with a rubber hose, leaving injuries on his eyes and other parts of his body.

Sunther was arrested on Feb 26 on suspicion of stealing jewellery. He was charged in the Bahau magistrate’s court on March 2 and is due to report to the Juvenile Court on May 2, when his plea will be recorded.

Sanjeevan, who is also Negeri Sembilan Kita chairman, expressed appreciation to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for his interest in the case.

He told FMT that Sunther’s wounds were healing but he was complaining of frequent headaches. He is due for a follow-up medical check-up next week.

New classrooms for Tamil school

The Education Ministry has also agreed to upgrade the old school's canteen and toilet.

PETALING JAYA: Students in a Tamil school in Serdang will soon have four spanking new classrooms and repairs done to the existing ones.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, SK Devamany, who confirmed this, said piling works on the two-storey building with eight classrooms for SRJK (T) Serdang will begin this week.

“Construction of a new two-storey concrete panel IBS conventional block which requires piling work will start this week,” Devamany said in a press statement.

The Tamil school building was damaged on Feb 15.

As a result, students were forced to attend classes in cabins.

“Although only 160 students from four classrooms were affected because the ceiling of the classrooms had given way, the school would now have four additional classrooms,” Devamany said.

He said the Education Ministry had also agreed to upgrade the school’s canteen and toilet.

These issues were settled during a meeting held at the ministry this morning, which was attended by the school’s headmaster, Parent-Teacher Association and the school management board chairman.

Devamany said that he was informed that the school block was unsafe and thus was cordoned off on the advice of the Fire and Rescue Department on Feb 15.

He said that he had followed up on the matter by writing to Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Feb 17.

Malaysia's Cowgate Minister Quits

Image
Women's minister departs after five-month scandal over misuse of public funds

After months of controversy that have crippled the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Malaysia’s minister for women, family and community development, has been forced out of her position as a result of what has become known as the “cowgate” scandal.

It was the second major recent announcement of a top official stepping down in the middle of a scandal. Late last week, after months of controversy, Malaysia’s Securities Commission said its embattled chairwoman, Zarinah Anwar, will step down on Mar. 31 in the wake of a blatant conflict of interest involving her husband’s trading in shares (read related story here).
Shahrizat’s decision to quit, which takes effect on April 8, was followed with an announcement today that her husband, Mohamed Salleh Ismail, would be charged with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act in relation to RM49 million in federal funds given to the National Feedlot Corporation, a scandal-plagued scheme to slaughter as many as 60,000 cattle per year by halal,  or Islamic religious standards. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Shahrizat’s departure “removes a thorn ahead of elections for the Barisan Nasional,” an UMNO insider told Asia Sentinel. Najib’s approval ratings have been driven back up from a low of 59 percent after the government cracked down harshly on civil rights demonstrators in the Bersih 2.0 march last July to 69 percent, according to the latest poll by Malaysia’s Merdeka Center, primarily on a lavish budget that delivered up wage increases and other benefits to the rank and file. Elections are now targeted for either May or June. They must be held before April 2013 “if hopefully nothing else derails that plan,” the source said.

Party reformers were agitating even before the UMNO general assembly in December to push Shahrizat out of the party, saying the depth of the scandal would have a crippling effect on both UMNO and the ruling Barisan Nasional, not least because a scandal over cattle was something their rural constituency could understand in a way they didn’t understand major financial shenanigans.

The party, however, has waffled about pushingssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss her out. In addition to being minister for women and family, Shahrizat is also chairwoman of UMNO Wanita, the women’s wing of the party, which leads the Barisan National, or national ruling coalition. There is considerable speculation that the minister has significant information on other misdoings in the party, and that if she is threatened she would use it.

The feedlot scandal, first uncovered last October in a report by Malaysia’s Auditor General, has become a gift that has never stopped giving for the Pakatan Rakyat headed by opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. Opposition party leaders have been fed voluminous information by insiders about the affair, which began with allegations that Shahrizat’s family was given the concession, through a company called Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, and a RM250 million (US$80 million) soft loan along with a RM13 million grant to operate the feedlot business although none of them had ever had any connection with livestock production or the management of a major business before.

The company never slaughtered 10 percent of the projected total and has since scaled back its target to 8,000 head but hasn’t been able to meet that target either. Worse, the company has been losing millions of dollars of government funds every year – while pouring funds into premium land, condominium properties in the upscale district of Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur and in Singapore as well as restaurants and supermarkets, spending hundreds of thousands of ringgit for overseas travel and entertainment, and buying an expensive Mercedes-Benz sedan for Shahrizat.

The agreement to establish the National Feedlot Corporation was made when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was prime minister but it also involves Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister, who was the agriculture minister when the award was made to Shahrizat and her family. Muhyiddin, Abdullah Badawi and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the head of the UMNO Youth wing, have all defended her in the past. However, the steady drip of new allegations from the opposition has largely silenced her defenders.

On Sunday Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak commended Shahrizat for what he said was her sacrifice, adding that “Although there is no proof so far that she has committed any offense, because the NFC issue has drawn controversy and dispute, she was willing to withdraw from the government.”

Lim Kit Siang, the head of the opposition Democratic Action Party, called Najib’s response “inane.” Shahirizat, Lim said on his website, didn’t sacrifice herself. “She was forced out by an administration and political party that had run out of excuses and wayang kulit plays but yet did not have the guts to remove her.”

Najib, he said, “did not remove her earlier because he did not want to upset Umno rank and file and he could not get her to go earlier because only those without skeletons in their closets can act with strength and clarity in difficult situations.”

Shahrizat is no sacrificial lamb

By Jacob Sinnathamby
The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 12 — I find it shocking that even till the last, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wanted the last stab to insult Malaysians.

At least we deserve some modicum of respect from the prime minister. Throughout the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), he and his government have insulted us with their indifference to the glaring fact that the BN government granted RM250 million to a family who were ill-equipped to run this feedlot business. Instead, they used the funds to buy properties and live comfortable lives.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s culpability starts and ends with several facts and assumptions including that her expenses were paid by the NFC and that it is likely that her connections allowed her family to get the contract.

It is impossible to believe that the decision makers ,who included Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Najib, gave the contract and the soft loan to greenhorns with no consideration to the fact that Shahrizat leads Wanita Umno.

But I dare say that Najib’s behaviour and response to this whole scandal has been poor, hardly becoming of someone whom we hope can be trusted to make tough and correct decisions.

Till today, he has not said anything worthwhile about the loss of taxpayers’ money. But yesterday’s comments take the prize of being inane.

He said that Shahrizat sacrificed herself for the good of government and party and that though she was not guilty of any offence, she was willing to quit Cabinet.

She did not sacrifice herself. She was forced out by an administration and political party that had run out of excuses and wayang kulit plays but yet did not have the guts to remove her.

And this is the problem with the PM. He did not remove her earlier because he did not want to upset Umno rank and file and he could not get her to go earlier because only those without skeletons in their closets can act with strength and clarity in difficult situations.

Till the last, Najib could not act decisively or in a principled manner in handling Shahrizat or the NFC.

Worse yet, he tried to put a spin on the political sacrifice made by Shahrizat.

That must have been part of the going away deal.

Indian Voter Support Also Significant In Next Polls

By Alan Ting

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Bernama) -- Support from Indian voters will again be key in the country's next general election (GE) as it was in the 2008 polls, say political analysts.

Malaysians of Indian origin now account for 1.9 million out of the country's 28 million population or 7.3 percent. But they feature significantly in 63 out of 67 parliamentary seats in Peninsula Malaysia.

A noticeable trend swept through the 2008 polls when almost 85 per cent of the Indian votes went to Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the opposition pact comprising PKR-DAP-PAS.

PR largely benefited from the shift in support from 72.4 per cent for Barisan Nasional (BN) in 2004 to just 8.3 per cent in 2008 as a result of issues played up by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

But a discernable trend has emerged this time around: support from Indians for BN has improved, thanks to a number of pro-active actions spearheaded by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on fundamental issues like Tamil schools, Hindu temples and education.

This also explains why Najib's approval rating along ethnic lines is the highest at 80 per cent among Indians, according to a recent survey by the Merdeka Centre.

Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a political analyst at Universiti Sains Malaysia, says that results of various by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang, Bagan Pinang and Hulu Selangor since 2008 clearly showed that Indian support for BN had improved.

He attributes this to Najib's readiness to engage on key concerns affecting the Indian community and that this support pattern would last through the next GE, especially with Indian-based NGOs playing an important role in monitoring the achievements of PR-controlled states.

The academic claims that PR had failed to meet the expectations of Indian NGOs or to work closely with Hindraf, an unregistered but vocal NGO, which had been dominant in the vote swing towards the Opposition in 2008.

After 2008, Hindraf split into five groups. One is with DAP, two others are the newly-formed Makkal Sakti Party and the unregistered Human Rights Party of Malaysia(HRPM) and the rest NGOs.

Of the five, the most influential is HRPM, and if it decides to take part in the upcoming GE, it may be able to split support between BN and PR.

Dr Sivamurugan says BN needs to capitalise on Najib's strong standing among Indians in that "one vote for BN also means a vote for Najib".

To do that, BN will have to look for suitable candidates who can convince voters on that equation, he adds.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan, who also notes the positive winds of change, estimates that the MIC now has 60 to 65 percent support among Indians.

This has been largely due to various factors like changes in the party leadership, more funding for Tamil schools, and more places for Indian matriculation students, he says, adding that Najib's 1Malaysia outreach programme had clipped much of their resentment of the past.

Although some issues remained unresolved, Mohan believes that MIC could get close to what it got in 2004, with support expected to reach 70 to 75 per cent with suitable candidates and provided that "no one makes unnecessary remarks that could hurt the feelings of the community."

DAP vice-chairman and Member of Parliament for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran, however, dismissed BN's claim of growing support among Indians, saying that it was unsubstantiated.

"PR has invited MIC for a debate on Indian issues like the one between (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng and (MCA President) Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Their (MIC) reluctance shows that they don't have support. They will be lucky if they win or retain the three parliamentary seats they have now," he said.

Kulasegaran asserted that many basic issues like high unemployment, deplorable conditions in Tamil schools, lack of study loans or scholarships and low Indian participation in the equity market had not been fully addressed.

"I believe the Indians still prefer PR for its openness and willingness to speak up for them and attend to their needs. PR was able to appoint an Indian as the first DCM (deputy chief minister) in Penang and a Speaker to the Perak state legislative assembly," he said.

But now, political analysts feel that there is perception among some Indian NGOs like Hindraf that PR is "focusing primarily" on Malay and Chinese voters" or handling Indian issues on a piecemeal basis and hence the fear that their "representation" through PR could be lost.

This explains why some are saying that support among the Indians is split down the middle, with both BN and PR saying that they have their support.

PR could be the biggest loser this time around if it fails to garner Indian support as it got the lion's share then.

If 30 per cent of registered Indian voters decide not to vote, it also means that both sides have to compete for the remaining 70 per cent, which is largely split into three unique "segments" -- the lower, middle and upper classes.

Hindraf still has some influence left. If it stays away from the GE, it could cause PR to lose its grip on Selangor and Kedah.

Getting Hindraf on board could mean that PR has to accept demands from HRPM, Hindraf's unregistered political wing, of five to seven parliamentary seats.

Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, believes that Hindraf does not have mass appeal anymore because of in-fighting.

He also thinks that the lower classes seem to be largely with BN while the middle and upper classes are with the opposition.

Saying that MIC's chances would be better than 2008 but not 2004, this can only happen if it fields open-minded candidates who appeal to other communities as well since the resolution of the MAIKA share issue and MIC leadership change had made it difficult for PR to exploit.

Old Penang: Penang Hill Railway

Why rush to the top of Penang Hill, when the ride up in the slow ol’ wooden train was itself a priceless multi-sensational experience.
Penang Hill Railway Lower Station circa 1930s - Photograph courtesy of Ric Francis, from his book 'Penang Hill'
Penang Hill Railway
Penang Hill Railway - Photograph courtesy of Ric Francis, from his book 'Penang Hill'
Postcard of Penang Hill Railway in the 1960s - Image credit: www.myphilately.com
A ride up Penang in the 1960s
by tunglang
The old, steady and trusty way up to the top of the mist-covered hill haven in Penang – riding up in a slope-hugging wooden train – was something of great anticipation in my childhood. I can still visualise the unforgettable moments of ‘touching the clouds’ with visibility of not more than 10 feet, the misty chills at the top station – breathing in the super-refreshing cool mist that was like the draught from an open fridge, and exhaling the heavy vapour, as I imitated John Wayne smoking Rough Rider cigarettes. And to see and touch the abundant ‘queen-sized’ flowers half as large as my face was truly amazing. With so much fresh oxygen, things floral grew real big!
My yearly ‘pilgrimage’ to Penang Hill on the first day of Chinese New Year with my wonderful dad has been etched in my mind – a priceless experience no other hill trips, not even the superficial, over-commercialised and crowded Genting Highlands could ever match. Taking the Municipal bus at 6.15am and reaching the Ayer Itam roundabout to sip Kopi-O kau kau at a kopitiam, we still had spare time to walk some distance to the base station for the early train ride up the hill.
In fact, we were among the few early visitors/commuters to greet the train attendants, who methodically carried out their daily duties of checking and making sure the trips were without delay or technical problems. The smell of grease, cables, granite brick wall, coagulated rubber sheets (from farms) and the surrounding jungle greens, still ringing with sleepless crickets and toads, were enough to jump-start my adrenalin for the much-anticipated morning ride. And the train tickets smelled real good too!
When the inside grille gate was finally opened, I was let in like a gleeful dog, running around the train porch before the memorable moment of touching the brass door handle of the train and boarding the all wooden but steady-as-a-rock slanted train. My choice of seating or (mostly) standing on seat was in the front row just behind the train driver. Sitting would have rendered me a dwarf, what more with the sloping, hard wooden seats.
The moment of truth came when we were locked safely inside the cabin. Soon the bell rang and the grand ol’ train started to climb at the first tug of the over-greased thick cable. I could feel my heart displace a few centimetres at the first jerk before the train moved. It was a thrilling mechanical feat … the feel of the vibrating rolling wheels in torque on cast iron rails… you just became part of the ol’ train gently climbing at leisure up the steep hill amidst nature’s tranquility, transported to another world of old colonial charm. Almost half a century old, yet the wooden train was steady and strong like ‘Or Kau’ Guinness Stout.
The seat in the front row, whether going uphill or downhill, provided the perfect vantage point for soaking in the panorama. Time slowed down, affording one the luxury of absorbing in great sensual detail the splendour of the rainforest – ferns, monkey cups, the flora, mushrooms, giant ants, monkeys, spiders, birds and hundred-year-old trees crowned by tall bluish-green canopies.
The occasional brief stops for local hill residents provided extra precious time to draw closer to Nature and to breathe in the pristine oxygen-rich air creeping into the cabin through huge open windows. That was the natural air-con without the need for an artificial air-con.
And of course, to gaze at the heritage ambience of wooden electric cable poles and to wonder in nostalgia at the antiquated pre-war lamps with warm tungsten light bulbs, ‘decorated’ with spider webs for the half-slumbering queen spiders.
If one was dreaming of travelling to faraway lands to see picturesque cottage homes, there was (and still is) no better alternative place to see the real thing in Malaysia than in Penang Hill. Nestled among embracing trees and occasional guardian spirit boulders, the idyllic bungalows stirred the happy spirits of the already fascinated tourists, as they gazed from the windows of the slow-moving trains, their minds transfixed by the mental images of relaxation, serenity, and sanctuary during this recuperative getaway-from-the-boss sojourn. The smoking chimneys, miniature attic windows, stone bricks, Victorian architecture, pine trees and wind-direction roosters added a surreal charm and holiday sensation of European countryside in the midst of the tropical rainforest of Penang Hill.
Though it was just a halfway trip up the hill for both of us, the 20 minutes or so ride seemed to me a lifetime of innocent happiness – time in fact stood still. Looking forward to this journey, I would wait for dad and me to take that once-a year-trip up the hill to visit my grandparents’ homestead, nestled among embracing trees, ferns and the ever-sprouting vegetable gardens.
As dad and I alighted from the ol’ train at mid-station into the cool breezy air outside, I walked reluctantly away in envy of those tourists who could still continue the second half of the journey in the slow train up to the summit, where the cotton-like mist came floating in the air every sleepy afternoon in the 1960s.
As the Chinese proverb goes: “The journey is the reward”. So it was with the Penang Hill Railway. Why rush to the top, when the climb up in the ol’ train itself was truly a priceless multi-sensational experience.

Ivy Josiah

MSN chats with Ivy Josiah, the Executive Director of Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) in Malaysia in conjunction with International Women's Day on March 8.


Ivy Josiah (© Courtesy of Ivy Josiah)
Born in Brickfields in 1955 and lived there throughout her formative years, Ivy Josiah first became a teacher and then an activist for women's rights before she was the Executive Director of Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) in Malaysia. Established in 1982, WAO is the first women's organisation in Malaysia to provide shelter for battered women and their children. WAO plays a lead role in advocacy work, public education and law and policy reform on all aspects of women's human rights.

Ms. Josiah was a pioneer volunteer cum member of WAO and its past president (1990-1993) before taking on the position as the Executive Director in 1995. She has developed, promoted and implemented the WAO's shelter and counselling services, coordinated its public education programmes and advocacy work on the issue of violence against women and women's human rights

She has played a key role in initiating two NGO coalitions. In 2004, Article 11 was formed to uphold freedom of religion and in 2006 the Migration Working Group was established to protect the rights of migrants, refugees, and stateless persons.
Ivy Josiah (© Courtesy of Ivy Josiah)
In February 2004, she was appointed as a member of the Royal Commission to Enhance
the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police and in 2009 she was a member of the government National Taskforce to investigate sexual abuse allegations of indigenous women (Penan Community) in Sarawak.

Ivy is involved in national, regional and international committees and initiatives to combat violence against women. Ivy is also a member of the arts community in Malaysia being a member of Five Arts Centre.

Other accolades:
1998 Joanne Drew Total Woman AWARD, Malaysia
2003 Tag Heur Alter Ego Woman of Distinction, Malaysia
2007 Woman of Courage, US State Department, USA
2007 Malaysia Tatler, Humanitarian Award
2008 Her World, Woman of the Year, Malaysia
2009 Rotary Vocational Award, Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur North

Hobbies: When I'm not busy, I enjoy reading, watching the television and this year, I plan to travel around Malaysia as much as I can.

One fun fact we don't know about you: I love curry puffs, I was a dancer and I am an excellent cook! I love cooking Indian dishes.

NEXT: Ivy Josiah's picks for MSN Malaysia
Ivy Josiah (© Courtesy of Ivy Josiah)
Ivy Josiah's picks:
Indian college turns illiterate women into engineers: Video
Happy International Women's Day! This video reminds me how women can do anything despite obstacles, a great initiative of Africa and India, two nations to watch out for.
Cheers and jeers for maids' day off in Singapore
Well done Singapore, it is a mature society that treats its women workers well. When will Malaysia follow?
Malaysians fail to reverse ban on gay festival
It is really important to keep reinforcing the belief being gay is ok; the courts have a duty to uphold the rights of ALL persons.
Himpunan 2.0 rally at Maju Junction Mall
Besides the fact that Lynas is a ticking bomb, I have to say, what a fabulous collection of photos of people power!
No regrets over apology to Afghans: US commander
It is always better to take the higher road.