Students Rally Behind #SuaraPelajar Amid Continuation of In-Person Classes

As 400,000 students return to school to begin their classes yet again for 2021, the youths are using social media to voice out their concerns of doing so in the midst of a pandemic.

Coming behind the hashtag #SuaraPelajar, students expressed their frustrations, concerns and the balance of education and future as they returned to school during this MCO 2.0.

A day after schools were reopened, 18 SPM and STPM students checking in to a school hostel were found to be positive during screening; the next day the total was 36 cases for students in Sabah returning to school hostels.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq who is active on Twitter was quick to share his view of the issue and had also called for help to gather #SuaraPelajar on Padlet. Other than that, he had utilized #KlusterPelajar in a bid to make the student’s thoughts be known at a higher level.

Here’s what one student had to say about the whole going back to school situation on Padlet.

“I think i can count with one hand how many days that i slept without tears. We stuck at school while the whole country is having pkp” one comment said.

“Maybe we like a small piece yg tak akan effect future pon kalua kitorg tak take spm. But we have a life”.

Some also took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

The timeliness of the announcement and lack of time for students to prepare was also one of the many things highlighted.

One user also mentioned of how the government’s latest actions just might be the push for students being depressed at an already depressing time.

And to top it all off, one student put it rather straightforwardly.

Biden’s First Day as President of The United States

As president-elect becomes president, Joe Biden has since been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, taking office during a time of economic, health and political crisis.

“This is America’s Day” he said, after swearing in with his hand placed upon a 128-year-old family Bible, soon after Kamala Harris was sworn in as his deputy. In his inaugural speech, he made pleas for the country to come together whether it be “red or blue”.

“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal,” he said. “We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.”

Other than that, he also promised to hit the ground running with the first of many @POTUS tweets to come. 

Undoing Trump’s legacy

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Upon stepping in the Oval Office, President Biden unleashed a full-scale undoing on Trump’s pandemic response, the reversing of his environment agenda, anti-immigration policies, rebuild the economy, and to boost federal efforts at promoting diversity.

He had since re-joined the Paris Climate Accord, signed 17 executive orders, memorandums, proclamations on the pandemic, immigration, climate change, racial and LGBT equality, economy, and government accountability. He also ended the travel ban on Muslim countries on Wednesday afternoon. Many saw this as reversing the damages done to the country by Trump.

Reversing Trump’s agenda

CBC

Although he had urge American leaders and citiznes to “join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature.”, this was not to be seen with Trump as many were to erase the former president’s footprints from the White House.

Within four categories, the crisis that Biden had inherited from Trump includes the pandemic, economic struggles, immigration and diversity issues, and the environment and climate change.

In some cases, Biden single-handedly reversed policies and procedures that the Trump administration had put in place, or as Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, put it, “immediately reverse the elements of the Trump policies that were deeply inhumane and did not reflect our country’s values.’’

American Tourist Who Moved to Bali Accused of Being Tone-Deaf with Her Twitter Thread

Bali is a top tourist destination spot for many, especially for those coming from the Western world who are in search of that white sand blue sea exotic experience, but a recent Twitter thread wrote by an American woman about her move to Bali had sparked accusations of her being tone-deaf.

A so called “digital nomad”, @kristentootie who has now went private on Twitter, intended the thread to be a guide to “how you can thrive in life”, but turned out to show the privilege she holds on to as it starts out with one simple step – book a one-way flight to Bali. She also boasts of the island she has been as she built her own graphic design business and live in a “treehouse”.

She then described this experience as the “perfect medicine” for her physical and emotional health and went on to list the benefits of living here such as, safety, low cost of living, luxury lifestyle, and the acceptance towards LGBT people.

She has since locked her account after backlash against her utilizing her privileges and also being guilty of gentrification.

Apart from that, the thread is also problematic for a number of reasons which includes the mis-labelling of Bali as LGBT-friendly when in reality, locals who are part of that community live in constant fear and are targeted by authorities and groups.

Her perception of a so called “low cost living” may be affordable for a foreigner as she talks of the US$400 rent, but little did she know that the provincial minimum wage is only about US$177.

What’s more disturbing is that she also encourages people to work their way around imposed travel restrictions during this whole pandemic to visit Bali, especially when Indonesia is trying to control the pandemic themselves.

Even though the pandemic is well present in Indonesia, she mentioned of staying there ever since the pandemic began there in March, as her plans “went out the window”.

While official policies may take sometime to take place especially during this pandemic, locals on Twitter sure weren’t waiting around to see privileged folk run their country dry of the resources.

Top 10 Reactions to The Bald Syed Saddiq

Muar MP, Syed Saddiq, recently started a storm on social media after reaching his RM200,000 target for #1Keluarga1Laptop and going bald for it.

With RM383,000 raised in merely five days, he has since started distributing the laptops to those in the Muar area for a good cause, but the internet on the other still hasn’t gotten over the fact that Saddiq, a frequent on social media as well, had shaved bald.

Of course, Malaysian’s weren’t going to let by the chance to make a good laugh from the moment.

Here are the top 10 tweets about the now “Botak YB”.

1) Not sure what bread this is, but it’s definitely Syed Saddiq-approved

2) One thing’s for sure, the man’s certainly not worried about barbershops not being allowed to open during MCO 2.0

3) One of the many highlights from news of how the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had bought a Twitter account from a 16-year-old but forgotten to rid of the tweets.

4) Botaks Assemble

5) Of course, we couldn’t leave out this video of “Not Yet Botak YB” and Harry Kok Siew Yok

6) Glorious indeed

7) Well, at least it’s for a good cause

8) Botaks assemble, again?

9) With all the memes out there, there’s certainly an expression for everything we’re feeling now

10) Lastly, the video that started it all

Top 10 Malaysian Reactions to MCO 2.0 & Emergency

As Malaysian take their first step in MCO 2.0, nay took to Twitter to share about how they feel about a second lockdown just days into the new year.

Here’s the top 10 reactions of Malaysians reacting to MCO 2.0.

To start off, someone certainly have their eyes and stonks.

For the rest of us, we were still trying to wrap our head around the fact that it all happened in -1 days.

Now, before we jump to conclusions…

In other things, MCMC’s Twitter disappeared after netizens uncovered tweets from a 16-year-old in which they had bought their Twitter account from in 2014.

Just when we thought 2021 would be a better year for all.

Focusing on the fact that this user had said “Mr Agong”

Darurat sisters indeed.

I mean, you’d never know when you might need a reminder

Clearly learning from last year’s experience

And to top it off, a literal picture of us in the past few days.

WhatsApp: Share Your Data With Facebook Or Risk Being Deleted

With over 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is the most used instant messaging platform in the world; however, in a time where privacy is often taken for granted, WhatsApp’s new privacy policy is starting to have its users worried about the amount of data they’re collecting.

In a bid to force users to share data with its parent company, Facebook, WhatsApp said users would have to agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data including users’ phone numbers, contacts’ phone numbers, locations, and more. Users who don’t agree by February 8th can expect to lose access to the messaging platform by then.

A WhatsApp spokeswoman told Ars Technica that this was to allow businesses to store WhatsApp chats using Facebook’s broader infrastructure.

A WhatsApp spokesman did not clarify why the platform decided to make the change but said it would not affect EU and UK-based users.

“There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region (including UK) arising from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements,” the spokesman said.

So what exactly is WhatsApp gathering data on? Here’s all of them.

Device ID

User ID

Advertising Data

Purchase History

Coarse Location

Phone Number

Email Address

Contacts

Product Interaction

Crash Data

Performance Data

Other Diagnostic Data

Payment Info

Customer Support

Product Interaction

Other User Content

WhatsApp has actually been sharing your data with Facebook since 2016, but the latest option to not have an option is deemed as crossing a line for many.

In a recent release by Apple’s App Store, “App Privacy” labels also shows how much data are being collected by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy revisions don’t actually alter the messaging service’s behavior, but it’s still significant that users may have thought the company was offering an opt-out option all these years that didn’t actually exist, according to Forbes.

A level of data-sharing that some users disagree with and even fear has already been going on under their noses for years, and people are starting to realize it.

5 Ways Music Can Help Making A Pandemic That Less Stressful

As we continue to distance ourselves from one another, 2021 is beginning to not look any different as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage throughout the world.

While entertainment and literally anything in general is being canceled abruptly, people are starting to find more sources of entertainment mainly from devices such as using movie streaming services and also music streaming services among the many.

Times like these we need reassurance, we need the connection, and most importantly, we need to connect and share. We are all in this together and we are going to get better together no matter how long it takes. Here are five reasons to why music helps during a pandemic.

1) Music connects lives and stories

With streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music, music and playlist sharing are a thing and is easier than ever! Wondering what your friends are listening to? You can now visit their profile and check out some new artists. Want to share a playlist with your friend while he or she works out? You could easily do that now as well.

2) Sparks creativity and curiosity

Stuck at a seemingly impossible project and need new ideas? There are tons of music out there to help spark the mind into imagining and creating new content. Thinking about learning a new instrument? Well we don’t need to remind you that now is a better time than any to begin, especially with all the time spent at home,

3) Opportunity to try something new

Little did you know, that you don’t need to have prior music learning experience to begin mangling in music making. There are tons of beginner level music making tools out there such as GarageBand, Acapella, Djay and Beat Maker to name a few. Other than that, small instruments such as the ukulele and the Marimba are perfect to have around the house during this time.

4) Socializing and relaxing

Although tons of concerts and live events aren’t happening this year, a lot of them have been moved online. Take this opportunity to experience the new form of concerts virtually. In the meantime, the internet is full of recordings of concerts from the past that are perfect for any given time of any given day.

5) Stress reliever

During exceptionally stressful times, my is helps with decreasing our stress levels and also make our days that less depressing. Other than that, music therapy is something that’s y being picked up by many during these times and are proving to be essential when everyone’s locked up at home.

6 Tweets to Welcome 2021

As unbelievable as it seems, we’ve finally made in to 2021 all in one averagely fine piece.

With all the mishaps that we’ve had since the pandemic struck in 2020, 2021 was the only thing we’ve all looked forward to; now that all those are far behind us in the past, 2021 is one we’re hopeful for  as what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger ain’t it?

With merely two days in the year, netizens are quick to express their gratitude for surviving a rather horrid 2020 or how it’s going to be 2020 part 2. Nonetheless to whichever side you’re on, here are the 6 best tweets we’ve found that about 2021 yet.

https://twitter.com/chzzyfryz/status/1345174960868884481?s=21

https://twitter.com/risefallnick/status/1345172960806535168?s=21

https://twitter.com/readytoglareyt/status/1345151971410501637?s=21

https://twitter.com/alexandyuuur/status/1345157837731741696?s=21

https://twitter.com/boyleybugs/status/1345123761222266885?s=21

https://twitter.com/twitter/status/1345021162959503360?s=21

5 Ways to Deal With the Christmas Blues

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but when a pandemic has taken up the whole year, trying to deck the halls with boughs of holly may be a harder task than usual this time.

It’s important to know that it’s understandably normal to feel the blues during this festive season as some of us may have more downs than ups in 2020 that Christmas doesn’t even feel festive anymore.

Apart from skipping Christmas parties and cutting down on holidays festivities, a blue Christmas isn’t permanent as there are ways to overcome them. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your holidays are filled with festive when you need it.

1) Limit alcohol intake

Instead of beer and wine, try stirring up a mock tail or perhaps even a classic homemade cup of eggnog instead to lifted the mood. If you are in fact at a party, limit yourself to fewer servings of alcohol and focus your energy on catching up with friends for the season instead.

2) Get some sleep

A little bit of sleep helps boosts your immunity and importantly, you mood as well. Take rests when you have too and refrain from staying up too later as some good sleep goes a long way when you need the energy for the next day.

3) Learn to say no

Yes, gathering with family and friends are important during this time of the year; don’t overpower yourself with a full schedule and remember to take time for yourself when you need it, but do remember to spend time with them, Christmas is still in fact the perfect time for family time.

4) Avoid overeating

Christmas food may be wholesome and oh so tempting for seconds, but avoid overeating and only eat what you can. You are what you eat, so you certainly don’t want to be a turkey on the sofa during this festive season.

5) Volunteer

As many are less fortunate than you, take this time of the year to give. Look for soup kitchens or volunteer centers where you could help spread the joy of Christmas, plus the gift of giving is always a good one to give out for Christmas.

6 Celebrities That Have Served Time in Jail

Celebrities just like any other people are to abide by the laws that are set in place, and similar to every other offender out there, jail time too is a thing for them when breaching them.

Here’s a quick fresher on several celebrities that have served jail time, some even more than once.

Robert Downey Jr.

Downey was stopped by police in 1996 where he was driving naked down Sunset Boulevard in possession of cocaine, heroin and a gun. Adding on from probation violations from that conviction, he was sentenced to three years in 1999 and was released on bail after a year. Good thing to say, the actor has never looked back since and has gain steady momentum especially after the widespread success of Iron Man.

Mark Wahlberg

At 16 years old, Wahlberg hit a man in the head with a stick and punched another, all while avoiding police after trying to steal bear from a store in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was convicted of assault and served 45 days of a three-month sentence.

Tim Allen

Allen was arrested in 1978 at an airport in Michigan for possession of cocaine; he plead guilty to drug trafficking and spent 2 years and four months in a Minnesota prison.

Martha Stewart

The American businesswoman was guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements; she served five months in a federal women’s prison in West Virginia and another five in house arrest.

Justin Bieber

The 26-year-old star was arrested for a DUI in Miami Beach in 2014 after admitting to police that he had been smoking marijuana and had taken prescription medication. Bieber spent a day in jail and shared a mugshot of his arrest with the caption “Mugshot #jailsnotacoolplacetobe, #notfun #neveragain,”

Johnny Cash

Despite landing in jail seven times for misdemeanors, the Man in Black have ever stayed only one night. Sometimes he was arrested for being drunk and picking flowers out of a stranger’s garden in the wee hours of the morning, but he was also arrested for starting a forest fire in California, and for smuggling amphetamines into the United States from Mexico. Cash was quoted as saying, “I took all the drugs there are to take, and I drank.” It wasn’t until his second marriage, to June Carter, that he began to pull himself out.