Universiti Malaya Caught Up in Sexual Harassment Case

Universiti Malaya has recently come under fire for their handling of an alleged sexual harassment case towards one of its students.

Back in July, a 23-year-old, third year student lodged a police report after feeling unjustified with the response she had received from the Universiti Malaya Integrity Unit.

The student claimed she was sexually harassed by a senior lecturer in his office on June 3rd last year. The misconduct included physically touching of the hips while asking disturbing personal questions.

The student has since been told that the associate professor whom she accused and is already retired in June, will not face any criminal action as authorities won’t be pressing further charges.

Brickfields police chief Zairulnizam Mohd Zainuddin

“After studying the statements given in the case, the DPP decided there were no charges against the suspect, taking into account the fact that Universiti Malaya had taken internal action against the suspect,” Brickfields police chief Zairulnizam Mohd Zainuddin said.

He also added that it was the deputy public prosecutor’s (DPP) decision not to file any charges. It was also the Attorney-General’s Chambers decision to drop the case.

Universiti Malaya Vice Chancellor, Abdul Rahim Hashim

The university’s vice chancellor, Abdul Rahim Hashim, also released a statement stating that investigations were conducted as soon as the complaint was received. He said that the perpetrator had been punished under the rules of the integrity code.

A student group at the university, University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY), has called for the resignation of said vice chancellor for allegedly being “weak, vain and incompetent”.

Such demands came after he said that while management has taken action against the disgraced lecturer, he cannot divulge information regarding the punishment.

The student group also claimed that despite allegations of the lecturer preying on several other students, management has only decided to demote the lecturer.

The university has also been accused of not being transparent in the case, hence, not living up to its code of conducts.

Lilian Kok of the All Women’s Action Society stated that under the university’s Code of practice on the Prevention and Handling of Sexual Harassment, results of the investigations should be disclosed to both parties.

“However, as we can see from this case, having a comprehensive process is not enough,” she told in an interview with FMT. 

“There should be accountability and transparency in order to institutionalise a holistic sexual harassment preventive measure.

“Universities should also be more aware of the unavoidable power dynamics in the environment and take decisive and transparent measures to safeguard the rights of the students.”

According to Kok, 28% of Malaysians experienced sexual harassment, a fifth of those occurred in educational institutes.

“Universities should also be more aware of the unavoidable power dynamics in the environment and take decisive and transparent measures to safeguard the rights of the students.” Kok said.

A change.org petition has also started circling around social media seeking to prosecute the lecturer, it has since gathered 5,500 signatures.

10 Hungry Ghost Festival Taboos to Avoid

With the arrival of September, it is now the Chinese ghost month. The month that our parents explicitly warned us about and have various pre-cautions for.

Canopies will be erected, and triangular flags will be propped up on every signpost and lamppost along roads. The smell of incense will fill up the night sky which may trigger the jeepers creepers in you, making the hair behind your neck stand up uncomfortably.

Noise from late night performances will also ring out throughout the night and your elders, especially your elders warning you of certain taboos to avoid this time of the month.

Here are 10 thing to not do during the month of the hungry ghost:

1) Leave your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice

Our parents hate it, our friends hate it, chopstick etiquettes dictate when whenever we pause or stop eating. Leaving your chopsticks upright in your rice bowl is massively frown upon in the Chinese culture as it’s similar to seeing a pair of joss stick at an altar, it is also believed that passing spirits will mistake your rice bowl as a sacrifice and will possess the diner to devour it.

2) Do not take photographs at night

Macro view of a street in Tokyo at night time, street photography

It is believed that taking photographs of places, especially in dark areas are more likely to result in an earie sight in photobombing phantoms showing up on screen.

3) Avoid late nights out

It’s not a good month to stay out too late as night go-ers are more likely to follow a victim home or worst, possess them.

4) Refrain from sitting in the front row of live shows

Have you ever noticed that at live stage performances, the front row is always left unoccupied throughout the night? The shows are actually meant for wandering spirits and the front row seats are reserved for said spirits; sitting in their seats is believed to bring bad luck or serious ailments.

5) Stay away from swimming activites

According to traditional belief, spirits of those who died by drowning will lurk beneath the waters waiting to drown an unsuspecting living being. This apparently supplies them a shot at rebirth as it basically works like as soul for a soul.

6) Never kick food offerings

Sights of food under trees or at pavements would be a norm this month as it’s offered to any wandering spirit. Stay clear of it in your path as kicking them away may result in an angry spirit that will personally find you punished for your ignorance.

7) Never step on dead people money

Having your foot anywhere near sensitive things such as “hell money” is extremely frown upon, especially by the entities that are set to “receive” them. 

8) Don’t hang out clothes to dry at night

We get it Malaysia’s weather is unpredictable and hanging your clothes to dry indoors may be one of the way to get it done. However, refrain from doing so this month as something else may find that blouse as good looking as you do. On top of that, clothes resemble a human body and may attract spirits to cling on to them.

9) Never turn your head when your shoulder is tapped, or when your name is being called from behind

According to traditional belief, humans have two protective flames, one on each shoulder and turning your head will result in them being extinguished, hence, making you vulnerable to lingering spirits; to prevent that turn your whole body instead.

10) Don’t whistle or make unnecessary noises at night

Wandering spirits may be attracted to whistling as they would think people are calling out to them. Celebrations at night is also best to be avoided because you may attract an unwanted guest.

Uncle Roger Critics Jamie Oliver’s Egg Fried Rice

Famed YouTuber and comedian Nigel Ng have recently returned to reviewing cooking videos, this time of renown chef, Jamie Oliver’s attempt at the classic egg fried rice dish.

Egg fried rice, us Asian love it as it’s one of the best comfort food easily found around this area; a dish not as well-known across the waters in the U.K., one that is unfamiliar with the dish can find it complicated and may find it hard to replicate. However, that wasn’t the case for Oliver though as he may have created an egg fried rice of his own liking instead.

Nigel Ng, acting out his comedic persona, garnered a following since his video reviewing BBC host Hersha Patel’s attempt at the same dish and was already at a bad start when he said “Two second into video and I already see saucepan, “haiya””.

Oliver started the cooking process by whipping out a saucepan, this triggered Uncle Roger early on as he refers to the “wok hay” that is needed to make egg fried rice.

“No such thing as saucepan hay,” he goes on to explain about the use of woks being essential in making fried rice.

Oliver proceeds to pour in the spring onions to fry in the oil and pan.

“You put the spring onion as the last thing in your meal, not the first thing in the frying pan.” He then complained on how Oliver didn’t use garlic instead.

Four words later brought Uncle Roger to confusion, “packet pre-cooked rice”. This did not sit well with Uncle Roger who then educated his audience on the importance of fresh rice.

“You hear sizzling, I hear my ancestors crying.” Uncle Roger said as Oliver tosses the rice in the pan.

Oliver then picked out chili jam from his cabinet.

10 times that’s how many times Uncle Roger said the word “no” upon seeing Oliver drizzle the chili jam around the fried rice dish.

Oliver finished the dish with a splash of water from his kitchen tap and also with crumbled up tofu pieces, yes you read that right.

He then said that Asian culture is used to serving tofu in sliced up pieces, this did not sit well again with Uncle Roger.

“Too wet, no garlic, no MSG, he beak the tofu, it’s all wrong.” Uncle Roger said at the end of the video, putting an end to his own misery.

6 Ways to Spend Merdeka Day during a Pandemic

It’s here! Our nations 63rd Independence Day. We’ve come a long way since 1957 as a nation and as individuals ourselves, especially during this restricted movement control order (RMCO) period where we’ve had to disciplined ourselves to carry out daily tasks while maintaining standard operating procedures.

While the pandemic is still ongoing, there is still much to go on as celebrations strictly with standard operating procedures are still going on to celebrate what makes Malaysia, Malaysia.

On this festive day, there is no short of fun and celebrations going on as we’ve been doing this for the past 63 years. Although strict guidelines everywhere, KL has once again open it’s doors, barely, to welcome the festivity and life back into the heart of the country.

While we’re at it, here’s six things to do on this festive day while practising social distancing.

1) Catch a show at KLPAC 

Ever since returning into the spotlight post-MCO, KLPAC has brought life back to Sentul Park again with various performances and live shows. To aid in reviving the local perfoming arts centre, the community choir group, The young KL Group will be performing a series of cabaret shows from the 27th of August onwards with familiar tunes from Western blockbusters and nostalgic Disney films in the plans. Do visit their website for any more upcoming shows!

2) Ultron X JomRun Merdeka Virtual Marathon

We Malaysians love our morning and evening runs. One may not think of joining a marathon during this period as it doesn’t really help the case with social distancing, that isn’t the case here, as a virtual marathon is all one needs especially during these times. Ulton X JomRun Medeka Virtual Marathon allows you to rack up the metres and steps all in the safety of your own home away from the crowds. All you have to do is to register by 4th September, choose to cover 5KM, 10KM, 21KM or 41KM, get a pedometer app or device such as a smartwatch or FitBit, and then run! It’s that simple!

3) Visit a Drive-In Cinema 

Drive-in cinemas are something we Malaysians don’t often get a chance of experiencing. Earlier this year, M-Junction, the providers of experiences such as Dinner In The Sky Malaysia, released the news of the first ever drive through cinema opening right here in the heart of the nation. Still an on-going event, why not spend the night at the comfort of your own vehicle while enjoying a movie. To learn more, here’s 6 tips for an ideal drive-in cinema experience.

4) Experience Exquisite Japanese dining at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Food, us Malaysian love our food; and unsurprisingly, we love food from other cultures as well! World-renowned Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Nobu is celebrating the National Day with an eight-course menu titled 14 Flavours Omakase. Simultaneously a visual and culinary delight, the set meal incorporates Malaysia’s wide array of local delicacies and flavours. Happening until the 31st of August tickle your tastebuds at dishes such as unagi chimake wrapped in bamboo leaves, chilli crab gracefully coated with a tangy or a spicy and sour egg sauce. 

5) Watch the parades from the comfort of your own home

Although we aren’t able to attend any parades this year as there aren’t any, they are still being broadcasted live on RTM. RTM channel is televising the procession and live performances from the venue of the country’s 63rd Anniversary which takes place at Dataran Pahlawan, Putrajaya. Malaysians are invited to tune in at home and watch the programmes safely with their family. There will be other various programmes in line to celebrate Merdeka today.

6) Appreciate the cuisines close to home

What better way to celebrate Merdeka than to celebrate it with the best that Malaysia has to offer, its food. From kuih-muih, nasi lemak, char keuy teow and more that could help bring the spirit of celebration alive, indulge in the best Malaysian cuisines in your Merdeka day outfits while watching the various tv programmes lined up!

10 Little Known Facts About Malaysia That Might Surprise You

A country that is split by an ocean but still offers an experience unlike any other. Malaysia offers sunshine, seashores, food and everything a traveler would look for; on top of that, it is known for its history and pride that has shaped the Malaysia we know and love today.

Formed in 1957, 63 years have seen a multitude of changes to what a small country was as we’ve experienced the growth first hand. There are still much to learn about this growing country as it is always advancing and we might find it hard to keep up with all that is happening these days.

In conjunction with Merdeka day, here are 10 little known facts about Malaysia, that might surprise you.

1) Ringgit means “jagged”

The national currency “Ringgit means ‘jagged’ in the Malay language in reference to the serrated edges of the Spanish silver dollars that were used in the 16th and 17th centuries.

2) Peninsula of Gold

One of the old names of Malaysia is Aurea Chersonesus, which means ‘peninsula of gold’. The name was given by Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy in his book Geographia back in 150 AD.

3) Largest cave chamber in the world 

Large enough to accommodate 40 Boeing 747s, the cave chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park, which is also the largest yet discovered on Earth is twice the size of Britain’s Wembley Stadium and homes thousands of small birds called swiftlets.

4) 65,877 kilometres of highway roads

Yes, you read that right. To put it into perspective, the circumference of the Earth is 40,075 kilometres.

5) Ketchup

It is believed that the English word ketchup is believed to have been sourced from the Hokkien word “ke-tsiap” which refers to a dish of fermented sauce.

6) Sunken treasure

The richest uncovered treasure from a sunken ship lies on the floor in the Strait of Malacca in Malaysia.

7) UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites

Malaysia is home to four UNESCO heritage, including Gunung Mulu National Park, the Kinabalu Park, the significant cities of Melaka and George Town, and the Lenggong Valley

8) Ramadan in Space

Malaysia’s first astronaut, Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, observed the Ramadan in space, becoming the first Muslim ever to achieve the feat.

9) Rafflesia

The flower is the world’s largest flower and thrives abundantly in Sabah. The giant jungle parasite blooms without a leaf, stem or roots.

10) Penang as an international icon

The street food capital of the world attracts not only locals but also visitors from all over the world! Take a stroll through the famous George Town and hundreds of hawker stalls can be seen offering a variety of cuisines found across the country.

Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day Explained

Coming in at second place of countries with the most public holidays, Malaysia comes boasts up to 19 holidays in a calendar year; that’s how many paid public holidays that us Malaysians get!

Malaysians love their holidays and there are an abundant of things to do with all those time off. The month of August is often associated with national pride as it’s the month of the nations independence. 

Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day are the two main holidays that we celebrate in August, and both of them are different and have different stories behind them. So, what exactly are these two holiday that seems to celebrate the same thing?

Merdeka Day

August 31st is pretty much a date that all Malaysians know off. It is celebrated throughout schools and the country ever since the country’s independence from British colonial rule in 1957.

Under the constitution, Merdeka day is the official National Day for the Country.

Hari Malaysia

Hari Malaysia falls on September 16th, which commemorates the formation of the Malaysian Federation in 1963. It was the day where the Federation of Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore merged to form Malaysia.

Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 and eventually an independent country on August 9th 1965.

Hari Malaysia officially became a Malaysian public holiday in 2010.

Hari Merdeka in East Malaysia

Sabah and Sarawak only achieved independence in 1963, six years after Peninsular Malaysia was formed.

In 2016, the Sarawak government declared July 22nd as a Sarawak public holiday, declaring it Sarawak Independence Day”.

The Malaysian government has recently worked towards a more unified form of national independence. On top of declaring Malaysia Day a national holiday, less emphasis have been put on the years to which certain states have gained independence.

Although different areas have their own year of independence, we Malaysians love our holidays; what’s not to love about an extra day off to celebrate the country’s independence day anyway?

5 Things to Know About Tourette Syndrome

One of the most misunderstood neurological disorders, Tourette Syndrome is a condition that causes people to have “tics” such as involuntary, sudden and repeated twitches, sounds or movements. 

Dr. George Gilles de la Tourette

The disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, a pioneering French neurologist who in 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French woman.

Tics can be both simple or complexed. When simple, it can be sudden and brief repetitive movements that trigger a limited number of muscle groups such as eye blinking, facial movements or head and shoulder jerking; when complexed, it can be a combination of the simple tics at the same time. However, there are still much more disabling tics that could result in the person engaging in self-harming actions such as punching one’s self in the face.

A disorder that’s still not widely understood, here’s 5 things to know about people who have Tourette Syndrome.

1) The cause of it is unknown

The exact cause of Tourette Syndrome remains unknown as of this day. A complex disorder by its own, experts can only suggest that it is caused by a combination of inherited (genetic) and environmental factors. It is also said that the chemicals in the brain that transmit nerve impulses, which also includes dopamine and serotonin, might play a role.

2) There is no cure

No cure for Tourette Syndrome has been discovered yet. So, instead of looking for a seemingly unknown solution, therapy options have been developed to reduce tics over time. “For more severe tics, medications are available, but they are not always effective or well tolerated,” said Dr. Shprecher, DO, a movement disorder neurologist with Banner Health in the U.S. “In very severe cases, a neurosurgical procedure called deep brain stimulation can be helpful, but it is still considered experimental.”

3) Having a tic doesn’t mean that you have Tourette

Tics, both vocal or motor, are part of the symptoms of Tourette, but there is more to it than that. A person can have single, temporary ticc that lasts for a few weeks or months to having long lasting complex tics. To have Tourette means to have at least two different motor tics and one vocal tic, all for over a year, multiple times a day for almost everyday.

4) People with Tourette cannot control their tics, even if they want to

Both motor and vocal tics that occur in a person are involuntary and completely out of their control, meaning that they are NOT doing it on purpose. Although still largely unknown to experts and the public, the tics are often compared to a sneeze or having an itch. One may try to stop it but the itch or sneeze will still occur either way. It is also said that holding back a tic may make the condition worse or even cause stress.

5) No they aren’t swearing at you

Vocal tics could result in the uttering of socially inappropriate words or swear words. This is often seen on TV but it is not the reality as most people with Tourette don’t frequently use inappropriate language, just like you and me. Known as Coprolalia, it is a complex tic that is hard to control or supress; it affects roughly 1 in 10 people with Tourette.

Want to learn more about Tourette Syndrome? Visit the Tics and Tourette Syndrome Malaysia Support Group today! The community on Facebook raises awareness and provides help while fostering social acceptance for people with tics or Tourette Syndrome.

Instagram has a Predator Problem

Schools closed, families stuck at home, and the internet is being used now more than ever amid pandemic restrictions going on in the outside world.

We’ve all experienced the consequences of the coronavirus firsthand, and with the younger generation adapting to technology at their hands, it is no wonder that platforms like Instagram have been a new hunting ground for sexual predators.

Men are leaving derogatory and inappropriate comments on accounts of way too many young women, and the report function is failing to fix the problem.

“We’re talking about modelling pages, dancing pages, gymnastics pages for girls. It’s like any girl is up for grabs, really,” Melinda Tankard Reist, a campaigner for Collective Shout told the Sydney Morning Herald in an interview.

As an image based medium, Instagram has transitioned from an image sharing platform to becoming a magnet for said men who are predators and fantasizers.

Although adults are under the same roof as their kids, they are busy and distracted with working from home, giving the kids that much more freedom to roam around social platforms unprioritized.

Luckily, there are a few ways to ensure that your child doesn’t get sucked into the mayhem.

1) Talk

Take a none judgmental stance and talk to your child. Let your child know that they can talk to you about anything and don’t act differently with the words. Shame is a dangerous factor and can lead kids to hide their risky online interactions from you. Explain that if an adult ever acted sexually towards them, it is now their fault and you should be one that is to hear it from them.

2) Teach

Educate them on behaviors that should be reported to an adult: strangers asking to keep secrets, requesting they move conversations to less monitored platforms and offering gifts of their liking. Guide on what to do if they every encounter such experiences.

3) Moderate

Instagram has comment moderation tools to allow only people you follow to comment on your posts, consider using such tools for your child’s accounts. The tools automatically block comments that contains certain words that you can set up as offensive. 

According to The Rakyat Post, Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin explained that Malaysia still lacked the technology as well as a budget to conceive a system to identify sexual offenders entering Malaysia.

Most countries such as the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and others have a Sex Offender Registry to provide details on convicted and suspected sex offenders. Malaysia own National Sex Offenders Registry catalogs at least 3,000 reported sexual offenders from just 2017 to 2019, but calls have been made for the government to expand and make the data more accessible to the public.

Its been reported that between 2015 and 2018 alone more than 400 child pornography websites were shut down through collaborations between Malaysian and international law enforcement.

Private entities are also just developing platforms for the public to report sexual crimes tat they encounter online.

Malaysia still has much more that they can do in terms of addressing the child predator and sexual offenses issue. It is clear that initiatives are being taken but there is still more to be done.

Hostile Architecture and Homelessness

Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

Back in 2014, Kuala Lumpur joined the many modern cities around the world who had certain anti-home measures set up.

Soup kitchens that provided food to the less fortunate on the streets, were once banned from operating by Former Minister of Federal Territories, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor. Mansor bore the brunt of criticism and online outrage following the announcement, but overturned the ban within months amid public pressure.

Homeless figures in Malaysia are not immediately available but even if they are, they are not all accurate. According to a 2016 study, over 1,500 to 2,000 are believed to be homeless in Malaysia. Today, there are at least 8,000.

When compared with other surrounding countries such as China, the Phillipines or even those further such as the United States, Malaysia seems like a droplet in an ocean as the Philippines is reported to have at last tens of thousands to several million that are homeless.

In the U.S., seventeen out of every 10,000 people experience homelessness and have to resort to makeshift homes and beds under pedestrian bridges, highways or just any “livable” area that provides shelter.

Safe to say, the city of Kuala Lumpur hasn’t since resorted to anti-homeless architecture such as those seen under the bridges of Guangzhou , China and New York City as while many individuals and organizations are in the fight to end homelessness, some are in it to end it too, but to literally end them.

Anti-homeless spikes to prevent lying down, bolts installed on steps to discourage sleeping, benches specifically designed to stop people from sleeping on them. These are just the few of many hostile architectures that is used to prevent homeless people from relying on public space.

Metal bars on public benches may seem aesthetic at first, but giving it thought, it is used to divide the benches to avoid lying down. Bolts on ledges are also put in place to discourage homeless people from sitting on them.

Some say this type of urban design is essential in maintaining order and discourage soliciting behavior, but hostile architecture especially in modern cities has increasingly attract backlash and criticize as targeting a certain vulnerable demographic – homelessness.

They, as a modern city, have forced those who have nowhere to go to have actually nowhere else to go. At times when the world looks to modern cities for homelessness solutions, the method that is hostile architecture has since been passed on one by one.

When walking along the streets of Jalan Tun Perak at certain times of the day or night, one can’t help but to notice the amount of homeless people seeking shelter outside restaurants or shop lots. 

Due to the movement control order (MCO), many of the homeless were left out on the street. On top of not having sanitary products at their disposal, a deadly pandemic was in the happenings. Luckily, homeless people were gathered and provided shelter by the government and responsible authorities. 

According to Berita Harian, part of the 800 homeless people are scheduled to go through job interviews for manufacturing factory operators or DBKL general workers whereas if successfully hired, will be paid between RM1,200 to RM1,400 

The homeless will also be placed in two boarding houses provided by DBKL or their future employer while waiting for their first day of work to start.

A lot goes into stopping homelessness; and it’s good to mention that, at least, measures are being set up here locally to help the homeless and not stop them such as those seen in the horrid sight that is hostile architecture.

Elderly Man Scavenges Through Trash for a Face Mask

Current standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines means that any individual caught in public areas without a face mask would be fined up to RM1000. 

With this in place, and everyone flocking to prepare a supply of face masks for themselves, a Twitter image was circling around social media lately of an elderly scavenging through a dumpster area in search for a facemask. 

Similar to the time where there was a panic buy for toilet paper, the same thing has since happened with facemasks. Fearing that he won’t have the money to pay the hefty fine, the man has resorted to a doing so as face masks have also become dry in supply these days.

On top of that, the price of face masks being really liquid as of the very writing of this article, it is no wonder that he is being forced to pick up on what others won’t.

In the Twitter image that now has over eight thousand retweets, the elderly man is seen standing in the middle of a garbage dump, which according to the Twitter user, is located in Pasar Besar Ampangan, Seremban.

The tweet has since routed Malaysians on Twitter with many acknowledging the elder man’s desperation for a single face mask.

“Yeah not everyone can afford to buy mask when the money can only be use to barely survive from hunger.” said a user by the handle of @rashidtokwan.