Live Your Passion: The Annexe Arts Career Fair 2009

OMG. I’ve been waiting MY WHOLE LIFE for such a festival or fair – and then the one time I decide to move overseas (possibly for good) it HAPPENS. Boo for me, but YAY for the rest of you, because it means that the Malaysian public’s starting to take alternative careers seriously and that there are people willing to provide resources.

The Live Your Passion fair is for people who are curious about the performing arts – dance, theatre, music, and visual art (even though that’s not exactly performancey) – and want to know more about it from a career and creative perspective. Leave behind the Hollywood stereotypes – here, you hear from the real deal.

Among the speakers are Sean Ghazi (singer, actor, Fame Awards winner), Jit Murad (actor and playwright of contemporary Malaysian English theatre), Yasmin Ahmad (she of the Orked trilogy and all the Petronas ads), and a whole host of creative people. There will also be people from public and private universities, such as Universiti Malaysia (UM) and Sunway College, presenting their arts courses on offer.

Live Your Passion will be held at The Annexe Gallery at Jalan Hang Kasturi, KL from 28th February to 1st March, 11am – 6pm. For more information, follow this Facebook event. And then tell me about it!

Racist brainwashing by Biro Tatanegara – GRR

Biro Tatanegara (rough translation: Civics Bureau) is a Government-run agency that organises mandatory “citizenship” workshops for students that have received Government scholarships for tertiary education. Under the guise of “education” and “building a multicultural Malaysian culture”, these workshops are hubs of anti-Chinese/Indian/etc racism and anti-Semitism, shaming non-Malays while claiming Malaysia to be a Malay-only nation.

Education in Malaysia has been compiling stories from students and observers of these workshops. Here’s an excerpt of their experiences:

Jew-blaming:

…Malaysiakini reported that first-year students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) were told at a seminar organised by BTN that foreign elements which want to see chaos in Malaysia were funding certain student groups. The speakers drew a link between these local student groups, ASA and the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-profit organisation which they said was sponsored by American and Jewish elements.

Indians, blogs, and Christians are evil:

He even said, “Kalau ular dengan India depan mata, ketuk India dulu.” (If a snake and an Indian are in front of you, hit the Indian first.) … He said so many atrocious things that I will list them down in point form.

-Explained how the Malays aren’t racist but others are racist towards us.
-Bangsa Malaysia (The Malaysian race) does not exist, neither does Malaysian Chinese and Indians, only in the strict Malay, Chinese and Indians. (Interestingly, behind a booklet provided to us, one of the objectives of the programme is to produce a -“Bangsa Malaysia”. Obviously, he was ignorant).
-Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian language) does not exist, it is Bahasa Melayu (Malay language).
-Nothing wrong with waving the Keris (A traditional ceremonial Malay dagger which some politicians have waved in anti-non-Malay sentiment).
-Bumiputra (Malays and indigenous people) hanya 55% di Malaysia, give birth more people!
-The University and Colleges Act was partly made to ensure a Malay Vice-Chancellor in Universities which should be the way.
-Blogs are “berdosa” or sinful.
-Christians will not like Muslims.

Even the Malays reacted badly:

The instructors blatantly told them that they should not question the rights and privileges of the Malays as the non-Malays should be thankful that they were given citizenship status and a place to stay on their soil. My daughter together with the other non-Malay students was shocked and went back to their dormitories depressed. And to the Malay students, the instructors told them to be aware of this fact and not to mix too freely with the non-Malays.

A Malay friend of my daughter came back crying to the dormitory saying that she could not take the racist position taken by the government authority. My daughter then began questioning the bumiputra policy and was disgusted with such blatant indoctrination. This incident has also made the students harbour anger and resentment. Their fear for the authorities and losing their scholarships made them keep their cool.

When Education in Malaysia blogger and MP Tony Pua queried Biro Tatanegara about these allegations, this was their reply, as roughly translated into English by me (it’s originally in Malay):

Biro Tatanegara is an agency that runs courses based on citizenship and patriotic spirit within the whole of Malaysian society. Participants of these courses come from various cultures and age groups.

BTN also uses information or statistics that are obtained from other government agencies such as the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the Statistics Department, the Implementation and Adjustment(?) Unit (ICU), the Ministry of Finance, and other Ministries in presenting facts to the participants, and it is departmental policy to not allow BTN speakers to touch on anything that can disturb the feelings of any race, and if this has happened the Department will drop them from being a BTN speaker.

In relation to your query, BTN realises that it’s on the blogs on the Internet, and based on our investigations, [your] claims (the bit about the snake and the Indian) are false. It is possible that some speakers had explained a few Indian proverbs relating to Indian societal matters that were misunderstood by the listener. Investigations have been undertaken and we have found no recordings that could be used as proof to verify the allegation.

As for your second query, BTN has never received any complaints about the matters that you have mentioned, and as far as we know there has not been any airing of videos like the ones you described (anti-Semitic clips) in our courses as organised by the Department.

According to past scholars that have attended such workshops, all recording devices (including mobile phones) are confiscated upon entry and all materials are carefully counted upon return. Many have said that they are too fearful to speak out as they are threatened with the loss of their scholarship – which, considering that many recipients are from low-income backgrounds and there aren’t many other funding options available, would be a major blow.

This sickens me to the core. I’ve heard plenty of racism in school but was lucky enough to not get a Government scholarship and therefore be indoctrinated into BTN’s faulty logic. Some of those that have been to these workshops have sadly reported on their peers passing on racist messages through social networking sites and being completely influenced by these workshops. If anyone’s threatening national security, it would be these goons!

I would like to see a private scholarship fund started for these students, so that they still have funding options for higher study without being gagged and afraid to speak up. There should be a way to get recordings of these workshops, even if it means James Bond-style spy gear. This menace – which is 100% funded by taxpayer money! – needs to disappear.

(Side note to Mum: I’m sorry for scaring you again. [I participated in a rally against the Clean Feed filter in Brisbane and spoke up about censorship in Malaysia – she saw my words and video and got scared.] I take full responsibility for anything that comes out of this. But unless things are done quickly, more and more young people will be brainwashed and we’ll just have an intolerant nation.)

National Youth Entrepreneur Convention #2 – Tickets Available Now

The 2nd edition of YouthMalaysia’s National Youth Entrepreneur Convention, held in conjunction with YOUTH’09, is taking place at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur on the 10th of January 2009.

2nd National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2009

Among this year’s speakers are:

There’s also an opportunity to present your business plan at the convention – sign up and you’ll be in the running for a slot. Registrations are RM80 for individual earlybirds (before 10th Dec) and groups of min 3 people, and RM120 for individuals after 10th Dec.

I won’t be around this time; however, the folks at the NYEC have appointed me as a supporter of the event. As a supporter, I’ve been given a co-branded link that pays EducateDeviate RM10 for each registrant that registers through my link. This would really help cover costs for EducateDeviate’s eventual move (to its own server space & domain), as well as software and design – which costs more than I anticipated! Just so you know.

Register & Support EducateDeviate!

Speaking of design costs: NYEC has asked for a logo to be put on their marketing material. I don’t actually have one. I’m looking around, but does anyone have any logo skills that they’ll like to contribute? Greatly appreciated!

Anyone who goes, please let me know how it went – you can write a guest post here if you wish 🙂

The March Forward: Workshop for final-year tertiary students

The Star’s college youth pull-out R.AGE is organising The March Forward, a workshop-packed day aimed at helping final year students transition into the working world.

The workshops will feature talks by various industry experts on what employers seek in the workforce, developing your resume, branding yourself, and managing interviews. There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to ask questions about careers and job-seeking.

The workshops will be held at Menara Star, 15 Jalan 16/11, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia on the 23rd of November 2008 from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Registration is RM20 and is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Goodies from Clinique and Parkson are provided.

Download their registration form and contact Nelsen at 03-7967 1388 ext. 1456 or Leong at 03-7967 1388 ext. 1432 for more information.

Opportunities: YouthSays Seeks Uncommon Youth, Nescafe KickStart Wants Entrepreneurs, BarCamp Sets Up at JB

1. YouthSays are hunting for more people to join them for future projects, including the YOUTH’09 Festival. They’re looking for a Stats Beast, an Online Community Leader, and a Blogger + Art Director. Get in touch with Joel or Khailee for more information.

2. Nescafe KickStart is up for another season, and this time they’re focused specially on entrepreneurs. Take their entrepreneur evaluation and you’ll be contacted if they find you suitable for the program.

3. Malaysian entrepreneurship advocate Daniel CerVentus Lim of Ideapreneur.net is bringing international unconference camp format BarCamp to Johor Bahru on the 6th and 7th of December 2008. The main idea of unconferences is that participants build the program collaboratively, either online or on the day, rather than the program being set by a committee in advance. For more information and for registration, visit the BarCampJB wiki.

Now Hiring: Press & Partnerships Officer, YOUTH ’09

If you are good with people and connections, and would like to get involved in something for three months, take this opportunity to apply for the role of Press & Partnerships Officer for YOUTH ’09, the second in a series of annual youth festivals organised by YouthMalaysia.

According to Khailee, who is a main player in YouthMalaysia (and various other projects) alongside founder Joel Neoh, this role involves liasing with media partners to handle pre- and post-event publicity and coverage, as well as liasing with program partners that are presenting events at YOUTH ’09. To qualify:

  • You have excellent spoken and written skills in English.
  • You possess outgoing, social, positive, youthful energy.
  • You possess your own transportation
  • You must be available full-time from 15th October till 31st January
  • You are willing to learn, do whatever it takes to MASTER this role
  • Must be not older than 30 years old (this is a youth-for-youths event after all)

Experience in media and public relations is a bonus, but not necessary.

If you’re interested, send your CV to Khailee at khailee@youthmalaysia.com by the 18th of October 2008.

    Brightest Young Minds – Malaysia?

    I just came back from 5 days of the Brightest Young Minds summit in Sydney. The general idea of the summit is to get motivated and passionate young people together to learn about creating initiatives, while also developing actual workable projects to be pitched to potential sponsors.

    Brightest Young Minds

    It started in South Africa and it’s now that country’s most prestigious and well-known youth-based development initiative. It recently arrived in Australia and within the two years has created a lot of good.

    I love the idea and I think it should be more widely available. I was wondering if people were interested in doing a BYM in Malaysia.

    While there are people trying to encourage young people to form initiatives, such as BarCamp and Young Entrepreneur summits, there isn’t really any clear support and education system that’s comprehensive. Also, information on actually STARTING and getting legal/financial support for your project is pretty low. There are plenty of youngsters with ideas…just no idea how to get them off the ground.

    Having 100 other energetic young people, plus the support and knowledge of people in their field (we had Hugh Evans, who is pretty much THE MAN when it comes to youth development in Australia) would go very far in getting these ideas into reality. There would also be actual opportunities for delegates to create and develop those ideas before they leave – thereby avoiding the common youth conference problem where people are so motivated to crate change during the conference, but afterwards their energy drops and nothing gets done.

    To get BYM in Malaysia we need to know the following:

    • Legal aspects of using the BYM name and concept – is there some sort of “franchise kit”?
    • Finding and recruiting young people to be part of BYM(M) 1
    • Partnerships and sponsorships with companies and organizations
    • Convincing people that BYM as a structure can work in Malaysia
    • Getting BYM(M) off the ground and sustainable
    • Creating a team of people interested in getting involved with BYM(M) behind the scenes
    • Connecting BYM(M) to BYMs in SA and Australia
    • Timelines – when do we start work, and when do we have our first BYM(M)?

    If you’re interested, or know other people who are, leave me a comment or message.

    Indie Youth Fest – Celebrating youth creativity

    There’s a vibrant indie creative scene amongst Malaysian youths; however, it doesn’t often get much respect due to the conservative media and politicians’ insistence of painting indie youth culture as frivolous, dangerous, or rebellious.

    The Indie Youth Fest, sparked by Doppelganger Open Mic, is an opportunity for young Malaysians involved or interested in indie culture to showcase themselves and check out other budding talent. Held between 4-6th July 2008 at One Utama, the Indie Youth Fest includes:

    and much more to be announced.

    This is a refreshing change for a Malaysian youth festival. Most other “youth festivals” so far have been corporate-organized, which often means they’re usually there as subtle advertising for the company instead of actualy supporting youth initiatives (see my experience with Levi’s 501 Day). The Indie Youth Fest, on the other hand, is youth-run and youth-managed, which means that the core crew are more attuned to the needs and capabilities of young people. Instead of exploiting their talents, they are appreciating and showcasing them in a manner that respects everyone.

    I can’t make it to the Indie Youth Fest as I’m flying out to Australia on 4th evening, but good luck and have fun! Hopefully this will be the start to even more youth-organized events.

    USA For Students Education Fair

    From Education in Malaysia, because Tony’s summarized it so well:

    USA For Students , a US Education Fair would be held this Saturday, 14th June 10am to 4pm at Wisma MCA.

    This event is co-organized by US Embassy, MACEE, American Universities Alumni Malaysia and Discover US Education – KL.

    This is the 3rd year such a US Education fair is held in Malaysia, and this year, there will be 51 top US Universities, including Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford etc. A series of seminars would be held too, covering topics from US Education System, Visa, Applications for undergrad and postgrad, interviews, job prospect after graduation etc.

    Do check it out at USA For Students !

    Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2008

    Thanks Yong Wei Chong for this update:

    Organized by the United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC), the summit will be a platform for intellectual and scholastic discourse between prominent local leaders and Malaysian student leaders from around the world.

    This year’s prospective speakers include Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah, Y.B. Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, YB Senator Zaid Ibrahim, Dr Farish Ahmad-Noor, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Ambiga Sreenevasan, Prof. Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi, Dato’ Nazir Razak, Karim Raslan, Zainah Anwar etc, while issues discussed will include transparency and accountability in governance, the restoration of faith in the judicial system, race relations, the National Education Blueprint, religious diversity etc.

    The Summit will be held at Nikko Hotel on the 2nd and 3rd of August 2008.

    Admission is free.
    Places are limited to the first 500 participants who register at www.msls08.com.
    For pictures of last year’s inaugural Malaysian Student Leaders Summit, please visit www.ukeconline.com.

    The Blue Chillies are Back!

    For the third year running, KLue Magazine is taking in nominations for their Blue Chilli Awards:

    KLue Blue Chilli Awards 2008

    KLue brings you again our third annual Blue Chilli awards, where we aim to uncover the next wave of young talented individuals who have made strong contributions in their respective industries. Think you know anyone who fits the bill? KLue Blue Chilli 2008 brings you the chance to highlight your own list of nominees; it doesn’t matter if it’s an ingenious filmmaker, an innovative designer or a social activist. We want to find the next Jimmy Choo or even the next Michelle Yeoh!

    Nominees have to have resided in Malaysia for at least a year, and be between 18 and 28 years old. Past nominees and winners have included Khai Lee and Suzanne Lee (whom we’ve profiled before).

    Nominations are open from 4th to 30th April 2008. So nominate now!

    Nominees for Young Entrepreneur eBook are up!

    Daniel and I have shortlisted the nominees of our Young Entrepreneur eBook project and they are now up for voting.

    Click on this link to vote for your favourite young entrepreneur here now!

    Edgeware’s Do Well Conference – 80% Discount – Two Spots Left!

    If you’re a social entrepreneur, activist, thinker, idealist, young achiever, or anyone else in between, come by to Brisbane this weekend for Edgeware’s Do Well conference!

    In Do Well, you will be able to:

    • Hear from other entrepreneurs on how they make their ventures work
    • Share your stories and ideas on your projects
    • Work together on practical hands-on workshops to boost creativity and energy
    • Share your expertise with eager learners
    • Network with people from varying industries
    • And much more!

    Do Well will take place from Friday 22nd February to Sunday 24th February, at the Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre in New Farm.

    Tickets usually go for $500, but as part of a special “Little Legends” offer (especially made for me!) you can gain entry for just $100 – an 80% discount! I have TWO spots left for this discount, so quickly drop me an email at tiara.shafiq@gmail.com for further instructions.

    I’ll also be presenting on Saturday afternoon, so it’ll be great to see some of you there.

    Thanks and be quick!

    World Youth Congress 2008 – Need Help

    I’ve been accepted as one of 600 delegates (out of 5000 applications) for the World Youth Congress 2008 in Quebec, Canada. Here’s my invitation letter (I edited out my address and passport number for privacy). I was selected in the Young Journalist category based on

    To go to this congress, I need to get a plane ticket to Quebec, as well as CDN$300, which covers accommodation, living costs, the conference itself, etc. It’s actually a pretty good deal as far as conferences go – the UN Youth Assembly I went to last August cost me over $2000 just for the conference package (the airfare was about the same) and it wasn’t quite worth the money. I’ve also been in touch with some of the other delegates, and they’re pretty excited about going too. It would be a marvellous opportunity if I could go.

    However, I am pretty busy trying to fundraise for the KaosPilots, and I don’t really want to spend more energy and time trying to add this into the mix. The KaosPilots are already a big load on my resources. My needs for the World Youth Congress are relatively smaller – a visa, CDN$300, a plane ticket. But they still cost more money than I have.

    Can you help?

    I’m not willing to collect donations this time – last time I tried this, I failed spectacularly. I did send what I collected to UNICEF Malaysia via Western Union, but I have no idea if they got it or not. However, if you can sponsor me a plane ticket to Quebec – whether through frequent flyer miles, actual purchase of the ticket, or some other means – I would be more than grateful. It’d also be great if you knew anyone working in the airline industry (or if you work in an airline!) that could help me.

    Thanks!

    BRATs Recruiting Again, ESUM Public Speaking Competition, Essay Competition 2008

    Quick updates (using Deepest Sender):

    1) The Star’s BRATs are recruiting again for 2008! I get a lot of comments from would-be BRATs asking about the next recruitment, so here’s your chance. Workshops will be held on:

    • Taiping, March 9 – 12
    • Penang, May 24 – 27
    • Kuala Selangor, August 16 – 19

    If you are aged between 16 to 19 and you’re interested in journalism, the BRATs would be a great foot in the door for your media aspirations. To participate, just write a 1000-word essay about yourself, your family, your inspirations, and your preferences, and send it to:

    BRATs Star Youth
    Menara Star
    15, Jalan 16/11,
    46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor OR
    email to brats@thestar.com.my
    .

    Include a bio with contact details, family details, and academic background. Doesn’t have to be crazy complex though. Don’t forget to indicate which workshop you’re interested in. (And don’t worry if you don’t get your first choice – I didn’t get my first choice of workshop but got drafted into the next workshop in Lumut). The participation fee is RM120, but you only have to pay that if you are accepted.

    Be quick – applications close February 2 2008!

    2) If you’re more interested in speaking than writing, the English Speaking Union of Malaysia (ESUM)’s Public Speaking Competition is right up your alley. Two finalists of this competition will be sent to London in May to represent Malaysia in the International Public Speaking Competition.

    Preliminaries and semi-finals will be held on the 8th of March. The preliminaries consist of a 5-minute delivered speech on “New Frontiers, New Horizons” as well as a 3-minute impromptu speech. Those in the semi-finals would then have to talk about how they could change the world.

    Applications are open to those aged 16-20 and forms can be found in the Sunday Star Education pullouts (which are another good resource for this sort of thing).

    3) If you wish to change the world through essays, check out The World Bank’s International Essay Competition 2008. This year, they would like to know your practical ideas for shaping the
     City of your Dreams. This competition is open to anyone 18-25, and the prizes include up to USD1000 cash, as well as an all-expenses paid trip to the ABCDE conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

    Send your essays online in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese. The closing date is March 23, 2008.