Thursday, November 13, 2008

THIRD ANTI-ISA Seremban Candlelight Vigil

on Friday November 14, 2008, beginning 8.00pm.

I ***bum-ped into a Furongknight this morning at Temiang and he came up to greAt Des, asked about how angelA was after her arrest at PJ Anti-ISA Candlelight Vigil last week. I smiled and replied that all is well that ends well.

He then asked now that RPK aka Pete has been released from ISA detention, would the Candlelight Vigils in Seremban gon on ... I said with a caital Y and a s-mile seen by my Blogger matey Bernard Khoo aka zorro 40miles away -- YES!:)

Third Consecutive Friday, ie TOMORROW -- Please come. Alone. With family. With friends. To show that wit' PEOPLE'S POWER, VVVVVVVe can do anything!

BECAUSE VVVVVVVe, the people, believe
In the power of united vision and concerted efforts
BECAUSE VVVVVVVe, the people, hope
The spirit moves, hills, valleys and mountains.
BECAUSE VVVVVVVe, the people, care
And will continue to care, and dare



Written by YL Chong
in cahoots with angelA and zorro

Following two successful *Anti-ISA Candlelight Vigils last Friday and the Friday preceding in Seremban, the same group of concerned citizens in the capital city of Negri Sembilan are organising the Third Vigil aimed at gathering a larger crowd than the first Vigil's 150 and the second's 200+.


In Solidarity with All ISA Detainees, numbering 60-plus


Date/Time: Friday, November 14, 2008 at 8.00PM – 10.00PM

Contact: ANGELA OOI 019-3628367
YL Chong 012-9702285 (Ref:


EXCERPT from "Midnight Voices and Other Poems" (see July 7, 2007 Post at by Desiderata-YL Chong + Companion Essay POETRY as a Special Medium of Communication; published April 2007; pages 89 and 90:

In April/ May 2003 at the height of the US-led war on Iraq, my thoughts went back to the ‘60s, when the Vietnam War took a heavy toll on both Americans and Vietnamese, and the rumination inspired the following poem:

Warfront Faraway

The United States and allies have been
Raining missiles on Iraq for eight days now
Targetting a tyrant called Saddam Hussein

Soldiers, civilians have fallen dead
Iraqi more than American or British
But the blood that oozed was commonly red

Peoples across the nations protest
They clamour for a ceasefire
They do not understand, they ask:
"Mr President Bush, Why war?"

I too do not understand
Why they see the warfront far away
At home the destitute, the downtrodden,
Women and children are crying, dying
The citizens face daily war
Against hunger, discrimination, injustice

Who'd pause for these unprotesting victims?
Born of leaders who only see
The War on the far horizon

42. Charity Begins at Home

When the Vietnamese refugees came by the boatloads off Malaysian shores to escape the war in their homeland; some reports, later denied, stated that the authorities even wanted them to be “shot”, later weakly amended to wanting the refugees to “be shoo-ed away”! It’s hypocrisy of the highest order that humans often ignored that sufferings of fellow humans in the neighborhood, but wanted to practise “charity” on war victims like widows and orphans on the warfront faraway. Yes, there was an instance when a homeless local woman had to depend of using a shop’s facilities to have her daily baths, and shared in the food thrown her way by the shop’s patrons, but when the Welfare Department knew of her case, the “generous” charity handed out was an allowance of RM100 a month! But they throw away millions for a fund just for one war victim from far, far away because the latter case enjoyed much fanfare and received VIP treatment.

May these participants be reminded that “Charity begins at home” – and these are some of the sentiments that inspired my writing this “war” poem in the midst of US-led war against Iraq earlier this year. Quite often it is the 15 minutes of media fame that provided the motivation for donors of charity. It’s all so easy to criticise other parties engaged in a war, about the death and carnage wrought on civilians and women and children, but they forget on the homefront, it’s daily warfare too -- on the streets littered with runaway children, or homeless old folks who can’t afford two square meals a day. Armchair critics need reminding that “war” is not just about soldiers engaged in combat in Afghanistan or the West Bank in Palestine, it’s just as real in the neighbourhood for homeless children and youths.

It is appropriate to end this section on war with the soulful lyrics in one stanza from “Where have all the flowers gone?” popularised in the ‘60s by The Brothers Four, so relevant to not just Americans but all thinking citizens worldwide, because in one way or another, the Vietnam war impacted on peoples throughout planet earth:

Where have all the soldiers gone? long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone? long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards ev’ry one
When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

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