Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Letter to Jeremy Corbyn on women-only carriages

On women-only carriages


Dear Mr. Corbyn,

As one of your suporters and as a woman, please let me give you my feedback on your idea above. In a short sentence, my feedback about women-only carriages is, "Forget it!"

The idea to make public transport safer for women is noble and I appreciate it. The same strategy is being used in Indonesia - the country where I grew up - and it works well today. It would not work here. (http://gu.com/p/4bzfb?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other)

Why? Because in Indonesia, it is still common and considered alright for a pervert to grab a woman's breast or buttocks in public. Believe me I grew up there, and the first lesson my father gave me in my puberty year was how to defend myself against perverts, how to use my knee as a weapon etc - I spare you the rest of the details.

The UK today is much better than that. Yes there are still sexual harassments and abuse, but not as blatant. Women here are also more aware of their rights. We do not need protection in the form of separate carriages like in Indonesia. Within 10 years of living in the UK, I never needed to use my knee as a weapon of self defense or walk with my hands folded to prevent any pervert to grab my breast. 

I believe that women in the UK today are powerful enough to prevent and to report harassments if it happened. I deeply moved by your brotherly gesture to protect us women, but I think we are good in this area. 

Maybe what we need is a more aware and sensitive or empathic police force, so that victims - regarsless of their genders - feel safe to report crimes and later to testify. We learn from historic sexual abuse cases how the law enforcement dismissed victims' evidence and how some women suffered! We need to make sure that our law enforcement understand how it feels to be a target or to be victimised. 

Empathy should be taught and discussed in training courses for public servants. The stiff upper lip bureaucrats need to learn how to make a crying woman feel accepted. Feeling is not a sin! Now this, would be a positive change that we women need from you. 

That is my feedback for you. I hope you will become the leader of Labour and in 2020, Prime Minister. My motherly instinct says that you do care. Thank you


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Here is the email reply that I received not long after my letter:

Hi Adeline, 

Thank you for your email regarding women only carriages.

 

Jeremy was approached by members of the public, campaigns and organisations with the idea and has decided to open it up for wider discussion. Women only carriages is not a policy proposal, as the media are reporting today, but simply something Jeremy is willing to explore due to demand. 


I recommend having a look at the policies on ending street harassment that Jeremy is outlining here: http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/end_street_harassment. Policies include but are not limited to a 24/7 police hotline for sexual harassment and assault, more rigorous legislation for licence holders when harassment occurs on their premises and comprehensive advertising campaigns. 

 

Thank you for your input, it is exactly what Jeremy was hoping to receive and I will now feed it into our policy making process. 

 

Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch. 


Kind regards,

Team Jeremy


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Are immigrants in Calais not human???!

On Wednesday (29/7/15) during his tour of South East Asia David Cameron said he sympathised with holidaymakers stuck in Calais due to the disturbances (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33699141).

"A swarm" that was what the PM of a free world called human beings running away from persecution (http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/7901450). Disturbances. Immigrants problem. Did he mean some desperate asylum seekers trying to get into any vehicle - even endangering their own lives - that caused a huge traffic jam for tourist going from Britain to France and vice versa? 

So there are two groups of humans here: holidaymakers, and immigrants/asylum seekers. One group are going on holiday, to have fun and spend some money. The other group are desperate to find a place to live. To live, to avoid death, to flee being killed.

And David Cameron the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, said that he has every sympathy with the holidaymakers.

I thought my old ears were hearing things instead of the news on the radio. But I was not hearing things. I heard what the PM said: sympathised with the holidaymakers.

The rage in my head! I wish to scream at him: 
What about the immigrants who have been travelling through hostile countries, storm in the sea, being abused and raped on their journey to runaway from war? Are they not deserving sympathy? Are they less human than holidaymakers? Why? Are they less human because they were not born in Europe? Have we forgotten the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? 

I despair. We are living in a twisted world where news about a lion receives more reaction than dying humans (http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/7894342)



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Luwak Coffee? It's not worth buying the faeces of tortured animals

We human like to venture out and try on new things. Once the novelty is popularised on the mass media and sold as 'exotic' in big department store in a capital city of a developed country, the thing became a hit. Celebrities tried and endorse it, and everyone in the developing countries want to produce it.

Even though the thung is shit. Literally, faeces of a shy nocturnal animal from South East Asia, has become a big hit in London. 'Kopi Luwak' or Luwak coffee came from the faeces of civets (in Indonesian: Luwak, or its Latin name: Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).

In its natural habitats, the rain forests of Indonesia, they eat and cofee beans - either wild coffee plants or steal some from plantations. Human collected their droppings, and found that the coffee is nicer after being digested by the civets. So the original coffee luwak was discovered. Today, the coffee luwak sold in London's famous Harods department store with  ridiculously expensive price, does not come from civets living happilly in their natural habitat. Today there are luwak farms all over Indonesia, both producing luwak coffee and marketed as tourist destinations. 
(Photo from www.kuncitips.com)

Now here's the news: the civets living in cages are not happy at all. While their natural diet consist of but not exclusively coffee beans, in their cages in luwak farms they are forced to eat coffee and coffee only! Here is an article in Indonesian exposing their living condition in farms (http://www.kuncitips.com/2015/05/kisah-tragis-di-balik-nikmatnya-kopi.html?m=1). Not a pleasant live at all. Even the person who introduced Luwak coffee to the UK is now campaigning against farmed Luwak coffee.... http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/sep/13/civet-coffee-cut-the-crap

Personally, I never wanted to try luwak coffee because it's an overpriced shit (literally coming from back end of the creature, right?). If anyone else wanted to spend lots of money on that, I did not care. But now that we know that the industry is hurting innocent civets.... Come on, wake up and let's campaign against this cruelty. My argument is: it's not worth buying the faeces of tortured animals.

We consumers have the power to boicott and spread the words to boicott this ill treatment of fellow Earth dwellings. So please save your money and save these lovely shy creature by not buying the shit luwak coffee... Want is different than need. We do not need to have faeces coffee. There are many other delcious coffees produced and sold in fair trade system, choose them instead.

PETA has a good article on this. Disturbing report by their investigator http://www.peta.org.uk/blog/civet-coffee-a-sip-of-cruelty/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Law of The Sea According to Acehnese Fishermen

Acehnese fishermen's 'Law of the Sea' (Hukom Adat Laot) stated that seaman who sees any boat in distress should offer help. As a loval fisherman explained to Al Jazeera news, "At sea you are all brothers and sisters, foreigners or Indonesians. So if someone is asking for help, we as fishermen have an obligation to help without looking at race, religion or anything."

I sense a similarity in principle with the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The strange thing is that these fishermen had never studied UN Conventions and might have never heard of the Declaration og Human Rights. On the other hand, countries who had ratified the UN Convention for Refugee and claimed to adhere to Human Rights principles are turning these human down! 

The worrying thing is that the so called law enforcements are questioning fishermen who helped the immigrants. Indonesian Armed Forces reminded Acehnese fishermen that that taking in illegal immigrant is against the law. 

I hope that the brave Acehnese fisherman will stand up for human rights and will not let authority in uniform stop them helping fellow human. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Petitioning President Jokowi to Accept Rohingya Refugee


Dear Mr President, 

please open your heart to our fellow human who are suffering. 

Remember your speech on the opening of Asian African Conference last month? You said Indonesia is ready to take the lead in social justice. You said we cannot continue to rely on the so called developed/first world/North (rich) countries... 

Well this is the time to put your words into action. Please open our shore for the suffering asylum seekers. 

Acehnese fishermen who were poor and once displaced themselves had started to show compassion, why can't we as a nation do the right thing too? Our land is enough for sharing, our people though poor would still feed the hungry. In sharing we will become richer, our resources is enough to be shared, as long as we are not too greedy. 

Please open your heart and open our border, Mr Jokowi...