Malaysiakini, Malaysiavotes, Malaysian Insider … ? The SUN, criticised for being a BN machinery beat them all to it: an Interview with Elizabeth Wong, our favourite MP wannabe. The 3Ms above all say or imply they want to give those sidelined by the mainstream media some coverage in this 12th GE, but their performance are indeed lacking as they all fall back snugly into the usual, safe, existing power structure …
It’s important to interview Eli Wong, as she is popularly known, because she is a WOMAN, she is an established human rights activist – known for speaking up about abuses – locally as well as internationally. She’s also an experience campaigner as the SUN puts it. She is what most young people – women or men – aspire to be, for they want to see a better world, and how to contribute to it.
And I don’t mean this for Eli only, but for other like-minded candidates.
But what do we see in the media – alternative or otherwise? Same old stories, same old faces. Can you blame people for thinking that Malaysians are ‘idea-less’ people? But I guess, those same old stories and same old faces bring in the hits as well as USDs (or RM). I indeed, for most, that is what makes the world go round…
For Eli’s interview
Bukit Lanjan debutante a seasoned campaigner
PETALING JAYA (March 2, 2008): Human rights and social activist Elizabeth Wong Keat Ping had been a campaigner for opposition parties in the past three general elections and five by-elections.
This time around, she is making her electoral debut as a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for the Bukit Lanjan state seat.
“It took me 24 hours to accept the fact that I am now a candidate,” she said in jest in an interview with theSun in Kampung Kayu Ara yesterday.
“As a candidate, people want to know about you. Suddenly my life is very public. The whole country will know how old I am now,” quipped Wong, who will turn 38 a day after the polling day on March 8.
The former secretary-general of the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) and a member of Suaram, she said being an election candidate is just a step for her to help the people after being in NGOs in the past 15 years.
“I want to be part of the broader movement and social activism as the real change comes from power,” said Wong, who is also Wanita PKR information chief.
She said the state issues in Selangor are the unexplored goldmine for social activists to get involved.
“For example, a developer tried to cheat the poor by refusing to pay them late delivery compensation,” she said, referring to the Seri Ara apartment residents whom she has just met.
Wong said the state assembly has a lot of power over the people’s life but unfortunately there was not enough opposition voice.
“We have to compel the state government and private sector to react fairly to the people. But we can only do it with the people’s support,” she said.
On her opponent incumbent Datin Paduka Yong Dai Ying (BN-Gerakan), Wong said Selangor needs a stronger opposition voice to raise unjust and unfair issues. “The difference between us is that she is a member of the ruling coalition. So it’s difficult for her to go the extra mile to really fight for the people.”
“There is not much green-lung left in the area and over development had caused many other problems like traffic congestion,” she said.
On her campaign strategy, Wong said she has set up her campaign website (http://www.elizabethwong.org) to woo voters.
Wong’s views on:
> The Internal Security Act (ISA) and Rights to freedom of information and press freedom.
My track record shows that I am against the ISA and for the press freedom and rights to freedom of information. The Printing Presses and Publications Act must be abolished to allow the bread and butter as well as crime issues to be highlighted by the media.
> Religious freedom
I am for the freedom to practise one’s religion. This is where the state and local government come in. Religion is under the state’s jurisdiction so those who are unhappy with religious issues should bring it up in the state assembly.
I am for the freedom of assembly. It is a form for the people to voice up their grievances such as Hindraf who feel they were discriminated. Unfortunately, the demonstration or protest has been painted very badly by the government.
> Crime rate
Bukit Lanjan is an area with most gated communities as crime is a serious problem here. More policemen should be deployed to be on the street instead of doing administrative work.
N.37 Bukit Lanjan
March 8 polls:
Datin Paduka Yong Dai Ying (BN-Gerakan) vs Elizabeth Wong Keat Ping (PKR)
Interview can also be found here: