Video, from JerryWho. Thank you.
Gone but not forgotten. Like a star. To me, she is still very very much alive.
I met Toni Kasim in the late 1990s. Even before I joined Malaysiakini. She stayed in my home in Penang where she visited with a few friends. I remember going round the Island with her and those crazy women. We did have a lot of fun.
Since then our paths crossed many a time. My last contact with her was in 2006, where she was a trainer for one of FORUM-ASIA’s human rights training. I had to ‘steal” some food and keep it for her so she could eat after her training, as she was already running late for another meeting! That was how busy she was.
She will always be remembered as a feminist, a good trainer, and a bubbly person. She is fiercely smart.
I remember attending a talk on rape organised by the Women’s Crisis Centre in Penang in mid-90s. The speaker, Bhupinder Singh, Penangites will know him well, told women to stay at home if they didn’t want to get rape. Toni was in the audience. She stood up and shot at him:
“If men can’t take care of their private parts, nobody else can!” she stormed. She was really incensed. So were we. But we were glad she told him what we all thought of him. Toni was like that.
I knew all about her sickness a few months ago. Things took turns for the worst as the March 8 general elections were approaching. I had wanted to see her contest, but it was not to be so.
I was kept informed about her well-being by her good friends, who happen to be my friends, too. The thing about Toni, is that she had really great friends. They worried about her, took turns to take care of her, and tried their best to make her happy.
Which could mean only one thing: that Toni really lived her life well, and perhaps, she had made her friends very happy, too.
So you see, it’s really hard for me to think of her as gone. I did have nice memories of her. She was and remains an inspiration to many, many women.
She has found her home now. She is blessed. May her soul rest in peace.
And for all those who loved her, especially her friends, live and love life as if there is no tomorrow.