tail-end activism: back to history soon

for the record, I would love to be the historian who runs across something like this interview in the archives.

what I learned today: I’m so enormously grateful that my primary source of PhD funding is not from the Malaysian government. I found out today just how skittish (and indeed hostile) many Malaysian students in Cambridge are about participating in, or even associating themselves with, Malaysian politics. Apart from the (numerous) apathetic ones, many are government scholars — that is to say, funded through their degrees with job-bonded scholarships from governmental bodies. If they get involved publicly, they risk losing their degrees and future careers.

of course, I’m still a Malaysian citizen, however circumspect that should make me. But it’s the tragic truth that you do what your money tells you to do (this goes for academic funding, mortgages, big business, political lobbies, jobs, etc.); fewer boundaries can be pushed safely. so I’m grateful for this much, at least.


4 responses to “tail-end activism: back to history soon

  • Anon

    Dear Rachel,

    So, did you really make a difference ?
    You guys are fun only today. However, your effort is highly commendable.

    Yes, money controls a person. If not because of money, you are not in Cambridge now and speak out loud. So, please pardon those who are less fortunate than you.

  • Rachel

    yes, I’m so grateful. and I wish it didn’t have to be that way — that futures and careers hang harshly in the balance with the right to free speech. it’s people for whom this is the case that I want badly to make a difference for — though whether I can is, of course, another question entirely.

  • nat

    anon: be a lover, not a hater.. 🙂 and umm, don’t be anon! 🙂

    r: ‘you do what your money tells you,’ – very good that, and very astute 🙂 i must quote you on it one day.. 🙂

    hope things are well! don’t own too many books! use libraries! 😀

  • Kuning dan Bersih « Light Documents

    […] an opportunity for overseas Malaysians to participate in this process as well (although this is not always unproblematic). In other words, places like Flickr are a chance not just to see democracy, but to do it as well. […]

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