I was born in Pulau Gadong, Melaka in 1981. I am the second child – between my elder sister and younger brother – in my family.

My primary education was completed at SJK (C) Ting Hwa. It was a small Chinese school with some 600 students, located at the entrance to Pulau Gadong. The school was later re-located to a bigger compound after rapid development in Pulau Gadong and surrounding areas. Since my last visit to the school, there are now three blocks of buildings. Most of my cousins studied in this same school, too.

When I was a kid, I liked to cycle around my kampung with my friends and climbed up the jambu trees in front of my uncle’s house after school. We also swam in the river and caught “fighting fish” during the rainy seasons. But now, the river is polluted and trees have been been chopped off to give way to housing projects. I really miss the once green kampung I call home.

I went to secondary school at the Methodist’s Girl’s Secondary School (M.G.S.S). There, I was a librarian, and also took part in the Chinese Language Society and Music Club during my free time. Besides that, I also participated in the school’s comedy sketch and had a thoroughly fun time clowning around.

I then continued my Form 6 studies at SMK Gajah Berang, Malacca before I left for Penang to further do my degree in Mass Communication at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Graduation ed

During my campus life, I was active in campus elections and helped campaigned for one of my housemates in my first year. This is the time I learned about empowerment, student’s autonomy, campus politics, human rights, and democracy. I was active in Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua (PBT) USM as a committee member of the choir group in my second year and was then was then an exco member of the society in my final year.

It was also in my second year of campus life that I decided to have my internship at Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), an NGO which works on human rights advocacy in Malaysia. During my internship, I was exposed to various issues about human rights such as ISA, indigenous people, and so on. I realised that there are many minority groups being marginalised in our society because of the ethnic based policies implemented by the government. I believe we must break the barrier of racial politics in our country for a better Malaysia. People should be treated equally to their needs, but not their ethnicity.

Workers Hat

These ideas contributed to my involvement in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) later as a party which fights for equal rights for all, regardless of race and ethnicity.

In March 2004 when I was then in my final year at USM, a group of friends and I went down to help YB Tian Chua in his general election campaign for the parliamentary seat of Batu. Although we lost, we managed to set up a service centre at Jalan Sentul to continue community organising work in Batu. I was subsequently appointed as person in charge for the service centre. In the following years, I learned about dealing with government agencies and handling community issues. I went around the area with my old motorcycle to help serve the people and to observe development of Batu. Riding the motorcycle also allowed me to go into kampongs to meet with the villagers.

It was also during this period that I came to know and took up the issue of Kampung Sungai Terentang’s still-ongoing struggle against high-tension electrical cables in Rawang.

Campaign with family

At the end of 2007, after many discussions with friends and comrades, I decided to stand as the candidate in coming election at Rawang and resigned as the head of service centre of Batu.

Candle Kuala Garing

In January 2008, we set up office at Rawang and launched a campaign for change in Rawang.  I was elected state assemblyperson for Rawang on the historic day of March the 8th, 2008. This was indeed a meaningful day for all Malaysians as an unprecedented 5 states in Malaysia elected Pakatan Rakyat governments into office and laid the ground for a more democratic Malaysia.

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