October 11, 2010

I Have Moved!

Posted in Malaysia, Personal, Reflections, The Cause at 6:24 pm by egalitaria

Thanks to everyone who for one reason or other has chanced upon my blog.

I have now moved!

Please visit www.triciayeoh.com to continue following my thoughts, writings, and observations as I ruminate about Malaysia and its future.

June 25, 2010

Found in Malaysia

Posted in Malaysia, Personal, Reflections at 12:35 am by egalitaria

The Nut Graph was kind enough to interview me for their section on “Found in Malaysia“, where they interview public personalities about their paths and histories. (I thought, hmm, am I one?) Anyways, here is the interview. Enjoy!

Precisely Malaysian

Posted on 24 June 2010 By Ding Jo-Ann.

(All pics courtesy of Tricia Yeoh)(All pics courtesy of Tricia Yeoh)

is not one to shy away from a challenge. Despite being warned that joining the state government would not be smooth sailing, the 28-year-old took on the job of research officer to Selangor’s Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in January 2009.

Yeoh has been at the forefront of public policy discourse since completing her Masters and joining Asli’s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) in 2006 as a research analyst. She has become a familiar face at public forums, often speaking about the need for national unity, good governance and better implementation of democratic principles. Yeoh was appointed CPPS director in 2008, filling the shoes of former director Dr Lim Teck Ghee, who resigned in 2006 in protest over a corporate equity ownership report. She remains on CPPS’s advisory panel.

Yeoh says despite the challenges in her current job, she has learnt a lot about how government works from the inside. “Having written and analysed policy issues from the outside for a while, taking up the job with the Selangor government allowed me an opportunity to put those ideas into action. It gives me a chance to be part of demonstrating an alternative to running the country, that good governance is possible,” Yeoh says in an 8 June 2010 interview at her office in Shah Alam.

TNG: Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Tricia Yeoh: I was born in Singapore in 1982. I grew up in different parts of Petaling Jaya – SS2, Taman Megah. I still live in Petaling Jaya now, so I guess I’m very much a Selangor citizen. I went to primary school in Sekolah Rendah Taman Megah and then to Sri Aman Girls’ School in secondary school.

With her parentsWith her parents

What are some of your strongest memories of the place where you grew up?

I remember the neighbourhood playground in Taman Megah well. It’s where all of us who lived nearby would come together, even those from different schools. We had a lot of social activities there – playing with candles and lanterns during the mooncake festival, for example. There were really huge trees with big roots, so whenever it rained, we would splash around in the puddles formed by the roots.

Everything centred around the neighbourhood – there was an ethos of sharing, knowing each other well. There were many different races … it was very communitarian. Every evening, we would congregate. We would play on the streets, play badminton, go cycling, play basketball, five stones or getah. I don’t know whether children do these sorts of things nowadays.

I think it’s important to create such public spaces. At the end of the day, neighbourhoods and communities are where social interaction takes place. Where people draw their perceptions about different races and religions. If friendship and interaction doesn’t start at a young age, then once you grow up into teenage and adulthood, certain impressions would already be formed.

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September 22, 2008

Life Goes On

Posted in Music, Personal at 3:59 pm by egalitaria

Amidst the madness, life still goes on I suppose.

A weekend of weddings, good friendships and fellowship. Congratulations to my dear friends who took the plunge and got hitched.

One of my favourite Billy Joel songs is, “Vienna waits for you”. Dedicated to all the heated politicians in a big mad rush to the top. And maybe to a lot of us folk too, rushing around like equally headless chickens.

Slow down, you crazy child
you’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart, tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You’d better cool it off before you burn it out
You’ve got so much to do and
Only so many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told..
That you can get what you want or you get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even
Get halfway through
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Slow down, you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight
Too bad but it’s the life you lead
you’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you’re wrong, you know
You can’t always see when you’re right. you’re right

You’ve got your passion, you’ve got your pride
but don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Slow down, you crazy child
and take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile
it’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize,..Vienna waits for you?
And you know that when the truth is told
that you can get what you want or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get half through
Why don’t you realize,. Vienna waits for you
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

September 18, 2008

I Am Grieving

Posted in Malaysia, Personal, Reflections at 12:43 am by egalitaria

   Forgive my momentary pessimism. Today I am grieving the nation, but yet it is in deep mourning that I know is buried the desire for light to brandish itself anew.

Last night at the candlelight prayer vigil, we were asked to write prayers on the wall. And to say a word that came to mind. Some were hopeful. My word was “shadows”…

In shadows Malaysia waits

For redemptive light,

In shadows Malaysia longs

For what is right.

It groans and struggles.

All of its pains

To birth justice, peace,

Restoration again.

Your presence we desire

As we fight this good fight.



September 12, 2008

The Mania that is Malaysia

Posted in Malaysia, Personal, The Cause at 12:47 am by egalitaria

          All us political junkies talk about is well.. politics, in Malaysia. The following sums up the bulk of our conversation these days:

  • Whether September 16th 2008 will “happen” or not – this refers to whether or not the Pakatan Rakyat coalition under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim will take over government by its self-imposed date.
  • Ahmad Ismail – the epitome of racism in Malaysia; the bane of humanity’s social cohesion; the one man who can bear the brunt of all negativities Umno stands for.
  • Barisan Nasional – whether or not the coalition government is going to fall apart in the next days, especially the fate of component parties Gerakan, MCA and MIC
  • Anwar Ibrahim – whether or not he is trustable enough to lead the new government in cleansing out the crap in Malaysia; and bring sense into the seemingly fragmented coalition making up DAP, PKR and PAS, two of which have diametrically opposed views on Islam and secularism.
  • Dr. Mahathir – our dear ex-Prime Minister and what he is about to maneouvre with Tengku Razaleigh and Muhyiddin Yassin (and his son Mukhriz Mahathir, with his re-entering Umno, since we should never underestimate this man’s wit.
  • DNA and Sodomy – The DNA Bill that will be apparently passed in Parliament soon, heralding the way for obtaining further evidence in the Sodomy trial against Anwar Ibrahim. This has raised questions and issues about sexuality (or rather, homosexuality) in Malaysia, 10 years after the first case against the man.
  • The Economy – of course whilst the politicians party away, the goodies are slowly running out. Stocks are at an all-time low, investments are being pulled out by the billions, foreigners are warned not to enter our markets – sighest of sighs

This is the mania that is Malaysia. Many of us are either sickened by the cathartic period we are going through, although it is necessary when any wound implodes – the crap comes out first before healing – or extremely excited at the prospects of changes about to take place. Whichever the case, everything is at an extremely politically pumped pace this week.

This is the mania that is Malaysia, one that I have grown frighteningly fond of. Perhaps this is where some thrive – in an environment of chaos, liquid, fluid mess, a mass of twistedness – from which emerge a sliver of beauty, balance and hope. This fragile slice of peace we need seek ourselves, and many a time elusive. But I choose to continue because I am here. Nothing can take away my choice, my firm decision to claim Malaysia wholly as mine.

I will fight for the nation because I am its citizen and it is mine – mania and mess included.

September 11, 2008

Why I Am Fasting

Posted in Malaysia, Personal, Reflections at 7:28 am by egalitaria

I’ve been asked my many people why I decided to fast this month, so I shall write out my reasons why. I won’t write about my experiences yet, although I have been keeping a journal (my usual journal) to keep a log of what it’s been like. Plus, KLUE magazine found out I am doing it – and apparently I shall be writing an article on it after!

I’m fasting for the month of Ramadhan, for several reasons:

One, I am attempting to do it in solidarity with my Muslim friends around the world. I think it’s a great way to understand and emphathise with Muslims this unusual once-a-year experience.

Two, I actually wanted to quieten down this month to ponder over several personal decisions. (Quite impossible with the political ruckus in Malaysia now!)

Three, this comes at a time in Malaysian history which actually needs a lot of prayer and reflection. I’m not sure how much of this I am able to do right now, though, seeing as I am actually more greatly frustrated with the likes of Ahmad Ismail’s antics.

Four, again it is a good spiritual discipline. In our harried lives, (or mine specifically), it is not easy to keep a regular schedule especially in terms of sleeping, waking, eating in general. Discipline is good for the body, and hopefully after the month I shall keep to it.

August 20, 2008

Flocking North to Permatang Pauh

Posted in Malaysia, Personal at 1:45 am by egalitaria

The whole world will be flocking north to Permatang Pauh this week. Penang’s economy will flourish. I say, take advantage of the situation and sell kuih-muih to maximise profits. Schools will prosper. Families whose relatives die will benefit within this specific period (do it now to optimise!).

The money is also flocking north. Who is keeping check of the loose promises of money that keep spewing out of mouths on either side? Any monitoring of campaign financing? Coincidental representation of an NGO when one is a candidate is not even a valid excuse – in fact when one if campaigning as a candidate one’s affiliations should be cut off so as to remove confusion and overlapping of roles.

Politics will be the death of Malaysia I tell you. But let the year of reckoning come to pass before we can flourish again – yes I still believe the day will come.

Style Magazine

Posted in Malaysia, Personal at 1:37 am by egalitaria

So I apparently came out in this month’s edition of Style Magazine. Yes, fancy picture and all. It was featured under “Freedom Fighters: The Nation’s Best Minds” or something to that effect. I was more interested in the answers that were given by all. It was good to have a mixture of individuals chosen – all working colleagues.

Here were the answers I provided to them in full…

What do you believe in?


I have always seen the direct link between seeking social justice in the public sphere, and the ultimate will God intends for the nation, being a Christian myself. I believe in a mature Malaysia that recognises the rights of all its inhabitants – bestowing human dignity and honour upon the marginalised and oppressed in society, the poor and those needing to be spoken out for.  I believe in a shared nation, one that all Malaysians must affirm their ownership to; I look forward to the day Malaysia can rid itself of fears to speak publicly about “sensitive issues”, so that open and rational discourse can clear society from old historical cobwebs that still haunt us today.  


What issues/passions drive you when it comes to Malaysia?

A multitude of issues drives me. I believe in a society in which no citizen is made to feel unequal relative to the other. I am driven by the ideals of social justice, equality, and non-discrimination on account of race, religion, gender, region and class. Only a utopian society can achieve these in totality, but to have baby-steps in that direction means supporting the principles of mutual respect and inclusivity. I believe that transparency and accountability are the benchmarks necessary in achieving a society that practices good governance. Ultimately of course, I am driven by the desire for national unity – creating an environment every Malaysian feels he or she belongs to and is treated likewise.

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August 15, 2008

Death Cab for Cutie

Posted in Music, Personal at 3:12 am by egalitaria

   Someone thought I was going for a Christian concert, until I mentioned the band’s name was “Death Cab for Cutie“. Nothing very spiritual about that, although one could beg to differ.

The four-piece band started with the first song “Bixby Canyon Bridge”, from their latest album, Narrow Stairs. Their next song was also the first entry “The New Year” from an older 2003 album, Transatlanticism. Both were great introductions to an even greater night of music.

I’d been waiting for the longest time for this amazing band, since their music has accompanied me throughout the past two and a half years over various periods. I think some of the best renditions were “Title and Registration”, “I Will Possess Your Heart”, and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”… maybe because these are my favourite songs anyway.

Kings of independent music they are. Ben Gibbard is pure genius in writing lyrical songs that transcend this earth, really. And I love watching musicians who put their whole heart and soul into playing. Bassist and drummer, spectacular. Every pluck of the guitar string and precise tap on the tophat that I’ve memorised whilst driving and listening became a reality on stage.

The solo by Gibbard on “I Will Follow You into the Dark” was truly one of the best, personally – a strange, surreal love song about death and attachment. The lighting, silence of the hall, unordinary words, simple strumming and clear voice created your hush ambience of a concert that anyone would have loved. Reminded me of Kings of Convenience.

Love of mine some day you will die
But I’ll be close behind
I’ll follow you into the darkNo blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
“Son fear is the heart of love”
So I never went back

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It’s nothing to cry about
Cause we’ll hold each other soon
The blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
Then I’ll follow you into the dark


Music keeps me sane whilst politics rages on in Malaysia.

January 30, 2008

Wedding Galore

Posted in Personal at 12:34 pm by egalitaria

I would like to officially announce my availability and expertise as a Wedding Emcee.. mainly because in the past couple of weeks I’ve been involved in emceeing two separate weddings in my family! (note to self: to be paid in the next round)

Family affairs are overwhelming, fulfilling, time-consuming, and in the final analysis, extremely worth it. Thank God for families!

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