How time-consuming is the MPP at the Blavatnik School of Government?

One student’s documentation of how he spent his time at BSG.

Blavatnik School of Government MPP Class of 2015.

You’ve been accepted into the Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme at the Blavatnik School of Government (BSG). Congratulations! While you’re undoubtedly thrilled, you’re probably also craving for information.

I’ve met with several prospective and incoming MPP students. One question everyone has is: “How time consuming is the MPP?” Continue reading

Recognise stalking as domestic violence (The Malay Mail Online)

This article was published in The Malay Mail Online.

Stalking is not a crime in Malaysia

Stalking is not a crime in Malaysia. Image from PA.

After years of abuse, Nina left her husband. Yet she was not safe. Wherever she moved, her husband would look her. One time, Nina noticed men taking pictures of her children at her house. She was being stalked. Worried, she lodged a police report, but she was not given protection. Soon after, while leaving work, Nina was attacked by two men – acquaintances of her ex-husband. They slashed her with a machete, scarring her cheek and cutting-off her thumb.

If Nina received protection after she had been stalked, her gruesome attack may have been prevented. Unfortunately for Nina, and thousands of Malaysians like her, stalking is not a crime in Malaysia. Continue reading

Man on mission to get more brethren into gender causes (Malaysiakini)

This interview was published in Malaysiakini

Geraldine Tong

MALAYSIANS KINI During his student days, Yu Ren Chung was interested in working on environmental issues and took up electrical engineering in university so he could focus on renewable energy and clean technology.

Yu has changed course since then and is now working for Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), where he is the advocacy manager.

He credits prominent Malaysian women activists, especially Sisters In Islam (SIS) founder Zainah Anwar (below, right), for sparking his interest in gender equality. Continue reading

Working with Mahathir – the right thing to do?

This article was published in The Malay Mail Online, Malaysiakini, and the Blavatnik School of Government blog.

Mahathir, opposition parties, and civil society leaders signed the Deklarasi Rakyat.

Mahathir, opposition parties, and civil society leaders signed the Deklarasi Rakyat. Image from Malaysiakini.

Earlier this week, a group of influential Malaysians signed a “Declaration” calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak to be removed and for institutional reforms.

This is a major escalation in the effort to remove Najib, and an extraordinary development in Malaysian politics. Najib has faced months of exposés, investigations, and rebukes for corruption relating to the 1MDB scandal.

The signing of the Declaration is the first time that Najib’s critics from opposing sides have explicitly united against him. Continue reading

Interview in The Sun Daily

This interview was published in The Sun Daily.
24 December 2015

AMONG the many stories of women being blamed for crimes committed against them – rape, domestic abuse, snatch theft; pick your poison – and the many narratives along the theme of “Well, she asked for it,” it’s heartening to see men in the front lines of the fight for gender equality.

More often than not, one of those men is 28-year-old Yu Ren Chung (pix), Advocacy Manager for the non-profit Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO). Continue reading

Obama’s star still shines in ASEAN

Barack Obama’s star quality shifted the focus of the event towards himself, and away from U.S. policy and its impacts.

U.S. President Barack Obama greeting an enthusiastic crowd after the Youth Town Hall at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Original image from Getty Images.

After waiting in the blazing afternoon heat for over an hour, I was finally seated in the Dewan Tunku Canselor, the iconic hall of Malaysia’s oldest university, along with several hundred other youths – people under the age of 35 – from Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.

It was a relief to get into the air-conditioned hall in Universiti Malaya, which was looking in tip-top condition. Two large flags, of Malaysia and the United States, hung side by side, covering the far wall. Rows of chairs lined the hall’s four sides. In the center, a square black stage, with a teleprompter on either side of a podium which bore the seal of the President of the United States. Continue reading

My statement during the adoption of Malaysia’s UPR report, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Just as for all countries, Malaysia’s human rights record gets reviewed at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva every four and a half years, through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

Malaysia was recently reviewed, for the second time, on 24 October 2013. This is when other countries made recommendations to the Malaysian government on how to improve the human rights situation in Malaysia. And last week, the government noted which of these recommendations it was willing to accept, and which it was not.

Delivering an oral statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, during the adoption of Malaysia's UPR report.

Delivering an oral statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, during the adoption of Malaysia’s UPR report.

Yesterday, 20 March 2014, marked the end of Malaysia’s second review. Malaysia’s UPR report was officially adopted at the Human Rights Council. This was also when the Malaysian government, other governments, and other stakeholders (mostly NGOs) made their last statements and comments.

I had the opportunity to attend the Human Rights Council in Geneva Continue reading