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

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


Reviewing Human Rights in Malaysia (BFM 89.9)

Suri Kempe from Sisters In Islam (SIS) and I shared our thoughts on Malaysia’s human rights situation, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and COMANGO, with Lee Chwi Lynn on BFM’s The Bigger Picture.

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Prelude by BFM:

All member states of the United Nations are subjected to a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) every four and a half years by the Human Rights Council to gauge the extent to which the state under review is fulfilling its obligations to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of people who live in that country. Malaysia was first reviewed in 2009, and was reviewed again on 24th October for the second time.

As part of the review process, the UN would take into account the report submitted by the Malaysian government, various reports compiled by UN agencies, as well as a third report summarizing various stakeholders’ positions. One of those stakeholders is the coalition of Malaysian NGOs, or COMANGO, who is advocating for a more progressive agenda with an emphasis on equality. Another stakeholder is the coalition of Muslim NGOs, or MuslimUPro, who champions a more conservative agenda, which stress upon Malaysia’s unique circumstance as a multi-ethnic and multi-faith country.

Here to articulate COMANGO’s stance is Yu Ren Chung, advocacy officer of Women’s Aid Organization (WAO), and Suri Kempe, programme manager of Sisters in Islam (SIS).

Interview aired on BFM 89.9 on 25 October 2013.


Penal Code Amendments: “Bad Bill Bad Process” (BFM 89.9)

I discussed the amendments made to the Penal Code during the 3rd meeting of the 1st Session of the 13th Parliament, with Sharaad Kuttan on the Morning Run.


Prelude from BFM:

Speaking on behalf of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, Ren Chung explains the position of the NGO coalition about the recently passed amendments to the Penal Code. The statement draws attention to “section 203A, under which someone can be fined up to one million ringgit for disclosing information obtained under any written law” as well as section 326A which while penalising certain types of abuse between married spouses fails to be made consistent with the Domestic Violence Act 1994.

Interview aired on BFM on 23 October 2013.


Aiyoh…Wat Lah?! Awards 2013 (Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, JAG)

Explaining the “Aiyoh…Wat Lah?! Awards 2013”, an annual spoof ceremony organised by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) to raise awareness on what constitutes sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and/or transphobia, and to encourage higher standards of behaviour from public figures and institutions in relation to gender and sexuality. The 2013 Awards ceremony was held on 26 May 2013.

Video produced by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).


Aiyoh… Wat Lah?! Awards (BFM 89.9)

Smita Sharma and I promoted the “Aiyoh… Wat Lah?! Awards”, with Umapagan Ampikaipakan and Caroline Oh on the Evening Edition.


Prelude by BFM:

We’ve cringed, looked away, slapped our palms on our foreheads every time we read about or hear what prominent Malaysian figures have to say. And to further express our disdain, our actions are usually accompanied by a very typically Malaysian “Aiyoooooo”.

So, good on the Joint Action  Group for Gender Equality (JAG) for gathering all distasteful comments made throughout the year for fellow Malaysians to read and vote on. The 2nd annual Aiyoh Wat Lah Awards 2013 will reveal whose comments reigned victorious in the issues of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and/or transphobia.

Interview aired on BFM on 2 April 2013.