Tuesday, May 29, 2012

30 hours ago, I escaped from being kidnapped

Latest addition on 30 May 2012 : This story was published in the Star Online :

Marketeer fights off abductors

This is a true account written by the victim of an attempted kidnap. The one phrase from this account which we wish to highlight to all is this :  "Malaysians, please care for one another. You already do. Just keep on caring. Keep watching out for each other. Don't worry about being thought of as "busy body" or "overreacting". The world can be a cruel place, but all it takes is for people to care for one another to make all the difference."

by Ms Chin  on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 12:39am ·
As I sit here writing this, I am just so grateful to be alive.
To think that 30 hours ago I had a knife to my throat, face to face with the threat of being kidnapped and raped.
It was a Sunday, at 5.22PM. I was alone, walking towards my boyfriend's car in level B2 of The Curve, Mutiara Damansara. He was not in town, and I was running errands with his car. Just as I was putting my shopping bags in the rear seat, the rear car door was slammed against my back, and a meat cleaver was pressed against my throat. A man covered my mouth with his hand, and whispered not to scream. He then shoved me onto the floor of the backseat of the car and waved the cleaver at me, reminding me not to scream. He was skinny, wearing a baggy turqoise blue t-shirt, had a thick moustache and short curly hair, approx 5'8", mid-30s, and of Indian descent.
At this moment, second man appeared. He was also in his mid-30s. He was wearing a red t-shirt, had a crewcut, and was of Malay descent. He grabbed my car keys and demanded for my parking ticket. I couldn't remember where it was. They shoved me deeper into the car, and the Indian man got into the back seat with me, while the Malay man got into the driver's seat, driving us out of the carpark.
I told them they could take everything, just let me go. But at that point they didn't even ask for money. Instead, the Indian man started to make sexual advances. Then it hit me. "Oh my God. Oh my God. This is really happening. I'm being kidnapped.. and I think I know what they want."
From this moment on, there were a few crucial things that happened that I think is the reason I'm alive today. 
1. I managed to get into a position to escape.
 When they got into the car, the Indian man had tried to force my body down onto the floor. I knew that the moment I'm on the floor, there would be no chance of escape. So I begged him to let me sit up. I promised him I wouldn't scream or alert anyone's attention. Thankfully, he trusted me, and let me sit up, gripping my arm tightly. Then I told him my arm really hurt and to please not grip it so hard. He loosened his grip.
2. I did not fight for the sake of fighting.
 I was in an enclosed space, with no clear escape route. I would never win in a fight with these 2 guys, especially when they have sharp weapons. Had I fought from the get go, I may not have been in a position to escape. I might've even been knocked out cold, and God only knows where I would be right now. 
3. I was lucky and sneaky.
I knew that the only way to escape, was to jump out of the car, even if it was moving. They had locked the car doors. So I leaned back, pretended to scratch my hair, and shakily unlocked the door I was leaning against. I'm so lucky they did not see or hear this!
4. I went 'crazy' at the right time.
And then I waited. I knew that the car would have to slow down outside the parking lot, as it exits to merge with the main roads. The moment it slowed down, I opened the car door and tried to make a run for it. I failed. I kicked my legs out of the car, but the Indian man had managed to pull my body back in. From this moment on, everything is a blur. I remember the Malay driver temporarily stopping the car, leaning over from the driver's seat and attempting to close the door and pull my legs in. At that point I remember thinking, "Even if I don't get out now, I need to keep the door open and my legs out the door. At the very least, it should cause a scene, and someone would see me. Or, the door might hit another car and they'll be forced to slow down." So I continued kicking. My right foot pushed against the wide-open car door to keep it open. I recall elbowing, struggling, kicking, and even biting. I lost my glasses, and was struggling blindly for my life. At some point the Malay driver yelled, "BAGI DIA LEPAS! BAGI DIA LEPAS!" (Let her go! Let her go!) and the Indian man loosened his grip. I made a jump out of the still-moving car, and ran for my life. 
5. I acted in spite of the fear.
My friends said I was brave. But I didn't feel like it. I was quivering and shaking in fear. I was so afraid. I thought I was going to die.  I was weak with fear and deathly afraid. I truly thought "this was it". But I knew I HAD to move. I had to run. Or there would be a worser fate in store for me. While I was quaking in fear, I forced myself to look around and see if there was any way I could escape, or even catch someone's eye.
6. I remembered the people I love.
The only thing that matters when you're faced with potentially horrendous fate, is the people in your life. When I felt the knife to my neck, the first thing I thought was , "This cannot be happening. I must be dreaming." The second? The people that truly matter to me flashed across my mind. It sounds cliche, but it's true. I thought of my parents. My brother. Khailee. Esther. More people. That's all I could think of for a few moments, before I thought, "Shit. I need to get out of here."
I ran towards the Maybank outlet at the Curve. There were plenty of people milling around. I screamed for help over and over again. I was hysterical. I grabbed an older Malay man by his shoulders and begged for help before practically collapsing at his feet. 
I will always remember the relief and liberation I felt, running over Mutiara Damansara's manicured grass and into the crowd. 
Today, I found out that the entire ordeal from the moment I left the parking ticket payment machine, to my escape, happened in about 4 minutes. To me, it felt like one long nightmare.
We never think its going to happen to us... and then it does. I used to think that this is something that happens only in the papers and to people far, far removed from me. But then it did happen to me. I moved to PJ/KL 6 years ago, and I've spent countless mornings, afternoons and nights at The Curve. When my friends and I were organizing Rock Up! back in 2008, we were walking around the place at 4AM even. It's been 6 years, and never once did I feel that I was unsafe at The Curve. Until yesterday. 
I feel like moving out of the country ASAP. Getting the hell out of this state where you hear of a kidnapping or attempted one every month (remember Nayati?), or a snatch theft every week. And yet I'm fully aware of the fact that in another country with more lax firearm laws, they would've been holding a gun to my head, not a cleaver. And that would've been so, so much worse. 
I'm Blessed. By God's grace, I am alive and relatively well. And I will live another day to build another cat iPhone app. It just was not my time to go. And for that, I thank God. 
I want to share this story with everyone because cops tell me that they rarely get to hear it from someone who escapes. 
Girls, be so very careful. Be vigilant, and please try not to go anywhere alone. If you need to walk to the carpark, and you're alone, get a guard to go with you. I was recently told that it's part of their job description to assist anyone if needed.
Guys, watch out for your girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters and friends. Walk with them, don't take their paranoia or fear lightly. Watch out for them. 
And everyone, just watch out for each other. Take care of each other. These things really DO happen. As I ran out of the car, so many people came to help me. Strangers who didn't know who I was, came forward and offered me tissue paper, water, cellphones, and general comfort.
Malaysians, please care for one another. You already do. Just keep on caring. Keep watching out for each other. Don't worry about being thought of as "busy body" or "overreacting". The world can be a cruel place, but all it takes is for people to care for one another to make all the difference.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Global Day of Prayer 2012

Remember these numbers :10 -1- 90 
10   Days of Constant Prayer 
17 - 26 May 2012

Pray Globally, Gather Locally 

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; 
they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the 
Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he 
establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the 
Isaiah 62:6-7

The 10 Days preceding the Global Day of Prayer 
creates an excellent opportunity to unite in prayer 
with millions around the globe based on Acts 1 & 2. 

To download, click on the GDOP Malaysia 2012 10-Days Prayer Guide

Day Global Day of Prayer 
 27 May 2012

Christians in many countries will assemble to pray. Many 
will gather in small groups such as prayer groups, homes,
local churches, businesses and some may even assemble
in large stadiums and other public venues. In some 
places, television, radio and internet will help to connect
and align our prayers even more.

  Days of Blessings 
28 May - 25 August 2012

As in the first Pentecost, transformed Christians transform
their communities as they offer themselves to God as 
instruments through which their prayers can be answered. 
The Global Day of Prayer anticipates the forming or 
furthering of local alliances among pastors, churches, 
missions and business leaders, to bring practical, 
transformational blessing to their communities. This is 
where prayer becomes a lifestyle. 

The call to unity and repentance is deepening.
This year 2012 in Malaysia we will turn our eyes to Jesus as our 4 ‘R’s – Redeemer, Restorer, Rebuilder, and Rewarder. As we are also entering a significant year in our nation’s spiritual landscape, Jubilee year, we need to seek God as who he is – the 4 ‘R’s, and pray for change in accordance.
To find GDOP in your nearest location in Malaysia click here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2012 24-7 Year of Prayer for Malaysia - May

In line with what had just taken place in our country two weeks ago at the Bersih 3.0 Rally, is it a coincidence that the organizers of the 2012 24-7 Year of Prayer for Malaysia, planned this month's prayer emphais to be on "Media & Politics" or is it by the wisdom of God that this topic was chosen.

It is even more urgent now that we pick up our momentum and continue to Prayer Until Something Happens (PUSH) for our nation.

Here's the prayer agenda for the month of May 2012.

To read the past months' emphasis click on : 2012 Year of Prayer for Malaysia, 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Church has awakened to engaging in politics

This is another interesting reading material which records the sentiments of a Christian being involved in the recent Bersih 3.0 Rally held on the 28 April 2012.

For the original source, click on the : freemalaysiatoday.com

May 8, 2012
FMT LETTER: From Rev Allen Tan, via e-mail

I must say my contribution to the fight for justice in Malaysia is very minute. For participating in Bersih rallies, I just hoped to add myself to the total number for one more soul. This letter is not only my account of my Bersih 3.0 story, but also a comment about its impact.

I had several experiences in protest rallies including Bersih 2.0. I got myself prepared for Bersih 3.0 even before it was announced. I took part in the rally as a responsible Christian minister as well as a Malaysian citizen. I cannot tolerate the corrupt practices by the present government.
I remembered the words of Rev Martin Luther King, Jr, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Bersih rallies are about asking for free and fair Elections. I cannot tolerate any political coalition to take governance through dirty means. As such I cannot sit at home and let others to protest for me.
I took pains to request the Bersih organising committee to hold the rally on a Saturday and not a Sunday. I was grateful to them as Bersih 2.0 was also on a Saturday. I anticipated that this time round there would be many Christian participants since the Church has awakened to engaging in politics.
As what I did for Bersih 2.0, I lodged in Kuala Lumpur center with two other friends. I could sense that something was different from Bersih 2.0. Those days the atmosphere was very tense. The authorities declared that Bersih was an illegal organisation and subsequently anything related to Bersih was illegal, including their shirts, caps and badges.
Ironically, prior to the Bersih 2.0 rally, some people were even arrested for wearing a yellow shirt! They intimidated people constantly, warning them not to take part in the rally or else they would have to face the music.
So those days we had to take a commuter train service to KL to avoid road-checks. This time round we drove to KL despite the “scare” tactics, though not quite similar than last year. The mayor of KL City Hall Ahmad Fuad Ismail had obtained a court order to ban people from entering Dataran Merdeka which was our venue for the rally.
He had said that he would not close roads to Dataran Merdeka, but as a matter of fact, roads were closed. Bersih insisted on using Dataran Merdeka  as it has the significance of independence. Barisan Nasional has bound the people for 55 years, and it is the time for us to cry for freedom from their slavery.
Who was that non-elected mayor who banned the people from using Dataran Merdeka? Dataran Merdeka  belongs to all Malaysians and the mayor and BN leaders have no right to own them alone. When they cordoned off Dataran Merdeka, it conveyed a message that BN was colonising the people.

The necessity to take to the streets
Not many would think like me. Even Christian ministers would argue that prayer would sufficiently spur change, and they doubted the necessity to take things to streets. I urged Christians not to pray at home but pray at Dataran Merdeka .
It is true that it is never the first option for most people to engage in street protests in order to express their discontentment against regimes. It always happened only when all avenues were exhausted. When the authorities do not want to listen to the people, when they do not want to reform to bless their own people, and when they sealed up the mouth of the public by controlling the media, the only avenue for the people is to take matters into the streets.

What took place in the Arab world was not something which erupted suddenly. The Arab Spring has seen the dictators overthrown!
Bersih 2.0 was organised because our present electoral system is not free and fair. So they came up with eight petitions for electoral reform. The government then set up a Parliamentary Select Committee to study into the matter. Unfortunately, after seven months, the PSC only adopted one out of the eight items. Other suggestions recommended by the PSC were insignificant. It was for show that the government is committed to reforms.

Something serious took place on the last day of the second session of Parliament this year (April 19, 2012). Nine bills were passed in just one single day! The speed was sufficient for BN to win an Oscar award for Comedian Movies. It is another “Malaysia Boleh” and “Only in Malaysia” indeed! The new bills included an amendment to The Election Offenses Act 1954 to the disadvantage of the Oppositions.
This bill alone justified holding Bersih 3.0. This bill was so secretive that it escaped the attention of many Members of Parliament on both sides of the divide. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told the people that he wanted to create the most ever transparent government in Malaysian history. Now with this ridiculous bill passed, what kind of transparency can we bank on?
The electoral roll is full of thousands of phantom voters. Names that are not found in the Mykad department were registered as voters. There were voters being transferred to other constituencies, some even away from their home states. There were voters who have been voting in the past finding their names missing.
Bersih rally in KL had 250,000 to 300,000 participants. Besides, rallies were held in other cities and towns throughout Malaysia. Globally they were held in 35 countries and 85 locations. With the wrath of so many people, the government should bow to the wishes of the public. They should heed the petitions of the people. They should commit to electoral reform before the next General Election.
On the day of the rally, people gathered in six meeting points beginning at 6am. More than 30 roads leading to the city were closed. For Light Rail Transport, some stations were closed. At about 1.30pm, people began to move nearer to Dataran Merdeka. The crowd was so big that it overflowed to cover up many roads and streets around Dataran Merdeka .
The gathering was peaceful. People sang Negaraku. They also chanted slogans such as “Hidup Hidup, Hidup Bersih”, “No to Lynas”, and others. At 2.30pm my friends and I moved to other streets. We tried to squeeze through the crowd at Masjid Jamek LRT station but to no avail. So we came to the river-side for a chat. Many people were scattered here and there all around.

We began to move back to the Bar Council at about 3.20pm. The Bersih 3.0 organising chairman S Ambiga did dismiss the crowd shortly before we moved away. But most of the people including us did not get the news. After a while a water cannon truck at the Bar Council sprayed jets of chemical-laced water all around. The crowd was fleeing and screaming. I took the opportunity to video the incident from a distance of 50 meters.

About two minutes later, I heard sounds of “Pak Pak Pak…” I thought the tear gas was fired in front of me but for some time I saw no smoke. I then turned around and to my horror more than three canisters were smoking behind me, the nearest one being only 10 meters away. I dashed through the dense smoke by holding my breath.
Out of panic I forgot to pull out my handkerchief from the pocket of my trousers. Instead, I took out my porous webcam pocket to cover my nose and mouth. I could not hold back my breath for too long, and subsequently I sucked in the smoke through my nose and mouth. My eyes, nose and throat stung.
When I was at a safe place, I quickly sucked some bamboo salt, rinsed my mouth, drank some water, and washed my eyes. I shared my salt with others, Malays and Chinese.
When I went back to Jalan Sultan, only did I learn that the police did similar attacks at many points. People recounted their ordeal that the police were entrapping the people with tear gas from all angles. That was malicious! The right way to do is not by attacking the unarmed protesters but by dispersing them without harming them.
Brutality of the police was disgusting
From the online media, I read about the violence by the police. They beat up the protesters. They even intruded into the restaurant and harassed the customers who wore yellow shirts. The journalists were not spared. Many of them were beaten and their cameras being seized. How can we expect BN to lead us into an advanced and democratic country when we see what they did was so barbaric?
They did not even respect the International Law that that says they cannot harm journalists? The Home Minister Hishamuddin claimed that deleting photos was a Standard Operating Procedure. The next day the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar clarified that it is not a SOP. How come a Home Minister was so ignorant about his trade?
The brutality of the police was disgusting. They arrested 512 people. The attack by police on the protesters started when some people broke through the barricades. Was it a good excuse to take action? The Bar Council was right that they said the court order only ban the people from Dataran Merdeka.
Though people got into the barricade they were still outside of Dataran Merdeka . According to Ambiga, it was likely a sabotage. Well, those were agent provocateurs. It sounds so familiar about the claim from what took place in many gatherings of Pakatan Rakyat which were being harassed by rascals!
The greatest loser in Bersih 3.0
Who is the greatest loser in Bersih 3.0? Najib! Remember in Bersih 2.0, before the rally, Ambiga hoped to meet up with Najib but her wish did not take place. He dumped all the responsibility to the IGP. In Bersih 3.0, prior to the rally, Najib was so silent about it. He dumped all the responsibility to the Home Minister. The later was flip-flopping. At first he said he had no problem with the rally. Then he dumped all the problems to the mayor. And the mayor dumped all the problems on the IGP.
I could relate the story of Exodus with the dilemma of Najib. When Moses asked the Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, God was behind it. God told Moses He would harden the heart of Pharaoh. When Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go, actually it was God who had hardened his heart. For Bersih 2.0 and 3.0, God has hardened the heart of Najib. That tells why he made the wrong decisions. When man is behind a move, it will fail. But when God is behind it, it will succeed.
After the rally on 428, the next day, the atmosphere all around Malaysia became fresher. But our struggle does not end here. We still need to tussle hard with the evil forces in order to bring down the corrupt regime. Hidup Rakyat! Bangkit Rakyat! Hidup Bersih! Hallelujah, Malaysia shall enter into the year of Jubilee soon. Probably the General Election will be delayed further to September or later.
Please take note that on Sept 16 this year, Malaysia will be finishing her 49 years of slavery, and on this day we will enter into the 50th year, the year of Jubilee according to the Bible. Malaysia shall be free from the oppression by BN. Malaysia shall become a Rainbow Nation. Rainbow – a symbol of diversity. Our diverse races shall come to fruition as everyone is a Malaysian!