Thursday, June 05, 2008

Goodbye Toni

Today the government raised the fuel prices at the pump to RM2.70, up by 78 cents. There was a huge jam all over as people lined up to pump up their car tanks.

My car was only 1/3 full and I calculated I'll only save RM20 so I gave it a miss considering the long line at the stations.

Everyone is just going to be talking about this fuel price for a long time, however something else caught my attention in the news. It was the passing of Zaitun 'Toni' Kassim. She was an activist I got to know when I was producing a women's talk show. She was outspoken on women's rights and trully insprational to hear. Not many television shows wanted to invite her as some of her ideas were against the conservative norms. At least I'm proud to say I gave her the platform to reach out.

When I first met Toni, she came on my show representing a women's NGO. I can't remember what was the topic but I think it was about family law. A lot of viewers called in to attack her views. I had a hard time screening her calls but deep down I knew I had touched a spot among the viewers. A lot of other female viewers shared her feminist viewed.

I invited her back a few more times because she spoke with clarity and bravery. Through the other 'radical' feminist organizations I got to know many other activist like her. I admire their conviction.

Goodbye Toni, I'll miss you. It was such a shock to hear you were gone and I don't get to call you anymore. Thank you for the good work you have done, and all the people you have helped. I'll remember you for your bravery and standing up for women's rights.

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