Tuesday, May 24, 2005

WMD on Channel News Asia tonight!


My first live interview happens tonight on Channel News Asia at 9.30pm.

I insist on wearing my WMD T-shirt but just took an hour to match it to something remotely "proper".

For this humiliation I expect T-shirt sales to be rapid and wonderful! Haha!

To my friends praying for me — thank you!

I will be fine — God loves me and I know He will only laugh at me when I'm off camera.

Okay, the limo (as if) comes at 7.30 — I'm just done blowing my hair.

Watch it if you can.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Top 10 Reasons Why Men Seek Child Sex

I've been asked this question a lot recently, since I decided to speak up against the child sex trade.

At the War Against Trafficking Alliance conference I attended at the end of April, I discovered a lot of things that I could scarcely believe. Apart from the shock of facing human depravity turned up to 11, I also heard the list of stupid reasons that men have for choosing sex with a child.

If I wasn't busy throwing up I would have laughed.

Here they are (some are translated so imagine they are 200% less eloquent than this).

1. "I went to the temple and they told me if I have sex with a virgin it will cure me of my impotence problem."
2. "Because we Chinese believe that the sex with a young girl has the power to take away the signs of aging and health problems."
3. "It makes me feel powerful."
4. "It's good for the girl to be exposed to this from an early age."
5. "I'm doing these girls an economic favour — without my having sex with them they won't be able to feed their families."
6. "It's no big deal -- they're going to have sex anyway in a few years."
7. "I feel rejuvenated."
8. "It's not as if they are Chinese girls or angmoh girls, what's the problem?"
9. "I heard it's a good way to cure AIDS."
10. "I heard it's a good way to prevent AIDS."

Men who have sex with children fall into 3 groups:

1. The pedophiles
These sickos need to have their brains reset by plugging a live wire into the back of their necks. They objectify very young children as sex toys. Many are not only into sex with kids but torture as well. There is a VERY SPECIAL HELL for people like them.

2. The preferential sex offenders
These are epitomised by the Temasek Poly lecturer nailed for soliciting sex with a teenage Thai boy. They like adolescents.

3. Situational sex offenders
This is the category most Singapore sex tourists fall into — go on tour, friends say "let's try" and they stupid stupid go and try "for the experience". These people would also try drugs in Amsterdam, sex with a "smorgasbord" of prostitutes of different races (I heard of a very famous Singaporean who did it and took pictures but I shan't get slapped with a slander suit).

Perhaps what chilled me to the bone the most was the story told to me about the Singaporean man who not only went to sleep with child prostitutes every week in Batam but came home to tell his teenage sons that he will bring them for a treat there one day.

He is grooming the next generation of child sex predators.

And so the cycle of evil continues.

We must do everything in our power to stop this.

Educate the men and the boys. Education can save lives.
Get men to stop thinking of sex as recreation — unlike tennis balls these kids don't just bounce back.
Start a new trend: go back to God's plan for men and women.

The 5 P's (courtesy of Prof Vitit Muntabhorn, receipient of the UNESCO award for human rights)
Prevention by activating the public
Protection of children (keeping them in school and out of trouble)
Prosecution of wrongdoers (seize their assets)
Provision of help (psychological recovery for victims, psychological intervention for offenders)
Personal and structural philosophy - promote the principle that all human rights are for all.

I am reminded of a short horror story by British writer and comic legend Neil Gaiman, called Babycakes (from Smoke And Mirrors). I am just going to excerpt it to make a point:

"A few years back all the animals went away... We wandered around lost, for a time, and then someone pointed out that just because we didn't have animals anymore, there was no reason to change our lives. No reason to change our diets or cease testing products that might cause us harm.

"After all, there were still babies.

"Babies can't talk. They can't hardly move. A baby is not a rational, thinking creature.

"We made babies.

"And we used them.

"Some of them we ate. Baby flesh is tender and succulent.

"We flayed their skin and decorated ourselves in it. Baby leather is soft and comfortable.

"Some of them we tested.

"We taped their eyes, dripped detergents and shampoos in, one drop at a time.

"We scarred and scalded them. We clamped them and planted electrodes into their brains. We grafted, we froze, and we irradiated....

"Some people complained, of course. But then they always do. And everything went back to normal."

Let's not let it go back to normal.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I'm A Barbie Mom

I have a Bree complex.

My buddy Jude and I were lunching and she said "There's this quiz where you get to find out which Desperate Housewife you are most like."

I'm most like Linette but I have a Bree complex.

For my daughter's 4th birthday party tomorrow I am crafting a Barbie doll cake (where Barbie's gown is the cake). Coffee Bean offers a similar version with a fake Barbie that costs $80. I'm sorry, $80 is too much to pay for a fake Barbie.

I get great satisfaction doing stuff like this for my kids. When my business(es) have finally taken flight one day I will be writing children's books and painting nurseries for fun, in between my activist work! The only things missing are Bree's scarily perfect hair, her awesome body and her whitened smile.

So back to the cake. I bought a cheapie Barbie (your standard issue $12 one) and measured her for her "gown". Do you know that if Barbie really had legs that long and thin she would not be able to walk? That's why you only ever see her standing around, usually leaning on something.

Anyway her legs are so long that the bowl I'm using to make the gown is not deep enough (and if I use the bigger bowl the cake would be 13kg, nearly the weight of my daughter.

So,since the Sicilian act of breaking one's legs is out of the question (but not left unconsidered, mind you) I decided, let's hide her feet in styrofoam.

So last night at 11.37pm, I was cutting up foam boards glueing them together, and stabbing one (1) standard issue Barbie doll into the foam. She stands, I score, I go to bed.

Tomorrow, my daughter will get a chocolate and ice-cream cake with vanilla icing and hundreds-and-thousands, with a real Barbie wearing it. In 20 minutes, the cake would be demolished and chunks left uneaten (how much cake can a bunch of 4, 5, 6 year olds eat?), and Barbie will have been yanked out of the cake, nekkid and left in the sink with a plastic bag over her head to keep her hair from getting wet.

Is it a lot of work for 20 minutes of display and a photo? YES.
Is it worth the fun? YES.
Is it worth seeing my daughter's face when her cake has a real Barbie in it? ABSOLUTELY.

So I think here I am putting in so much time effort and a bit of money into one cake for my 4-year-old girl.
Just an hour away in Indonesia, a 14 year old girl is giving her body, her shame, her dignity to feed her family.

It shouldn't be this way. I will work hard just to make sure it doesn't stay like this. And the best birthday gift I can give to my little girl is a deep faith in Jesus and my protection and comfort at all times.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Child-Sex Tourism: Why Don't They Get These Guys?

In today's Straits Times (17 May 2005, Page 3 and H4), Theresa Tan (my younger, brighter, smarter, better-writing, passionate young friend of the same name) reported on the issue of child sex exploitation by Singaporean men being brought up in Parliament.

I've been on the bandwagon since visiting the website of a US 501C organisation called Shared Hope International (www.sharedhope.org) that runs rescue missions of young women and children who have been forced into prostitution. The stories ripped my heart to shreds, as they would any humane, intelligent human being not possessed by satanic forces.

It's new to me, but the trade is as old as the Bible. That doesn't make it right. These are CHILDREN we are talking about. In villages around Surabaya, Indonesia, for example, parents wait till their daughters get their first period and gladly sell them off to "friends" and "farangs" who are going to give their daughters a "job". These girls may be told their going to be doing sales. They just don't realise they're also the product they're selling. In India, mothers are known to sell off their daughters that are eight or nine to be "dolls" in brothels. These girls, who if they were living in Singapore, would be pulling on their uniforms and getting on the bus to school and studying for their Primary Three streaming, are kept in cages, and every 15 minutes some FULL GROWN MAN is going to come along, tap them on the shoulder, take them to a room and rape them.

I say rape, why? What does an eight-year-old know about sex? What is she SUPPOSED to know about sex at eight? Her reproductive system isn't even completedly formed yet. There is no way to have "consensual sex" with an eight year old. If it's not consensual, it's RAPE. If she's underaged, it's RAPE.

So Singaporean men would probably say, "No lah I'm not so sick as to take advantage of an 8-year-old. That's sick, doesn't even turn me on."

Listen, a child is someone under the age of 18. So it's rape if she is 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Many of the girls working in Batam, the ones the pimps sell as "virgins" and charge $500 for — let me tell you the truth.

A: they're NOT virgins. When these girls are first brought to the brothels and forced to work, they are locked up and RAPED repeatedly, BEATEN till they submit and have lost hope. So if Singaporean men think they're getting a virgin, they may as well give me the $500 and I'll give them a bottle of olive oil — EXTRA VIRGIN, since they want virgin so much.

B: they're underaged. Some are 11, 12. Others are 14, 15. Most have makeup on, and they are instructed to say they are above 16 (the legal age in Indonesia) if asked. We know better, because we have spoken or seen these girls who run away to shelters, and they are definitely underaged.

Some of these 14 year old girls (who should be in Sec 2, wearing a uniform and going to school) have serviced between 300-400 men already.

Their bodies have been severely abused. (Many are given drugs to stay "happy" for clients)
Their spirit has been broken to pieces.
They have no self-esteem.
They believe they have no escape.
Some die from the abuse — some men beat up these girls, and just pay extra for the fun.
Some get pregnant and die, because their young bodies cannot sustain a full-term pregnancy.
They are told that if they don't work, the agents will send people to kill their family.
They are made to believe that this was what they are good for only — meat for the market, and this is their lot in life.

Would you do this to your own daughter?
Would you stand by and take it if someone did it to YOUR daughter?
Or your sister? Or your friend?

If you say no, then do something about it.


But back to why the government is so reluctant to do anything about this.

Prof Ho Peng Kee, ex-ACS boy and classmate of my ex-boss Michael Chiang. I like the man. I think he has dignity. I think he also has the unfortunate position of being the elected voice on this issue.

He says that Singapore needs to observe the laws that have been put in place, extra-territorial laws that other countries like Australia, Thailand, the US practise where if a man from Australia goes to Thailand and abuses a child there, he will go to jail when he returns to Australia.

It may not be the most fast-acting law. It IS hard to prove that a man went from Singapore to Batam to a brothel where he goes to a room, takes out his penis and penetrates a 12-year-old. You won't have pictures to prove that the act happened (or they'll just appear on the internet and service thousands of other sick freaks). BUT as long as a man goes to Batam for the express purpose of sex with a "young girl" or "virgin" you can assume she's not 25.

I think it's a good law. Because:
a. If you catch them, they get duly punished.
b. They only need to KNOW that they WILL definitely get punished when caught. It's a matter of time. Knowing becomes a deterrent.

In a survey done among child sex offenders who have been caught and interviewed in prisons in Australia, the number one deterrent for them is GETTING CAUGHT. They have a fear of it, which is why Internet child porn has mushroomed, because it's a crime you can commit in the privacy of your own home. But I'm happy to note that in parts of Europe and the US, getting caught with porn in your home PC is proof you are a child sex offender and YOU WILL GET THROWN IN JAIL.

These laws may not work the same way as getting the Traffic Police to stand under some trees and catch ozone-killing motorcycles from Malaysia. But that they are in place (let me quote the speechwriter of our MPs) SENDS A SIGNAL.

And we SHOULD be sending a signal: we should be telling our men,

and perhaps most importantly, that GOD SEES EVERYTHING WE DO. You can run, but you cannot hide.

So what should the government do?
Impose the law.
Do it now.
Every day that you do NOT do it, means another 40 men get to abuse one child.
Every day that you do NOT do it, means that Singaporean men will think the government is lenient on child sex crimes.
If a better law comes along, AMEND the one you have now.

Mr Ho is correct in saying that the government cannot do this alone.
You are not doing it alone.
Welfare groups have been fighting this for YEARS.
Groups like WMD are going to fight it for YEARS.
But we need moral and financial support.
We need the public to know.
We need men to be told the truth and to be slapped into behaving.
We need our neighbours and our neighbours are already FAR AHEAD OF US in the progress of nailing child sex offenders!
Singapore is Jurassic in its approach!
All this only contributes to accusations that we are a patriarchal society — our government will be seen as an indulgent father who doesn't believe in disciplining his sons' abominable behaviour. Worse, people might start to think our government has misogynistic leanings! I won't have that, because I don't believe it — but that is what INACTION and INDECISION is going to suggest.

So do it!


- Tell everyone you know about this.
- WMD will be raising funds with UNIFEM very soon through sales of T-shirts and bags to fund shelters for these children and women — SUPPORT THAT.
- If you know anyone who goes on sex tours to Thailand or Batam or Vietnam, tell them about this law. Tell them what has happened to these kids. Tell them that the law will be imposed and they will be caught. Tell them that God can see their crime, and He will punish anyone who abuses the innocents. Tell them to stop going. Buy them a beer and take them to see Revenge of the Sith instead.
- Write to the Straits Times and tell them how you feel.
- Feel free to add comments to my Blog.
- And most of all, PRAY EVERY DAY. We war not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities that we cannot see (spirits). The prayer of a righteous person is effective.

Be blessed!