Archive for category Dyana Sofya

My hopes and dreams for 2017

Dyana Sofya
Malay Mail Online
January 14, 2017

JANUARY 14 — Happy New Year! Since we are still in the month of January, it is probably not too late for me to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. I can’t help believing that 2017 can only bring much hope after what seems to be an awful 2016.

The last year was an eventful one for me, not just because I completed my Master’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy but because I also made great friends from all over the world.

It helped that my college, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, has such incredible diversity. Although I enjoyed my break from politics while pursuing my studies, I am also glad to be back in Malaysia just as our political alignments suffered a groundbreaking shift.

When Pakatan Rakyat broke up, many Malaysians (certainly more than half who voted in the last general election) felt their hopes shattered. Infighting gripped the coalition partners, all of whom appeared to be more interested in criticising each other rather than the BN regime. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter in Bumi Kenyalang

Dyana Sofya
Malay Mail Online
Tuesday April 19, 2016

APRIL 19 ― It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. Looking out the window of my London apartment, the sky promised warm sunshine and a fresh breeze.

After a typically long and cold English winter, I could not wait to soak in some heat. Putting on my sunglasses, I left my heavy jacket at home as I strolled to the local supermarket.

However, as I finished stocking up on groceries, I noticed that the bright sun had been replaced by menacing clouds and rain began to pour. I regretted that I had not worn my heavy jacket, but I was even more annoyed that I had fallen for the same trick that so many others in this world fall for: When winters are dark, it is easy to trust the first decent prospect of a better future.

However, the gullible person always pays in the end for improvidence, as the world is full of treachery and false promises.

Later on the same day, I met up with my Turkish friend Zehra at university and told her what had happened. She smiled wryly and said, “You merely underestimated the rain. Imagine if you had underestimated your country’s leader.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Making our voices heard

Dyana Sofya
The Malay Mail Online
Wednesday March 9, 2016

MARCH 9 ― On March 4, 2016 we saw national leaders from both sides of the political divide, civil society and other influential figures sign the Citizens’ Declaration.

Perhaps Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad put it best when he said it was a meeting of “strange bedfellows.” Be that as it may, it was certainly a historic occasion for our country. Never have we witnessed political arch-nemeses, such as those who were present, coming together for a common political cause.

As I watched the events unfold “live” on my laptop screen, I had mixed feelings of amazement, trepidation and excitement. After all, those who had been jailed, exiled and prosecuted were now sitting together with the man who had caused them all the hardship.

But they did, not because they had suddenly forgotten and forgiven the man for his sins, but because they believed in the greater cause of saving Malaysia and her people.

Not everyone reacted the same way, of course. Some of my comrades, colleagues and friends felt betrayed and disappointed. I don’t blame them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political freedom and char kuey teow on a chilly London night

by Dyana Sofya
Malay Mail Online
October 7, 2015

OCTOBER 7 — The air was chilly but festive. Crowds of Londoners were streaming in, most of them in their work attire as it was a weekday evening.

Amid the hustle and bustle, a few people clad in Malaysian traditional costumes were giving out red hibiscus clips. I took one of myself and pinned it on my hair.

Our national flower as an adornment — what a neat way to commemorate our country on this evening celebrating Malaysia Night in London.

Spread out around Trafalgar Square were stalls selling a variety of Malaysian delicacies such as satay, roti canai, apam balik and much more. For many Malaysians living in London, it was a real treat, even if it was a bit of a luxury at GBP5 per meal (but then again, where else can you get roadside nasi lemak in London?).

As I sat on the steps of Trafalgar Square while waiting for the festivities to begin, a young Malaysian student beside me opened his container of hot, steaming char kuey teow from one of the stalls. I couldn’t help commenting how great it smelled and looked, and tried to recall when was the last time I had a plate of flat rice noodles cooked with seafood, chives, chilli paste and soy sauce. If there’s one thing Malaysians miss almost immediately after leaving home, it is our food!

And so the char kuey teow became an ice-beaker and I began to chat with the student and some of his friends. They all wanted to know about what was happening back home, from donations to 1MDB. The topic of Bersih 4.0 naturally came up, and one student shared with me her interest to participate in the rally, but did not because she and other JPA scholars had received a “love letter” warning them not to attend or risk their scholarships. Read the rest of this entry »

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On Jackie Chan and boycotting racism

Dyana Sofya
Malay Mail Online
February 6, 2015

FEBRUARY 6 — Displaying form befitting a philistine Perkasa member rather than a Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s recent open call for Malays to band together to boycott Chinese businesses in order to punish them for causing price hikes is ridiculous, to say the least.

It is also apparent that the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister is detached from everyday Malaysian reality, because the last I checked, the rising prices at the local mamak I frequent for my curry fix on cheat days prove that inflation is not coincidental with race. Read the rest of this entry »


True Malaysian culture

Dyana Sofya
Malay Mail Online
January 9, 2015

JANUARY 9 ― I am a Muslim and I am a Malay. I am proud and I am okay. I am not an extremist.

On Wednesday, 12 people were shot dead as three gunmen attacked the Paris office of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in what some now call a militant Islamist attack.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief and four well-known cartoonists, along with two police officers, were among those killed. Apparently, the gunmen claimed to be “avenging the Prophet Muhammad” as they fled the crime scene.

Unfortunately, this tragedy is not an isolated incident. There is now a global trend of young confused Muslims resorting to murder and vengeance in a twisted idea of jihad, justifing their violence in the name of religion.

As the recent government White Paper on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria proves, even Malaysians are not exempt as 39 Malaysians were identified to have been involved in the violent jihadi movement.

This situation contradicts the nature of Islam as the majority of Muslims believe it to be ― the religion of peace. Tariq Ramadan is therefore right to condemn the Charlie Hebdo attack as as a “pure betrayal of our religion,” which we all know to preach compassion and mercy.

In Malaysia, we face a similar problem. Read the rest of this entry »


Sticking together through cobwebs and rendang

Dyana Sofya
The Malaysian Insider
July 26, 2014

Dyana Sofya suffers from dysania and is using her superpowers to pen down her thoughts late into the night. Political Secretary to Lim Kit Siang by day and she tweets from @dyanasmd.

JULY 26 — Seated in the passenger seat, I try to collect my thoughts as old memories flash by. My eldest brother is driving the car and we are cruising steadily on the North-South Expressway en route to our hometown of Ipoh to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Now that all four of us siblings are grown up, it is a rare occasion for us to travel together. Hence, this particular ride was a proverbial trip down memory lane.

Prior to his retirement, my workaholic father would refuse to take early leave before Raya. As a result, it was always a frantic rush back to Ipoh on Raya eve. However, our manic moments would disappear the instant we arrived home to be greeted by the smell of wonderful, aromatic rendang. As usual, my mother would return a few days earlier to make preparations for the celebration.

After devouring our traditional late supper on Raya eve, my brothers would start spring-cleaning the house while I would devote myself to kitchen duties to prepare more (last minute) Raya goodies. Read the rest of this entry »


Launching an arrow at the Bay

Dyana Sofya
The Malay Mail Online
June 13, 2014

Dyana Sofya suffers from dysania and is using her superpowers to pen down her thoughts late into the night. Political Secretary to Lim Kit Siang by day and she tweets from @dyanasmd.

JUNE 13 — Upon finding out that I was to be the DAP candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election, a sudden rush of excitement, fear and uncertainty overcame me. With more than 60,000 voters to convince, more than 100 km2 of land area to cover, a new town to be familiarized with and new issues to study, the task ahead seemed gargantuan.

Despite all that, I chose to accept the challenge, promised myself to give it my best and started repeating Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s famous maxim: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on, don’t ask what seat.”

Right from the outset, I was aware that I would face great backlash. I also expected personal attacks and smear tactics. After all, this is usual fare for members of the opposition, especially DAP. It also meant that there was nothing substantial to attack me on.

As rumours began swirling around that I would be a candidate, an alleged photo of me wearing a bikini emerged. My immediate reaction was to feel flattered, but sadly I knew that my love for sweet desserts meant that I could never pull off looking that good in such an outfit. Read the rest of this entry »


Response to Wee Ka Siong’s ‘Make Teluk Intan the end of hate politics’

— Ong Kian Ming
The Malay Mail Online
June 8, 2014

JUNE 8 — In an opinion piece entitled “Make Teluk Intan the end of hate politics”, MCA Deputy President Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong lobbed a few baseless accusations against the DAP and Pakatan but ended up implicating and highlighting the failures of his own party and his own BN coalition.

Firstly, he accuses DAP for failing Dyana Sofya and of “trying to push the limitations of tolerance and create discord among races”. I fail to comprehend how the DAP can be guilty of this in any aspect of our campaign in Teluk Intan unless Wee is somehow implying that the fielding of a Malay candidate in a non-Malay majority constituency can create discord among the races.

Of all people, Wee should appreciate the benefits of having a minority representative since his very own parliament seat of Ayer Hitam is a 56 per cent Malay majority constituency. Rather than criticise the DAP, Wee should have congratulated DAP for taking a bold step in breaking down racial barriers and stereotypes in the decision to field Dyana in Teluk Intan. Read the rest of this entry »


Attacking DAP, Dyana not heroism, Zaid tells UiTM, ‘defenders of Malay race’

The Malay Mail Online
June 6, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and those who fashion themselves “defenders of the Malay race” can be true heroes by working to end the country’s socio-economic ills and not in attacking the DAP or Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said.

The former de facto law minister took to his blog yesterday to defend the largely-Chinese party and its rising Malay star, observing the vitriol released by UiTM lecturers, administrators and other graduates during the 12-day campaigning for the May 31 May Teluk Intan polls that ended with the DAP’s loss to Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Perhaps they think this enhances their profiles and makes them suitable for promotion and contract extensions because they are ‘champions of the Malays’, but they are actually doing a disservice to academia generally,” wrote Zaid.

An alumnus of the university, the one-time de facto law minister noted the savagery of the attacks against Dyana, the DAP’s 26-year-old candidate in the Perak by-election and against her party, and said the display showed a marked departure from the original aim of UiTM’s promoters, which he said was to help the Bumiputera become world-class professionals.

The “racial indoctrination” at the Bumiputera-preferential university had gone overboard, he said, adding that the campaign of hate-painting the DAP as anti-Malay and Dyana as a “traitor” to her own race for aligning herself with a Chinese-majority party “made no sense” and was hurting UiTM’s reputation as an academic institution as well. Read the rest of this entry »


Dyna Sofya Shoots Down A Political Frog

Koon Yew Yin
5 June 2014

Two years ago I wrote a piece titled “Dissecting Tunku Abdul Aziz” in which I wrote that Tunku Aziz was a conservative and pro-establishment figure right from his early days. Also contrary to the public persona that he was trying to cultivate that he has always been an independent and neutral public figure, he was in fact an insider in the corporate world who had benefited from opportunistic moves in advancing his career. It was not ideals that motivated the man but really his super-sized ego and concern for status.

Thus it was was not surprising to me that after a short stint in the opposition, he quickly moved back to the political center right where he has always belonged. My conclusion after his futile attempt to repair his damaged image was as follows:

But what I and most Malaysians find completely unacceptable, objectionable and disgusting is Tunku Aziz’s transformation from being the vice chairman of the largest opposition party to being Prime Minister Najib Razak’s cheerleader.

He has now gone on record to say: “What the prime minister has done now is the right thing and we need to support him”.

He has also said that Najib’s transformation process for change and improving the democratic process would certainly take time.

Earlier, Tunku Aziz was one of those who said that more than enough time had already been given to BN and Najib in ruling the country. Now, he has changed his tune.

To my mind this political somersault is unprecedented in the annals of Malaysian political history….It is tantamount to saying “Vote for the BN” despite all the corruption and abuses of human rights and democracy from someone who claimed that he was anti-Barisan.

No wonder Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr Mahathir Mohamad are praising him to the sky and using him as part of their anti-DAP and anti-Chinese rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »


Teluk Intan – As we missed winning the Battle for the Moment, we must ensure victory in the Battle for the Ages

During yesterday’s thanksgiving walkabout in Teluk Intan with by-election candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud together with DAP Perak and Teluk Intan leaders, I was asked by the press whether I had any regrets with the nomination of Dyana as the candidate.

Definitely not. As I told the press, we wanted to win the Battle of the Moment, but we also wanted to win the Battle of the Ages. 爭朝夕爭千秋

Although we suffered the setback of losing the Battle of the Moment with a razor-thin majority of 238 votes, it is all the more imperative that we should gird ourselves to ensure that we can triumph in the larger Battle of the Ages.

What Dyana and I find most heartening in our walkabout yesterday was the words of encouragement by the voters of Teluk Intan of all races, who advised Dyana not to be too upset by the setback of a defeat in the Teluk Intan by-election but to “live to fight another day” for the new politics of justice, freedom, accountability and good governance which is free from the politics of race.

Dyana’s candidature in Teluk Intan has signaled a new phase of Malaysian politics to break the gridlock of the politics of race which had shaped Malaysian electoral politics for over half a century.

We are now seeing a new awakening among Malaysian youths to go beyond the politics of race, but which is resisted and opposed by the Umno old guards who are pulling out all the stops to frustrate the forces of awakening and change. Read the rest of this entry »

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The greatest enemy to Najib’s 1Malaysia Policy are the cancer organisations like Isma which preaches the politics of hate, intolerance, lies and racism

When I came across the Malaysiakini report yesterday entitled “Rid nation of cancer called DAP, says Isma”, I tweeted: “Real Cancer talking!”.

This is because the greatest enemy to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Policy to build a nation where everyone regards himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region and socio-economic status second are cancer organisations like Isma which preaches the politics of hate, intolerance, lies and racism.

For instance, Isma attacked the defeat of the DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud in the Teluk Intan by-election as “the failure of the Chinese-dominated party to use a Malay as a mask to hide its chauvinism”, disseminating the preposterous lie that the “real struggle of DAP is to abolish the special rights of the Malays and bumiputera, which ruins harmony in the nation”.

Isma wants the DAP “like cancer” to be “cast out from the local political landscape”.

This is an example of the Dyanaphobia which have afflicted Isma and such like organisations which thrive on the politics of hate, intolerance, lies and racism because of the candidature of Dyana Sofya in the Teluk Intan by-election.

They are panicking because they find their message of hatred, intolerance, lies and racism are facing a diminishing market and more and more Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region want to see a new Malaysia uniting all Malaysians and transcending the politics of race, hatred and lies. Read the rest of this entry »


Dyanamania, Dyanaphobia and Dyanaphiles

The Malaysian Insider
4 June 2014

Malaysiakini reported today that high-ranking officials in the Education Ministry had called a teacher since last week, “advising” her to remove Facebook postings on Dyana Sofya which they deemed as “anti-government.”

The teacher told the Malaysiakini news portal that a special officer to the Education Ministry director-general had told her to close down her Facebook page and that she will be “watched”.

“It is indeed the height of irony that on one hand, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is urging teachers to return to politics under Barisan Nasional’s fold, conceding that the headmasters, principals and teachers were the ‘real movers’ of Umno, MCA, MIC and BN in the past, but on the other hand, high-ranking officials from Education Ministry were reprimanding a teacher for posting campaign posters of Dyana Sofya on Facebook,” Mr Lim Kit Siang, the MP for Gelang Patah, Johor said in a statement today.

“Is Dyanaphobia the inevitable result of what has been described as “Dyanamania” which swept Teluk Intan and the country during the Teluk Intan by-election,” he asked.

My online Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions are:

1. mania: extreme enthusiasm for something that is usually shared by many people

2. phobia: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

3. -phile: suffix used to specify some kind of attraction or affinity to something

So now we can express precisely what all the hullaballoo was about. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Najib at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow put a stop to the Dyanaphobia which is beginning to sweep Muhyiddin’s Education Ministry?

A new phobia is sweeping the Boleh-land of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

I will like to know whether Najib at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow will put a stop to the Dyanaphobia which is beginning to sweep the Education Ministry under the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or whether he would also succumb to it.

Is Dyanaphobia the inevitable result of what has been described as “Dyanamania” which swept Teluk Intan and the country during the Teluk Intan by-election from May 19 – 31, although 26-year-old DAP/PR candidate, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud lost to the Gerakan President and BN candidate, Datuk Mah Siew Keong by a wafer-thin majority of 238 votes in a record-low voter-turnout of 66.5% on polling day on May 31.

It indeed the height of irony that on the hand, the UMNO Secretary-General and Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is urging teachers to return to politics under Barisan Nasional’s fold, conceding that the headmasters, principals and teachers were the “real movers” of Umno, MCA, MIC and BN in the past, but on the other hand, high-ranking officials from Education Ministry were reprimanding a teacher for posting campaign posters of Dyana Sofya on Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »


How I felt when I joined DAP

― Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud
The Malay Mail Online
June 3, 2014

JUNE 3 ― I refer to the statement reportedly made by Tunku Aziz that I will leave the DAP when I realise “it is not a multi-racial party.”

My experience with the party was never similar to Tunku Aziz’s. I joined DAP as a regular member after getting to know some of the party’s members and leaders. I understand and admire the struggle of its leaders, and its principle of multi-culturalism. I appreciate its consistency in standing up for all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion. I believe in its principle of doing what is right, despite the risks and repercussions.

I joined without the intention of being appointed into any position. I simply wanted to be with like-minded people, sharing a vision and mission, and partake in the struggle for a better Malaysia. In DAP, I found friends and comrades.

DAP is not merely a political party to me. It is family. My saudara-saudari, brothers and sisters in DAP have made me realise that it is possible to be a true Malaysian without obliging hypocrisy, unlike the empty “1Malaysia” slogan that supposedly encourages the spirit of being Malaysian, but is nothing more than a front for the continuation of racial politics.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be Malay. I am proud of my roots and heritage. However, I don’t believe in abusing it at the expense of other Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP loses a seat but scores a political point

Jun 3, 2014

YOURSAY ‘Fielding Dyana is still a good strategy, despite the result.’

DAP’s strategy missteps cost Teluk Intan

CQ Muar: Obviously, the elderly voters of Teluk Intan were not receptive to being represented by a young Malay woman, but rather preferred a man-about-town, who is a local figure; plus the lackadaisical attitude of young outstation voters, who took things for granted.

Other factors are those issues relating to hudud, internal strifes and party squabbles, which must be quickly addressed and halted.

The next GE is around three years from now, but by then the senior voters will probably see a dip in their number, while young voters an increase theirs.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance that DAP and Pakatan Rakyat need to penetrate the heartlands of the Malays, and continue to convince urban voters simultaneously.

AA: I am not a supporter of any of the political parties, but I did hope for Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud to be elected as her election would be a clear victory against racial politics. Read the rest of this entry »


Misi politik Dyana perlu diteruskan

A Shukur Harun
The Malaysian Insider
3 June 2014

Pengundian berdasarkan kaum oleh generasi lama masih wujud, tetapi ia dilihat semakin berkurangan dan berkurangan. Oleh itu, lambat laun generasi baru akan menggantikan generasi lama dan ini adalah proses biasa dalam kehidupan.

Ketika itu suasana politik semakin berubah dan nada perkauman semakin berkurangan didengar.

Sebagai contoh dalam pilihan raya umum (PRU) setahun yang lalu di mana pengundi generasi baru sudah mencapai sekitar 41%. Maka dalam PRU akan datang peratus pengundi muda ini boleh meningkat lebih tinggi lagi. Di sinilah terletak peluang dan masa depan politik yang cerah bagi Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud. Read the rest of this entry »

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BN’s racial politics still work, but not for long

Jun 2, 2014

YOURSAY ‘A lesson to learn is that changes come in baby steps, not giant strides.’

Delving into DAP’s shock defeat

Fair Play: For DAP, a lesson to learn in the Teluk Intan by-election is that changes come in baby steps, not giant strides. The road ahead is often fraught with uncertainties, obstacles and frustrations and takes a pathway of ‘one step forward, two steps backward’ approach.

A good start would be to identify young and qualified right-thinking Muslim Malaysians as political secretaries to key DAP politicians and train them as future leaders. Do not forget young and qualified Indian Malaysians too.

DAP has to break the political mold (perception) that it is a Chinese Malaysian political party. For almost all Malaysians, perception (how they see thing) is reality.

Examples like Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud is a good start, but need more fine-tuning and adaptation. Be patient and plan for the long haul. If there is hope, there is a future. Read the rest of this entry »


The Dyana effect

– Philip Yong
The Malaysian Insider
2 June 2014

So Dyana Sofya, the DAP candidate for Teluk Intan’s by-election, lost to Gerakan president Mah Siew Kong. It was a close fight. I am sure it was heartbreaking for her and many other opposition leaders, volunteers and caring Malaysians who campaigned day in day out. This article is written especially for those who have fought hard in this battle.

There are already so many articles out there that are negative, so I thought I should write something that will uplift the spirits of all who strive for a better Malaysia.

Well, Dyana, if I am a voter in Teluk Intan, I would have voted for you. For very logical reasons.

1. I personally believe that DAP made the right choice by fielding a young lady like you. You are educated, smart, energetic, clean and most importantly you embody a true Malaysian. A Malaysian who fights for all Malaysians. A Malaysian who cares for all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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