Politics is part of life, leave it to the professional, says Michelle Yeoh

KUALA LUMPUR: As much as she loves portraying Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady, Datuk Michelle Yeoh says she has no interest in joining Malaysian politics.

The politically-inclined celebrity will, however, be back in the country to cast her vote in her hometown of Ipoh for the general election.

Yeoh: I believe in good causes, but will leave politics to the professionals

“Being an actor is hard enough,” the Malaysian superstar reiterated during an interview with The Daily Chilli, a news portal for The Star.

“I believe in good causes, but will leave politics to the professionals. Politics is part of life. To make a difference in your country, you have to cast your vote,” she opined.

Citing that she finds it hard to transform herself from a public figure to a politician, Yeoh added:

“It will be a difficult transition for me. I don’t have the guts. Politics is about compromise. There is no right or wrong. That’s why we have different political parties.”

Yeoh was in town to promote The Lady, a Luc Besson film on the personal struggle of Suu Kyi.

During her whirlwind promotional tour here, the good-hearted actress graced charity screenings for Swiss Watch Extraordinaire, Richard Mille and the Malaysian Chinese Women Entrepeneurs Association.

Distributed by GSC Movies, The Lady will be released in selected cinemas here and in Penang, Ipoh and Malacca on May 3.

By NOORSILA ABDUL MAJID newsdesk@thestar.com.my


Beware of Aussie’s “Asian dogs and pussies” attacking Chinese and Indian!

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29:  A commuter read...


SYDNEY—Australia’s Mandarin-speaking ex-leader Kevin Rudd on Tuesday weighed into the case of two Chinese students who were burned and beaten in Sydney, sparking a media storm in their homeland, reports said.

Police confirmed that a 29-year-old man “suffered a fractured cheekbone and nose… as well as burns from a lit cigarette” during a robbery by six youths on a train in southern Sydney on Monday.

“A second male victim also suffered burns to the face during the alleged robbery,” police said in a statement.

One of the victims was identified as a Chinese blogger named Xuan studying for a masters degree in Sydney, who posted about the graphic attack on the microblogging site Sina Weibo.

“A gang of hooligans attacked us. Our noses are fractured and our bodies are covered in blood,” wrote Xuan, according to a translation in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

“My friend’s cheekbone was crushed. They attacked us with glass and burnt us with lit cigarettes. My face is burnt and totally disfigured. Worst of all, I really hated their racist comments.”

Xuan claimed the group taunted them as “Asian dogs and pussies” and when his friend tried to wipe the blood from his nose “a teenaged girl stuffed my friend’s mouth with her tampon removed from her pants.”

There were many passengers and staff on the train, he added, but nobody intervened to help and another woman targeted by the gang even encouraged them to rob Xuan and his friend saying “they are Asian and they have got money.”

Xuan’s post about the attack was reposted on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, more than 10,000 times according to the Herald, and Australia’s ex-PM and former foreign minister Kevin Rudd also spoke up on the site.

Weibo newcomer Rudd wrote that he would “try to approach the police and department of education” about the incident, the Herald said.

Australia has gained an unwelcome reputation for violence against international students in recent years, with a string of attacks involving Indian students in southern Melbourne triggering diplomatic tensions.

There was intense publicity in India about the assaults, which included the stabbing murder of accounting graduate for his mobile phone, and Canberra conceded that some of the violence was racially motivated.- AFP

‘This city is so dangerous’: outrage in China over Sydney train assault 

Peter Cai

Will try to approach police … a screen grab of Kevin Rudd’s message on Weibo.

A terrifying gang assault on Sydney train passengers has left two international students seriously injured and caused a media storm in China.

The alleged robbery, including racist taunts, drew a social media pledge from former foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd and led to emergency talks at Sydney’s Chinese consulate general.

Police said six people, aged 14 to 18, robbed passengers on a train between Central and Rockdale about 12.30am yesterday.

A picture from Xuan's blog.A picture from Xuan’s blog.>>

Officers were called to Rockdale station about 15 minutes later, where they arrested three men, two aged 18 and one 19, a 14-year-old boy and two girls, aged 16 and 17.

They were all charged with a number of robbery and assault offences.

Yesterday’s attack came just days after two safety warnings from the Chinese embassy in Canberra for citizens travelling in Australia. Many Chinese students studying in Australia have expressed their fear over growing violence directed against them.

One of the victims of the attack, known as Xuan, suffered from a fractured nose and burns from a lit cigarette.

The international student from China, seeking a master’s degree at the University of Technology, Sydney, was travelling with a friend from Central to Rockdale when the attack happened.

A translation from Xuan’s blog on the Chinese social media site Weibo reads: “I really wish all of this is just a nightmare. However, the smell of blood in my mouth and body pains reminds me that this city is so dangerous.

“A gang of hooligans attacked us. Our noses are fractured and our bodies are covered in blood. My friend’s cheekbone was crushed. They attacked us with glass and burnt us with lit cigarettes. My face is burnt and totally disfigured! Worst of all, I really hated their racist comments.

“They were calling us Asian dogs and pussies while they were beating us. When my friend tried to wipe blood from his nose, a teenaged girl stuffed my friend’s mouth with her tampon removed from her pants.”

Another woman passenger, who was also targeted by the thieves, allegedly told the attackers to “rob them, they are Asian and they have got money”.

Xuan and his friend were treated at St George Hospital in Sydney’s south-west.

He said he would now take leave from study and return to China.

The incident has caused outrage in the Chinese student community across the country and Xuan’s initial post was re-tweeted more than 10,000 times. Thousands of Chinese students have expressed their disgust online.

The incident has made headlines acrosss China, including on the popular news sites Sina News and the English language Shanghai Daily.

Chinese consular officials have also publicly expressed their support for the students. Fairfax Media understands that officials met at the Consulate General in Sydney this morning to discuss the incident.

Mr Rudd, a new Weibo user, told one of his online followers, writing in Chinese, that he “will try to approach the police and department of education”on behalf of the victims.

This website has sought comment from Mr Rudd’s office.

One Sydney-based international student said: “Australia is known for its tolerance and multi-culturalism. Yet there is still a tiny minority who discriminate against the international students, especially the younger people.”

“You can accept people with different sexual orientations. But why can’t you accept people from different cultural backgrounds?”

Xuan also expressed his anger and disappointment at the lack of help from train staff and other passengers.

“Though there were no police on the train, there were many other people and train staff. It even stopped once at Wolli Creek, but nobody helped us!”

Peter Cai is The Age’s Asian Affairs Reporter

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