By Zedeck Siew
Eating cake has been a potent image since Marie Antoinette — well, since before her, actually. But its significance for us Malaysians has been reenergised recently. The dessert-loving ways of several UTAR students (who gathered to commemorate the one-month-old-day of the anti-Mega Tower Facebook page) brought down their university’s banhammer — as well as the cops. So now we’ve got yet another rallying cry against authoritarianism.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah wants a slice of this particular confection. She’s behind the “Let’s All Eat Cake” campaign, which includes a Tumblr photosite and a meet-up on 27 November evening. We have a quick word with Izzah about the campaign, how she’s combating the Mega Tower, and other cake-related matters.
What’s this “Let’s All Eat Cake” campaign about? Why eat cake?
It was inspired by the UTAR students. I found it absurd that a simple act can be perceived as threatening national security: with the response of the police in attendance and the UTAR administrators issuing warnings.
So I decided that we young Malaysians should stand up for a Better Malaysia by getting together to enjoy the Freedom of Eating Cake: wherever, whenever and with whoever we like!
How do you think the authorities should have behaved, then?
How inclusive is the “Let’s All Eat Cake” campaign? Are there any types of cake that are not allowed at your cake party on Saturday?
Everyone is invited. It is a non-political event. Any type of cake is okay — except those containing alcohol, in case there are minors; or if they contain any form of meat, for cultural sensitivities.
I’m scared to join this campaign; cakes are very fattening lah. What are some low-fat alternatives? Or is low-fat cake against the campaign’s spirit?
A person can take a small bite as sign of solidarity with those attending. Or, if that is not possible, then just inhale the cake’s aroma! The point is that one can participate in any way that is creative; just by being there means and says a lot.
s this a non-partisan campaign, like the 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower group you were inspired by?
Yes it is non-partisan and totally inclusive.
What do you think about the anti-Mega Tower phenomenon?
I think it is the tip of huge iceberg of discontent and distrust for the government’s plans and intentions. They always claim that such projects are for the rakyat — but we know it is meant to benefit the few and well connected. The fact is that the rakyat, when given the opportunity to express themselves, can be a tsunami — one that the government shouldn’t ignore, but engage with responsibly and sincerely.
Your entrance into the anti-Mega Tower fray received mixed responses; the lack of comments, for such a high-activity group, was notable. One commentator wanted to see “how would she be contributing to this cause”. How will you fight against Warisan Merdeka?
I have spoken out about misplaced policy priorities, especially on the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) in Parliament, the media, and my speeches. I shall continue to speak out on all matters that I find to go against the interest of all Malaysians.
I will also listen to feedback and criticism, because I believe we are all working towards the common goal of a Better Malaysia. We all must do our part.
Lastly: What’s your favourite kind of cake?
Moist chocolate cake, of course! 🙂
Join the “Let’s All Eat Cake” meet-up at the MBPJ Civic Centre, PJ, on 27 November 2010, from 12.30pm onwards!