Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

World Cup in South Afica: Separating Myths and Realities

world-cupThere is more than meets the eye in the euphoria surrounding the soccer World Cup.

Offering an unapologetic public critique of the FIFA Soccer World Cup at the height of the collective frenzy of positive expectation, feel-good nationalism and general public excitement that now exists in our country is a risky thing to do. But it is a risk that needs to be taken precisely because, no matter what the context, myths always need to be separated from realities. In the case of the "greatest show on Earth", leaving aside the very real beauty and enjoyment of the game of soccer, the myth-making has created a situation akin to inhaling tik – a short-lived high/euphoria that obscures all reality, followed by a rapid, depressing "come down" back to that reality.

Why are your teenagers reading vampire novels?

twilight1Why do teenagers eat the Twilight novels? Why do they follow the adventures of young Bella and her vampire lover Edward? What do they think they see? Recently, I encountered some fans. "You are attracted to it because it is dangerous," says Camila, 13. "There is something that sucks you in."

"I have Twilight written on my hand right now," says Morag, 11, whispering down the telephone (with her parents' permission). "Once you are gripped you cannot get ungripped. I am completely obsessed."

Child abuse as serious as head injury

CAP is disturbed to note the number of abuse cases involving children reported of late. Toddlers being sexually abused, a stepchild apparently beaten to death, young girls raped — the list goes on.

Moved by love

vinobaVINOBA BHAVE was one of the great spiritual leaders and social reformers of modern India, whose work and personal example moved the hearts of all Indians, from Prime Ministers to the poor.

Born in 1894, at the age of ten, he took a vow of lifelong  celibacy  and service to others. Searching for a way of life that would embody both spiritual truth and practical action, he discovered Gandhi and joined in his work of the regeneration of India.

On fire for the poor

swami_agniveshHis name literally means "embodiment of fire". Through his fiery, eloquent and well-argued speeches, SWAMI AGNIVESH acts as a voice for the voiceless and is embarassed about being a politician.
But unlike the politicians who mouth the talk of religion, Agnivesh's politics are not aimed at dividing Hindu and Muslim, or any other religion. Instead, in a way parallel to the liberation theologists of Latin America, the swami has been consistently attempting battles on behalf of the poor, the weak and the defenceless of India.