I'm Michael Yip

With 20+ years in the video and photography industry, I've been engaged to cover quite a number of historical events that happened across the Asian region in the recent years. From the 1st Formula 1 race in Malaysia to the SEA Games in Laos and Olympics in Australia. Since 2010, based out of Kuala Lumpur, my team and I have been engaged to cover a number of corporate clients and notable individuals as well as festivals in the Asian region. To get in touch with us to use our service, Just head over to the contact section and drop me a message.

Through ABOOD PLT., my team and I also provides Event Production as well as Procurement services. Our core team has a combined 30+ years of experience in the event industry organizing festivals and corporate functions as well as corporate training services. We also have a team that has a strong network in the business world that enabled us to provide procurement services to various businesses looking for specific items or services. To reach out to us, you can drop me a message via the floating button at the bottom right or write in to us at info@mikeyip.com or aboodmediamy@gmail.com

If you are stumped by the photo, yes, I dance as well, mainly Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, West Coast Swing and Argentine Tango. I have since stopped performing due to injuries but if you are looking for performers for corporate events/functions/parties/festivals. Do drop me a message as well as I manages some of the dance teams that is currently making the rounds performing for various clients.

Kolej Bandar Utama/Central St. Martin

Diploma in Arts and Design

Kolej Damansara Utama

Diploma in Telecommunication Engineering

SMK Damansara Utama


Photographer/Video Producer


Abood PLT

Procurement Services and Event Management

Digital Marketing Solutions

Abood Media Sdn Bhd

My Skills
Photography and Video Production
Brand Management and Solutions
Public Relations
Digital Marketing Solutions


Confirmed Bookings for 2018


Confirmed Destinations for 2018


Confirmed Dance Festivals for 2018


Talks Confirmed for 2018


Photography and Video Production

As our core business, this is what we are good at, capturing visuals that brings out the best for your brand.

Procurement Services and Event Management

Through Abood PLT, we specializes in helping brands in 2 big ways, providing a customized procurement solutions for their business needs. We also tailor make events for organizations from corporate training to roadshows and tournaments.

Social Media Marketing

Abood Media Sdn Bhd's core strenght in Digital Marketing Services focuses on Social Media Management and promotions.

Web Design

We also design and revamp websites as part of Abood Media Sdn Bhd's services.

Live Event Streaming Production

As part of a new offering from MIKE YIP STUDIO and partners, we also provides Live Streaming services for Events through dedicated sites or onto social media platforms.


We pride ourselves at being good and efficient in what we do and we always try our best to deliver services that exceeds our client's expectations.

I also blogs

The difference between Key Opinion Leader (KOL) & an Influencer

First off, we need to know the difference between a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) and an Influencer as I recently had a chat with a person that claims to be a KOL and made me correct her by labelling her correctly. Why? Because to me, is just a social media user with a handful of following.

In my opinion, the definition of a Key Opinion Leader is an expert whose opinion is valued in a specific industry or area of knowledge, and is listened to by a broader audience. KOLs are individuals who are trusted and respected specifically for this knowledge. The term Key Opinion Leader in marketing is not new. .

An example of a KOL? BTS (방탄소년단) or Bangtan Boys that recently recently donated to Black Lives Matters movement and as a reaction, got fellow celebrities, BTS Army and brands across the globe to match their donation to the BLM movement as well. Now, that's a KOL.

An influencer on the other hand, applies to people who are bloggers, online content creators, vloggers and live streamers and has a small following. They can help brands to promote their services/products to their audience through the relationship that he/she has build with his or her audience. A following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages.

Is an influencer a KOL? Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. Understanding the differences can help you decide whether working with an influencer or a KOL is right for your brand or campaign.

The difference?

Influencers can have a strong influence on an audience present on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. While KOLs may have a presence on social media, these platforms don’t have to serve as their main communication channel. An influencer’s credibility comes from their online persona, their content and their perceived authenticity.

On the other hand, A KOL’s credibility comes from direct experience in an industry, professional qualifications or time spent engaged on a subject. In contrast, the trust of an influencer’s audience is based on identification and personal preference.

KOL or Influencer? Finding the Right Fit.

Influencers and KOLs appeal to different audiences, so if you’re deciding which one to work with, you’ll need to consider who your target demographic is.

Influencers appeal to the average consumer.

Compared to KOLs, influencers often have an unspecified audience. What connects all of the followers is a shared interest in the influencer’s attitude, personality or lifestyle. People follow influencers because their content matches the follower’s interest, taste or opinion. Because of these similarities, the follower is more likely to identify with the influencer, but does not necessarily match the demographic of the influencer.

Key opinion leaders, on the other hand, speak to a particular demographic. Their audience values the KOL’s opinion due to their expertise and experience in a certain industry. Followers turn to them for knowledge and advice and usually have a deeper understanding and knowledge of an industry themselves. Unlike influencers, followers aren’t necessarily fans of the KOL as a person but they respect the KOL’s expertise.

If you want to target audience members in a specific demographic or with interests in a specific topic, then finding Key Opinion Leaders who speak to that demographic can be an effective way to reach a new audience, or extend your reach. However, don’t pay more for a KOL who has a large reach but is working outside your area of interest. Their pricing might be based on the reach they have within a certain topic area, and their influence will not be effective outside that area of expertise.


In recent years, there's a growth of online celebrity that market themselves as KOL. Especially in China, its own terminology to refer to an influencer marketing practitioner: key opinion leader (KOL) or “wanghong,” which is the romanization of the Mandarin pronunciation for “online celebrity.”

An industry of “wanghong incubators” or “KOL academies” is thriving to meet the flood of KOL aspirants. Some incubators span the entire supply chain, handling people’s careers much like a talent agency would. Incubators start with talent discovery and development, and then move that talent into content creation and beyond, including production of products and logistics. Top-notch KOLs may get a full production team devoted to them.

It’s difficult to get an exact count of how many of these academies are operating, but it is definitely a growing market being led by China, such academies are sprouting up in almost every country across the globe.

Some marketers deploying influencer campaigns use KOL and wanghong interchangeably. It’s not always clear-cut which they mean, but there are some important distinctions. KOLs have developed expertise on a topic and have created relationships with their audience over an extended period. Wanghongs became famous because of an internet presence, but their opinions may not necessarily be trusted as expert in relation to the products being hawked. That leads some KOLs to take offense when they are referred to as wanghongs.

The Takeaway

An influencer loves something but a KOL lives it. Engaging with a KOL might be right at one stage of a campaign or product launch while engaging with influencers might be more appropriate for other times – neither is inherently better than the other.

Identify the demographics of the audience you want to target and start from there. Do you want to target the average consumer? Is your product or service primarily designed for a specific group that requires expertise to be convinced of a product? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a KOL or an influencer is right for you.

Now, why would you want to engage KOLs and Influencers?

  •  Reach more people in a target market 
  • Gain credibility through word-of-mouth marketing
Millennials are 115% more influenced by word of mouth than traditional advertising.

KOLs influence the influencers.

Influencers look to key opinion leaders to as subject matter experts.

Brands work with influencers to gain access to their followers.

Key opinion leaders are thought leaders because they have the credibility to back up their opinions — not because of their follower counts.

What can you do if you want to engage with KOLs and Influencers to help you boost your brands?

  • Do a bit of research on the KOLs and Influencers that is most suitable to your branding needs
  • Reach out to the KOLs and Influencers
  • Work with the KOLs and Influencers to work out a marketing plan to maximise the ROI for your brand
If you are not sure of where to start, just ask around, I always believe in the idea of 6 degrees of separation, asking around among your friends/contacts would eventually lead you to the right path.

If you stumble upon this site while trying to find an answer, then you can also reach out to me. It is that simple.

Hope you will find what you are looking for in planning out the next direction for your brand. Til then, do let me know if this post helps or if you have any tips to share with other readers, do share with us.

Halogen Oven Roast Pork in 10 Steps

The Missus wanted roast pork (燒肉) that I usually make using Air-Fryer that I normally make at our home, but during the current Movement Control Order by the Malaysian government to control Covid-19, we are basically stuck at the MiL place. And the only tool available is the Halogen Oven (turbo cooker), the halogen cooking pot cooks food in a very similar manner to the air-fryer. So we attempted to make a halogen oven roast pork for lunch.

Just like the air-fryer version, I prepped the pork a day before. The marinate/rub needs to get in deep and make the pork as delicious as it can be. All in all, it's all very easy, 10 simple steps to succulent porn pork goodness.

What I used:

  • 500g Pork Belly
  • Bowl large enough to fit the pork
  • Halogen Lamp Oven
  • Knife and fork
  • Kitchen paper towels
  • Tray with rack (make sure fridge have space for it)

The Marinate/Dry Rub:

  • 3 teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of 5 spice powder

For the skin:

  • Ample amount of salt or sea salt.

The Steps

1. For the seasoning and prep, combine salt with sugar and five-spice powder and set aside. Use a knife to scrape away any impurities and hair on the pork and rinse thoroughly.

2. Blanch in boiling water for 15minutes to soften the skin and to get the meat to about 60% done.

3. Remove the pork from the water and let it rest on a rack. Pat dry with kitchen paper towels, using knife, score the base of the meat to allow the rub get into the meat. If you have meat stabbers, use those for the skin. In our case, I had to rely on some brute strength, knife and fork to score and stab at the skin.

4. Once that's done, apply the seasoning on the meat side. Once that's done, place it on a rack with a tray beneath and let it rest in the fridge til you want to cook it. I left it overnight.

5. Remove the pork from fridge an hour before cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/395F.

6. Wipe the skin side again with paper towel to make sure it's completely dry, with fork/meat stabbers, give the skin another round of poking just to be on the safe side. Coat the skin side with ample amount of salt.

7. Place the pork in the oven's rack. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

8. Remove the layer of salt on the skin. Set the oven to 220C/430F, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skin gets truly crispy. (This one, have to use own observation to monitor as some friends mentioned to me that it only took them 10 - 15minutes to get crunchy skin based on my instructions)

9. Enjoy the beauty that is in the oven before removing from oven and let it rest for 5min.

10. Slice to the size you want and serve.

There you go, 10 easy steps to some porky goodness.

Do you have other ways to make it? Do share with me and other readers by commenting before this post.

Malaysian Grocery Delivery Services To Use During Covid-19 Restriction of Movement order


Keep yourself safe at home during this covid-19 season! Here is a list of online grocery shopping stores you can use.


1. Mygroser - https://www.mygroser.com (same day delivery, 9 am to 9 pm daily including public holidays, have their own physical store, cold storage rooms and bakery to ensure cleanliness and freshness)
2. Happyfresh - https://www.happyfresh.my (same day delivery, choose from a range of supermarkets in your area, daily 10 am to 9 pm including public holidays)
3. Tesco - http://eshop.tesco.com.my (next day delivery, 10 am to 10 pm daily including public holidays,pickup at store possible)
4. Mydin - https://www.mydin.com.my/online-store/onlinestore (next day delivery, 10 am to 10 pm daily including public holidays, pickup at store possible)
5. Jaya Grocer - https://www.jayagrocer.com (next day delivery, 10 am to 9 pm including public holidays)
6. Redtick - https://shop.redtick.com (next day delivery, limited locations)
7. Pantry Express - https://www.pantryexpress.my (3 to 5 days delivery excluding public holidays, 8 am to 6 pm)
8. Potboy - https://potboy.com.my (delivery 3 to 5 working days, but NO delivery fees)

** please note that same day delivery is subject to there being available slots for the day

1. Redtick Plus - https://plus.redtick.com/ (deliver 1 to 5 working days)

1. My Seafood Mart - http://myseafoodmart.com/ (2pm to 8 pm daily except certain public holidays, Klang Valley only) 
2. Fish Club - https://fishclub.my/ (delivery time 3 to 5 days, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday (JB) and Thurs (KL /Penang)
3. Fish for It - https://www.fishforit.com.my (flash frozen, delivery within 48 hours, deliver to Klang Valley, nationwide possible)
4. Fresh Seafood Malaysia - https://www.freshseafoodmalaysia.com (delivery on weekdays only, nationwide  to Georgetown, Ipoh, Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan and Johor Bahru)
5. My Fishman - https://myfishman.com/ (11 am to 7 pm, Wed to Sat, nationwide delivery)

1. Signature Market - https://www.signaturemarket.co/my/marketplace/ (delivery nationwide 7 to 10 working days)
2. Everleaf - https://www.everleafstore.com/ (local farm produce , delivery Klang Valley only 4 to 5 days)
3. Organic Express - https://organicexpress.my/ (delivery nationwide 3 to 5 working days)
4. Organic4U - https://www.organic4u.com.my (organic farm produce, delivery Klang Valley only, 10 am to 6 pm, Monday, Wednesday & Friday) 
5. TM Organic Farms - https://www.tmorganicfarms.com/#/ (weekly organic box deliveries to Klang Valley)

7 Points You Need to Know About Climate Change

Climate change is coming to dominate the debate; it’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue. People talk. Be it extreme weather events or activist groups such as Extinction Rebellion (who took to the streets in the act of “civil disobedience”), the once distant and far off vision — the one that was supposed to affect our grandkids — is coming for us.

Views are polarised, as with everything these days. One side predicts the apocalypse, seeming hysterical to much of the public, who accept climate change but are dubious of its severity. The other side denies anything is even wrong, or that it’s either natural or nothing to be worried about.

Too often do people throw their hands up in despair — “Oh, — I don’t know about all this, I’m not a climate scientist”. Even at the highest reaches of the debate, science is thin on the ground. No wonder the sceptics do good business. Climate scientists haven’t transferred their knowledge to the public in the same way that say doctors do. So, people are wary of climate disaster, but they’ll trust the doc who tells them, sadly, they have cancer.

Great speakers such as Stephen Schneider (who passed away in 2010) have left vacant positions. And so, we’ve concluded climate science is hard, too esoteric. That might be true at the fringes (the bleeding edge), but the basics are so simple they’re taught in every high school physics textbook. We’ve known the science of the greenhouse effect since the 1820s!

No more shying away from the debate, or giving vague feelgood answers. We’ve got to have our arguments bolted to our hip. We have to win this. We don’t have a choice.

So, here are seven key points everyone needs to understand about climate change.

1. CO2 Heats the Atmosphere

Carbon dioxide doesn’t quite have the scare factor of hydrochloric acid or uranium-232. CO2 sounds boring. But without CO2 life on earth could not exist. It would be freezing for a start. Ice sheets would stretch as far south as New York City, and global temperatures would be 15.5 degrees Celsius lower.

All because of CO2. Perhaps not so boring after all.

CO2 is one of many greenhouse gases. It lets in shortwave radiation (visible and ultraviolet light) from sunlight which passes through the atmosphere. The earth absorbs the energy and radiates it back towards space in the form of longwave radiation (infrared light, e.g. heat — when metal is heated it glows red because the infrared light is bleeding into the visible spectrum). Greenhouse gases absorb the energy. Thereby warming the earth, just like glass in a greenhouse, hence the name.

In 1861, John Tyndal identified CO2 as a greenhouse gas capable of absorbing heat rays, and our knowledge has only deepened. The physics is foundational, and for it to be wrong would mean an awful lot of basic science is wrong as well. Perhaps, but it seems unlikely.

2. Carbon Dioxide is the World’s Thermostat

CO2 warms the earth. Therefore, if we increase CO2, the world will warm. The question is, how much? CO2 makes up only a fraction of the atmosphere at 0.04%. Oxygen and Nitrogen make up the bulk. But these gases do not absorb infrared light, only the greenhouses gases do. Therefore, if only a small fraction of the earth’s atmosphere is receptive to infrared light, even small changes in these gases can have outsized effects relative to their concentration.

We understand this in our everyday lives. A cup of coffee won’t kill you, but twenty cups might give you a heart attack, whereas a drop of arsenic is deadly. It’s just more potent.

How potent is CO2?

Well, CO2 is responsible for between 9–26% of the earth’s greenhouse effect, depending on the cloud cover. Surprisingly, water vapour and clouds are responsible for between 36–72%. That’s because the best way to increase atmospheric water vapour is to turn the temperature up (as every visitor to a sauna knows), and CO2 is the method of warming. It increases the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, raising temperatures further. If we discount the effect of water vapour, CO2 accounts for 80% of the greenhouse effect.

Carbon dioxide is the world’s thermostat.

3. Fossil fuels = CO2

They’re called fossil fuels for a reason. Over millions of years, plants extracted CO2 out of the atmosphere and emitted oxygen via the process of photosynthesis. Millions more years passed and by various geological processes this dead plant matter, whether from land or sea, compacted and condensed till we got the fossil fuels we know today.

Burn that ancient carbon, and a simple chemical reaction occurs.

C + O2 = CO2

It’s that simple. Sceptics will readily point out humans release only 3% of the world’s CO2. But they’ve missed the point. The rest of the CO2 that is released is natural (from processes such as decomposition, respiration, ocean degassing, and volcanic eruptions), and for tens-of-thousands of years has been balanced with the CO2 absorbed. But now, we are tipping the balance.

Picture a bathtub. Every minute, 10 litres of water goes in, and through the plughole 10 litres of water leaves. Whatever the level in the bath, it will remain constant. Now imagine we turn the tap, so 10.3 litres of water enters the tub. Slowly and surely the water will rise as more water enters than leaves. The bath will inevitably overflow, the question is when.

Measurements from the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii show increases in CO2 from less than 320 ppm (parts per million) in 1960 to over 400 ppm today. A truly whopping amount. It’s not surprising; we are emitting in decades what nature took millions of years to extract. And we are accelerating. In the 1960s, we put 0.6 ppm per year into the atmosphere, whereas the past decade has been closer to 2.3 ppm per year.

The water in the bath is rising, but what happens when it overflows?

4. This isn’t New

Some ask, what’s the worry? CO2 will be a boost to plant growth, and a warmer planet is better than a colder one. I wouldn’t mind living near a sunny beach. Well, is this accurate?

Current CO2 levels are the highest for 3 million years, back in the Pliocene era, when levels were around 356–410 ppm. The continents were in roughly the same place, as well as oceanic currents — a snapshot into our future. Scientists found temperatures were significantly warmer. The average global temperature was 3–4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Sea levels were 25 m higher.

Temperatures at the poles rose more extremely than anywhere else, 11–16 degrees Celsius warmer. Amazingly, explorers discovered fossilised beech leaves from this period in the Transantarctic mountains.

We look likely to overshoot 410 ppm in the next few years, let alone stabilise at it. We must go back further.

During the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 55.5 million years ago, the earth saw massive carbon injections from a range of hotly debate sources. North and South America hadn’t joined. India meandered from Madagascar to Asia, the Himalayas all but an inevitability. Average temperatures rose by 5–8 degrees Celsius. Vegetation roasted in Spain. CO2 dissolved into the oceans, turning them acidic (CO2 forms carbonic acid). Palm mangroves grew in England and Belgium. Conditions at the poles were almost subtropical, being 23 degrees Celsius higher than today.

CO2 reached over 1000 ppm. The rate at which CO2 entered the atmosphere was 0.3–1.7 gigatons of carbon per year (GtC/yr). Humans today add around 10 GtC/yr, much faster than during the PETM. The PETM took over 20,000 years, a blink in geological time, but glacial when compared with today. Many scientists have noted the parallels. John Higgins and Daniel Schrag, from Harvard University, stated in May 2006: “The PETM represents one of the best natural analogues in the geologic record to the current rise in atmospheric CO2 due to burning of fossil fuel.”

5. Heat Fuels the Weather

The planet is warming, that much seems clear. But you might have also seen talk of extreme weather, like droughts and hurricanes, becoming more common. What’s the link with CO2?

The mechanism is simple. Heat is a form of energy. When trapped by the atmosphere, it affects the climate. In particular, it excites water molecules leading to evaporation on a global scale. As moisture saturates the humid atmosphere, local environments collapse.

In damp climates rainfall increases, but when it comes it arrives in torrents, carving up the landscape in landslides and floods. Whereas in dry climates, the water evaporates into the atmosphere and carried away on the wind. Killing plants and turning soil to sand.

A hotter world means more energy for a storm to feed off. Tropical storms require sea surface temperatures of 26.5 degrees Celsius to form [16], usually occurring close to the equator. These storms then follow the warm currents. In the Caribbean or Mid-Atlantic, they barrel up the US East Coast, alternately in the Pacific push up the East Asian Pacific Rim (such as Japan). Limits are placed on the size and trajectory of storms by the energy available — cold waters or dry land sap the hurricane’s ferocity. Therefore, in a hotter world, more energy fuels bigger hurricanes or typhoons, creating behemoths knows as “hyper canes”.

During the end-Permian hothouse, hurricanes may have reached to the Arctic. Floods will be more extreme covering a greater area, as these large systems dump billions of gallons of seawater onto land.

Worryingly, hurricanes may affect areas previously untouched or unthinkable.

In 2004, Hurricane Catarina surprised meteorologists as it formed in the South Atlantic, striking the coast of Brazil. Not just due to warmer waters, but also due to atmospheric factors such as wind shear from the South Atlantic being weaker. But the point is stark. More heat means more storms in more places. Already, the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has roughly doubled since the mid-1970s.

Think of a pot of water, the more energy you put in, the more it boils over.

6. Life is Slow. The Climate is Slower.

Humans may be affecting the climate rapidly in geological time, but it still seems slow from our limited perspective. Humans don’t live very long. Sorry about that.

Currently, about half the CO2 we release into the atmosphere stays there; the other half is taken by the oceans or by plants. It takes 30 years to remove half the atmospheric CO2 — centuries for the next 30%. The final 20% will still be there in thousands of years. The process moves to the pace of the oceanic currents.

What will happen in the meantime has become the domain of the climate model.

Models have a bad rep. But our lives depend on them, from shipbuilding to product testing. Models revolutionised the way we do things, as we transitioned from merely thinking about a subject to testing it practically. First with scaled-down versions, and then eventually inside a computer. Models are science made flesh. They’re not perfect, but they’re the best tool we have.

Climate models work by dissecting the earth’s surface into grids. Then, using a vast amount of information (e.g. temperature, CO2 concentration, oceanic currents, reflectivity of the ice cap), they calculate how the climate will change in each grid square.

Climate models are calibrated or tested in a process called “hind-casting”. Here we input the information we have from a previous era of earth’s history, e.g. PETM, and we see if a similar course of events is shown in the climate model to what we know happened in real life. If it does, we know the model is accurate.

Contrary to reports that the predictions are off, they’re pretty good. Here are some notable examples:

Notice how we followed the worst-case scenario of the IPCC projections with sea level rising the highest predicted.

Hansen et al. 1981 predicted the future temperature rise with remarkable accuracy, and contrary to reports by critics of James Hansen, actually underestimated temperature rise (-20%).

The Third IPCC report slightly underestimate future warming by -14%.

The fifth IPCC report was again incredibly accurate in predicting both past and future climate. This model slightly overestimates (+16%) the effect of climate change, but this is explained by natural variability, small volcanic eruptions and lower-than-expected solar output not included in the post-2005 projections.

7. It’s Already Happening

Already global temperatures have risen about 1 degrees Celsius; we are feeling the effects.

In 2010, a heatwave in Moscow killed 55,000 people. Six years later, the city temperatures broke a 137-year record for July (a scorching 31.8 degrees Celsius). In 2016, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait endured a terrible heatwave, Baghdad suffered 43‏ degrees Celsius heat for two months. Zainab Guman told The Washington Post “It’s like everything on your body — your skin, your eyes, your nose — starts to burn”.

India this year saw 9 million people in Chennai (formerly Madras) endure a devastating water shortage as lakes and reservoirs were parched. People queued around the block to fill jerry cans with the precious resource. Booming populations combined with drier climates and failing groundwater reservoirs are set to devastate agriculture and force millions to move.

The Syrian conflict sparked the most significant mass movement of people since WWII. Priorly, the area saw long-term drying likely due to climate change, with some suggesting it exacerbated the conflict.

Coral reefs and shellfish around the world are struggling to survive due to ocean acidification. The Great Barrier Reef declined 50.7% (of the original cover) between 1985 to 2012 due to bleaching and tropical cyclones. Coral reefs make-up just 0.1% of the ocean area, but contain 25% of marine life. Each one truly a thalassic Garden of Eden.

Wildfires are becoming increasingly common. The US has seen the number of large wildfires (greater than 1000 acres) double since the 1970s. In summer 2019, Greenpeace Russia estimated 3.3m hectares of Siberia were burning with temperatures inside the Arctic Circle ranging from 34.8 degrees Celsius in Markusvinsa, Sweden to 21 degrees Celsius in Alert, Canada (only 900 km from the North Pole). The animals and communities which live there felt the disastrous effects. Massive flames engulf Southern California and major parts of Australia in 2019. It won’t be the last time.

At the other extreme, in August 2016, Louisiana saw a diluvial deluge cause $8.7 billion of damage in floods, covering a vast area of land. It was classed as a 1 in 500-year event. But scientists found climate change had increased the chance by at least 40%.

What happens when we reach 2 or 3 or even 6 degrees by the end of the century, which some models suggest is possible in a business as usual scenario. Who knows? And who wants to find out?

You made it to the end. Congratulations! However, there is a catch. Hopefully, you learned something. If you did, you know something you can’t un-know. Don’t let the information slip away. Do something with it.

We aren’t in a fairy-tale. There is no hero. And if God exists, he’s letting us ride this one out. It’s up to you. There is one glimmer of hope, though. Something called the 3.5% rule. It states that no popular movement which has engaged 3.5% of the populace in active participation has failed. We can do that, surely. We can change the future.

Find all the sources used throughout the article here.

The rise of 'rape shaming' & Steps to take to report a rape/sexual assault

Decide to add-on to the 3 previous postings, so that students are well aware that they have their rights and to be alert in case of any future reoccurrence because I do not condone such behavior in the dance community. 
As instructors, our role is to provide a safe environment and be the reliable person students can turn to in their times of needs. By taking advantage of being in that role and attack the very students that trusts you is just wrong.

Women who feel the system has failed them are taking to the internet to name their alleged rapists or attackers, as part of a growing trend of digital vigilantism.

It’s known as “rape shaming” and there are several recent examples in Australia of victims using social media to take justice into their own hands.

Police warn that the practice could derail ongoing investigations and hurt the chances of prosecution, not to mention the potential for defamation proceedings brought by those named.

But those who’ve rape shamed say they have no alternative, few regrets and nothing to lose.

Hagar Cohen has spent months investigating the issue for the ABC Radio National show “Background Briefing” and spoke to some 30 women impacted by rape or sexual assault.

Some had named their alleged attackers and others were planning to, spurred on by the belief that the justice system couldn’t — or wouldn’t — help them, she said.

“The women I spoke to felt a desire to protect other people from their abusers and many felt a sense of guilt that if they didn’t do something, they would let down other people,” Cohen said.

One victim who was raped when she was just 15 is preparing to name her attacker online and believes it will bring her some comfort, she said.

From her act of revenge, the man would forever be known as a rapist — an outcome that she felt “wonderful” about.

“She said to me that it would ‘probably be the biggest f–k you’ she could give,” Cohen recalled.

“He had taken so much power from her, she felt powerless, and she thought it would be beneficial to take some back. She said: ‘I just want the whole world to know what a horrible, disgusting person he is.’”

Lauren Ingram is a journalist who in June took to social media to name her alleged rapist, after several failed attempts to have the matter dealt with by authorities over two years.

The first detective told her the man was “just a kid who didn’t know how to have sex yet” and other investigators mishandled evidence, she claimed.

On the day Ingram posted a series of tweets, she hadn’t been planning to identify her alleged attacker until seconds before she did.

“It literally exploded from there,” Cohen said.

Ingram took part in Cohen’s story, who followed her as police interest in the complaint was reignited following the name and shame.

“They called her again and asked her to come in to give a statement,” Cohen said.

“It was the third statement she’s had to give now. Lauren was very compliant and did what she asked but she doesn’t believe anything is going to come from it.”

As well as support, Ingram’s actions drew strong criticism from those who felt she was denying someone the right to the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”

It’s a valid point, Cohen admitted.

“It’s an important concept that our society relies on. And it’s true that usually vigilantism often starts as something that seems like a good idea but gets crazy very quickly.”

But that “tricky, dangerous” road is one many desperate women feel compelled to travel.

Another woman was raped in 1997 and her complaint to police didn’t go anywhere until she was contacted six years later when three other victims came forward.

Despite her first experience, she took part in the case — and it unraveled again due to mismanagement, Cohen said.

“So many people have a profound distrust of police and the courts.”

“For many, going to the police in the first place isn’t even an option. They don’t think it’s worth it. When you get that kind of reaction, it seems something is wrong.”

Cohen also spoke to a woman who named her alleged attacker on Facebook and was threatened with a lawsuit as a result.

And she met a man who was shamed online, who insisted he had done nothing wrong.

“He had to flee basically. He changed his name and identity — it was massive for him.”

Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett, commander of New South Wales Police Sex Crimes Squad in southeast Australia, was also interviewed by Cohen and implored victims to let police deal with their matters.

“She pointed out that if public shaming occurs, it could damage the chances of success in court and also damage a police investigation.”

“She has obviously seen first-hand many cases that did achieve an excellent outcome for victims.”

Getting justice for rape and sexual assault

According to the Malaysian Penal Code Section 376, those who committed rape will be punished with imprisonment for a term up to 20 years with whipping.

According to the Malaysian Penal Code:

  • - Rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a woman against her will or without her consent. 
  • - Sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years of age, with or without her consent, is also rape.
  • - Sexual intercourse with a woman is also rape when: 
    • -- her consent is obtained by putting her in fear of death or hurt; 
    • -- when she unable to understand the nature and consequences of what she is consenting to; 
    • -- or when her consent is obtained by using a position of authority, a professional relationship, or other relationship of trust.

The Malaysian law doesn’t specifically define sexual assault, however, there are various laws that cover different forms of sexual assault. For the complete list, check out Women's Aid Organization's article here.

Now, what can you do as the victim of a rape or sexual assault? These are the steps that you'll be going through.

1. Make a police report.

You can make a police report in Bahasa Malaysia or English, either by typing it yourself at the police station or by orally dictating it to the police officer. You can also draft your report in advance.

In your police report, write down the details of the assault, such as what happened, when it happened (date and estimated time), where it happened, and who was involved. Remember to get a copy of the police report.

2. Police investigate case.

The Investigation Officer (IO) will open an investigation based on the police report you have made. The IO may interview witnesses, suspects, and may also ask you to give a further statement at the police station.

Depending on the evidence, the IO may bring the case to the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP). The DPP will determine whether there is a case to charge against the perpetrator. 

If there is insufficient evidence, the case will be closed and classified as ‘No Further Action’ (NFA). Then, there will be no charge.

3. Deputy Public Prosecutor charges case.

If the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) decides that there is sufficient evidence, the DPP will charge the suspect. The charge will be read in court and the suspect can either plead guilty or not guilty.

If the suspect pleads guilty, the case will proceed to sentencing. However, if the suspect pleads ‘not guilty’, a full trial begins.

4. Court Trials

The trial process will begin with the prosecution stage, in which the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) calls witnesses to give their testimony. Following that, the defence lawyer (who is the person defending the accused) will cross-examine the witness; this means, the defence lawyer will ask another set of questions directed at the witness. The DPP then re-examines the witness (by asking questions) in order to explain any doubtful or contradictory answer given by the witness during cross-examination.

If the judge decides that the evidence is strong enough to show that the accused has committed the crime (i.e. there is a prima facie case), the defence lawyer will begin the defence. At this stage, the defence lawyer will call witnesses to give evidence suggesting that the crime did not happen. The same three-step cross-examination process occurs, except this time, the defence lawyer begins the cross-examination, followed by the DPP, and then the defence lawyer again.

The judge will then decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. If guilty, the judge will sentence the accused.

* This is a simplified version of the court trial process. For the full process, refer to http://wccpenang.org/wccnew/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Surviving-Court-booklet_English.pdf

Why some rape survivors don't fight back?

This article was the last of 3 articles posted on MalaysiaKini, reposting it here so that students are well aware that they have their rights and to be alert in case of any future reoccurrence because I do not condone such behavior in the dance community. 
As instructors, our role is to provide a safe environment and be the reliable person students can turn to in their times of needs. By taking advantage of being in that role and attack the very students that trusts you is just wrong.
For a year after she said she was raped by her dance instructor in 2017, Nina continued to be his dance partner.

She maintained a cordial relationship, replied to his text messages as per normal and travelled with him to a dance festival overseas, where they shared a hotel room.

Nina said she was worried about sharing a room with him, but complied because it was the only option provided by the festival organiser.

During the trip she remained vigilant, dodging him when he tried to kiss her, avoiding drinking alcohol and staying awake so he would not attack her while she slept.
But her decision to remain his partner, her sustained friendship with him and decision to travel with him that weekend were among issues scrutinised by police when she reported him for raping her in 2017. Eventually, police concluded the sex was “voluntary”.

Nina is a pseudonym to protect her identity. Malaysiakini is also not identifying the dance instructor, to avoid identifying his other alleged victims. He did not respond to requests for comment.

No correct reaction

The behaviour of complainants in sexual assault cases are often scrutinised to verify a rape allegation, but clinical psychologist Vizla Kumaresan said investigators may be looking for the wrong thing.

There is a misconception that the “correct” reaction is to be hysterically afraid of the perpetrator, but there is no one way to express trauma, she said.

Vizla said it is “not abnormal” for survivors to maintain normal relations with their perpetrators as a form of self-preservation, especially if the perpetrator is someone known and close to them.

“It is difficult for them to reconcile that this bad thing has happened to them and it was committed by someone they believe is good and respected,” Vizla said.

“From a victim’s perspective, after a traumatic incident it is very common for people to be confused and not fully comprehend what is going on. So they think if I just be normal, then things will be okay,” she said.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Sumitra Visvanathan said oftentimes, a survivor’s reaction may seem counterintuitive to an external observer.

“This may be a coping or survival mechanism, in response to the shock and trauma of sexual assault.

“The survivor may also try to re-establish a sense of normalcy and thus may still be cordial with the perpetrator,” she said.

Self-blame as a form of self-preservation

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the “vast majority” of rape is perpetrated by those known to the survivor.

A United Nations study in Europe found that 67 percent of rapists were known to the survivors.

This data is unavailable for Malaysia, but WAO estimates about 80 percent of survivors who seek its assistance said they were assaulted by someone they know.

Drawing from her experience working with survivors in a trauma clinic and domestic abuse shelter, clinical psychologist Ng Siew Li said it is “not uncommon” for survivors to try to “explain away” the attack as a one-off incident or by blaming the circumstances.

They may also resort to self-blame to believe it was something they could have controlled.

“If you believe you have control, you will believe that you can stop it from happening again,” she said.

For years after it happened, Nina said, she did not want to acknowledge that she was raped because she was afraid of the consequences.

“If I did, I would have to do something about it,” she said.

The instructor also told her it was the first time anything like that had happened.

But two years later, she learnt that other dancers were allegedly assaulted in the same way. It prompted Nina to report what happened to her. The dancers who said they were raped by the instructor in an incident in July 2019 also filed police reports. The investigation for the 2019 incident is pending.

Research: Rape survivors experience ‘paralysis’

The instructor was remanded for seven days, following the reports last year. It sent shockwaves in the close-knit dance scene, where the instructor is much revered.

Several dancers involved told Malaysiakini members of the scene questioned why they did not leave the party or do more to stop the attack.

Like behaviour after the attack, evidence of resistance during the attack is also often scrutinised to detect if consent was given.

However, a study on 298 sexual assault victims in Sweden found as high as 70 percent of survivors of sexual assault surveyed report feeling “paralysis” during the attack.

The researchers described it as "tonic immobility", a behaviour also observed in animals faced with dangerous situations.

Previous studies found that in humans, it can be a feeling disassociated from the body, catatonic and being unable to move when faced with extremely threatening circumstances.

In Brazil, a study of 3,231 survivors of traumatic events found that scores for tonic immobility were almost twice as high among survivors of sexual violence compared to other types of trauma.

Hormones impede decision-making

Ng said there is extensive literature on this biological reaction during trauma, but the findings may not be widely known, including among investigators and prosecutors of sexual assault.

She said when faced with highly stressful situations, the mind gets flooded with hormones as a form of defence mechanism, but the same hormones impact parts of the brain that controls decision-making.

This “freeze” experienced by trauma survivors can manifest differently, she said.

It can happen during the attack, where survivors report being unable to move or act, or after the attack when the mind “goes blank and is unable to generate any form of options” or make rational decisions, Ng said.

“Some people would in the aftermath say ‘I could have done that, why didn’t I?’ At a certain point, our brain might not be capable of doing that during a stressful event,” she said.

The flood of hormones also affects ability to retain memory, she said.

“There are different processes to forming memory, just like how you are saving a file in a computer. When the mind is flooded with certain hormones, the process is disrupted so it is not uncommon for a memory (of a traumatic incident) to be incomplete,” she said.

This goes against belief by some investigators that inability to recall specifics of the incident denotes the person is not telling the truth, Ng said.

The clinical psychologists believe investigators and prosecutors need to be better trained to understand the effects of trauma on the mind, and how it might differ from case to case.

Vizla said in some cases, survivors may appear irrationally compliant because of power dynamics in the relationship with the perpetrator, where they may have been groomed to be reliant on the perpetrator’s affirmation.

This could stop them from resisting during the attack or even speaking out immediately after the incident, she said.

“What happened between the perpetrator and the victim after the incident is not a sign of whether the rape happened. Consent happens before the sexual activity, not what happens after,” she said.

‘Teacher Worship’ in dance could lead to sexual assaults

This article was the 2nd of 3 posted on MalaysiaKini, reposting it here so that students are well aware that they have their rights and to be alert in case of any future reoccurrence because I do not condone such behavior in the dance community. 
As instructors, our role is to provide a safe environment and be the reliable person students can turn to in their times of needs. By taking advantage of being in that role and attack the very students that trusts you is just wrong.
When Ming Pang learnt that an instructor of a dance studio in Kuala Lumpur was arrested after rape reports, she knew she had to do something.

The founder of the Klang Valley Swing dance scene, Pang knew that some of the dancers in her scene were also taking classes at that studio.

And she also knew that the studio - which specialises in a dance that is not part of the Swing scene - did not tell its students one of its instructors was reported for raping and sexually assaulting his students.

It was all very familiar. A few years ago, she said, the international Swing dance community was rocked by a scandal where top instructors were exposed as sexual predators.

“We had a look at ourselves to see how it was possible that these very high profile people were able to get away with this for so long.

“A lot of it was the culture of that the scene had created. This idol worship. These dance teachers are nobody outside but within the scene, they have a lot of power.

“If you’re the founder of the scene, you have a lot of power to choose who you favour. To what end, it is up to you. There is no regulation,” she said.

Now facing a similar scandal at home, Pang and her colleagues in the Swing dance community agreed that it was now up to them to ensure their dancers were safe.

And the best way to do that, she said, was to make sure they knew their rights.

Prolonged holds and inappropriate touches

Soon after the instructor was arrested last August, the Swing dance community held a safety talk, to inform the dancers of the arrest and to educate dancers on what was acceptable behaviour during a dance.

Pang said boundaries can seem very blurred to newcomers, and it is in this grey zone that the predators prey.

“There are confirmed black zones like rape but there are grey areas like sexist content in class and when dancing, there are holds that are too close or too long, or unwanted touches.

“A lot of times, people in positions of power can explain that away (as part of the dance) to newcomers who don’t know better,” she said.

Some dancers who took lessons from the affected studio where the alleged perpetrator taught told Malaysiakini there had been complaints about inappropriate behaviour and prolonged holds before, involving other senior dancers or instructors.

One senior male dancer was accused of holding female newcomers too close and would grind his body into the female dancers in ways which made them feel uncomfortable.

“When I complained, the teachers’ reactions were, ‘Well, what if he was (another good looking dancer)? Would you complain?’

“But I am an adult. It is not about whether he is good looking or not. I know what is an inappropriate touch and what isn’t,” one dancer shared on condition of anonymity.
She said one of the instructors had a reputation of trying to kiss his students during social dance outside the classroom, but this was largely seen by members as annoying but harmless, she said.

When contacted, the instructor denied this and said he did not have to respond on matters involving his personal life.

The perception of these behaviours changed completely after the incident in July where at least three dancers were allegedly raped by the studio principal, according to the women’s police reports.

The studio principal was also accused of raping his students in a separate incident in 2017, but police have cleared him of this accusation, concluding the sex was consensual.

The 2019 rape accusations are still under investigations, and the studio principal is on police bail after he was remanded for seven days in August. He did not respond to Malaysiakini’s request for a response.

Training to say no

Pang said she knows that convictions for sexual assault cases are very low, and this is why she hopes she can help stop them from happening.

“The best way is to have an educated scene and to train teachers to teach in non-gendered ways, and to train teachers on what is not considered acceptable,” she said.

“Part of our training is about consent, that consent must be given enthusiastically and that someone cannot give consent if they are drunk or inhibited in any way.

“Class students are told they don’t need to dance with anyone (if they don’t want to). If you don’t want to, they can say no without an explanation. No is a complete sentence,” she said.

This was part of a cultural shift. Some years ago, she said, it was considered polite to accept offers to dance even when one does not feel comfortable with it. These days, she said Swing students practice saying no.

“We have an Asian culture of being compliant and nice and we have very poor sex education. People are not as assertive about their body and the fact that they have every right to control who touches them,” she said.

The Swing dance scene has also put in place a system where dancers who feel they have been violated or witness inappropriate behaviour could raise it with the appointed safety officer of their particular Swing dance.

“Women in dance have been battling this. Better that they are aware, educated and know where to find help when they need to rather than have violence perpetrated against them,” she said.

Peer pressure to fit in

Peer pressure in the dance scene to join in and go along with things they feel uncomfortable with was raised several times in separate interviews Malaysiakini conducted with four of the women who said they were molested or raped by their instructor.

One dancer said in the scene it was deemed rude to reject an offer to dance because it was expected for dancers to be welcoming to newcomers. But this culture pervades off the dance floor.

One of the witnesses of the 2019 assault told Malaysiakini she did not do anything to stop the assaults because she was not sure if she was the only one who felt uncomfortable.

“If the other girls (who said they were raped) had told me they were okay with it, I would just close one eye (to the assault) and not reported it.”

One of the women who said she was raped said she had felt “shocked” by what was happening even before the assaults took place, but did not leave because she “did not want to be the abnormal one”.

In the 2017 incident, one of the survivors said she pretended that everyone had consented to the sexual relations so as to not embarrass the other women.

She only learnt two years later that the other women were too inebriated to consent, but were told by the instructor they were willing partners.

One of them told police she believed she was raped, but the case was closed. Police concluded it was consensual because she continued to have cordial relations with the alleged perpetrator.

Shockwaves in a close-knit community

The news of the 2017 and 2019 incidents sent shockwaves in the studio’s close-knit community of dancers.

One dancer who had been in the scene for three years said he was shocked when he first heard. To many of them, he said, the alleged perpetrator was like a brother.

The alleged perpetrator often organised parties involving the dancers where he also invited his mother, wife and two children, and the group would organise sleepovers during holidays.

At all the parties, he said, the activities were “healthy”.

“Perhaps because I am a man, I was not aware of the predatory behaviour against the women dancers. I was never invited to any of the private parties (where the assaults allegedly took place),” he told Malaysiakini in an interview, on condition of anonymity.

Soon after the instructor was arrested, two witnesses of the 2019 sexual assaults called for a meeting with senior members of the scene to tell them what happened.

“I remember people were totally shocked. Some people were sobbing,” he said, of the meeting that took place in August.

Some of them asked why the survivors didn’t resist the alleged perpetrator or push him away while one of the instructors said she knew about his tendencies.

'She also said she was always able to reject him and did not understand why the survivors could not do the same,' he added.

Even so, he felt there was collective acceptance that this had happened and that it needed to be addressed.

Two months later, however, it seemed that the incident was swept under the carpet and junior dancers were not informed. They were just told that the instructor was away for a while because he was ill.

“I also heard from the survivors there was pressure for them to retract their police reports,” he said. One of them did retract, feeling pity for the instructor’s mother who begged her to.

Angered by the treatment towards the survivors, the male dancer wrote about what happened on Facebook, urging the community to prioritise safety.

It sparked a storm within the community and some of the instructor's supporters attacked the male dancer for seemingly spreading unproven allegations, which could hurt the instructor’s children.

The exchange prompted him to take a break from dance. All he wanted was for the scene to put in place safety measures, like what the Swing dance community had done, he said.

Before this, he added, dancers could only report anything they felt uneasy about to the studio principal, and now that the principal is the alleged perpetrator, what happens next?

“I just hope the truth will come out and justice will be served. I also hope the scene will heal and safeguards will be in place.”

Dance Instructor Accused of Raping Students (Graphic Content)

The article was 1st posted on MalaysiaKini, reposting it here so that students are well aware that they have their rights and to be alert in case of any future reoccurrence because I do not condone such behavior in the dance community.
As instructors, our role is to provide a safe environment and be the reliable person students can turn to in their times of needs. By taking advantage of being in that role and attack the very students that trusts you is just wrong.
A prominent dance instructor in Kuala Lumpur has been accused of raping and sexually assaulting his students during two separate incidents in 2017 and 2019.

The police, however, cleared him with regard to the first incident on the grounds that it was consensual but are still investigating the second incident.

The complainants told police during both incidents, the instructor had organised “special parties” for a selected group of female students.

The father of two would then allegedly serve copious amounts of alcohol and perform a choreographed dance in which he would strip naked.

The women - aged in their mid-twenties and early thirties - said they were too drunk to consent to sex.

The next day, the women said the instructor would convince them that what transpired was consensual and just something which “went out of hand.”

In both incidents, the instructor told the women before the parties that whatever happened that night must be kept a secret, adding that he would “only go as far as they would go.”

But according to the reports, the women found their instructor “penetrating” them without consent, and on some occasions even after they had refused or tried to stop him.

In the first incident, the women told Malaysiakini that they remained silent out of shame and guilt. They also felt they were partly to blame and that no one would believe them, given his prominence in the scene.

The instructor, they alleged, also assured them that it was the first time this had happened.

Anna (not her real name) said she left the scene after witnessing the assault, because she felt fearful. The next morning, according to text messages sighted by Malaysiakini, the instructor said they had a fun night but the two women cannot remember what happened.

“He told me not to tell them (what happened),” she said.

“I thought maybe (the women) were embarrassed so I didn’t ask them anything,” she said.

Two years later, Anna found herself in another party attended by the dance instructor, where more students were allegedly attacked. This time, she refused to keep quiet.

'Post-traumatic stress disorder'

In three separate interviews, Malaysiakini spoke to four women who claimed they were either raped or molested by the same instructor.

In all the interviews, the women were either in tears or had to stop the interview to compose themselves. Some trembled as they recalled what happened. Some have stopped dancing - including those whose dance careers were hitting the international stage.

All the women who spoke to Malaysiakini sought therapy, underwent bouts of self-blame and believe they suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Now, whenever a man comes towards me, I feel scared.

“I try to keep myself busy by filling up all my free time. I was in a (different) dance class and our instructor, a gay man, put his hand on my shoulder and immediately, I felt frightened and (the alleged perpetrator's) face flashed in front of me. That was when I decided I needed to see a counsellor,” said one of them.

Malaysiakini is not identifying the dance instructor, the studio he teaches at or the women he reportedly attacked, to protect the survivors' identities and for legal reasons.

When contacted, police confirmed that reports were lodged against the instructor, who was then arrested and remanded for seven days to facilitate investigations.

The investigations, according to the police, are ongoing for the allegations which surfaced in 2019 but it is learnt that no charges would be brought against him with regard to the first incident.

Police had concluded the sex was consensual partly because of WhatsApp chat transcripts. The police said the messages showed the women remained friendly with the alleged perpetrator after the incident.

The instructor, when contacted, said he would provide a response to Malaysiakini. However, despite repeated attempts, this was not forthcoming.

First incident

In the 2017 incident, four women were invited to attend a party for their friend, organised by the instructor at his studio in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur.

According to the police reports, by the end of the party, three of the women were allegedly raped or molested. One was unharmed because she left early.

The instructor was accused of trying to insert his finger and penis into one woman while she was lying on the floor in a drunken haze, and raping another woman from behind while she was ill and bent over the washroom sink.

Anna told Malaysiakini that the instructor had allegedly tried to remove her underwear, but managed to stop him.

She recalled getting up to use the washroom after that and abruptly sobering up once she urinated.

“I felt the room come back to me,” she told Malaysiakini.

In her police report, Anna said she opened the washroom door to find the dance instructor on top of another dancer. “He was already penetrating her,” she reported. Terrified for her safety, she fled the premises.

'Senseless and unconscious'

Nina (also not her real name) was the dancer Anna told police she saw under the instructor. Nina told police she was so inebriated at the time that she could barely open her eyes. She did not even realise the dance instructor was on her until she felt him penetrating her.

“I did not know when he came on top of me and I did not want this at all,” she said in her report.

When she realised what was happening, Nina said she sobered up abruptly. She said the instructor “suddenly stopped and moved away” from her. She got up “in a state of shock”. After that, she said she saw the instructor attack her friend.

Nina told police that her friend was “senseless and not conscious” and was bent over the sink “like she was vomiting.”

“Her long pants and panties were gone and I saw (the dance instructor) penetrating her from behind,” she added.

Shocked, she crouched in a corner of the studio and subsequently passed out.

The next morning, the instructor took the women to his house, which he shares with his wife, two children and mother.

He told his family they had too much to drink and needed to sleep it off. And while they did, he contacted Anna, who fled the studio after she saw him allegedly attack Nina.

“He told me both (the other dancers) do not remember anything. He told me if they had asked, just say you don't remember anything as well.

“I thought maybe my friends are embarrassed about what happened, and I did not know what happened after I left, so I agreed to pretend that I don't remember what happened.

“He said this is the first time this has happened, he didn't expect things to go this far. So I believed him and did not question further,” she told the police.

The 2019 incident

Two years later, Anna found herself in an eerily similar situation.

Her friend, who is also a dancer, had invited her to a bachelorette's party in a suite of a luxury hotel, on the sidelines of an international dance festival at the same venue. The dance festival was organised by the instructor.

Looking back, she said, the circumstances of the party were bizarre.

As it was a bachelorette's party, they were told a stripper would be there. But it was a belated party - the wedding was months before and the new “bride” was already in her final trimester of pregnancy.

Even so, the attendees - five female dancers from the same scene - obliged their friend since they were already at the hotel that day to attend the festival.

What they did not know was that the stripper would be their dance instructor - or that he would assault or rape them, according to one police report.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, the women said they would later find out that the instructor had personally curated the guest list and pressured the “bride” into having the party.

Malaysiakini was unable to interview the “bride”. Her friends said she was busy with her newborn. Before her baby was born, she had accompanied her friends to lodge a police report and called a meeting with other senior members of the scene to tell them what had happened.

The incident in July 2019 bore a remarkable resemblance to the 2017 incident, with the instructor allegedly telling them to keep whatever transpired under wraps and that he would “only go as far as they would go.”

Detailing the incident to the police, the dancer who had also attended the 2017 party, said she saw the instructor “penetrate” three women who were intoxicated.

“I did not see or hear him ask for consent,” she said, adding that she heard one of them asking, “Are you serious?” when penetrated.

She also witnessed one woman attempting to crawl away but was pinned down and penetrated from behind. This woman declined to speak to Malaysiakini, citing trauma.

“She tried to move away but he pulled her back,” one police report by a witness read.

Just like in 2017, Anna felt frightened by what she saw and left the party midway. But unlike two years before, in the following days, she contacted the other women to check on their wellbeing.

This was when the women learnt the instructor had sent them all the same apologetic text message the next morning, saying that things just “went out of hand.”

One survivor, who remained at the party until the end, claimed that before he left, the instructor told them “to take everything that happened to your grave.”

He also posted a thank you message on Facebook dedicated to those involved in the dance festival. In it was a vague apology for “things that happened which (he) was not proud of”.

He sent a copy of this posting, with the apology highlighted, to the women who attended the party.

But this time, it was not enough to persuade the women that it was something that “went out of hand”, as he had claimed. It also prompted them to reach out to another dancer who attended the 2017 party to find out what happened then.

“When I heard that, I realised this was suspiciously similar to what happened to me and (my friend) two years ago,” Nina, who told police the instructor raped her in 2017, said.

Mother, wife begged for reports to be retracted

When the dance instructor was under police remand, the women met with his family, including his wife, who was their friend and fellow dancer.

They claimed that his wife cried and begged them to retract the reports and blamed herself for giving him “too much independence”.

Whereas, his mother purportedly kneeled before them and begged that the reports be retracted as well.

“The mother said that it was her fault, that she didn’t teach him properly. You cannot imagine what it is like to see an old woman kneel in front of you begging you like that,” one of them said. It prompted her to retract the report.

She told Malaysiakini the retraction was not because the incident did not take place but because she felt sorry for the instructor's mother.

The senior members of the scene also told the survivors they would also be in trouble for participating in such a party.

The retraction, she said, prompted those who supported the instructor to spread rumours that the accusations were fabricated and that the sex was consensual.

“We don't really know if he would go to jail. But that is not why we are doing this,” added another dancer, whose report is still under investigation.

The women just want him to stop preying on young, hopeful dancers.

Dance tainted

All the women have stopped attending lessons at the studio and have tried to warn other dancers about the situation.

The women also alleged that the management and other instructors want to keep the rest in the dark over the incidents.

In the scene’s WhatsApp group, those raising questions on safety were admonished. In one exchange sighted by Malaysiakini, a dance member said those raising the issue were harming the alleged perpetrator's children.

“The case is ending within a month or two and you know it […],” one member said.

At least two of the dancers have quit dancing entirely, including Nina.

Nina was a rising star. The dance instructor had sought her as his partner and promised he would train her to reach international status like how he did with his previous dance partners.

“People used to ask me why I do the dance, because the close proximity and movements seem sordid to them. But it did not feel that way to me. It was purely dance,” she said.

A year after the reported rape of 2017, she quit dancing because she could not stand being near him any longer.

“I really enjoyed dance. But all this has taken away the purity of dance for me,” she said.

Ostracised by the dance scene

Since the arrest, the women said, the dance scene has largely turned against them.

“If we could say no to him, then why couldn’t you?” one senior female member of the scene asked during an “emergency meeting” with some of the survivors after the instructor was detained.

When contacted, the senior female dancer declined to comment.

Another dancer, who has been active in the scene for many years, said she had never experienced anything inappropriate.

Despite not knowing anything about the incidents, she only agreed to speak to Malaysiakini about the scene on condition of anonymity because she did not want others in the scene to know she had spoken to a reporter.

Other members of the dance scene also blamed the women for what happened - they accused the women of drinking too much, placing themselves in unsafe situations, dressing or behaving provocatively and enjoying the sexual relations but are crying foul now out of shame.

The survivors said the senior members told them they should not have gone to the police, but seek help from the senior members instead.

Others also blamed the women for “tainting the dance scene” over an incident which “happened outside of dance”.

“I’m not involved in this. I just wanna dance,” one person said in the scene's WhatsApp group, after admonishing those raising the issue of safety for dancers.

Groomed by instructor

In retrospect, the women said, they felt they had been groomed by the instructor.

He was always testing their boundaries, one of them said, sharing nude photos of himself, trying to kiss or hug them in ways which they were not comfortable with - and normalising such behaviour.

They worry that they might have encouraged him by using friendly emojis or laughing at his sexualised behaviour in class.

One of them, with trembling hands, showed a message where she made a joke when the instructor told her that several senior members were targeting a new member to get her drunk.

“A friend from dance showed me a recent picture of (the instructor) with new students.

“I looked at the young women in the group and saw myself in them. I wish I knew then what I know now,” she added.

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