We Will Fight Back

A journalist from The Sunday Times in Singapore sent an email two days and called just now when I was at Gurney Plaza with SapiensBryan, ReallyBites and KS and his wife. He requested an interview regarding the disabled toilet issue and the offending person being dropped by her sponsors. I declined. This reluctance stemmed from a telephone conversation I had with her remaining sponsor where my words were allowed to be quoted out of context.

My silence thus far is neither an admission of guilt nor of wrongdoing. I have said my piece. I have made my stand. Wrong is still wrong no matter what. Malicious words thrown my way will not change the fact that a disabled person using a toilet adapted to his needs was wickedly depicted. The condescending way in which she described that incident and people with disabilities was most appalling.

Many have asked if I really emailed her sponsors. Yes, I did. However, that single mail did not have much effect. One sponsor wrote back to say that they would speak to her regarding her use of profanities and blogging on sensitive issues. There was no indication of them wanting to pull out. It was the collective complaints from others who were offended by her thoughtless remarks that became her death knell. I have never enlisted any of them into this battle. I fight my own battles. They joined in the fray because they have a conscience and the mind to distinguish the right from the wrong.

It was never my intention to hurt her financially as her remaining sponsor had hinted. Sponsors have a right to know when the people who endorse their products misbehave. And it was also within my right to inform them that I found their advertisement placed together in the same space as that offending entry tasteless. In this case, they decided that she did not portray an image that they desired and pulled out. If there is anyone to blame, she should blame herself for having her sponsorship revoked because of her tactless behaviour.

For far too long, the rights of people with disabilities have been trampled on, ignored and overlooked. We are handicapped, not by our own disabilities, but by unfriendly constructions and uninformed societal perceptions that restrict our independence. We have every right to enjoy life as any other person. Sadly, we are constantly and shamelessly being deprived of the little conveniences that have been provided to make our lives easier. I am making my stand here and now. Enough is enough. Yes, we are no pushover anymore. Think twice before trying to take us on because we will fight back. I will fight back.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers in The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

63 thoughts on “We Will Fight Back”

  1. peter, peter…

    why don’t you just let it go already? you are making many people think you are an attention seeking ass, and somehow, you are.

    disability as your weapon? that shouldn’t be the case.

  2. Well, it would be defintely my mistake if i didn’t make my statement clear enough so that you could get that it was supposed to be a reply to the person with nickname “FUCKYOU PETER”. He/She said “She had a disclaimer or do u not know what a DISCLAIMER was?!!!”, as if having a disclaimers means it’s ok to write anything. Bringing up the court case of the two convicted bloggers was exactly to point out to him/her that most of the time, disclaimer doesn’t matter because, in your own words, “in every court case, there has to be substantial and concrete evidence”. You are right that the sentence is feeble and no research is needed to back it up because it wasn’t meant to be correct but a sarcasm to “FUCKYOU PETER”. Thanks for validating this point.

    Yes, yes, i see your point now. “Little gal” means a female, regardless of her biological age, who has a pea-sized brain and only knows how to talk nonsense and insult others, and when is challenged only knows how to curse and swear and thinks that everything is the fault of others. You are right, my intellegent wasn’t enough to read through this point. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    You are probably right too that my comments are shallow and baseless. I should have established the points like what “FUCKYOU PETER” did by filling my comment with “f*ck you” and harping on how a person deserved to be disabled. That would have been more mature and less pathetic, and defintely make more valid points. Thanks for your guidance in persuasive writing.

    You’ve definitely shed some lights on how to be mature enough to surf the net and read blogs.

  3. i am appalled that a fellow msian would be attacking someone like that. paris hilton endorses guess. she gets paid doing it. and i trust no parent would be glad to hear their daughters idolizing ms paris, with her sex tapes, partying and catty relationships with other a-listers. but guess kept her, giving her more limelight than our own dear amber chia.

    you think your email to her sponsors weren’t viewed as a complaint? think again. companies such as these have to respond to public feedback. when you brought up this issue, and attracted that much attention to it, they had to retract their sponsorship. because the customer (in this case, public) is always right.

    xiaxue might have a potty mouth at times. and opinionated. exactly what century are we in? why the attack on a girl?? but look around you, blogs are abundant. profanity is at large. and profanity actually stems from shakespeare… how can one be condemned for using profanity?

    i guess we should all recall when blogs first became popular. most girls started it as an online journal. to jot their thoughts and update her friends on what’ve she been up to. her readers commented at their own will, her readers followed her postings religiously at own will, too. and her sponsors chose her because she has a large following. the way she blogged had never changed, she cursed and speak bout whatever she likes to even before she was sponsored. exactly where should she be faulted?

    my point is, don’t you think that your email to her sponsors set panic signals off?

  4. jaclyn, be careful with what you say. SPH isn’t a company to mess with if you know your history and stuff, like you so suggested. grins.

  5. Over 300 emails sent to Voxy and Kimage. Please track down each and every one of them thanks.

    Andrea you are so snipish, I can’t be bothered. Grins.

  6. what in the world is wrong with a non-disabled using those toilets as long as if she/he lets the handicapped use first before using it? please fellow malaysians use some common sense. even the law doesnt state that non-disabled cannot use those toilets. to those people supporting peter, please, just focus on his good points, defending illogical and nonsensical statements just make the whole posse look like a blindly stupid lawyer buruk following.

  7. fight back? u can fight ur own shit load of battle if u wan. do not interfere with singaporeans’ business. if wad we see is inappopriate, we will settle in ourselves on our soil. we do not need someone like u.

  8. Talking about maturity?

    I guess you are not yet in the league. Judging from your reply, I guess that I shouldn’t have wasted my time pointing out what your PROBLEM was. If indeed you do understand what was in the discussion. Guess it takes time for people to grow up. Cheers to your growing up!

  9. Peter ( AKA SOMEONE)
    Please stop masking yourself behind this NICK to retaliate against others. OMG… I really cannot tahan your childishness…. You are FUCKING 39 Years old still don’t know how to think. You sit on that metal chair for too long liao is it? Nothing to do except thinking how to rally people against a little gal? Hai….But I’m glad that you realise your mistake in your reply to “To Someone”.
    I have decided to stop arguing with such a coward…
    By the way… Disclaimer is a protective statement against all actions and words… except for injury and death will a disclaimer be denounced. Seems like you really don’t know much abt. LAW. So pls don’t be lazy and sit there whole day… go do some research before posting a rebutting comment.
    To “TO someone”… let’s forget about this coward… he is already very pitiful liao… Long hair… that can be a broom… Wheel-bounded as he deserved it for having a malicious heart…
    Let him win ba… as he had insulted the rest of the disabilities all together with him…
    To the rest of the disabilities… i respect you for not stooping so low like SOMEONE who use the trump card of getting others’ sympathy with your disablitites. Hope you guys can continue to gain our admiration and respect by completing impossible tasks…. UNLIKE SOMEONE… AIYOH…. REALLY BUAY TAHAN!!! Sit there so long also dunno how to think….I think you should stop wasting the EARTH’s Oxygen…

  10. Seriously.. u got to see a mental doctor.. U r disabled.. That is the fact.. The fact is that u cant do many normal things a normal person can. U should just stick to the fact that u r disabled and bound to the difficulties that a disabled has to face, and not make other normal people lives tink tat they should pity the disabled. It is the natural selection of nature, in order to have a balance in the human species. Not everything in this world can be fair. SO juz accept ur life as it is .

  11. So some people are really self-declared smartass to think that i’m the blogger? Hahaha…. some people really think that they know-it-all, huh! Well, what else to expect from people with brains full of feces and nothing else, who couldn’t even see the sarcasm in my reply and thought that i really meant there was a mistake. Ya, ya, whatever you say lah, Mr./Ms. Delusional Know-It-All. *yawn*

    Yes, you are right, you and i are definitely in different league. For only people so mature would bring up no points but f*ck here and f*ck there, making personal attack, and finally had nothing valid to say but came up with imaginary conclusion that i’m the blogger himself. Oh, i wouldn’t even dare to claim that i’m near the same maturity level as you.

    (In case your excrement-filled brains can’t tell again, this meant to be sarcastic as well).

  12. to Jaclyn…. Unless you have concrete evidence to back up your accusation against Straits times, you better retract the statement, you can be sued for deframing. Straits times have one of best reputation for the truth and they do not publish anything without evidence.

    So what if XX is not working in normal context? She has the sponsership as the company is paying her to represent the company in one way to increase the sales of products and that is considered working. And to break someone rice bowl is a cowardly actions. Christianity do not teach you to hurt someone. Do not to others if you do not wish for the same fate to be done on you.

    The toilets for the disabled is never a right in the first place. It is build so that disabled can have a better life but it is not a must to have. Thank your lucky star that you have a toilet build to aid you. Why should a normal person not use the toilet when there is no one in there? If the disabled person can’t be bothered to lock the door, whose fault it is that a normal person open it?Why should a normal person be scolded for opening it?

    YOU ARE A COWARD… 100%

  13. now go read back, get it into your thick skull and come back and tell me where i have offended ST.

    on a similar ground, do you think CNN and BBC are unbiased? national geographic? forbes? times? do you think that all major newspapers do not have their own agendas, whatever they might be? yes, they do teach this in journalism courses, something i happen to know.

    xiaxue has all the rights in the world to want to earn her living via blogging the way she does. peter has all the rights in the world to stand up for disability issues. xiaxue unfortunately is mass media, like it or not. peter unfortunately is a disabled, like it or not. you can argue this till the cows come home or call names until dawn breaks. facts are facts.

    Regarding the locking of doors, I suppose it never occurs to you that sometimes it is dangerous for a disabled to lock the door when he or she is using it. When someone opens the toilet door while you are in it, wouldn’t you be embarassed and at that moment say something untowards?

    Neutral, you have a lot more to learn about disability issues. By the way please change your nickname, it is very misleading.

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