Awareness ≠ Acceptance

The annual Autism Awareness Day of PTEM was recently held on the 4th of April, but this year was a little different, as controversy behind the usage of blue ribbons arose. As it turns out, we should be spreading Autism Acceptance, and using red ribbons instead.

From articles shared around, here, here, and here.

“Why red? Well, in many Western cultures red symbolizes love. “

Awareness does not automatically lead to acceptance, but not challenging harmful tropes and ideas can lead to harmful incidents… I am not broken, nor a missing puzzle piece, vaccine damaged or injured. I am a whole human being, just like everyone else.

Lydia Wilkins

It turns out awareness events have been labelled as “bewareness” events, and has been somewhat of a “no-go” zone within those in the spectrum. Especially with the re-emergence of “anti-vac” movements, where parents refuse to vaccinate their children as they believe that vaccinations lead to autism, the insensitivity targeted towards those in the autism spectrum disorder have been going on for as long as vaccinations have been a thing.

The event organizers of PTEM were aware of this, but did not do anything to change it with the excuse of having done the same thing since the awareness events were first established. But we at The Equinox, would like to ask for the understanding and compassion of those that will be holding the event next year, to keep this article in mind. Spread acceptance, not awareness, folks.

International Women’s Day: Mighty Matriarchs

1435760421-heres to strong women

Being a school that is largely reliant on the patriarchal system, it was no surprise that International Women’s Day wasn’t even acknowledged. And it could be argued that women and young girls are still under scrutiny in this school alone, especially during Raya celebrations where dress codes are always heavily enforced towards girls.

But as it is nothing new to us, the silver linings always manage to shine through. Even having our clubs own advisors be three wonderworking women, we may be moving forward after all. And if female teachers can be heads of clubs, why can’t the student organisations strive to have female presidents?

The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports are in process of improving women’s development, with increasing the country’s awareness on women’s rights, as well as encouraging women to be competitive in entrepreneurship and education.

Truth is, slowly but surely, women are steadily evolving from the gender roles enforced on to them, more female role models are showing up in media and representation does matter, especially considering the fact that our generation grew up with Disney and as heartwarming and nostalgic the princesses may be, we grew up watching women be damsels in distress. But we now have Moana and Elsa to show us that we can stand on our own afterall. So let’s all be Moanas and Elsas, and be the ones to rescue ourselves!

UBD PAC’S ARBITRIUM: the show must (and did) go on!


Two weeks ago, UBD’s Performing Arts Club pulled off a jolly good show indeed!

True to its namesake, the production managed to take control of the audiences’ attention with the spectacle that it was. Revolving around Arya Angelo, a young woman striving for success, and her brother, Michael “Mikey” Angelo, a charismatic bar-owner, are seen to both be under the shackles of Lucy, an eccentric character offering what the siblings don’t have, the freedom to make their own choices. With piercing plot twists and captivating characters, the play managed to get it’s audience on their toes, eager to unravel the play scene by scene. Later, audience can enjoy a meme version of Arbitrium on a Twitter thread:  

Featuring tight schedules composed of vocal, acting, and dance rehearsals, the team managed to pull everything off, despite various trials and tribulations, in only 30 days! (Kudos to you, PAC!)

With so many competition, (with JIS’ High School Musical, Medley House’s When Does Love End?, and Sutera Momento’s No Change Of Colour being some of the few abundant productions showing that weekend), PAC managed to get two nights worth of sold out shows, even though they only had 3 days to promote their show due to late approval from the student council. But even with it seeming like everything was against them, the team managed to hold on and deliver what could only be described as one of the most wonderfully presented productions of the year.

Pulling a Scar on Mufasa: Issues of Power

Humankind has been no stranger to the superiority-complex since the dawn of man (and woman). We began with the cavemen, the chieftains, the emperors, patriarchs, kings and presidents alike, we’ve always been beings who depend on being told what and how to do things by people of power and we’re able to see it in our education system alone, where young adults are expected to have their lives together, expected to know exactly just where the wind will blow them, yet still have to ask for permission to go the bathroom.

But what happens when power gets in the wrong hands? Or what happens when those “in power” let their authority get to their heads and take things kind of, sort of, just a little bit, too far sedikit? Or let’s maybe throw in a Lion King reference here, what happens when someone tries to pull a Scar (without the murder, of course)? The number one event showing this would be the Trump-ordered 35 day United States federal government shutdown.

If we were to apply this to our own home country, which is being ranked 63 on graft watchdog Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and with the most recent case of corruption being two highly-ranked judicial officers, themselves being respected people of the law, facing trial on the 4th of March for embezzling millions of dollars, just how far will the 2035 vision go?

If we were to apply this to our daily lives, just how many times in a week are we treated unfairly by those we expect more from? How often is the respect that we give to others not reciprocated? How frequently are we disregarded by the people who matter?

We all need to keep in mind that wherever we are, and whatever we do, we do not live alone, we are all members of one body and we are all responsible for ourselves and each other.

“Oppression in all forms, especially from those entrusted with power and authority, cannot be tolerated and must be rooted out of the country.”

                                – His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

The death of the school cats’ kittens: neglect or human error?

13th February 2019
By JH Shadoon

“Thank you to those who have given me food”

Affectionately named “Anak”, “Bonecrusher”, and “Mummy” by members of our team, the tri-coloured school cat has been no stranger to our care and “awww’s”, and its been a well-known fact that the cat was indeed, preggers. Sometime mid-January, she gave birth to 3 beautiful kittens, and made a home out of the bottom of the lobby staircase.

Three slowly decreased to one kitten and the mother cat sadly outlived two of her babies. Now, whether it being from the neglect of the mother cat herself, or from us not providing proper kitten-care, the matter can still be remedied with the last one.

“He could tell by the way animals walked that they were keeping time to some kind of music. Maybe it was the song in their own hearts that they walked to.”  – Laura Adams Armer

What should we have done to prevent this? Donated blankets, relocated them to places that aren’t as populated as the staircase, or maybe even tried to find someone to properly adopt and care for them. Now let us all join hands in doing our best to provide proper kitten care for the last baby!

Though these should haves became could haves in a matter of weeks, one should always keep in mind that kindness, no matter what species it’s directed to, whether it being cats or dogs, or even humans, can go a long way. Especially with the apik.tipu videos going viral, let it be known that every living thing out there deserves at least a smile directed their way.

Rest well, kittens.

The Equinox: A rebirth or a reincarnation?

By JH Shadoon

Originally a school magazine, The Equinox, released its first publication in 2006 back when the school’s home was still in Berakas. Going through a major re-branding back in 2013, the magazine was renamed ‘Meraxcellence’ and released its latest issue in 2014, and has not been heard of since. Until today.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, The Equinox, now an e-newspaper, renewed and refurbished, with a group of new writers, new photographers, new advisors, and most importantly, a new audience coming from diverse backgrounds and personalities, is here and dedicated to bringing you the latest news with a simple click of a button.

Now without further ado, we give you, The Equinox.