For Americans, it’s the presidential election 2016. For Britons, it’s Brexit. For France, Emmanuel Macron.

But even after the election is over on April 17, the social media war did not die. As our general election commission perform voting calculation, hoaxes, fake news, lies, slandering, social media war made our peaceful country into house of flying dagger.

The presidential contender and his Islam hardliner friends continue their relentless provocation, and in the bulls eye of their call for persecution are us: Chinese descent and non Muslim. All the hollow prejudice used in 1998 racial cleansing that washed out thousands of Chinese Indonesian and non Muslim came back alive. If we are not “native” and not Islam, we ought to die.

When the election commission announced the voting result, riots broke in our capital leaving six dead – now seven – and hundreds injured. For two days starting May 22nd, the capital was in the state of emergency. Eight countries including USA, UK and EU have issued travel warnings. Hundreds of businesses burned, many offices and business districts are destroyed.

In the attempt to curb fake news, hoax and slandering, the government had shut down access to social media: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp from May 22 to May 25, which is why I lost touch with my beloved Whiskers’ Syndicate.

Although hundreds of our Armed and Police Force had regained control, the contender officially contested the voting result, tension will continue to rise until the supreme court verdict on May 29.

It becomes difficult for me, Chinese descent and non Muslim – hence a double minority – to find a job I need to keep my shelter and my family alive, due to the burning racial prejudice. It becomes even more difficult because I have no access to the Internet.

It is impossible because May is ending and with the new month comes Muslim holiday when businesses shut down for at least two weeks. As we stand at the end of this week, we only raised USD 210.

Then comes a message to our page: Please try again to get more money the cats need you [sic]

She has no [bleep] idea, and I could have broken my own fist on a stranger’s pretty face.

Still, I am trying to restrain myself from commenting on any messages or comments knowing full well the unrest around had affected me and the volatility of my emotions at this time. Above all, I know full well the importance of a delicate approach for the livelihood of our shelter, despite my natural fiery character.

I try my best, in most part as my respect and appreciation for our loyal supporter’s hard work and efforts, as well as precious assistance from our admins and our community outreach front liners, who has been vital in keeping Whiskers’ Syndicate alive.

The rest of my strength comes from this baby, and many more in my home just like him.

His name is Misha. He is two months old, starving and sick, sitting alone by the pillar of a motorbike taxi shelter just outside the bus terminal across the street from a small landfill. If I hadn’t grabbed him off, an ignorant six years old boy would have stomped him to death as he boasted about his new fire cracker he just bought.

For a week, he can only drink water and honey, sometimes diluted nutritional gel. On his sunny days, egg yolk and antioxidants.

When he is stronger the next week, we cleaned him, and remove the entire nation of skin parasite.

One week later, he can eat soft food.

Two days ago when I woke up in the morning, a smiling face over a deep sleep.

For a decade, a face like his has been my life purpose. For many nights and many days through that decade, many of you have walked this quest to Canaan by our very side.

I hate it so much to call it quits, but across my idealism; our idealism, we have to face reality.

Reality that we cannot fly without wings for a long time, reality that we cannot continue without adequate resources, reality that this photo that brighten my day, Misha’s face, will be the last.

We are giving our best effort, each and every moment, but as much as the strength of a nation is only as strength as its people, the strength of our shelter is only as much as us.

Many times in the past, together, we have erased that word “only” as we raise from the depth of hellhole back to life. Many times we have shown the world the power of small people standing in unity.

I hope we can still do the same today, and make many more Mish’sa who otherwise will only be a spatter stomped to death by ignorant six years old boy on the street.

~ Josie



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Josie And The Whiskers' Syndicate

The first and only cat refuge in Bandung (West Java - Indonesia) a capital breeder of a nation without animal welfare law. We care for Bandung's unwanted animals, operate a TNR as much as our budget allows, and continue to educate people about compassion to animals


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