|The Malaysian AIDS Foundation was a
magnet for newshounds during this period. Marina Mahathir had signed up to
lead the organisation and was able to leverage her evident connections to
maximise awareness of the needs of AIDS sufferers in Malaysia. It remains
a hugely difficult task since it impacts most directly on the lower
reaches of a nation's people who hire partners and share needles. The
majority of other organisations seem to want to help those who will be
able to help themselves, perhaps seeing AIDS sufferers as victims of their
own indiscipline. I remember visiting once the Foundation's office, at
that time off Jalan Raja Laut behind the KFC. There was sunlight and
laughter and a sense of joyness and nowness, though tinged with a hint of
inevitable, impending doom and despair at the perceived inability to get
out of the slum that is Chow Kit.
Marina had seen us at a party and thought her mum and dad might like us "because we weren't too loud"!