Today was Tania’s last day at the P104 office.
The first time I met Tania was in the P104 conference room about 2 years ago. I was giving a lecture on politics to the interns from Hannah’s office. Yes, Tania started as a Hannah Yeoh intern. She had just returned to Malaysia from Australia, inspired by the good work that Hannah was doing.
At the lecture, I remember chiding her for furiously taking notes and not listening enough. However she proved me wrong when she had loads of questions for me. She left a very good impression and I remember instructing Nadirah to convince Tania to join our office internship instead. The following week, we successfully poached her to transfer her internship from Hannah to do policy research in my office.
An exceptional and capable intern she proved to be. Quiet but witty when need be. She also writes very well. I had wanted to hire her when she finished the internship but we just could not afford it. My Parliament salary is enough for two staff but not a third. As such I suggested she tried working with a state government agency, which she did for six months.
However when INVOKE Malaysia was launched in August 2016, I suggested she returned to the P104 office as an INVOKE contractor to be based in my office. As it turns out, she did some work for INVOKE for free and was absorbed under my payroll. Office finances were tight but as Tania always say, God will provide! She became our third staff and against all odds, our finances turned out absolutely fine with unexpected donations from our supporters.
She worked on many policy papers. She is responsible for half of the Pakatan Harapan draft manifesto (80 pages of it), Nadirah did the other half. She also led the 2017 Alternative Budget team. She then went on to meticulously organise several community events; most notably the free medical camps and community photo events.
Together with Nadirah and Abigail, they were, as Kak Wan called them the “Wong’s Angels”. We will miss Tania terribly. We wish her the very best as she heads to Oxford University. We expect her to return after 2 years, to continue the fight for a better Malaysia.