Lily is a writer and a campaigner for Amnesty International Malaysia, where with her team she designs and executes campaigns on death penalty abolition, freedom of expression, police reform, migrant and refugee rights, and more. In 2020, she worked on a campaign that led to a discharge not amounting to acquittal for five hospital cleaner union activists. In 2021, she worked on a public campaign protesting the mass deportation of Burmese migrants and refugees from Malaysia, alongside the organisation’s strategic litigation against the government.
Passionate about the potential of human rights education to transform and inspire social change, she also develops and delivers human rights education programming at Amnesty International Malaysia. This has included a youth-focused Human Rights Academy, Human Rights 101 classrooms, and a month-long workshop for writers to explore human rights issues in Kuala Lumpur.
Before Amnesty International Malaysia, Lily was a research executive in a collaboration between Tandemic and UNICEF, where she researched educational opportunities for undocumented youth in Malaysia’s poorest state, Sabah. There, she used human-centred design methodologies to conduct ethnographic research and co-develop education modules. In 2015, she was awarded the British Council “Entrepreneurs for Good” award, in recognition of the growth and potential of an NGO-volunteer partnership social enterprise started at Tandemic. She was also a Digital Campaigns Manager with Climate Tracker, where she helped run development opportunities for emerging climate journalists.
As a writer, Lily is passionate about the potential of creative writing as a tool for social change. She won the Mercedes-Benz Creative Excellence award in 2017 for her short play "Our Compliance" in the Short+Sweet Malaysia theatre festival and was featured as an Emerging Writer in the 2018 George Town Literary Festival. In 2019, she led poetry workshops with UnRepresented:KL, exploring marginalised narratives in Malaysia’s capital city. With two other writers, she was a co-founder of 100DP, a hundred-day writing workshop focused on generative feedback structures. Her works have been published in anthologies by GerakBudaya, Haymarket Books, and Fixi.
Lily graduated with a B.A. in political science from Grinnell College.
We often think of change as the final moment of celebration: a law is changed, a person is released, a new government is elected in. But for all of those large moments, it takes years and years of small moments: someone learns the language to describe their experience, or gathers the courage to speak up for themselves, or a question is remembered years after it is asked. Change happens just as much in the fabric of smaller, unseen moments, as it does in the larger, publicised moments, and that is the work that I am equally invested in.