Archive for the 'The Other Malaysia' Category

Being Muslims and More Besides: Muslim Identities as Complex and Cosmopolitan

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

(*Note: I was invited to write a think-piece for an upcoming project and I thought I’d share it with anyone interested)
The past decade has witnessed a period of intense speculation on the subject of Muslim subjectivity; often prompted by reasons that have less to do with academic concerns and more with politics [...]

A Note for Valentines Day

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Going through my store of old books and 1st edition works on Malaysia and Southeast Asia, I came across an early edition of one of the works of Frank Swettenham, the colonial official who was one of the governors of British Malaya.
On the inside cover Swettenham had hand-written a note to the person to whom [...]

Letter to Eddin

Friday, February 12th, 2010

4th February 2010
Dear Eddin,
Last night, as weariness overcame me and fatigue took its toll, I sought refuge from the madness around us by turning to the things I hold dear to me. As I lay on the couch with cigarette in hand and a cup of tea within reach, I held in my hand the [...]

Can ASEAN accept its Complex Past and Present: Talk at ASEAN LOGICS conference IIUM 2 Feb 2010

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

(This is a summary of the talk I gave at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) on 2 February 2010, at the ASEAN LOGICS conference. The panel was addressing the question of Addressing the Gulf/Divide in ASEAN over Cultural, Racial and Religious Differences. Ive tried to reproduce my talk verbatim below.)
Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow [...]

Khinzir, Lembu dan Raksaksa di Kalangan Kita

Friday, January 29th, 2010

(*Terjemahan dari rencana Farish A. Noor bertajuk “Pigs’ Heads, Cows’ Heads and The Demons Among Us” oleh saudara David Chong yang budiman. Saya terhutang budi kepadanya atas kesudian beliau untuk menterjemahkan rencana ini.- FN )
Oleh Farish A Noor/ Diterjemahkan oleh David Chong
Terjemahan Mahabharatta dalam bahasa Melayu-Indonesia, Hikayat Pandawa Lima, menceritakan episod menarik dan mustahak yang [...]

Pigs’ Heads, Cows’ Heads and The Demons Among Us

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In the Malay-Indonesian rendering of the Mahabharatta, the Hikayat Pandawa Lima, we have an interesting and important episode that takes place as the great battle of Bharatayudha is fought. The Pandawa prince Yudistira - who is an ascetic and pacifist at heart - is forced to do battle with the great King Prabu Salya. Prabu [...]

The Maharaja Wears No Clothes

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Looking at the state of Malaysian politics and society today, at a time when the nation is caught in the grip of a collective anxiety over questions of identity and its future, it is heartening to note that so many of the efforts at nation-building, reconciliation, the fostering of a sense of nationhood and common [...]

Political Concessions in a Complex Country: The Social and Political Costs

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Malaysia has been making international headlines over the past few weeks for all the wrong reasons, yet again. The spate of arson attacks on Churches, Temples and Mosques is a worrying sign that the fragile social contract - if there ever was one - that underlies the Malaysian multicultural project is in danger of falling [...]

A Colder Look At The State Of Malaysia Today

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Maintaining our detached gaze at what is happening in Malaysia today, let us hypothetically imagine a scenario in a fictional country that has the following characteristics and features: It is a smallish country with a modest population of less than thirty million citizens; a plural ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious mix that was further entrenched [...]

A Cold Look At The State Of Malaysia Today

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

At a time when tempers are rising and we are being treated to a rather crude and vulgar display of verbal pyrotechnics and hammy acting on the part of pundits and politicians alike, it would pay to take some objective distance from the current sad state of Malaysian politics in order to stare at ourselves [...]