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Kampung Jati Diri That Malaysian Thing
That Malaysian Thing
Azmi Sharom, human being PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Saturday, 30 October 2010 05:30

Dr Azmi Sharom will speak this evening (Sat, Oct 30) at this month's SABM Dinner Lecture, an event that is sold out. A couple of months earlier, we met the man in his office at Universiti Malaya in the hope of uncovering what makes this soul tick


Candid: A scowl begins to escape when Azmi talks about racism.

YOU know him as the law academic with the semi-tochang hairstyle, those piercing eyes framed in black plastic; eyes that can burn a bigot in a flash. You probably remember his bold pieces in Brave New World, his fortnightly column in The Star (The Real Social Contract, We must never allow the mob to rule, Under Threat? What Threat?).


One of academia's few good men, many say. He's a brave one, echo others.

The man rolls his eyes. "What's so extreme about what I do anyway? Look, the stuff that matter to me - human rights, equality, fundamental liberties - these are values of a human being. I'm just being human. Being human! I don't carry a bomb, I'm not plotting a coup, I don't come anywhere near being a threat to national security."

Welcome to the world of Azmi Sharom, where in crisp humour-laced lines, it's a given that a spade is called a spade. The main question is what are you going to do about it.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 October 2010 06:25
From out of Tunku's shadow, she flies PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Monday, 30 August 2010 22:59

Last year, during the same Merdeka period, an article in The Star gripped the nation and turned viral on the internet. One specific portion was copied onto blogs, emailed and floated in local internet forums as thousands praised its simple level-headed message. More recently, we caught up with the author,

SHARYN LISA SHUFIYAN, to discover the person behind the article

Sharyn3NOT so very long ago, exasperated and outraged, she threw a punch at a security guard inside a mall. Socked him hard on the shoulder. Made him look small - "he needed that" - and put him in his place as a fellow human being.

"We were selling chocolates at a stall, my friend and I," says Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan. "Just earning honest pocket money - we'd do that all the time during college breaks. My friend has a little disability, which that particular guard at the mall noticed and started teasing her about it. He was incessant. She was hurt, made overly conscious of her 'blemish', which really isn't one.

"We ignored him at first, until she couldn’t take it anymore and stormed off to make a report. I tried talking to him, numerous times, told him to back off. But here's the sad bit - no-one was listening to a 'lowly' salesgirl even if you're a 'lowly' security guard yourself. And gender discrimination is apparent. The guard said to me, 'Mak kau tak ajar budi ke?' (Your mom didn’t teach you manners?) to which I snapped back, 'Because of my mom I’m like this!' adds the 25-year-old former student of Convent Bukit Nanas.

"That moment, I decided 'Enough'. I got mad, balled my fist, and threw one at the guard. Push me too far and I can be biadab too, especially if you mess with people I care about."

You listen to the story, you study the figure telling it, and there's a mild disconnect. Sharyn is Let-It-Be gentle, compassionate and thoughtful. You may say she's peramah, definitely not someone who eats men for breakfast. Not unless they ask for it.

But the Tunku would've grinned broadly, wouldn't he? This was, after all, his great grand-daughter giving a remedial lesson on Respect 101.

Born in Malaysia PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:21

Here's why he was smiling at the laptop. Haris Ibrahim speaking to the diners in Sydney


For background, read here.


By Q. Khoo

At Abang Sam’s, Sunday, 23rd May 2010

Fifty-seven Malaysians-by-birth made their way to meet, greet and eat as Malaysians at home and abroad do. But this evening, each and every one of them knew it was going to be more than those three primary Malaysian traits.

A group who call themselves MIGSYD (for Malaysian Interest Group, Sydney) had organized a dinner to raise funds and more importantly, consciousness for the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Spirit.

While all had been reminded umpteenth times to please be not tardy and appear by 6pm, a narrow margin was allowed for rubber-timers and the oft-berated Malaysian time keepers. The organizers had run through their systems, menu and agenda to clockwork precision in their heads by then and tapping fingers on Abang Sam’s nicely set tables for a good 30 minutes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 22:24
Confessions of a Malaysian boy PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 00:48

kamraslan1By Nick Choo

First published in The Nut Graph


KAM Raslan grew up and lived in the United Kingdom for some 20 years before returning to Malaysia. "I think I could say I was an economic migrant," the one-time filmmaker and director says. "I was just starting out in film, and it was very hard to get in. Things [in Kuala Lumpur], on the other hand, were seemingly booming.

"I remember the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989, and I was watching that and thinking, 'Wow, these things are happening around the world, and here I am stuck in London ... I want to go elsewhere and have an adventure!'"

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 01:38

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