The size and design for New Malaysian Essays 1 are very much inspired by a Singapore journal called Focas. You've never heard of Focas, of course, so let me introduce it.
Focus stands for Forum on Contemporary Art & Society and if you think that sounds dead serious, wait till you read the stuff in there!
You can read about all the six issues (and maybe even buy a few of them) starting here. After that, just type Focas into the search box and more delights will unfold.
Focas is no more because the Singapore government pulled the plug on its funding! Is it because the journal was too critical of government policy, especially in relation to censorship? Focas was always written in such a rarefied manner that it's hard to imagine any bureaucrat taking offence – but then again, Singaporean bureaucrats probably know fancier words than ours.
RIP Focas! I shall make sure the editorial board gets a free copy of NME1 in return for not suing us for ripping off their look.