Monday, 16 August 2010

SEJARAH MELAYU RELOADED, the new web project by Matahari Books

It all started when I bought this charming box-set last month:

I had read Sejarah Melayu (The Malay Annals) back in secondary school, but I'd forgotten much of it, except for odd things like the repeated use of the phrase "ratna mutu manikam".

So getting the box-set was an incentive to read it again, proper-proper. This collection by MBRAS actually contains the oldest surviving text of Sulalat us-Salatin (The Genealogy of Sultans) -- which would be better known, centuries later, as Sejarah Melayu. (There are 32 Jawi manuscripts in all, 29 of them outside Malaysia, and they vary.) It dates back to 1612 and was written (or 'written') by Tun Bambang for the Johor court.

Since I was going to read the thing anyway, I thought it would be fun to record my impressions. So I would write something after each chapter. Ladies and germs, I now bring to you Sejarah Melayu Reloaded.*

Chapter 1 is already up! I hope to sustain this daily and end on 16 September. Sempena Hari Malaysia gitu.

* I am grateful to Reza Rosli for helping out with web matters!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

#6 (as writer) and #10 (as publisher) in MPH

MPH Bestseller List: For week ending 8th August 2010

Local Authors

1 Indahnya Amalan Doa
Author : Dato Ismail Kamus

 2 Like Me, Follow Me: Using Facebook & Twitter to Boosts Your Business
Author : Oon Yeoh; Chris Leong

3 Pemilik Cintaku Setelah Allah dan Rasul
Author : Fatimah Syarha Mohd Noordin

4 Jadi 'Cool + Positif: Psikologi Suka-Suka (Kompilasi Ruangan Psikologi Majalah Remaja)
Author : -

5 Top Money Tips For Malaysians
Author : KC Lau

6 Rojak: Bite-Sized Stories
Author : Amir Muhammad

7 Shafee Yahaya Story Estate Boy to ACA Chief
Author : Kalsom Taib

8 Kaum-Kaum Yang Pupus (Edisi Promosi Istimewa)
Author : Harun Yahya

9 Mama, Saya Lapar: Berkongsi Pengalaman Mengenai Pemakanan Berkhasiat untuk Anak-Anak
Author : Wardina Saffiyah

10 What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You: The Annexe Lectures (Vol. 1)
Author : Farish A. Noor

Monday, 9 August 2010

How to get the remaining copies of the first edition

I have 73 copies left of the first edition of 120 Malay Movies. (I had 75 this morning.) If you'd like to order directly from me, fret not! you can still do so.

Email to order directly from me. Offer valid for Malaysian residents only, alas. Because people overseas have Amazon!

The first edition is also stocked in the following shops (each has fewer than 50 copies):

1. Kinokuniya KLCC
2. Silverfish Books
3. Da Huang Pictures
4. Kinibooks

The second edition, when it eventually comes out, will be more widely available.

Three reviews are now online:
- Farish A. Noor
- The Malaysian Reader
- Ajami Hashim (even though he says he hasn't finished it yet).

I have started writing a new book (it is not cinema-related). Extracts from the first draft will be posted online, on a daily basis, starting Wednesday Monday 16 August. Selamat menyambut bulan Ramadhan, yo!

* photo by Liza Manshoor from the KL launch.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

MALAYSIA'S GREATEST HITS 2 - a YouTube video festival

YouTube is only 5 years old but it's changed the way we view things so much that you feel like using the words that politicians (or their speech-writers) use: sea-change, future, limitless. You don't have to be Susan Boyle to appreciate its impact.

For example, take the case of Raja Bersiong (1968). When it was released, it was the most expensive Malay film to date. Due no doubt to religious sensitivities (another politician word), it is now not available on legitimate video or shown on TV. This despite the fact that it was written by our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman. But now, the whole thing can be viewed on YouTube, starting here!

In fact, I am sure at least 20 of the 120 Malay Movies are available there, if you don't mind the sometimes dire quality, or the experience of watching them in 10 parts. (Then again, legitimate VCDs are sometimes dire, too, AND you need to watch them in 2 parts.)

With this in mind (politician again!), I'd like to invite you to this event on Saturday, in which I present a hour-hour's worth of Malaysia-centric YouTube material. (No, I won't be showing Raja Bersiong). This project was initiated by Mark Teh and there are 3 other curators, so expect 2 hours of fun. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be embedded.

The venue is CHAI, 6 Jalan 6/3, off Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya.  

You may confirm on Facebook here