Wednesday, 28 April 2010
How the Devil was reponsible for Putrajaya
In order to demonstrate how powerful he is, the Devil proceeds to build 'mahligai yang cantik sekali' (the most beautiful palace). He waves his black-clad hand, and lo! This is what happens:
On the one hand, you have to give the Devil his due: his instant method of construction doesn't involve the exploitation of migrant labour. It also, aside from the puff of smoke in the beginning, doesn't seem to involve much damage to the environment: no trees were felled.
This structure is meant to be grand, imposing, and totally out of character with its surrounding area. There would be no love here, just diabolical ambition. (What do you expect when the Devil is your architect? He didn't even consult the client, but went ahead and built just-like-that!)
So now you know where the design inspiration for the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya came from:
The government, for obvious reasons, does not want you to know all this; the folks there have enough public relations headaches as it is! This is why Iman is not even listed as a film in the official Finas database. Coincidence? I think not! But now, the truth can be told. Ain't you glad I'm around?
* Dedicated to all Malaysians who love conspiracies -- which is, let's face it, all of us.
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Pop gurindam for SM
Selamat petang to all tuan dan mem
We're here to sambut the book by SM
Although near the new Istana Negara
Sultan Pun Blog tak guna cukai anda
According to pakar bidang seksologis
S and M can mean sadis dan masokis
It's often thought as bukan cinta biasa
He knows spanking is part of asmara
SM and pop ditakdirkan go together
They are toast with kaya AND butter
But I can't watch Akademi Fantasia
I find it more fun to listen to Perkasa
Despite kesesakan lalulintas of KL
He will not miss P. Ramlee or PGL
Watching a play lima kali is no hal
It's an addiction, but it is still halal
He has two chapters on filem Sepet
But doesn't include any filem rempit
We all sedia maklum Siti's majesty
But he should explain rahsia Mawi
He can sing praises of seronok gila
When writing of Cinta dan Rangga
But menyumpah with funny vitriol
When describing Cinta Kolesterol
If we want to be gila babinya honest
Our pop culture bukanlah the mostest
Too many folk want to play safe only
Castello wants us to eat biskut Julie
Budaya is not just films, song or stage
It is also how kita PILIH untuk engage
Sultanmuzaffar is a pelopor bloggerati
He helped kembangkan our vocabulary
Some pak menteri do not like bloggers
Then again, some politikus are bonkers
If democratic New Media they tak nak
Feed these guys to a flying pontianak
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Scenes from TRAPPED BY MALAYS (1907)
Trapped by Malays: A Tale of Bayonet and Kris is an adventure story aimed solidly at a young English audience a century ago, most of whom would never have been to Malaya.
I now have the book, and these are (rather fanciful, of course) images from it. Click to enlarge and read the captions:
And some extracts, all from the dialogue of white blokes:
"I think they [the natives] are untrustworthy. They dislike us for religious reasons as well as for taking possession of their country. and, in short, there are times when I can't help feeling that we are living on the slopes of a moral volcano which might burst forth at any moment." (pg 41)
"How are you going to get tight hold of a savage's tooth when you can see him ready to pull out his kris, and your hands are trembling like banana leaves in a storm?" (pg. 50)
"This long, narrow Malay peninsula is cut up into countries each ruled over by a petty Rajah, and these half-savage potentates are all as jealous of one another as can be." (pg 64)
Can't wait to read the whole thing. If you want to get the book, let me know and I'd be glad to be of service.
Monday, 19 April 2010
Does reading make you white?
I love Borders, but why only mat salleh kids here?
(Photo via Daphne Lee on Facebook).
Saturday, 17 April 2010
A hypothetical Malaysian by-election
No time for condolences
The scrambling begins
"Alive, he did nothing much
Dead, he's quite useful."
Merajuk is cute
When done by politicians
Who do not get picked
Alas, projectiles are hurled
Play nice-nice, children!
In this little town
The economy's booming:
Just ask the hotels
No concerts come here
The big crowds at ceramah
Make up for lost fun
"Think of all we've done
For the people here!" he roars
While the roads get paved
TV says one thing
Internet news, another
Look into your heart!
"I can't stand any of them!"
Potential spoilt vote
Polling day is tense
Do those buses bring phantoms?
People wait for news
Will they say 'Takbir' or 'Foul'?
Depends on who wins
The town's quiet now
The new rep seems quite healthy
But you never know
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Yasmin and Malaysian cinema, now in French & Portuguese!
Both events were actually initiated and curated entirely by the cultural workers (to use a nicely Marxist term) in both countries, with very little help from Malaysian associations. I heard from both places: "We sent emails to [insert name of relevant government agency tasked with film promotion here] but, after a while, no one replied." And no one from the Malaysian embassy in Brazil even bothered to turn up for any of the events.
But why dwell on the idiocy of Malaysian bureaucracy? Dozens of Malaysian films were shown in places where no one had ever seen any of our films before. So that must count as a good thing.
And my huge thanks to the hard-working organisers and hosts who made the events proceed with nary a hitch: Jeremy Segay and Eva Markovitz in Paris; and Tati Leite and Arndt Roskens in Rio.
P.S. Brazil was a magical place!