Saturday 27 November 2010


There's a brand-new newspaper in the country, Selangor Times. It's a weekly (available every Friday) with a circulation of 100,000. It's so new that its website is not even up yet -- but you can read a news report about it in theSun here.

It's a free newspaper; the first issue was given out yesterday at all LRT stations in Selangor, and is now completely gone. There weren't enough copies to be sent to 7-Eleven stores, but I am told this will be rectified by the time the next issue is out. 

This paper has me particularly psyched because it is now the only regular venue for Malaysian fiction in English. All the main Malay papers have published short stories and even serial novels for decades, but fiction has so far been absent from the oghe putih press. Why? Because English has been complacently assumed to be merely a utilitarian, upwardly-mobile device rather than a language that you can embrace, tickle and otherwise get naughty with.

I was initially approached by the editor to write a column, but I think there are already so many hand-wringing columns about The State of the Nation; what's the point of adding to the chatter? So I proposed instead a Fiction section. My own short story *ahem* is the first to be published. Click to enlarge!

Subsequent issues will use stories that other people send in. Do email the Chief Editor Chan Kok Leong at Length should be 800 words, and the target audience is, well, anyone in Selangor today. Yes, there is pay!


Anonymous said...

Nice story with the typical 'O. Henry' ending that you seem to like so much. I missed this debut. Only at LRT stations you say?

Amir Muhammad said...

I think it was inspired more by the 17 Hercule Poirot books I've read this year, mwahahaha.

The 2nd issue will also be in all 300 7-Eleven stores in Selangor; 50 copies each.

Ajiem Zulkafli said...

bloody genius.

Sasha Leong said...

Tak sempat. Every time I reach the LRT station, 8AM morning crowd (and before) sapu everything :(

Love the whole concept from the sound of it though :)

nstman said...

Amir has been blacklisted by the pernicious mainstream dailies for so long. Now he gets a chance to show his stuff, in the Selangor Times, of course. Keep it up, brudder.

Joe said...

It's just another Malaysian paper run by arrogant fools who think they should be given the Medal of Honour for having a 'literary' profession. Come on.

Amir Muhammad said...

Erm, not sure where THAT came from.