Friday, 31 July 2020

The Rise and Fall of Mahathir Mohamad

The Rise and Fall of Mahathir Mohamad by Jarni Blakkarly on Kill Your Darlings 

Everyone has a hot take on this man.

I just wish there was someone else to talk about in our political landscape.

Monday, 25 May 2020


Quite a throwback. I had forgotten this happened 9 years ago!

I'm still friends with Ines, the organiser.

How time flies!

Two Good Reads

Preta Samarasan writes on race in Malaysia at the Mekong Review. An very engaging, important and humbling read.

Yusuf Abdol Hamid writes about the class divide in neighbouring Singapore at Rice Media.

Guys, please tip your delivery guys. To earn RM5 driving a bike in the hot sun is really hard work, they deserve more.

Hope you're all good,

Monday, 23 March 2020


Sunday, 8 March 2020

The Hong Kong Protests

Before the Covid-19 virus filled news headlines and was China's main concern, there were the protests in Hong Kong (now

A touch late to be sharing these, but nonetheless, here are two insightfully written articles from the New Yorker, and a well produced podcast from this American Life.

Umbrellas Up This American Life, October 18, 2019.
This American Life, my favourite podcast, goes to the front lines of protests in Hong Kong to hear from protest participants, their families, and opposers.

Bravery and Nihilism on the Streets of Hong Kong New Yorker, August 31, 2019
Contains this amazing paragraph:
Here is the thing about the Hong Kong protesters that’s hardest to convey: to spend time with them is to immerse oneself in a world that is dreamlike, a collective exercise that is almost delusional—that would, indeed, be delusional, except for the fact that the participants are themselves aware that they are suspending disbelief. To many of them, the mainland looms as a place that is both unthinkably powerful and morally inferior; a vast, drab landscape of casual brutality. And yet, despite the fear and loathing, China remains both Hong Kong’s origin and its destiny.
Hong Kong's Protests and the Fight for the City's Soul  New Yorker, December 9, 2019

A common thread that runs through all three pieces:

  1. The protesters are most aggrieved by police brutality, and said brutality escalated tensions and reactions.
  2. The protests / protesters have an internal logic of its / their own.
  3. The protesters realise their actions are, in the grand scheme of things, futile in changing the inevitable course of Hong Kong's future, i.e. assimilation / submergence into mainland China and its legal political and social mores.
  4. The political upheaval is tearing families apart, and lays bare the intergenerational differences between younger and older Hong Kongers.
It's possible these are talking points American media frames its presentation of the protests, and actual Hong Kongers may be concerned with other/more issues, but I found the coverage compelling all the same.  What is little discussed, and perhaps what is now compounded by the virus's outbreak, is the sheer economic costs of the protests; if you have insightful coverage, do share by commenting.

Stay safe, everyone!

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Travel and Dancing

What one expects and gets from travel and dance—a liberation from earthly woes, the possibility of an aesthetic relation to organized toil—corresponds to the sort of elevation above the ephemeral and the contingent that might occur within people’s existence in the relation to the eternal and the absolute. . . . Through their travels (and for the time being it doesn’t matter where they are headed) the shackles are burst, and they imagine that infinity itself is spreading out before them. In trains they are already on the other side, and the world in which they land is a new world for them. The dancer also grasps eternity in the rhythm: the contrast between the time in which he floats about and the time that demolishes him is his authentic rapture within the inauthentic domain. Dance itself can readily be reduced to a mere step, since after all it is only the act of dancing that is essential.

Siegfried Kracauer, 16th November, 1924, Frankfurter Zeitung
As quoted in the New Yorker article, Only Disconnect 

Gion Haiku

Embed from Getty Images

Geta beat like drums
Sunset, then nightfall and rain
Quick, light the lantern!

Sunday, 24 February 2019


unsplash-logoCris Saur

Saturday, 12 May 2018


Open your eyes.

As a breath enters your nostrils, fills your body and leaves your lungs, give thanks to the Creator for your soul, able yet to inhale and exhale.

Give thanks for yet another day laid at your feet; this gift of possibility and potential, another chance to strive a little further.

Open the curtains and windows. Take in whatever light and air there is.

Remind yourself how small you are in this world, but remind yourself too that small things can make a big difference.

Inhale. Exhale. Stretch.

Put on some music. Tune your heartbeat to the rhythm of the awakening world. There is music everywhere, if we choose to listen.

Listen. To your heart and your head. Listen without judgment or regret, without the desire to control or direct.

Leave the distractions of commentary and imagery alone for now. This is time to be still and silent before the deluge of information and stimulation and noise attack you later (as it surely will).

Move. Perform a sun salutation, or ten. A push-up, or twenty. Run the block, or a few miles. Your body has rested; it needs warming up.

As you move, take note you that your heart and soul is housed in a body: your body. It is fallible, limited. But it is faithful and beautiful. It is yours alone. Do not take it for granted as you wander through this realm. Eat, drink, nourish it.

Read, at least a line or two. From the morning funnies. Or the Holy Scriptures.

Speak: to God, to yourself, to the universe. Ask: for guidance, for protection, for courage, for strength.

And now, you are ready. To meet the rest of your day, and the rest of your life.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Saudade Season

You're as tall as the tree
Sophisticated, you see
The tinsel in truth is tack
The gifts prove their own lack
Of insight into your standing now.

Yesterday's bells ring
Today's melancholy sting
Come then crowd of unwelcome ties
Another dinner to tell more lies?
Asides and clever lines for your brow.

Under the bough, no more surprises
Another lost year chastises
Too much wine, you yawn
Where could the magic have gone?
Resigned that it's lost, you bow

Goodnight youth, goodnight now.

(October 2014)


To pour the whole shot
In one shot
Without spilling a drop
Was always a skill of yours

At first the globe floats in defiance
Refusing to succumb
But already revealing canyons
Flooded with rivers of black-brown

Soon the stirring
Melts as it mixes
The ice and heat
Embracing each other

Between forgetting
And bittersweet fantasy
I taste long gone

Now all is left
Is a line of beige
On clear glass
And an aftertaste

Of smoke and caramel

(September 2012)


Unravel me
Untie the knots
Only you know
How to untie
Iron out the creases
On the crumpled sheets
Of my bundled mind
Salve my bruise
Rub off my scar
Kiss away the sting
On my broken body
My empty hands
Fill them
My blistered feet
Heal them
Speak to me
And in speaking
Give me hope to reply
Unfurl my sails
Let me dare
To dream
To fly

With you

(August 2012)