Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Malaysiana: Rumination on May 13

Some context for non-Malaysians
On May 13, 1969, riots broke out on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. These were racialized riots, between the majority Malay and minority-but-still-sizeable Chinese factions, a result of racial and religious fractioning between political parties of the people. Malaysia was still a very young country at the time, and had not really had much time yet to grow used to its multi-cultural identity now that the overwhelming British influence was gone. I would still argue that the Malaysian identity is still in flux; cultures take a long time to change and syncretize with each other. 

Since then, May 13 has become a force under which we have all rallied to do away with race-based politics, with a certain degree of success. We recognize now that we are Malaysians - born, bred, raised in similar environments and contexts, with a shared history (that can also be called propaganda), in a particular cultural context that is similar but not quite exactly the same with neighbouring nations.

Unfortunately, it seems also seems to have become a weapon for those who have privileges they want to maintain. Do not question the status quo, because it will, as it inevitably does, lead to questioning the current state of equality between races, which will lead to discussing the racial discrimination faced on institutional levels, which will lead to anger of many individuals, who will go on to cite the many different incidents of racism they or their friends or their friends' friends have gone through, and it all ends up in this unproductive black hole of people getting mutually angry at each other and ending up with harsh generalizations.

Malaysia's Identity Crisis

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 13 Blogswarm Links Post

This is where all Malaysians and residents of Malaysia are welcome to leave links to their participation in the May 13 Blogswarm. For more information, check out LiveJournal and Facebook.

Comments Policy: 
Please note that moderation is turned on for comments older than 7 days. I try to check in regularly, but this may be hard as I will be traveling.

Do not use this place to debate what others have said. If you do and you crash my site in due process, I'll get very irritated at you. That shit is rude. Don't do it. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Write: A Response to Diana Gabaldon

A friend of mine directed me to this post by Diana Gabaldon, who I understand is a successful authoress, about her objection to fanfiction. Her main points boil down to the following: it's illegal, it takes control of the material from the original author, and omg-ew-yuck-what-are-you-doing-to-my-characters.

Fanfiction is not my first choice for entertainment. I find it incredibly difficult to sift though fanfics to find stuff I really enjoy, and I imagine it's like an editor's slush pile. (So, I let other more dedicated people than I do my work for me.) I'm also a fan of reading an authour for their own personal writing style, not just what was written, but how. I've got no guarantee this same experience will be reproduced when I read fanfic. I've written fanfic before, and while it's a pleasant exercise, I don't do it often for reasons of my own I'll explain later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Malaysiana: Three Stories on Disability for BADD

Sometime when I was home earlier this year, my dad and I noticed this Indian man struggling with a walker in our housing area. He wasn't very old, and we'd seen him, walking, sort of tottering, past our road, along the football field, down a road which has several road bumps, because it's a one-way street passing through several.

Blog Against Disablism Day 2010: My Invisible Disability

I've recently started saying that I have an invisible disability. It's not easy to do, for several reasons.