... as if he were picking jewels from a Nepalese trader.Poetry is catching, it seems!
Wong was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1935, a fifth generation Straits Chinese. His struggle with his identity and ethnicity lie at the core of his work. He graduated in Economics from the University of Singapore and went into banking a post in a bank, writing poetry in his spare time.
I write in English and how many read in English or are even interested in English poetry? We have lost three generations of Malaysians who studied in the national medium.His self-imposed exile from writing lasted 15 years until Edwin Thumboo in Singapore invited him to contribute some of his work to a collection. His work appeared in numerous journals, and is taught on university literature courses. His poems have also been collected in An Acre of the Day's Glass, and he has recently completed a verse-drama Anike, to be performed next year.
After May 13, the question, the question of what language I was forced to write in was forcefully brought home to me. I no longer wanted to write, at least in a language I was told was a colonial leftover. The National Language Policy and other policies on national unity, culture and economics made me reassess what I was doing. I began to question the validity of the language I was writing in.
Write in English? Don't be so Disloyal! (22/8/05)