THE national literary body, which is hell-bent on having a Malaysian writer win the Nobel Prize for Literature by the year 2010, has come up with an ingenious solution: Get a few writers together and freeze them.I don't know if it says more for my blur-as-sotong* brain or the often surreal state of things in Malaysia ... but I actually had to read this piece twice before I realised that this was an Amir Muhammad piss-take.
"Studies have found that the vast majority of writers who have won the Nobel Prize came from countries that experience harsh winters. Very few have come from equatorial or tropical countries. Being exposed to the cold helps you to become a better writer," said a spokesman.
It is simply not cost-effective to send our writers overseas to be exposed to cold climates. "We have so many writers," he continued. "Every time a tsunami or war occurs anywhere in the world, new Malaysian writers are born, usually expressing their anguish in verse."
To send these thousands of writers abroad would be wasting money that could be better used for important infrastructural projects such as the ongoing construction of the World’s Longest Gold-Plated Lemang. Furthermore, writers when overseas might be exposed to dangerous foreign ideologies that may weaken their talent.
This is how the idea for the large freezer was born. The construction required expert input from the refrigeration and meat-packing industries. Several giant terminals, each the size of a football field, will be built and frozen to sub-zero temperatures. Writers will be encouraged to spend three months of every year in them, and winter clothing will be rotated among the participants.
But what worries me is that someone in the Ministry of Culture Arts and Tourism might just see some potential in the idea. (Get your woolies ready guys!)
*Language note: This Malaysianism translates as " as confused as a cuttlefish". I'm not sure if cuttlefish are confused since the only ones I see are on my dinner-plate, deepfried in batter or swimming in black-bean sauce.