Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Those Amazing Alternatif Malay Boys

Are these guys in the vanguard of alternative Malay literature?

There is a very nice piece today in The Sun about Sufian Abas and Ruhayat X, plugging their recent publications.

Sufian, the author of Kasut Biru Rubina is not too happy with being called "alternative", feeling the word is over used. Instead he wants to make fiction in Bahasa Malaysia more accessible to the masses :
It is not about changing the literature scene. I want to create books that I want to read ...
The shy guy who does not like giving interviews tells the interviewer :
You can invent anything about me …. You can say I was a kampung boy who was gang-raped by beruks (apes). A writer should not say anything. It is his work that should be talking.
Ruhayat X sees Aweks KL as :
... a platform for new voices to emerge ... If they [these writers] had submitted their works to Utusan Malaysia or Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, it would never have been published. ... It doesn’t mean these writers have nothing legitimate to say. I think they should be able to say it; then, we will have a more colourful culture instead of a culture that is just dictated by a certain establishment.
And he's actually quite proud that the National Library refused to co-launch the book!
I do not know whether this book is daring or not ... From what I understand, the writers are just writing whatever they felt was the truth. What’s surprising is that a majority of the stories deal with deprivation. That should say something about Malaysian culture. ... Some people are surprised by the themes. Some are repulsed but at the same time attracted to them ... I just thought these people should be heard. It is not supposed to be provocative; it is supposed to be a reflection of the plural culture we live in.
(Picture is nicked from The Sun which nicked it from my blog! Haha.)


Web Sutera said...


Have you read this one: TAIKOR by Khoo Kheng-Hor, published by Pelanduk. See my review here:

bibliobibuli said...

no. not yet. have quite a number of local books pending to be read. trouble is they have to compete with other things i have to read and other things i want to read!

it's nice if publishers send book bloggers a copy, don't you think?

Amir said...

There should indeed be some kind of system for sending out books to blog reviewers. What say we compile a list of the 10 most active bloggers who do reviews, and then get their mailing addresses? (Or merely reserve copies for them at the launch). I am sure several publishers will be interested.

bibliobibuli said...

good idea, amir. i often get books sent to me from around the world but don't get to hear of some that are published here until i happen to see them in the shops. and then you have to make tough decisions about whether to buy the overseas published book your heart is set on or support a local author. but i do actually buy a lot of local books partic the ones self-published where i know the author really can't afford to give me one!

Sith said...

Here's something REALLY ALTERNATIVE from Malaysian Supergroup Panda Head Curry?:


Previous Albums:


bibliobibuli said...

sith - listened to your music and really liked it. really good luck with this. it would be nice to have an event with words and music one day ...

Anonymous said...

Sounds childish to me. Can't think of anything better to do than call people names ?