Monday, January 12, 2009

Forty Years On ...

From Amir, news of a publication which is calling for contributions.

This year will be the 40th anniversary of May 13. And therefore ...


May 13

Editors: Fathi Aris Omar & Jimadie Shah
Publisher: Gerakbudaya


This year, May 13 will bring added meaning to all Malaysians, particularly our post-1969 young generation, because we will be marking its 40th year. The Youth Societies and Youth Development Act 2007 defines ‘youth’ as being anyone below the age of 40.

The May 13 incident will be approaching its final year of youth, will become an adult and, therefore, mature. The question now is: have we successfully exorcised the ghost of May 13 and are we showing enough maturity today in facing all issues pertaining to race and religion?

To answer this question, we in Gerakbudaya wish to gather all writings in various forms, sketches and photographs from our youth –
in short, expressions of their views on this tragedy.

All contributions will be compiled in a book and published by Gerakbudaya. This book will be officially launched at the 2nd KL Alternative Bookfest (KLAB) on 9-10 May, 2009 at the Annexe, Central Market.


We will give ample opportunities to contributors whose creations fulfil the theme and criteria stipulated.

The main theme of this book is to get rid of the ghost of May 13, towards a better Malaysia.

Style of writing

The following styles of writing can be applied although you are free to write in any way:

1) Stories from secondary sources like from parents, teachers, members of political parties, lecturers and others
2) Creative writing
3) Interviews with people who were directly involved and experienced the tragedy, political and social leaders and others
4) Open letter to politicians
5) Essay

Each piece of writing that is sent must not exceed 2000 words. There is no minimum limit.

Contributions must be in Bahasa Malaysia or English

For those who are doing sketches or photographs, the contribution must not exceed 4 pages.

Every contribution must bear your own name or widely-known pen name.

Contributors must be 40 years and below, and Malaysian citizens.

Email your contributions and all enquiries with the subject' May 13' to

Everyone who contributes will be given 2 copies of the book and a good chance to publish books with Gerakbudaya or with our other publisher, SIRD.

Closing date for all entries is 28 February 2009.
Please help pass the word on.


Yusuf Martin said...

Such a shame that a good idea is once again spoilt by ageism.

I will continue to object to age limits, especially in the creative world.

bibliobibuli said...

haha i was waiting for you to drop by and say that! methinks so too ...

Amir said...

But in this case, doesn't it have thematic validity? Perspectives of an event by people who were born after the event.

Yusuf Martin said...

Amir I don't doubt your intention, or question the validity of your particular exercise, just abhor ageism in all its guises. There are enough opportunities for younger people to write - many of which are supported and sponsored, but few for 'older' people.

There are many prizes for younger people, courses etc but 'older' peoples' voices are being muted by this rush for youth and the young.

Personally I feel that there should not be such age limits. Its like asking only men to write, or only Chinese.

Amir said...

Like I commented on the earlier post, I have nothing to do with this book (although I will volunteer as a proofreader). I just think this is one of those instances where narrowing the field can be valid.

In the beginning, when I first saw the post, I thought: Why are two Malays editing it? If there had to be two editors, shouldn't there be a Chinese, too? Then I wonder if my initial reaction was also a symptom of how captive we still are to 'the ghost of 13 May.'


Chet said...

>> Perspectives of an event by people who were born after the event.

What about people born before the event and old enough to remember and write first-hand accounts? Maybe the editors think these are from a different generation and not schooled in English or Bahasa, or not literate at all.

I think the editors are young 'uns, that's why the focus on writings from the 40 and below group.

bibliobibuli said...

we've never had an account written by those who were there and we badly need it - as well as this "imaginative reconstruction" (amir - scope for you here!)

i'm still with yusof on the ageist thing. call for submission after call for submission emphasises the young

still he (and i!) would have also had the hurdle of malaysian citizenship for this one

but let's not make ourselves unhappy but take positive action instead ... yusof, i have something in mind you will like i think ...

Amir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zulhabri said...

thank you for all the feedback and we really appreciate it

the main purpose of this project is to let the young peoples to take the lead especially those who born after the incident

a few contributors will interview the peoples that directly or indirectly involved with the incident


Amir said...

A May 13 book was always going to be a controversial idea. Perhaps the editors didn't anticipate this precise form of controversy (although that's too big a word).

As a popular 50something blogger is fond of something: Kah kah kah.

(Hands up who can name that blogger!)

Yusuf Martin said...

"... yusof, i have something in mind you will like i think ..."

I am curious (yellow) or rather Sharon.

I would say that I was all ears, but that would make me Prince Charles

bibliobibuli said...

best of luck with the project, Zul. the last people we should criticise is those who open spaces for others ... it 's just that ...

Anonymous said...

"are we showing enough maturity today in facing all issues pertaining to race and religion?"

Obviously not. Power still tends to corrupt some people. Whether you run a blog, a company, a family or a country, there's always a "if you don't agree get out, I don't want to hear what I don't agree with!" thing going on.

And yes, this project proves one thing, that there's no equality here, it's a marketing project, with a target and a focus and an expected return.

Get at the heart of it, and you will see the worm in the apple. Someone is funding it, and someone will want his/her money's worth.

Anonymous said...

To continue -

And why do we want to help them make money? is your art (and thus your life) just worth two copies and a good chance?

Anonymous said...

As for the something in mind :

Yea both of you could start something. There ought to be an writing contest for people abouve the age of 50 (or 60 or 70 or 80!) and that will show them.. or something.

That would be something new and exciting for the old and exciting :)

bibliobibuli said...

yusuf and i are the "old and exciting" - nice LOL

Yusuf Martin said...

I have a feeling that I am "old" and Sharon is "exciting"

Anonymous said...

I will start a contest for 200-year old writers. It will have the best prizes ever.

bibliobibuli said...

LOL to both of you!