Karim Raslan very kindly invited me to the launch of his latest compilation of essays at Valentine Willy Fine Arts last night.
This, the third book in the Ceritalah series is subtitled A Dream Deferred, and is a compilation of columsn from The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Sinar Harian.
This from the publishers blurb :
(It) charts Dr Mahathir Mohammad's departure from office and the rise of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. it goes on to chronicle the latter's astounding victory in the 2004 polls followed by the gradual decline in his administration's fortunes, concluding with the historic March 8, 2008 general election and its epochal implications.At the press conference Karim described the book as more gloomy, much darker than the previous volumes. Malaysia wants change, needs change, but is still waiting for that change to happen. And it isn't easy for the politicians to deliver it.
Traversing the country, Karim chronicles the hopes, dreams and fears of Malaysians from diverse backgrounds, weaving their views into his frank, unsparing essays. The nation possesses enormous potential but the current challenges are just as great. Karim talks about the dream of better, fairer and more open politics - a dream as yet, deferred.
Malaysians expect to be able to deliver their views more, Karim said, but the government are not used to people speaking out, and he believes that we are entering a time of more control.
Malay and Chinese versions of the book wil be launched soon, and he will be compiling another book - this time about Indonesia. He is now also writing for The Jakarta Globe.
(The lady cutting the book-cover cake is Karim's mother, Dorothy.)
The guests at the launch included politicians from all sides including Nik Aziz, Zaid Ibrahim, Nik Nazmi, Khairi Jamalludin, and Nurul Izzah whom I was chatting to for a while before I realised who it was. (Me socially inept.) It was very nice to meet friends, including from publishers Marshall Cavendish.
The nibbles by Alexis were very good too.