Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dark Prognostications?


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.

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.
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.

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.

14 comments:

Chet said...

Was his kid brother there?

bibliobibuli said...

no. in china?

Cayce said...

thanks for this sharon - glad to hear that he appreciates Indonesia as much as I do!

Chet said...

Sharon - he flew there today, so thought he was at the launch.

Liz said...

I love his Ceritalah books. Such a clear, lucid voice. :)

Anonymous said...

I think he's got it wrong. The "people" are not used to other people speaking out. I've already proven that here haven't I? the government is not censoring my opinions on the blogs, the people, everyday citizens like you and others, are. And they are doing it just because it's offensive to them. This has been going on for ages, remember they crucified one guy because they didn't like what he was saying? how long ago was that?

People get the government they want. It's easy to blame a government for anything, and much too easy to forget that governments like to do things that tend to keep them in office. If they find that people want more control, then they will get more control. Why would they risk more control if the majority of the population embrace and accept free speech, however offensive it may be?

bibliobibuli said...

oh, hello, anon. we've missed your succinct and erudite comments recently. where've you been?

Greenbottle said...

i'm glad anonymous is back...it's good to have a fight in this blog again...i love contrarians

Anonymous said...

You're welcome. As someone once said, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The same nobles in the same castles, wearing clothes that cost your average peasant's monthly salary, complaining about how bad the government is for allowing them to make so much money.

WS said...

it's funny that karim thinks that we're entering a time of more control... did you all know that a controversial artwork that was on display at the gallery was forced to be taken down for this book launch?

look here for the juicy details:
http://www.arterimalaysia.com/2009/06/14/hot-shit-the-rock-kaka-thing/

i wonder what karim have to say about this?

bibliobibuli said...

thanks for that WS. can't say any of this surprises me. wonder if Karim even knows ...

Anonymous said...

WS :

Thanks for the link. I understand the art piece included a picture that was stolen from a billboard. If that picture was displayed, would it have been possible for the gallery curators to be accused of being an accessory to a crime?

Anonymous said...

Nik Aziz was not at the launch - nik nazmi, nurul izzah, kj, Tony Pua, Khalid Samad etc..were at the launch but Definately not NIK AZIZ.

bibliobibuli said...

hmmm. looks like someone was winding me up then. i was told he's short so i wouldn't see him though the crowd. i saw several of the others but some i didn't know from adam. even nurul izzah when i asked the poor girl what she does for a living.