Archive for the ‘Malaysia Stories’ Category


In conversation: Today bookkeeper, born Malacca son of a Lim family pig-farmer meeting an envoy descendant of the Yellow Emperor. Listening in, at Lim’s right, are a Cheras butcher, part-time tontine racketeer, and a Ayer Hitam snake oil salesman.


林冠英: 欢迎来到马来西亚

王毅: 有点忙  应该早点来

林冠英: 这也是好事 时间  榴莲季节 你试过榴莲吗?

王毅: 我不是花一天时间旅行 来吃榴莲

林冠英: 但是非常好吃 最好是在彭亨 我们的猫山王

王毅: 是的闻起来像屁  你几岁啊

林冠英: 五十八 这么哪

王毅: 没这么 我比你大七年 你的老家是哪里

林冠英: 出生马六甲

王毅:  看起来你不知道什么是老家

林冠英: 我知道 但我不是华人 我是马来西亚人

王毅: 是的 扁说了同样的话  老家人说一头猪喝水  不知道水从哪里来

林冠英: 什么意思

王毅: 无所谓  你没有老家 就不必来  我们先去吧  你慢慢喝

林冠英: 哦。。。?


I long for nothing but the Love in my Motherland



Seventh day on the seventh month: 七夕qixi in the era of Google.

I am the cowherd and she is the weaver girl. I’m south and she is north.




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The Orang Asli of Taman Negara

Malay government policies (especially since Mahathir Mohamad) towards them were identical to English imperialism: Write down your demands on a piece of paper called the ‘Federal Constitution’, teach the Asal Malay then convert them to Islam. The Orang Asal have never been the same since.

From another side, Anglophiles (people like the PJ preacher-reporter Bob Teoh who went to Sarawak) seek, supposedly, to protect the Asal aboriginal way of life. Instead they do the same as the Malay government, and more. Bobbie would sell to Sarawak natives his English language and Jesus Christ in the name of Christian charity — a colonized mind selling the colonizing language and culture within himself. Thus Bobbie continues the work of white imperialism in neo-imperial form.

This neo-imperialism has produced the like of motherfuckers from Kadir ‘Mad Dog‘ Jasin to Helen ‘Aku Cina‘ Ang, and more and more and more. Small wonder Malaysia is so fucked up.


The colonialist of the mind

When speaking and writing in English, Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Kit Siang and Anwar Ibrahim show how they are permanent features of imperialism’s tyranny. Worse for that, they don’t know it. Imagine, hence, all the (mostly dire) results they would wring out of Malaysia, a country and a cultural milieu so unsuitable to English ways of thinking and doing things.

Now, to the English language, add Christianity (Francis Yeoh, Joseph Lim), you produce the like of Stevie ‘Wonder’ Gan, the Anglophile extraordinaire. Into the cauldron, go farther, throw in Islam (Zakir Naik) and the Arabic language (Hadi Awang)….

As if not content with that state of affairs, successive Malay governments, in the guise of ‘national unity’ and ‘loyalty’ have forced the Chinese to learn Malaiyoo. This colonialism of the mind runs parallel to English imperialism: Most pertinently, it compares to Malays sequestering, first on paper, the Constitution, the native Orang Asal title, calling themselves ‘bumiputra‘. With that title, land was expropriated from the aboriginal people, from Johor and Kelantan to Sarawak and Sabah, a seizure justified, by Takiyuddin Hassan, for example, as  (Malay) ‘government’ land, a government right. How? It’s the Constitution, they say.



The Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 2018


Decolonising the Mind

From the Tyranny of Language by Francis Wade in comments on ‘Decolonising the Mind’ (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 1986, Heinemann) :

Thirty years after graduating from his missionary-run high school near Nairobi, the Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o had gained enough distance to reflect on the lasting effect of colonial education policy in Kenya. “Behind the cannon was the new school,” he wrote in Decolonising the Mind, the 1986 exposition on cultural imperialism in which he examined how the colonial classroom became a tool of psychological conquest in Africa and beyond. “Better than the cannon, it made the conquest permanent,” he wrote. “The cannon forces the body and the school fascinates the soul.”

The Alliance High School, which Ngũgĩ attended, was built in the 1920s and is now one of Kenya’s top-ranking schools. Like so many of the institutions that foreigners “gifted” to the colonies, it was seen by its founding patrons as a benevolent, civilizing instrument for Africans. It instructed in English; children who spoke in the local Gĩkũyũ tongue were beaten. English was the language of power, rationality, and intelligence; Gĩkũyũ, which Ngũgĩ would write in again only decades later, signified backwardness—an Africanness that, for the good of its carriers, had to be exorcized. A gun alone wouldn’t do the job; it needed, in Ngũgĩ’s words, to be “supplemented by the power of thought.” Decolonising the Mind, his attempt to examine how the mental space of colonized peoples came to be invaded and appropriated, is considered a seminal text on how language can be manipulated and pressed into the service of power.

The lectures that formed the basis of the book were delivered in Auckland in 1984, during that year’s Maori Language Week. I met with Ngũgĩ in May this year on his third trip to New Zealand, where we were both speaking at the Auckland Writers Festival. Clear-eyed and articulate at eighty, he recalled an encounter he had during those 1984 lectures that broadened his analysis of the relationship between language and power. A Maori woman had approached him soon after he left the podium. “You were not talking about Kenya,” she told him. “You were talking about us Maori people.” All the examples he had given were taken from Kenya or elsewhere in Africa, drawn from his teenage years in the Alliance High School and the creeping realization in the decades afterward of its insidious influence. “But she saw the Maori situation in it,” he told me. “The condition for acquiring the glory of English was the humiliation of African languages. This was the same in every colonial situation—in New Zealand, too.”

“The African bourgeoisie that inherited the flag from the departing colonial powers was created within the cultural womb of imperialism,” Ngũgĩ wrote in Moving the Centre: The Struggle For Cultural Freedoms, a collection of essays published in 1993. “So even after they inherited the flag, their mental outlook, their attitudes toward their own societies, toward their own history, toward their own languages, toward everything national, tended to be foreign; they saw things through eyeglasses given them by their European bourgeois mentors.”

Frantz Fanon, who died three years before Ngũgĩ published his first book, had issued similar warnings. He foresaw, accurately, a bleak future for societies in which a post-independence middle class, now in power, had—through clientelism and the hoarding of wealth—widened the socioeconomic fissures opened by the colonial project, and was thus in the process becoming the native face of the imperial enterprise. “Seen through its eyes, its mission has nothing to do with transforming the nation,” Fanon wrote. “It consists, prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camouflaged, which today puts on the masque of neo-colonialism.”

Much of the thinking today about the enduring effects of colonial rule is imbued with a sense that many once-colonized nations still feel a need to validate themselves in relation to the West. Macaulay and his contemporaries saw Western values and achievements as a gold standard to which the rest of the world should aspire, and the architects of colonial language policies, in particular, developed their curricula of control in accordance with that standpoint. Secondary school literature syllabuses in many of the elite African schools still tend to be front-loaded with works in English, because the English canon is still held aloft as the ideal. African writing thus becomes an appendix, and little space is given to studying the oral traditions that were once the primary medium for communicating stories.

A momentum has developed to counter this: cultural theorists working in the postcolonial Asian setting, for example, are advocating a stronger field of inter-Asian studies, while at the same time examining the many discreet ways in which power imbalances between onetime colonizer and colonized are quietly perpetuated today—through the act of literary translation, for example. Propelling this movement is the belief that as long as the West continues to be a, if not the, normative pole of comparison, decolonization will remain in a state of arrest. In Ngũgĩ’s eyes, those validation efforts persist, while the “transmission lines” that Fanon wrote of, whereby post-independence governments serve as intermediaries between Western business interests and exploitative local ventures, are still clearly intact. This speaks to the durability of the psychological component of imperial conquest, one that didn’t announce itself with cannon fire and could not be repelled by force. …




Mindfucked in the USA

by Rachel Yoder

I had actually been fucked in the head years earlier, some might say, by my religious upbringing in a Mennonite commune. Or perhaps it was after I became involved with a charismatic man of dubious intent who convinced me of the failings of my religious upbringing and with whom I eventually made my iconic trip West. I contend the mindfuck really hit its pitch in Arizona, though, where, throughout my twenties, I committed myself to all things new age, therapeutic, and 12-step. My father had told me I would always be Mennonite; I could never change, and, moreover, change itself did not even exist. The therapists I saw later had been all about changing whenever I pleased, from troubled Mennonite girl into a secular, self-actualized über-woman-self.





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…and Destroyed Umno


Neither Umno nor Malaiyoos nor Mahathir seem to know what’s happened to them, those poor, stupid bastards. They just don’t get it, even when you spell it out in a sign poster: Disrupt, destroy, new beginning then another new. We didn’t miss anything, did we, Joey?


Born to Chinese parents, raised in Penang, educated in Wharton, can’t read Chinese (like Helen Ang, Hannah Yeoh, Liew Chin Tong et al), Low Taek Jho 刘特佐 or 劉特佐 is the quintessential Malaysia-Singapore Anglophile.

This Anglo-Christian quality has a morality dimension — greed, power and hypocrisy — that is best expressed in politics, he aligning with the Malay polity personified in Najib Razak as Lim Guan Eng did with Mahathir Mohamad.

Thank you Joey boy.

He was the key in bringing back Mahathir and, thence, to destroy Umno: the Malay kills the Malay in mutual self-destruction and behind all that a Chinese Anglophile oiling the process.

Next, wait for Mahathir to destroy the remnants of the Malay political forces, with much help from Guan Eng’s DAP, of course. Reason: Malaiyoos believe DAP Anglophiles are better to be trusted than the ‘ultra’ Chinese; they themselves are Anglophiles after all, Mahathir, Rais Hussin, Kadir Jasin, Syed Akbar Ali, Ahi Attan…. They are, in another way of saying the same thing, victims of their own anti-Chinese propaganda and Anglo self-delusional narcissism, believing that the true Chinese are a godless heathen, inferior to them, therefore, immoral and cheats.

But, like Joey, the banana Guan Eng-DAP, too, must be sacrificed, to die, for our sake, rightfully, necessarily, justly. Anglos call it poetic justice. We Chinese call it dao. Buddhists call it karma. You see it happening already.



The day she came down the mountains

The way she says it, this, in sequence, is what probably happened the day eight years ago she left her mountain home. It was an early autumn day, sun still behind the trees, clouds gathering in the horizon…

We returned recently to find that life had changed little, the road up and down, the cypress forest, the solitude, the fields grow, the old trees chopped for firewood. You can tell, everybody was glad you are back though they never say it. We brought back enough pork to feed a whole village, with which is served sweet rice wine on 30 plus percent alcohol. That night we slept under the stars and with the wide-tail nightjar hooting away somewhere. Soon Fall will come — in these mountains it’s always early — and it will be nine years to that day that changed not just our lives, Jian and I, but everyone else as well.

It worries us sick that we could lose this happiness. Cities give and cities take; they have such dangers lurking.




This just came in…

In Liaoning, next door to north Korea:

There is a movement in China calling on villagers to build houses like the one above, cheap, local timber, fast to build, easy to maintain and renovate, instead of a 10-room mansion that is empty for 11 months in a year.


In Henan, home of the Xi’an terracotta warriors:

All made in China: Bugs before, bugs after… the tree you see is the Chinese fir. It is, really, not bad. Tastes like fried Kentucky, without the salt.



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If this keeps up for 10 years, I will shut down this blog for the next 100. Maybe even masuk Malaiyoo or turn into a Banana and declare my eternal allegiance to the Father, Son and Holy Hannah.


中文不错  谁写的? 您?

















TRX statement (minus the Chinese version)

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: text


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…and they can’t even hide it.

Can you hear? In new Malaysia is a cacophony that fills you with despair.

Philosopher Byung-Chul Han, in Barcelona yesterday.

I. Political Correctness

The Korean philosopher Han Byung-Chul (above) was right: Orwell’s 1984 society knew it was being dominated. Today — and take Malaysia — they are not even aware of the domination so that supporting Mahathir seems the natural thing. Political correctness, says Mario Vargas Llosa, is the enemy of freedom. “It rejects honesty and authenticity…, (an attempt at) the distortion of the truth.”

To kill this enemy, cancel your Malaysiakini subscription. Demand for your money back, especially since they won’t and won’t listen.



II. Sell, sell, sell. Sell every fucking thing

For the first time, the DAP shall be defending — no, justifying — the actions of Mahathir Mohamad. In justifying, you can see why Mahathir, too, will destroy the DAP like he had sown the seeds of Malay destruction: After Umno, DAP next.

Here is, thus, a man who, being a lot of noise, could only understand and therefore do things the way he had always done it — a generation ago. But they would lie to say he is a changed man, trying to ‘make amends’.

Najib Razak is a liberal to a fault, tolerating the like of PAS, Islamic crackpots and ISIS sympathizers. Being such a liberal, he could change. Not Mahathir.

His most serious adversary had never been Najib the man but his kind of liberalism that also sits comfortably with the Chinese, including Singapore and China. This is a liberalism against all things Mahathir — chummy capitalism (privatization and cronies), skin color racism, uncontested Umno power (ISA, Sabah immigration), political Islam, Malay hegemony (breed, breed, breed, he tells Malays). All this meant that, if he can’t kill the man, he kills the party that sustains Najib.

To Mahathirism is now added Malaysian First bigotry. Mario Llosa:

[Nationalism] is incompatible with freedom. You just need to scratch the surface to see that nationalism involves a kind of racism. If you believe that belonging to a certain country or nation or race or religion is a privilege, a value in itself, you believe you are superior to others.

You can, hence, see why Mahathir sits so well with Lim Kit Siang and son: compatible yet contradictory and self-defeating. The serpent gobbles its tail. True, three weeks of Pakatan was not inconsistent: it was Mahathirism reborn. He simply called Lim Kit Siang’s bluff:

I was a changed man, yes, before May 9. Now I have changed — again. Haven’t you heard, Kitty Lim? Change is the only constant. Ubah once, ubah twice, ubah always. Got a problem with that, Kitty?

Give the mamak another (maybe) two years, he could do as much damage as in his previous 22.

To repeat: If you are outside, stay out. Watch as Mahathir goes from Singapore to the East China Sea, he kills, kills, kills. We sell, sell, sell — to help him along with the destruction. (Pssst, we are not yet done.)

Your move next, Mamak. Or, are you still confused by the markets?


III. The Racism of the Anti-Racist

Take your pick of the lineup (above), starting from the center. After which, tell me who is “less” racist, counting especially from the time when they were not “at the top” yet?

Mahathir Mohamad began his political career then rose to the top as the top racist. Ditto Muhyiddin Yassin and Lim Guan Eng. After which consider the motherfucker at the extreme right. He has a funny Arab name, Maszlee something.

For Mahathir to be wrong — again — is standard intellectual fare in Malaysian politics. But for him to say that racism is most intense, most malignant at ground level? Saying that means the lower down you go on the social status — the street beggars, the homeless, street sweepers, garbage collectors, coolies, casual laborers and the like — the more racist is the person. Imagine, therefore, the Malay pauper, holding out his begging bowl, shouting “ketuanan“, “Malaiyoo bangkit!

No, the higher up they go, the more schooling they get, the more English and the more Anglophile they pick up, the more racist they become. Want evidences? No need to go far. Look up this man, who likes to think he works for kings and presidents as a Scribe. Just click. We Chinese have a name for such spineless characters: running dog. Or, look up this piece of Anglophile cunt, who imagines herself as a sort of English ‘creative writer’.

So, if Mahathir is wrong, why is he blaming others for his racism and deflecting it? For the answer, try perhaps 1981. Or to Lim Kit Siang in 1969.


IV. Malay Unity? What Holy Shit…

Sixty years ago, they talk of Malay unity. Sixty years later, they are still talking of unity… Aiyaah, as Anglophiles say.

When only Malays voted for Barisan in GE 12, Umno called for Malay unity. When a third of the Malays didn’t vote for Umno in GE 13, they call for Malay unity. When most Malays voted for Umno and PAS in GE14, they still call for Malay unity. These stupid Malaiyoos….

Helen ‘Aku Cina‘ Ang once imagined that PAS and Umno unity could simply rule with a simple majority — if only they were united. Well, what did Malays get for that unity?

Poor Malaiyoos. See the mess in the Malay unity states, Perlis, Kedah, Trengganu? Even Perak.

The Malaiyoo of the Valley who names herself (in the English) ‘Annie’ is pining after the same Malay unity. And this is at a time when, among Malaiyoos like herself, they can’t decide who and what is the Malay (see clips below). Malay unity? As Mahathir would said, ‘podah’.

Don’t leave new Malaysia yet, Pakatoon. Your Malaysia Baru is going to be fun. These Anglophiles….

Malaiyoos, bangsat Malaise


So how did this Malay unity thing get its start? Short answer, Umno and Mahathir…

The above photo, dated 1999, shows the mamak/Malay poking at the DAP as a bunch of racist Chinese. Archived by the Bar Council, it is suppose to prove to the lawyers that Mahathir is a changed man.

Now, consider the graphics below:



Of course, Lim Guan Eng et al will say they are merely using Mahathir. (So conceited in their stupidity, it never occurred to them it might be other way around.) This is the man who sits at the pinnacle of power, who, on top of his Cabinet, has an army of committees to give him justification to break with Singapore, which he considers as a Chinese proxy. China has since been added to his damnation list so you can see where he’s headed in his racism.

For further evidences into what that future will look like, look at Perak: it has already begun with a Mahathir hatchetman.


Chinese School Art & Intelligence

Jian showed me the two images, above and below.

When I dream, I remember.

Above: The painting is unique in the sense that it inverses everything that is conventionally known in the visual arts: objects cast a shadow on light, not the other way around; the wall substitutes as the front glass door; facing that wall of glass and brick, the girl’s back is the front; she loses a flip-flop that causes you to wonder, was she coming in or going out?; and, lastly, notice the paintings. They have nothing.

Below: It is a piece of homework on the theme ‘China, My Dream‘. Completed by a Primary 2 child (who in Malaysia is still learning ABCs), it is astonishing for (a) its highly regimented syntax, (b) the paired rhythmic lines identical to a couplet; and, above all, (c) an essay construction deploying analogical reasoning, a kind of logic even Malaysian university students have never heard of.

Dating back to the Han era, the Chinese education system is the oldest in any civilization. It is so profound that it typically produces the world’s best performing students. But Anglophiles (in all skin colors, from Lisa Ng, Sheridan Mahavera, Khoo Kay Kim and Steven Gan to Guan Eng and Mahathir), people who have never spent a day in a Chinese classroom, spit at us. They call for our schools to be destroyed. Because, so they say, Chinese is not a Malaysian language, although used by local Chinese, whereas English, a colonial, foreign language, should be made compulsory.

With Mahathir’s return Anglophile bigotry and demands have grown incessant and louder. Did you hear…?

Jian said she had to read the essay twice. Me too.


Lovers then friends

Ten years ago we were strangers on the same street.
Ten years later we are lovers that only friends know how.




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Multiracial MCA? No shit

Liow Tiong Lay’s argument (clip above) rests entirely on the western, Anglophile cultivated myth that being Chinese or the word ‘Chinese’, like the word ‘black’ or ‘white’, is a racial group. This is patently false.

Look at China. Read its history, go back to Sima Qian (司馬遷 who wrote the shiji 太史公書). Look at the rule by Mongolians and Manchus. Chinese is not an ethnic notion that white is ethnic. It is a cultural term, and a civilization-state, so that it is not inconsistent to say there are today Miao Chinese, Yao Chinese, Zhuang Chinese, Mongolian Chinese, and 52 other ethnics within China today.

Jian is Miao but she is Chinese, talks Chinese, practices Chinese customs, reads Chinese, and loves me (to a fault), who is a Han Chinese. Likewise, Korean is culture, or Japanese, both of which have distinct identities that were shaped by Chinese civilization and ideas. For an example, look at the (south) Korean flag; it is Chinese, that is, the idea is Daoist, also having originated in a land called China.

Hence, being culture, it was easy for China to tolerate different systems of government, one in Hong Kong, in Taiwan and Macau without any of which losing the Chinese cultural identity.

Hence, too, being culture, it was easy for Anglophile Lim Guan Eng to say he is not Chinese, and we Chinese won’t throw a fit. He is welcome to leave — good riddance, we’d say — because we know, he knows, and everybody knows, he is an Anglophile, a fucked-up piece of Banana, yellow outside, white inside. Ridhuan Tee is only Chinese in name and so, too, characters like Yeo Bee Yin, KTemoc, Wong Chen, Lisa Ng and Joshie Ah Hong. If, on the other hand, Malay first Anwar Ibrahim were to declare he is not Malay, Pakatan will face a riot the next day in Putrajaya. Lina Joy discover that the hard way.

To conclude: MCA must remain true to its identity because that’s all you have, which isn’t something you buy in a supermarket — unless Liow wants to be an Anglophile or Muslim. Or, Allah forbid, Malaysian First, whatever the fuck that is.

Just be Chinese, Mr Liow. It’s the most natural thing; it’s what we are. And we’ll be okay. 无为, Mr Liow, 无为.



MCA, Umno treaty: No more wedded under Barisan

Six decades of Umno maligning the Chinese have led to DAP’s victory. Behind the backs of the Chinese, the DAP is now doing Umno’s dirty work so, if this seems bizarre, consider this: it took the most conservative, hawkish American president to make a deal with communist China, leading thus to US-China normalization.

The same counter-intuitive rule applies because who would believe it? Lim Guan Eng is suppose to be Chinese. How could he be maligning Chinese? But therein is the catch…. Is he Chinese? Looks like one, sounds like one, but is he?

In the circumstances, an MCA and Umno alliance treaty is a feasible alternative, going forward. The Barisan coalition of tying together the two parties within a single, superstructure is proven counter-productive and, now, passe.

What is there to object anyway if Barisan breaks up: Umno has repeatedly said, it never needed the Chinese. Nor, do we need Umno.


Y Z, you poor thing, having to write in English: Try the spin again, Taiping woman, and tell us truthfully next time, why.



The following is taken from YZ Chin in LitHub (the title is mine):

Malaysian in NY wonders why she writes in English

One of the very first questions I wrestled with as a writer was this: Why write in English, the colonizer’s language, when I have others at my disposal? I grew up acquainted with three languages; my grandparents immigrated from southern China to Malaya, which was a British imperial territory. So if I didn’t write in Malay, didn’t that make me unpatriotic? And if I didn’t write in Chinese, didn’t that make me a “race traitor?” Why English?

English is intricately woven into my family history. When my grandparents first came to occupied Malaya, they worked for the British. For some time they lived apart, my grandfather cooking meals for colonial officers while my grandmother worked as a nanny for British children in a different part of the country. I never heard either of them speak English, but in my imagination, the few English phrases they did know formed the language of intimate care: Please enjoy the food. Are you warm enough? Have another helping. Did you sleep well? Don’t cry. I’m here.

I suppose they learned as much English as allowed them to forge new lives. It was both a choice and not, just as it was and was not for me as I haltingly attempted to piece together a self through literature. I did not see myself in my Malay textbooks about boys who formed interracial friendships. Neither could I find myself in the Tang poems my parents encouraged me to memorize, which featured ancient men in long-sleeved robes drinking alcohol and being sorrowful (only later in life would I come to relate to that). It was in English books that I saw a sense of adventure and escape that I identified with, as embodied by British children daringly solving mysteries or circumventing adult cruelty.

I acquired English differently from the other languages I used in daily life with my parents. I became proficient solely through reading, without a corresponding speaking component. So at first English seemed to be an abstract, fantastical thing with no real-world application, and this lent itself to boundless dreaming much more than the other languages did. I gravitated toward the stories in my English books because I thought the lives depicted within were so far removed from mine; they gave me the space to imagine new ways of living.

It wasn’t until I encountered the poetry of Shirley Geok-lin Lim that I saw how naïve this view was. I was introduced to her work in the last place I’d thought to look: school. It was a place I associated with casual disdain for the arts in favor of science and mathematics—literature wasn’t introduced as an official component of English language studies for secondary school students until the 21st century. I was among the first waves of students who got to read fiction and poetry for school; prior to that, literature was considered fluff, extra, a hobby. School also seemed propagandistic to me, so I was prepared for dreary, moralistic tales about the value of being upstanding citizens. And although some of the assigned reading did fall into that category, what I remember most is Lim’s “Monsoon History”:

Again we are taken over
By clouds and rolling darkness
Small snails appear
Clashing their timid horns
Among the morning glory

Drinking Milo,
Nyonya and Baba sit at home.
This was forty years ago.

My mind was blown. Here was a poem set in a Malaysian fishing village, written by a Malaysian writer who obviously had intimate love for the landscape, from its damp air to its snails, gnats, and termites. And people in the poem drank Milo, something I did every single day! But they also read Tennyson (“Reading Tennyson, at six / p.m. in pajamas”). The reference seemed jarring at first, yet wasn’t it a mirror of my own life? Was it any stranger than a girl in small-town Malaysia reading Archie comics from the library? That was when I started questioning: why Tennyson? Why, for that matter, Milo? It wasn’t a local invention, but the drink had become such a staple of everyday life in Malaysia. There must be a reason for that.

Once I started trying to find answers, they were everywhere in plain sight, like the hill my small town was known for, which has two names: one that belonged to the colonial officer who “discovered” the hill, and a local name people started using after the colonizers left. I gained an inkling of understanding that, as a postcolonial writer and reader, I am not as removed from the problems of English as I’d assumed. I drew a line from Tennyson in Lim’s poem to my grandparents’ careworn faces, their tight-lipped refusal to speak about their pasts. I finally saw that English was not a language of escape for me, but that it rather represented a painful negotiation between myself and my environment. My family had used English like a tool to carve out a living. Perhaps I, too, could wield English to reinvent myself—or my selves, as in the case with writing fiction.

So yes, I decided to write in English. I don’t see this as capitulating to a colonizing language, however; I see it as an act of acknowledging history and of claiming space. Lim’s poem, “Learning to Love America,” speaks to this:

because it has no pure products

because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline
because the water of the ocean is cold
and because land is better than ocean

because I say we rather than they

The magic of this poem is that Lim has assembled, out of English words, a declaration of identity that is ambivalent and full of turns, a kind of feint that claims a space (“American”) while leaving room for so much more. It got me thinking: what kind of layered identity could I create for myself, if I, too, claimed the language and used it the way I wanted to? Even the resignation in the poem’s ending lines—“because it is late and too late to change my mind / because it is time”—spoke to me, reminding me that I, just like anyone else, am shaped by forces that are beyond me, long in motion. This has a kind of perverse comfort; if I am thus shaped, then might I not be participating in the shaping of forces to come, even though my efforts may seem puny and the effects invisible so far? And why not participate while wielding the language that so shaped my family? As Elaine Castillo puts it in her essay: “The reason I write in English, and the reason I use untranslated words, are one and the same, the punchline to that rambling, viciously grim joke also known as history.”

Here I am, writing in English, which is mine because my grandparents used it to survive, and because I have written my truth in it. Encountering Tennyson in a monsoon poem helped me become more critical of how I pieced myself together and of my relationship to language. I believe in literature’s ability to connect us. But I also think it can help us discover the ways we are ensnared. And that is the first step to doing something about it.



YZ Chin, The Horror, The Horror

No doubt, the essay merely reflects Chin talking, arguing, to herself. So we’ll take her word at it. Which is to answer, “Why did she write in English?”

The question is pivoted on the unstated assumption (conveniently left out) that she is equally proficient and good in the two other languages she grew up with, Malay and Chinese.

But is she equally proficient in all three?

1. On Malay, she asks, “So if I didn’t write in Malay, didn’t that make me unpatriotic?” Which then begs other questions,

  • (a) Patriotism is demonstrable only in the Malay language? So then, ethnic Malay equals Malaysia? There is only one ethnicity equaling nationalism and this is Malay? To be Chinese is implicitly not a Malaysian?
  • (b) Where and what is the causal relationship between language and patriotism?

2. On Chinese, she asks, “And if I didn’t write in Chinese, didn’t that make me a “race traitor?” Who, which Chinese, has ever call her a ‘race traitor’? What is being a ‘traitor’ to a race? I write in English yet nobody in China calls me a ‘race traitor’. Instead, I am encouraged to do so, presenting China to a hostile Anglophone world. If this is true of me, then she must be imagining ethnocentrism as a peculiar Chinese trait.

Although proficient in Russian and English, Vladimir Nabokov in his later years, wrote only in English (Lolita). Does that make him a traitor to Russia?

If Chin were simply to be honest as to why she writes in the ‘colonizer’s language’ (English), she would say she isn’t proficient enough to write in either Chinese or Malay. Besides, writing in America in Chinese or Malay will not sell books. No buyers. And that would be the end of the matter.

But, for her to justify her ‘colonizer’s language’ suggests the Anglophile in her and her Anglophile prejudices: Tang poems … featured ancient men in long-sleeved robes drinking alcohol and being sorrowful whereas Tennyson brings out, gloriously, her “identity” in a ‘low-class’ mosquito swamp called Malaysia. And, if that’s all she has learned in Tang poetry, it showed she has learned nothing about Chinese literature.

Like numerous western educated up and down Malaysia, Chin is case exemplar not only of a disgusting, deceitful Banana (like Yeo Bee Yin and countless others) but a completely fucked up woman.

If Chin wants to write in pigshit, write. Whining about it, playing a ‘colonizer’ victim, will not hide her racist character — and a lying, fucking cunt that she is — all that on display in third-rate English. Eat your heart out, Chinny.



China will not be made fodder

Every five years, when Malays fight Malays and the local Chinese are required to choose sides, they are used as ammo. To which the Chinese have paid with blood.

Because the DAP has chosen Mahathir Mohamad, MCA must now break away from Barisan in order to free the Chinese to decide.

Unlike the local Chinese who are turned into dedak at every internecine Malaiyoo war, China will not be made into fodder.

Don’t mess with us, you piece of mamak. Consider this, as yet again, a warning… Ignore it at your peril.



Behind the smile, the Salafist fascist


All the smiling faces above are Salafist fascists. The one brought to the seat of central power, thanks to the DAP (again), is the one on the left.


In the way, Anwar Ibrahim let into Malaysia radical Islamism 30 years ago, and also the way the DAP let PAS and hudud into mainstream politics and, now, Pakatan Harapan has let into the Cabinet yet one more fascist, Maszlee Malik.

Malaysia never learn, Malaiyoos never learn; they fall so easily for smiles, appearances and propaganda.

The propaganda: Ten years ago radical Islam was touted as ‘PAS for All‘. Now, DAP’s Ong Kian MIng has declared Maszlee Malik clean as a whistle. Look at his “impressive CV,” says Ong,  who himself — surprise? — is the sort you would imagine of Jerry Falwell.

Maszlee’s CV is impressive?

Durham is impressive? The International Islamic University is impressive? Before he was recruited into active politics, Maszlee taught at IIU, the sort of den (Guess who set it up?) that breeds the like of Osama bin Ladin and others who’d recruit some out-of-work assholes to mow down people on European streets.

…on second thoughts, we should let him into the Cabinet.

He will help speed up Malaysia’s self-immolation, like in the Middle East and the north African Muslim countries. In fact, the more Maszlees the merrier. Related image


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…49 years to the day. And Umno is destroyed in the same hands that made it. Justice, balance, harmony are restored. Zhuangzi莊子 was right:Wuwei 无为; most effective way is, act but effortlessly.

Truly, home. 心爱的 还有十个小时到

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