Category Archives: new media

Take the plunge to self-employment


Take the plunge to self-employment
By Zan Azlee

Arif Rafhan, a close friend of mine, recently quit his full time job at an IT company where he was also a partner in to concentrate on, of all things, doodling.This is a person who has an extraordinary mutant-like talent for drawing and art but had been fully and gainfully employed for more than ten years in a field totally different. What made the push? I was working on my third book (about my adventures in Afghanistan) and decided that it should be a graphic novel. I called on him to be the illustrator.

Well, I don’t know if that was the whole push that help make his decision. But I would really like to believe that I had some small role in it. Arif (or as we all know him as Apan), is now a full time doodler, illustrator and artist who takes on any project that can make full use of his talents. And I’ve never seen him more excited. Here’s a story that is close to my heart and also one that I feel needs to be shared. More than ten years ago, I made the same decision that Apan did.

I decided to quit my full time job as a TV reporter to indulge in my interests which were (and still are!) writing and video/filmmaking.

Sure, the income and stability was a bit lacking in the beginning, but I couldn’t have been more excited, happy and enthusiastic to be doing what I love and at my own terms. It turned out great for me and those were my most productive and satisfying years of my creative life. Financially, it was rewarding too. Its true what they say about doing what you love. I tried to convince Apan to do the same way back when I took the plunge too. But he was more interested in climbing the corporate ladder and becoming rich (admit it Apan! haha!). Compared to mine, Apan’s journey will probably be a bit more nerve-wrecking (to me at least). He has a whole family with a wife and two kids to take care of now. [Click to read the full article at KopitiamEkonomi.Com]

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Pakchic says: Trying to raise a true blue Malaysian daughter



Pakchic says: Trying to raise a true blue Malaysian daughter
By Zan Azlee

“Apa khabar Athena? Buat apa kat sekolah hari ini?” I would ask.

“Pops!!” she would scream.

“Kenapa Athena? Apa yang Athena buat kat sekolah? Ceritalah kat pops.”


And she would immediately run away from me while laughing hysterically.

I find her reaction very amusing whenever I try to speak to her in any other language besides English, like Bahasa Malaysia or Cantonese for example.

It’s amusing to me because that is exactly how I reacted when I was a kid to my parents who would suddenly speak to me in Bahasa Malaysia just to fool around with me.

I speak English at home with my daughter and wife. The reason is because that is the language of communication in my family when I was growing up.

In fact, I consider that my mother tongue since I actually learned to speak English way before I could speak Bahasa Malaysia.

Another language that I can speak is Cantonese because I come from a mixed family. But my pronunciation isn’t really that impressive. More comedic, I think!

So it’s only natural that I also want little Athena to be able to speak all of these languages. And she’s doing quite well (except for the Cantonese… my mother needs to speak more to her).

Jokes aside, she seems to be picking up Bahasa Malaysia quite fast considering that she only speaks Malay when she meets some of her Malay relatives (oh… and the maid at home!). [Click to read the full article at MakChic.Com]

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 21) – Jadi kau Bajet kau hot lah?

Cost of living went up. What else is new? Ohh… apparently women are important now! Zan and Aizyl talk about the highlights of Budget 2015 and they interview an actual woman who is a doctor nonetheless (featuring Aizyl’s first time talking to a girl)!

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

Are we mature enough for societal censorship?



Are we mature enough for societal censorship?
By Zan Azlee

The Sedition Act is a law that can be used against people who happen to do or say something that can be a cause for disharmony in the country, or deemed seditious.

In many cases, through my personal observations, the investigating, questioning, detaining or charging of people under the Sedition Act has been quite questionable.

But, hey, I’m no lawyer or legal academic expert. I’m just an ordinary journalist who thinks he’s smarter than he really is. So don’t take me too seriously.

And as a journalist, I tend to be a little bit too idealistic and believe in freedom of speech. And I mean total freedom of speech (umm… except maybe defamation). Too idealistic and maybe even a bit naive.

I believe in societal censorship whereby its members will determine what is okay to be expressed or not. Someone can make hate speech and society will silence him by ignoring or condemning him through discourse.

So let this be a little social experiment here. Several people have said several things that may or may not be bothersome to society. Let me list them down here and see what happens in the comments section. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Oh my MUET!



Oh my MUET!
By Zan Azlee

So now the English speaking and writing level for Malaysians to enter universities has been increased, according to the prime minister during the tabling of Budget 2015.

I have to say that I agree because I have always been a big proponent of the English language and of how important it is for Malaysians to master the language.

However, just by increasing the required band or evaluation of the MUET (Malaysian University English Test) wouldn’t be a solution.

What that means is that the existing group of students who are trying to enter university in Malaysia are just going to have a much tougher time.

I spend a lot of my free time having sharing sessions with undergraduate students, and some of them gave me feedback regarding the recent developments.

Many are concerned that this will mean less Malaysians would actually be qualified to enter university and that would mean less opportunities for them.

One student told me that by not knowing English, a potentially brilliant student who isn’t bilingual could not further his or her studies. So, English shouldn’t be mandatory.

On one part, I agree. Not knowing English, or any other second language, doesn’t mean that one is not intelligent. You can be smart no matter what language (and how many) you speak.
[Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]