Category Archives: new media

To convert or not to convert – that is the question



To convert or not to convert – that is the question
By Zan Azlee

During my extensive travels in the heartland of Islam (the Middle-East lah!), I would listen to all kinds of stories and incidents told to me by the locals I met.

Once, I was at a church (which used to be a mosque which used to be a church!) by the River Jordan where John (Yahya) baptised Jesus (Isa), when it’s caretaker struck a conversation with me.

We were talking about marriage (I was single then) and I mentioned that in Malaysia, it was a law for non-Muslims to convert to Islam if they were to marry a Muslim.

The caretaker looked at me in surprise and said that that wasn’t the case in Jordan. Anyone who believed in any of the Abrahamic faiths (People of the Book) could marry without converting.

This incident was reminded to me by yesterday’s fiasco regarding the issue of conversion during marriage causing problems for the nation.

(The issue of the Attorney-General being misquoted is beside the point, the issue is still a relevant one)

With numerous cases here of non-Muslim parents try to take custody of their Muslim children becoming controversies and unsolvable, it is a valid issue to be discussed. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 25) – Doping ain’t dope!

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 25) – Doping ain’t dope!

Neither jocks nor docs, Zan and Aizyl try to figure out what’s going on with the Lee Chong Wei doping scandal. Find out what non-experts about the issue know about the issue.

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

Sikit Punya Gila: A 1982 film relevant for the times


Sikit Punya Gila: A 1982 film relevant for the times
By Zan Azlee

Last night, a couple of friends, my wife and I had a movie night at our place and we re-watched one of the best Malaysian films ever made – Sikit Punya Gila.

The comedy film, directed by Raja Ismail and starring Dharma Harun, Hamid Gurkha, Yusni Jaafar and Ibrahim Pendek, was experimental and rife with social commentary.

Produced in the early 1980s, it told the common story of the rural Malay folk migrating to the city in order to better their lives, just like it was during the production of the movie.

Dharma and Hamid try to make it big in Kuala Lumpur doing any kind of job they can, from selling corn to gambling on horse races (kuda longkang!) and buying 4D.

Of course, they had to have their romantic interests as well in the form of Norlia Ghani and Nora Shamsuddin (who eventually were snapped up by Yusof Haslam and Kuswadinata!).

True to the malaise of that time, they were a pair of lazy, care-free young men who wanted to get rich but didn’t have the commitment nor the discipline to do anything about it.

All they wanted to do was to hang out, chat up girls, have fun and not work. Then, they just hoped and dreamed really hard that they could make a fast buck.

More than 30 years on, I’m not sure if there are many people still like Dharma and Hamid. I’m sure many now realise that to succeed, hard work and a little bit of intelligence play a big role.

Or maybe there are, seeing that many still clamour for all kinds of hand-outs, subsidies and kick-backs in order to make that fast buck. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

An explanation from our badminton hero, please



An explanation from our badminton hero, please
By Zan Azlee

I feel strongly that I deserve an explanation from Datuk Lee Chong Wei for this apparent issue about him failing a random doping test several weeks ago.

This is simply because Chong Wei is a national icon the entire country look up to as a hero and Malaysian representative on the world stage.

In becoming the world’s number one badminton player, Chong Wei has brought Malaysian sports to the next level.

Don’t forget, he is also the country’s most decorated Olympian!

Malaysians have bonded and come together whenever we watched our hero play in international tournaments, and  have supported him every single time, win or lose.

No Malaysian can ever blame Chong Wei for not giving his best in everything that he does or even giving up. Just look back at the last Olympics final, when he fought tooth and nail against his arch nemesis Lin Dan of China, and eventually lost.

The disappointment and tears shed during the medal presentation was enough for the nation to forgive him and continue to support him through thick and thin.

Through his perseverance and relentless attitude, he has inspired many Malaysians to give their best in everything that they do and to have self-confidence knowing that they can be the best.

However, in my opinion,the most valuable contribution that Chong Wei has done, is to make Malaysians feel like true Malaysians, even if it is just for those few hours whenever he plays.

And because of this, he, and everyone involved, owes me and all Malaysians an explanation to what really took place that made him fail the doping test. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Public parks: A way to reduce crime?



Public parks: A way to reduce crime?
By Zan Azlee

One of the main gripes of many Malaysians, especially those who live in the cities like Kuala Lumpur, is the crime rate and how dangerous it is because of petty crime.

What if the solution to the crime problem is just a simple one? So simple that it could make you kick yourself because it doesn’t even cost that much.

Frances Kuo a researcher and assistant professor who studies urban planning and environmental design did a series of experiments in the Chicago area.

She observed different public housing projects that had either a natural park-like surrounding or a more concrete-like environment and documented the incidents relating to crime and violence. [Click to read the full article at KopitiamEkonomi.Com]