Category Archives: The Malaysian Insider

Is it God’s calamity?



Is it God’s calamity?
By Zan Azlee

Many many years ago, when the huge tsunami struck Aceh, Penang, Kedah, Phuket, Sri Lanka and many other areas in the vicinity, something shocking came to light.

Many Muslims I knew started saying that the reason such a calamity happened was because God was angry at the sins of the people and so this was his punishment.

How can anybody think that God would commit such cruelty when all we ever learn in Islam is the fact that God is the all-merciful and that he will never forsake you?

I criticised it among my friends and family but then just decided to let it go since these Muslims weren’t really in any positions of authority and hence could be influential in society.

Then, two days ago, someone in a position of authority and could be influential in society said something that shocked me even more.

The deputy mufti of Perak, Zamri Hashim, stated that Malaysia Airlines had apparently angered God so much that all that has happened is God’s wrath.

According to the deputy mufti, the fact that the airlines serves alcohol in it’s flights and that the cabin crew dresses indecently, has exposed them to God’s wrath.

Firstly, I think it is nothing short of a miracle that the deputy mufti has such a clear telepathic link to God’s intentions. He must be an extremely enlightened person. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



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Who is the menteri besar of Selangor?


Who is the menteri besar of Selangor?
By Zan Azlee

“So have you heard that the Selangor menteri besar was recently sacked from his party?” I asked.

“Of course,” replied the young man.

“So what do you think about it?”

“Well, we need to look at the pros and cons. There must have been some good things he has done as the menteri besar.”
“What are the good things?”

“The development in the state has been good. It wouldn’t be the way it is now if it weren’t for him.”

“Oh, I see. Do you happen to know who the menteri besar is?”

“Khir Toyo, of course.”

And that had to be one of the most interesting conversations I had while shooting a vox pop interview video regarding the Selangor menteri besar debacle recently.

As most people would know (and I am saying this in a very broad assumption kind of way!), the menteri besar was sacked by PKR and is currently governing the state as an independent.

Going to the streets to find out what the people think was something that my brother, Aizyl Azlee, and I wanted to do because we thought it would be interesting to hear them speak.

We did expect a little bit of a lack of detailed understanding by the people. But we definitely didn’t expect there to be people who didn’t even know who the menteri besar was.

Out of a handful of people whom we interviewed, only about one little pinky finger of them actually knew anything about the big state debacle.

A few of them admitted that they have no idea what is going on in the local political scene. That’s quite all right for us. At least they didn’t pretend to know.

What was amusing to us was the fact that more people would rather pretend to know something and just ramble on in the conversation talking nonsense.

As of today, no significant development has been made regarding the issue. The menteri besar has the backing of the Sultan of Selangor but no one else. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Instead of becoming a superhero, I got dengue


Instead of becoming a superhero, I got dengue
By Zan Azlee

I always imagined it would be like the movies. A guy ventures somewhere and gets bitten by an insect and he falls sick for a day.

He wakes up the next day and feeling terrific. He looks in the mirror and his scrawny body has become all athletic and muscular.

He suddenly finds himself with superhuman strength and abilities that matches the insect that had bitten him and caused him to get sick.

He becomes a superhero.

What happened to me was slightly different. I was bitten by an insect – mosquito to be exact. And I was sick for a day.

But instead of waking up feeling terrific the next day with superhuman mosquito strength, I just continued to be sick.

I had an extremely high fever for two days, vomiting and body aches. It’s been a week now and I’ve been in hospital for three days.

Instead of becoming a superhero, I ended up a dengue statistic. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



Just a teeny weenie, itsy bitsy matter


Just a teeny weenie, itsy bitsy matter
By Zan Azlee

A matured and civilised society is defined by the way they treat the less fortunate in their society. That is one saying that many people already know.

That is what I have been taught by my parents at home and also by my teachers in school – we should always sympathise and help those less fortunate than us.

If I am confronted with people who are in need, I try to do what I can within reason to assist them because it’s just the right thing to do.

If a physically challenged individual is trying to make a living by selling small items on the street, I usually help them out and buy something.

I also believe that you should never kick somebody when they are down. I wouldn’t want it to happen to me, so I would definitely not do it to someone else.

For example, if someone I know owes me a bit of money but who is already down on his luck when it comes to his business, I wouldn’t want to pester him to pay me. That’s just not nice.

Hey, I guess I’m just a nice guy!

So, here is my call for the participants of the nudist gathering in Penang to just be left alone and that no action be taken against them.

I have seen the original and uncensored, widely-distributed video of their fun and games in the sun and sand before it made the news. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Inside]


MH17: It’s not easier the second time around



MH17: It’s not easier the second time around
By Zan Azlee

Being at the departure floor at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the early morning of the 18th of July last week brought a whole lot of memories flooding back.

The memories weren’t from very long ago – only about five months, to be exact. Maybe that’s why they were so clear. Or maybe because it was just so intense.

As the whole world already knows, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down and crashed in Donetsk, Ukraine.

And the memories I had from five months ago was of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

I had covered both incidents for the news station that I work for quite intensively. And it was definitely a déjà vu moment if there ever was one so clear.

My brother, Aizyl Azlee, who is a writer, and I produce a weekly podcast where we talk about issues regarding the media but in a tongue in cheek and satirical way.

In our latest episode, he had asked me if things seemed smoother this time around as compared to five months ago. I thought it was a strange question, but I answered it.

What was depressing was the fact that everyone from the media already knew how things were going to be handled and knew where to go.

It was like we knew where the press conference was going to be and where MAS was going to gather and brief the families.

So in a way, experience made things go smoother. But unfortunately, it was only a smoother process. Emotions and feelings was a separate thing altogether. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]