FAT BIDIN MEDIA


I challenge Ridhuan Tee to a ‘telur’ size-off!

ridhuanteetelur

A ‘telur’ size-off!
By Zan Azlee

I know Ridhuan Tee wasn’t aiming his latest column in Sinar Harian entitled ‘Mana telur kita?’ specifically at me. But my column today is aimed right at him.

Sometimes I feel quite stupid arguing with what this Chinese man says since what he says is always quite stupid. But I can’t help it. It’s just incredibly fun! In Tee’s latest column, he highlights the fact that no political leaders seem to have the balls to stand up against the infidels and their demands.

First up, he says that how dare the Hindus question the right of Muslims to want to slaughter cows in a public school. Hey pang yau (in case Tee has forgotten his mother tongue, ‘pang yau’ mean ‘friend’)! It’s okay for them to question it.

And it’s also okay for Muslims to concede and do the slaughtering somewhere else. It’s call respecting other religions. Islam says that’s the way mah! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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A racist Budget 2014

malaycina

A racist Budget 2014
By Zan Azlee

So it’s been exactly one week since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled the National Budget 2014 in Parliament. There I was, sitting in the newsroom listening to him speaking and enjoying the attention he was getting.

So, among the highlights would have to be the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in May 2014. And at 6%, it is definitely higher than the 4% to 5% that everyone was expecting to be announced.

There is also the cut in subsidy for sugar. It’s going to cost substantially more now so we won’t be a diabetic nation. But it is guaranteed that every other food product in the market will increase in price too.

There is also the increase in the income tax bracket and also the abolishment people having to file their tax returns. So it really looks like Budget 2014 is trying very hard to address the country’s fiscal deficit.

That’s what everyone is focusing on and it’s all good and well. But I think I’ll choose to highlight something else. If you notice, the Prime Minister announced all kinds of incentives for the Bumiputeras and the Indian community.

And guess what? Hardly any incentives were announced for the Chinese community. Actually, there was nothing. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



Non-Muslims funded a mosque? Gasp! Happy Merdeka!

masjidnegara

Non-Muslims funded a mosque? Gasp! Happy Merdeka!
By Zan Azlee

Malaysia has gone to the dogs. But that would be such a negative statement for a column that has the intentions of commerating this year’s Merdeka Day. So I’m going to try my best to end it in a positive note. First of all, we can agree that racial issues have become a trend in Malaysia. Every racial group has a problem with every other racial group.

Polarisation among the people seem to be at it’s highest peak. This is happening in schools, universities, the private working sector, and of course, the public sector. Religious conflict, although thankfully not violent, is also on the rise and taking centre stage in our media. So Malaysia is truly going to the dogs.

Now let me slightly digress to see if I can further make the point that I am trying to make. Every Malaysian is familiar with the National Mosque, or Masjid Negara, in Kuala Lumpur. Conceptualised a month before Merdeka, completed and opened in 1965, it is a symbol of how Malaysia was, and how Malaysia should be now and forever.

Designed and built by a Brit and two Malaysians (Howard Ashley, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim), that in itself would already be unheard of now. What?!? They let a non-Muslim design a mosque?!? Astarghfirullah! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



Why can’t we wish non-Muslims ‘Selamat Hari Raya’?

AzleesRaya(watermarked)

Why can’t we wish non-Muslims ‘Selamat Hari Raya’?
By Zan Azlee

“Hoi! Berdosa lah kalau kau sambut Tahun Baru Cina!”

“Ha’ah! Nanti masuk Neraka!”

“Eiii!! Duit ang pow to haram tau!”

“Kau ni kafir lah!”

These are some of the responses I received from my Malay classmates when I was in primary school back in Johor Bahru a gazillion years ago. I was confused. I had grown up celebrating Chinese New Year every year with my family. I enjoyed collecting ang pows and also playing fireworks.

And the food! Oh my god! The food during the new year was amazing! The kuih kapit Cina container would be under my armpit the whole day. On the morning of the first day, my Aunty Poh Poh Swee Lan would make the best fatt choy in the world (it’s a vegetarian dish… before you all start calling JAKIM on me!)!

Chinese New Year in my family is a pretty unique affair. At least four different languages would be spoken at any one time and the colour of our skin… well, who cares! These are people dear to my heart and celebrating with them is something I treasure. And it made me totally confused when these kids would say such things to me.

I’m glad I wasn’t offended. If it’s one thing I learned early in life is to feel pity for those who are more ignorant than me, rather than to feel anger. What can we do if they have pea-sized brains, right?

This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri as well. I would wake up early and follow my father and my two brothers to the mosque on the first day. And when we got home, a huge spread consisting of Laksa Johor, lontong and rendang (of which my Poh Poh Swee Poh was the goddess creator!) would be waiting on the dining table for us. Heaven after a month of fasting!

And then all the relatives would start arriving at our house. It would begin as a trickle at first, but would end in a huge tsunami wave! And the atmosphere would be exactly the same as Chinese New Year. At least four different languages would be spoken at any one time and the colour of our skin… well, who cares!

In my birth certificate, I am stated as being a Malay. But sometimes, I wonder how that conclusion could have been made since I have Chinese blood. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



Let all races compete on a level playing field

cinabeng

Let all races compete on a level playing field
By Zan Azlee

They say you should keep close to your friends and even closer to your enemies, and that is the main reason I still read Utusan Malaysia. I recently read a piece of writing in the said newspaper by Dr. Alias Mohamed, the president of the National Association of Malay Journalists and Writers of Malaysia.

The said doctor explained his thoughts on the elaborate plan the Chinese have in trying to take over control and power of Malaysia. He detailed it from pre-independence of the country right up till the formation of Malaysia, and the political and economic scene today.

From what I gather, the main point of the said doctor’s piece is that the Chinese in Malaysia are now slowly succeeding in their plan after more than sixty years. The great conspiracy theory, huh?

My response to this can be a very simple one, depending on how you look at things. They say that only the strong survives, and that the rule of the survival of the fittest exists. So it really isn’t that complicated to me. If the Malays are weak, then according to the rule of the universe, they deserve to be obliterated anyway. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



Will we stagnate with the status quo?

polling

Will we stagnate with the status quo?
By Zan Azlee

JUNE 7 — During the election period last month, I was pretty adamant about wanting to see change, whether it be a change in government, or at least a change in governance.

I had many discussions, conversations and even debates with fellow journalism colleagues, friends and family about this. One of the conversations I had was about how if the federal government were to change, or even if certain ministers or MPs were to lose, what effect it would have.

One of the first things that came to my mind was that many businessmen who operated because of their “network” in the government would be out of business.

Say, for example, if a local businessman was awarded a project by the local MP because they were friends or acquaintances. What would happen then if that MP lost during the election and the opposing party took power in that area? Would that local businessman lose business? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



From excitement to fatigue

run

From excitement to fatigue
By Zan Azlee

MAY 31 – Last week, I had lunch with my friend, Liew Seng Tat, a famous award-winning Malaysian film director of Chinese descent. If you haven’t heard of him, then you know zilch about film. Seng Tat is very politically active. He’s not a politician, he’s just one of the many young Malaysians who have had a heightened sense of political awareness due to developments in the country.

He was at all three BERSIH demonstrations and was even beaten up and arrested during the second one (Remember the famous assault on Tong Shin Hospital? He was in the carpark.). He attends a lot of ceramahs and talks, candle light vigils, protests and even became a PACABA volunteer during the recent GE. And of course there are the Black 505 rallies.

He even sends me all kinds of SMSes, Facebook links and e-mails about politics, the government, news of corruption and human rights abuse, etc. But when I met him for lunch a few days ago at Mahbub in Lucky Gardens, Bangsar, his mood and level of enthusiasm was a stark difference than before. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



I’m afraid, really afraid!

bersih

I’m afraid, really afraid!
By Zan Azlee

MAY 24 — I’m going to be honest and say outright that I’m afraid of the recent turn of events in our country, with the numerous arrests being made and copies of newspapers being confiscated But it’s a complicated situation that everything is in right now. And I am seriously tired of all these complicated situations that we’ve been in since the election.

Yes, the election has come and gone. And yes, Barisan Nasional (BN) won and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lost. It’s the worst faring by BN and the best by PR. BN was quick to swear in their prime minister, while PR was quick to declare the election process being a fraud and not recognise the results.

And since they won the popular vote, PR leaders started organising rallies all around the country, knowing full well that the turnout would be huge. Yada yada yada. And that’s when all hell broke loose in the BN camp. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



Lu lagi, lu lagi!

jakarta

Lu lagi, lu lagi!
By Zan Azlee

Last week, I was in Jakarta on a working trip. The work was mainly corporate in nature, of which is very unfamiliar terrain for me. But it’s good to explore new things once in a while. Of course, being a highly intuitive journalist (oh yeah!), I decided to look around for stories that I could tell back home in Malaysia. Hence, the topic for this week’s column.

Malaysia has just concluded it’s 13th General Election and I was still in the mood for all things political. So I decided to check out what was brewing in Indonesia. The love-hate relationship that we have with our distant cousin nation (really more of like a direct irritating sibling, I have to say!), has always interested me.

However, I have to admit that their brand of politics isn’t very familiar to me. Maybe it’s because they’re a more sophisticated republic and have had several revolutions that it surpasses my understanding. [Go to English.AstroAwani.Com to read the full article]



Serve all races

ic

Serve all races
By Zan Azlee

MAY 17 — Yesterday, I got back from a working trip to Jakarta and in the taxi from KLIA, the driver started chatting with me about the recent general election. And just for context, the driver is Malay and looked to be middle-aged. I’m guessing around 50 years of age.

At one point, he said to me: “Tengok Kabinet baru yang Perdana Menteri sudah lantik. Langsung tidak ada wakil orang Cina. Biar padan muka mereka. Cina sekarang dah banyak songeh!”

At first, I wanted to blurt out and say that he needs to be certain who he’s talking to. I may look Malay, and I may sound Malay, but I am in fact Chinese (part of me, that is!).

Then I would have continued to condemn him and his racist ways and, hopefully put him in his place and educate him a little about the ways of harmonious living.

But I immediately caught myself before I did anything drastic. And I think it paid off quite well judging from the taxi driver’s reaction. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



The ‘Good vs Evil’ trap

IMG_2956_watermarked

The ‘Good vs Evil’ trap
By Zan Azlee

I disagree with the interviewees (forum panelists) in an article published in the Free Malaysia Today website on 14th May 2013 which called for the people to take to the streets and topple the BN government.

In a brief overview, the article quoted three panelists at a forum, Haris Ibrahim (ABU – Anything But Umno), Adam Adli Halim (student activist) and Hishammuddin Rais (Bersih) calling for the rakyat to take to the streets and topple the government.

Apparently, another five years is just too long to wait to vote Barisan Nasional out of the federal office, and according to these three individuals, we have to take it by force.

Here’s the deal. I think they’re on their own. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



Yup! It’s a racial factor indeed!

vote

The race factor
By Zan Azlee

MAY 10 — The race factor definitely played a role in the voter swing in the recent GE13. No doubt about it. So when Umno-owned newspaper Utusan published the front-page story “Apa lagi Cina mahu?” last Tuesday in response to the voter swing, it couldn’t have been a surprise.

Barisan Nasional consists of many component parties and most of these parties (if not all of them) are all race-based. And, of course, the three main parties that make up the coalition are Umno (Malay), the MCA (Chinese) and MIC (Indian).

The logic to it is that Umno will attract the Malay voters, the MCA will attract the Chinese and MIC, the Indians. Hence, they should have it all covered in Malaysia.

Then we look at Pakatan Rakyat, who is constantly preaching multiracial politics, claiming that they aren’t race-based. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



Apa lagi Ridhuan Tee mahu?

pru13-factsheet-en

‘Apa lagi Ridhuan Tee mahu?’
By Zan Azlee

This debacle with the headline written by the Utusan newspaper last Tuesday has got me thinking – which side is Ridhuan Tee on regarding this matter?

Okay, for those who are oblivious ignoramuses, Utusan published the very irrational and racist sounding headline which read ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu?’ last Tuesday.

Then page after page carried articles that talked about how the Chinese were being racists by voting for other than Barisan Nasional. What is this Umno-owned newspaper trying to do? Create disharmony and spark an upheaval of the people?

Come on! They already won the election. What else do they want? (Did you see what I just did there? Haha!) Sure, they did win. But it is the worst showing the coalition has ever received in its entire 56 years of rule in the country. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (Part 8 of 8) – Multiracial or not… we will survive… together!

FAT BIDIN PRESENTS… KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE)
Part 8 of 8 (Conclusion)
Multiracial or not… we will survive… together!

Short synopsis: Kampung Baru is a traditional Malay village situated in the heart of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Traditional Malay houses are surrounded by huge concrete and steel skyscrapers that provide a juxtaposition of modern urbanisation and customs and tradition. Zan talks to several individuals who have close ties with Kampung Baru to try and capture the essence of the village.

Click here to watch all the episodes.

KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU was screened on ntv7 in conjunction with the 2010 Merdeka celebrations. Visit the FAT BIDIN E-STORE to buy the DVD and own it for yourself!

Don’t forget to join the FAT BIDIN FACEBOOK PAGE for more life-changing experiences!



KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (Part 7 of 8) – Racial harmony? Not Anymore!

FAT BIDIN PRESENTS… KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE)
Part 7 of 8
Racial harmony? Not anymore!

Short synopsis: Kampung Baru is a traditional Malay village situated in the heart of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Traditional Malay houses are surrounded by huge concrete and steel skyscrapers that provide a juxtaposition of modern urbanisation and customs and tradition. Zan talks to several individuals who have close ties with Kampung Baru to try and capture the essence of the village.

Click here to watch all the episodes.

KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU was screened on ntv7 in conjunction with the 2010 Merdeka celebrations. Visit the FAT BIDIN E-STORE to buy the DVD and own it for yourself!



KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (Part 6 of 8) – Malays, Chinese, Indians and whomever… let’s divide them!

FAT BIDIN PRESENTS… KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE)
Part 6 of 8
Malays, Chinese, Indians and whomever… let’s divide them!

Short synopsis: Kampung Baru is a traditional Malay village situated in the heart of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Traditional Malay houses are surrounded by huge concrete and steel skyscrapers that provide a juxtaposition of modern urbanisation and customs and tradition. Zan talks to several individuals who have close ties with Kampung Baru to try and capture the essence of the village.

Click here to watch all the episodes.

KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU was screened on ntv7 in conjunction with the 2010 Merdeka celebrations. Visit the FAT BIDIN E-STORE to buy the DVD and own it for yourself!



CBeebies taught me multiculturalism… my latest column at The Malaysian Insider

Atheena watching CBeebies

I love CBeebies! I really really do!

Learning multiculturalism from television
By Zan Azlee

AUG 26 — Ever since the arrival of little Athena, the television at home has been dominated by baby and children’s programmes. And one of our favourites is BBC’s CBeebies. It’s a blessing when you just need some quiet time and you can plonk the little pooper in front of the television for 20 minutes.

My wife and I find it way better than the Disney Channel since it doesn’t mind numb kids into wanting to be princesses or buy expensive toys. But that discussion will be for another week. So we were watching CBeebies one afternoon together with Athena and I noticed how the BBC tried very much to be inclusive of all the communities in Britain.

They had TV presenters who were of all colours, from white to black, and even brown. It was very inclusive indeed. The kids who came on were of different cultures too. From very pale looking, blonde Scottish girls to brown and tanned, hair-in-a-bun Punjabi boys!

And the best thing is that none of the programmes that featured this multiracial cast ever made any reference to race and ethnicity. Everything just went on as usual as if all these races really existed and interacted with each other on a natural level in the country (which, of course, they do!).

Now that’s exactly what I want Athena to learn – to recognise that there are many different cultures and ethnicities around us, and not make a big deal out of it. [Click here to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



Would you ever marry a strange man who followed you home from Chow Kit? New episode on FATBIDIN.TV!

My film KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE) was recently repeated on ntv7 (I’m sure due to popular demand!) after its original broadcast during August/September last year. And what a miraculous coincidence that I’m also serialising it on FATBIDIN.TV!!!

FAT BIDIN PRESENTS…
KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE)

Part 3 of 8
Would you ever marry a strange man who followed you home from Chow Kit?

Norisah Abu Bakar - KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE)



FATBIDIN.TV updates gaining momentum! Episode 2 is up!

Dayummm!!! I’m amazed at the momentum I’m keeping with the episode updates on FATBIDIN.TV!! Woohoo!!

Go there now to watch the latest episode!

FAT BIDIN PRESENTS…
KAMPUNG BARU ALAF BARU (NEW AGE NEW VILLAGE)
Part 2 of 8
You’re not supposed to touch the ground once you’ve given birth or you will be cursed!

On a seperate note… I was a guest on Tech Beat (along with Daniel Cerventus and Zurairi), a podcast by John Lim. Check it out!



Zain, the confused kid – Part 2

More of the adventures of Zain the confused kid!

Zain Azri, the confused kid – Part 2
By Zan Azlee

SEPT 24 — In the last instalment of Zain’s adventures, we left him confused about his ethnic identity. This week, we fast-forward a few years and he is now in Standard 6. This is an important year for Zain. He will be sitting for his UPSR examination. It will determine how he will move forward into secondary school. The school is feeling the pressure, and so are the students.

But Zain seems to be taking it pretty easy. He’s still playing basketball in school and going to movies. He’s still watching his favourite television shows with his mother at night and assembling radio control cars with his father in the evenings. Of course Zain doesn’t forget his homework. He still does his homework diligently but a 12-year-old kid still needs to have his fun. [Click to read the rest of the article]




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