Tag Archives: kuala lumpur

Searching for that ‘mom and pop store’ experience



Searching for that ‘mom and pop store’ experience
By Zan Azlee

When I walk around the Kuala Lumpur city centre, the experience I get is something that although can sometimes be exciting, yet leaves me empty somehow.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think it has to do with the fact that every single store, restaurant, cafe and establishment is a generic and impersonal franchise or chain. I don’t have conversations with people and I don’t interact. Sure, we interact with the sales people over the cashier counter if we make any transactions, but that’s about it.

I remember the days when I was growing up in the small cowboy town of Johor Bahru. It seemed like my parents knew everyone at every single place they went to. The local barber knew my father by name and they would chat about things while our hair was cut (and no matter how I described it to him, my hair never turned out to be like MacGyver’s!). And if we went out for breakfast on Sunday mornings, we knew the guy who owned the roti prata (roti canai for the rest of Malaysia) stall as my father and him were like old friends.

It was the same with my mother. The family clinic we went to had an old doctor that had been her family doctor for decades even before I was born. The guy who sold fruits in a push cart near the main post office was apparently a family friend and was my uncle’s old classmate back in secondary school.

Now back to the big city of Kuala Lumpur. As I have mentioned, all the shops and eating places have become so impersonal as most are chains and franchises. Although on the surface, it looks like it does well for the economy and it creates jobs, in the long term, it might not bring such an advantage to the development of the society. [Click to read the full article at KopitiamEkonomi.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]

The Fat Bidin Vox Pop (Ep 7) – How Do I Raise an Independent Daughter?

Gender equality was the theme at Art For Grabs, so we went around asking… “How DO you raise an independent daughter?”

Check out the accompanying podcast:

For more episodes of The Fat Bidin Vox Pop: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1d-NZ0GhtntbufmCVanQ17tj7MT9y0e9

Subscribe to Fat Bidin on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=zanazlee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fatbidin

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‘Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan’ book tour stops at Art for Grabs this weekend (23-24 August 2014)!

It’s fun being on a book tour campaign thingy-majiggy!! Seriously… we are in love with our latest non-fiction graphic novel ‘Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan‘! If we do say so ourselves! Muahahaha!!

This weekend (23rd – 24th August), we stop at Art for Grabs at The School, Jaya One. We will have a booth there on Saturday and Sunday where you can get the book, our priceless autographs, and other official merchandise!

And a special show for you guys on Saturday at 3:30pm! It’s really special!! REALLY SPECIAL!!!


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]