Tag Archives: war

The launch of my latest book is this Sunday,17th August 2104, 2:30pm, at MPH, Nu Sentral (KL Sentral).


The launch of my latest book is this Sunday, 2:30pm, at MPH, Nu Sentral (KL Sentral).

You better come!! It’s an awesome non-fiction graphic novel about my adventures shooting a documentary in war-torn Afghanistan! It’s also a sweeeeettt collaboration with my bosom buddy Arif Rafhan Othman!

We’ll be there with a show for you guys!!! And signings… and photo-taking… and flirting… and wild, wild, passionate mingling!! Buy our book and exclusive merchandise on that day!

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Title: Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan
Genre: Non-fiction graphic novel
Venue: MPH Nu Sentral (KL Sentral)
Time: 2:30pm, Sunday, 17th August 2014

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Is the boycott working? Is it? Really?


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Is the boycott working? Is it? Really?
By Zan Azlee

A few days ago, I pulled my car up into the drive-thru lane at the McDonald’s nearby my house and ordered a Big Breakfast set with orange juice.

I had returned home from my wife’s hometown in Johor Bahru after a short Hari Raya break earlier than her and my daughter because I had to start work earlier.

So I was home alone and hungry. And I couldn’t be bothered to go into the kitchen to look for ingredients and to fix something up for myself.

I was greeted on the audio box next to my car window very politely.

“Selamat Hari Raya. What would you like to order?” the voice said.

“Selamat Hari Raya. I would like one Big Breakfast please. And change the coffee to orange juice instead,” I said.

“Please pay at the counter sir.”

I drove up to the cashier’s counter and I saw the face behind the voice. She was a young Malay girl, probably in her early twenties, in a tudung and I assumed she is Muslim.

“Assalamualaikum. That would be RM12.90 please. Thank you.” she greeted me.

“Why aren’t you off for the Hari Raya holidays?” I asked her.

“I have to work sir. Such is life!” she smiled.

I smiled back at her, took my food and drove off.

Does the boycott work?

Here is a situation that has made me think about the boycott that is being called for here in Malaysia against Israel and the Zionist state.

It is obvious from the anecdotal evidence I gave at the start of this opinion piece shows that I have not decided to boycott McDonald’s.

It doesn’t mean that I support Zionism. And it definitely doesn’t mean that I am belittling the efforts of so many Malaysians who believe in the boycott.

I just don’t want to do something where I am not fully comprehensive of its entire mechanics and objectives. I need to believe in it 100% to want to get involved.

The story also shows that at a micro level, the first people to suffer when such a boycott takes place are our own local people who rely on these organisations to earn a living.

The question that has been playing in my head is whether the boycott works in achieving the objective of pressurising the Israeli government. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

My third book, a non-fiction graphic novel about my adventures in Afghanistan, is out now!


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My third book, a graphic novel titled Adventures of a KL-ite in Afghanistan, is now out at all major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore!! Illustrated by my long time buddy Arif Rafhan Othman (aka Apan).

It’s all about my real life adventures of shooting a documentary in Afghanistan. I was there during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and I spent time in Kabul on my own, as well as being the first Malaysian journalist to be embedded with the Malaysian Armed Forces who are stationed in Bamiyan.

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But my favourite part of the book is this cameo appearance by good ol’ Dave!

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Official launch will be after Hari Raya, but it’s out in the bookstores already. And soon, you’ll be able to order it at the Fatbidin E-Store as well (including some interesting exclusive bundle packages!).

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These are my first satisfied customers!

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Being detained in a war zone… what do you do?


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As a journalist, one of the things that I do worry about is being detained or kidnapped while in a conflict zone. With all the beheadings that have been happening online… all the courage in the world woudn’t make me feel courageous! I have actually been detained and interrogated once. It was by the military in Lebanon right when I was about to cross the border out of the country. It was 2007 and at that time, they were going through the Nahr Al-Bared conflict. But it was only for a few hour and they let me go after they deleted some photos I had taken of their checkpoint. Even then, I almost peed my pants!

So I can’t imagine how more macho journalists like Sean Langan and Sean McAllister can stay strong when they get held for months. Sean Langan was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for three months. BBC made a re-enacted film out of his ordeal:

Sean McAllister (who I am now friends with after having the opportunity to hang out with him at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival in 2011) was detained in Syria and accused of being a spy. CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed him:

And the latest that has caught my attention has to be the detention of Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky in Ukraine by pro-Russian forces. It’s just that I’m a loyal viewer/reader of Vice and I’ve actually been following Ostrovsky’s daily video dispatches from there on a regular basis. Suddenly, the guy just disappears for four days and then they let him go. Not before beating and torturing him, of course. He was released last Thursday (24 April 2014). Here’s he’s account of what happened:

I guess I’ve been taking it easy seeing that the last international assignments I’ve been on in the past six  months have been in London, Stockholm and Perth.

I see what IC


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I see what IC
By Zan Azlee

MARCH 22 — Sijah Ejut is a true blue Malaysian. She is an Iban tuai rumah (village head) who has lived her entire life on the outskirts of Sibu, Sarawak. She has never been out of the country, and her ancestors have lived on the land for centuries. You can’t get any more Malaysian than that.

Yet, she only managed to register her citizenship and get an IC at the age of 27. And because of that, she couldn’t finish her schooling. She couldn’t even travel around freely because the police would stop and accuse her of being an illegal immigrant.

Sijah’s isn’t an isolated case. Almost the entire population of her village does not have ICs (or had trouble getting ICs) even though they are all Bumiputeras.

And imagine Sijah Ejut’s outrage now that she knows that one of Malaysia’s most wanted men, Agbimuddin Kiram, and the rest of his mob could have been among those given ICs and made Malaysian citizens? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]