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"I saw my first shadow play & he watched his first DVD of 'Star Wars.'"

Star Wars as a shadow play (article + video) Character creator Tintoy Chuo collaborates with tok dalang (master puppeteer) Pak Dain to bring Star Wars: A New Hope to the literal screen of the wayang kulit (shadow play). Follow the journey of young Perantau Langit (One Who Walks the Sky) as he meets Puteri Leia (Princess Leia) and faces off Sangkala Vedeh (Powerful General Vedeh) in this Peperangan Bintang (War of the Stars). A preview video. Tintoy Chuo at TedxKL. It was a match made in Facebook, so quite rightly, here is their FB page.
posted by cendawanita on Jul 4, 2014 - 9 comments

Mystery MH370

Last week it was announced that "Bluefin-21 completed its last mission" and that "the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370". That news came two days after Malaysian authorities released a 47 pages long document of Inmarsat's raw data [pdf]. [more inside]
posted by travelwithcats on Jun 1, 2014 - 84 comments

Rose Rose I Love You

In 1952 Malaya, cabaret dancer Rose Chan's bra snapped on stage. Noticing the enthusiastic response from the audience, she decided to capitalise on this, and transformed herself into Malaysia's first (and so far only) Queen of Striptease. (Many of these links have NSFW pictures) [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 18, 2014 - 13 comments

Irene Fernandez 1946 - 2014

Malaysian human rights activist Irene Fernandez died on March 31st 2014 at age 67 from heart failure. She was arrested and charged with one year imprisonment in 1996 for "publishing false information with the intention to harm" after publishing a report on abuses of migrant workers in detention camps in Malaysia, and was acquitted in 2008 after multiple delays due to losses of important files. She received a Right Livelihood Award in 2005 for her human rights and migrant advocacy work. She is remembered by activists in Malaysia and overseas, politicians, and international media. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 10, 2014 - 5 comments

MH370 missing

Malaysia Airlines MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is missing.
Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.
Rumors that the plane has landed in Nanning, China are debunked. Chinese media had originally reported Vietnamese officials saying they've picked up a signal, but this has also been refuted. There has been no contact nor distress signals, and the case is especially puzzling as the plane lost contact at the safest moment of the flight. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 7, 2014 - 1953 comments

name that smell

Smells can be very hard to identify and name, unless you are given some prompting - or you speak Jahai, the language of an indigenous group in the Malay peninsula.
posted by divabat on Jan 3, 2014 - 23 comments

2013 Southeast Asian Haze

Forest fires due to slash and burn farming in Sumatra, Indonesia have led to unprecedented air pollution levels in Singapore and Malaysia. In Singapore particularly, Facebook and Twitter are aflame as well. For a country used to very clean air, the sudden pollution has led to public outcry, with air purifiers and face masks being snatched off the shelves. So far, no stop-work-order has been issued, and there are complaints that the government is not tackling the situation rapidly enough. Indonesia is working to put out the fires and is considering cloud seeding; their response to pressure from Singapore to do more was that Singaporeans should stop behaving like children and not disturb their domestic affairs. While image macros about the 2013 haze continue to fill up Facebook feeds, some people are taking the whole affair in a more irreverent way. [more inside]
posted by destrius on Jun 20, 2013 - 44 comments

Pantai Remis Landslide

On 21 October 1993, the working face separating the ocean from an open-pit tin mine collapsed dramatically, leaving a cove where the mine had once been.
posted by dunkadunc on Mar 6, 2013 - 31 comments

Abnormal Desire

In Malaysia's continuing efforts to persecute and combat the "deviant wave" of homosexuality, after banning a LGBT rights event claiming a threat to "public order" and training parents and educators to spot "LGBT behaviors" in school children for possible entry into a gay rehabilitation centre, they are now producing and presenting Asmara Songsang, a musical where LGBT people live lives fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll...only to be struck by lightning and go straight or die. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 2, 2013 - 30 comments

Honey, I Shrunk the Tariff

"Honey laundering is a complex exercise that involves several players in the honey chain from apiary to wholesaler to retailer. In the case against ALW, evidence was presented to show the use of fake country-of-origin documents for shipments, replacement of labels on Chinese containers with fraudulent ones, switching of honey containers in a third country, and even the blending of Chinese honey with glucose syrup or honey from another country."
posted by vidur on Dec 6, 2012 - 37 comments

We Were Wanderers On A Prehistoric Earth

We Were Wanderers On A Prehistoric Earth (3m14s, fullscreen)
posted by stbalbach on Jan 18, 2012 - 7 comments

Killing techies, the Malaysian way

Malaysia is proposing a Computing Professionals Bill, based on the Registration of Engineers Act [.PDF] which makes it mandatory for all practicing "computing professionals" to be registered with a government body. Dealing in the IT industry, including sending “proposals, plans, designs, drawings, schemes, reports, studies or others to be determined by the Board to any person or authority in Malaysia” without being registered will incur a fine not exceeding RM20,000 (~US$6380) or 6 months in jail. Malaysian IT professionals and geeks are up in arms, and similarities have been drawn to Nigeria's law on computing professionals.
posted by divabat on Dec 8, 2011 - 26 comments

Australia's High Court Rules The "Malaysian Solution" Unconstitutional

Australia's High Court has handed down a 6-1 judgement against (PDF) the Commonwealth Government's deal with the Malaysian Government, to replace the so-called Pacific Solution, under which the two countries would have "swapped" asylum seekers.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 31, 2011 - 56 comments

Kung Fu, Soccer and Volleyball combo: Sepak Takraw

When you combine Kung Fu, Soccer and Volleyball you get an awesome sport called Sepak Takraw | the film version, Libas | 'Just Give Me The Damn Sepak Takraw Ball'. A few more examples: grass court | women's match . About the Sepak Takraw ball. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 31, 2011 - 20 comments

I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not...

Malaysian performer and social activist Fahmi Fadzil was sued for defamation by media company Blu Inc after a Tweet in January alleging that the company maltreated a pregnant friend who was an employee. His punishment? To tweet 100 times over 3 days:
I've DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.
Responses from other Malaysian Twitter users, mostly on Fahmi's side, have been interesting.
posted by divabat on Jun 2, 2011 - 38 comments

The Borneo Blog

The Borneo Blog - fascinating photographic journey from the late 1960s of life and culture in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysia* via Mefi Projects. [slightly NSFW - some topless locals]
posted by peacay on May 31, 2011 - 11 comments

Malingsia

There are many types of Reogs in Indonesia but Reog Ponorogo is the most famous. Waroks hold a 50kg singobarong mask in their teeth while performing. Malaysia has attempted to annex the performance.
posted by unliteral on Jan 11, 2011 - 6 comments

No Baggage Challenge

Rolf Potts will travel through 12 countries in 42 days, with his current location updated here. He intends to do all this with no luggage, no backpack, no man purse -- not even a fanny pack. [via mefi projects]
posted by gman on Sep 15, 2010 - 51 comments

Snakes (almost) on a Plane

95 snakes found in bag at Malaysia airport. That's 95 live boa constrictors. Keng Liang "Anson" Wong, 52, was previously convicted of wildlife trafficking in the United States. It is unclear whether he served the full term. (previously)
posted by vidur on Sep 2, 2010 - 17 comments

Malaysia Design Archive

The Malaysia Design Archive: Understanding Malaysian history through Graphic Design. "This project is an attempt to trace, map and document the development of graphic design in Malaysia. It is also a project to highlight the importance of archiving as a way to protect and preserve our own visual history. What is our design history? Do we have one?" Examine Malaysian movie posters; discover the visual detritus of an old jail; peruse political artifacts; explore the country's visual history from Colonialism, through Occupation, Emergency, and finally, Independence. [via DO]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 31, 2010 - 4 comments

Malaysian churches attacked over "Allah"

Malaysian Catholic newspaper Herald was recently involved in a major lawsuit against the Malaysian government, stating that their constitutional rights were violated when they were stripped of their license to publish in East Malaysian indigenous language Kadazandusun. The ruling was overturned, amidst support by state ministers and protests by the Government, the Islamic Opposition party, and Muslim activists - some of whom have spent the past week attacking churches and convents through firebombs, Molotov cocktails, paint, and bricks thrown at glass. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 10, 2010 - 25 comments

Defending the nation from temptation

Air force personnel stole Malaysian fighter jet engine(s) from a military warehouse to sell on the black market abroad. Chaos ensues. Humour lurks. Rumours fly. Previously.
posted by infini on Dec 26, 2009 - 30 comments

To dye for

Best known as an Indonesian handicraft, batik is a distinctive technique for textiles that has been used for millennia and can be found as far away as Egypt, Ghana, China and India. An integral part of daily life in Java, batik has spread around the world as a wellknown artform as well as clothing. From its hippy heyday to the smart couture outfits of the Singapore Girl, batik is still daily wear for many and the equivalent of black tie in the ASEAN. [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 19, 2009 - 13 comments

Yasmin Ahmad (1958 - 2009)

Acclaimed Malaysian film and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad has passed away at 11:52pm Saturday night at the age of 51, after collapsing from a stroke at a media presentation the day before. She leaves behind a legacy of film that captures the modern multicultural spirit of Malaysia, winning international festival awards and local hearts while at the mercy of conservative censors. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 25, 2009 - 9 comments

"I've succeeded finally in moving your head!"

Viewing the Penanggalan of Malaysian folklore usually takes intestinal fortitude [NSFW], but there are also emotional, wistful, girlish, and playful depictions of this monstrous creature. (Previously)
posted by benzenedream on Jan 4, 2009 - 30 comments

Flying the flag upside down - evil!

Frustrated with recent political developments, Malaysian blogger Kickdefella started an online protest of posting the Malaysian flag upside down on his blog, reflecting the use of an upside down flag as a sign of distress. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi decries the move as 'evil'. More information at Global Voices Advocacy.
posted by divabat on Aug 20, 2008 - 22 comments

Bloggers in Parliament

This year's elections in Malaysia are historic due to the major wins by the Opposition/People's Front and the National Front's loss of 5 states and the 2/3 majority in parliament (one they've held since 1969) (comparisons). Two of the newly elected Members of Parliament are bloggers Tony Pua and Jeff Ooi; another blogger, Elizabeth Wong, has won a seat in the state assembly of the now-Opposition-run Selangor. This is significant, as Malaysian bloggers had been under attack by the government. (last link YouTube video in Malay with subtitles).
posted by divabat on Mar 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Udo Kier has nothing on these

Malaysia takes vampires seriously.
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 1, 2007 - 25 comments

Burp

You cannot live in Malaysia or Singapore without being a foodie on some level. Makan lah! or come and eat is a common and popular expression of welcome. Uniquely in the region, both countries have multiethnic populations each of whom have added their flavours, spices and condiments to the region's foodie heaven. There is Chinese food - Kuay Teow, Chicken Rice, Char Siu and Yong Tau Foo. There is Malay food, rendangs, sambals, petai and belacan adding a certain something to the mix. South Indian food proliferates like banana leaf restorans, idli-thosai pure vegetarian fast food joints like Komala's and of course the fish curries and prawn curries of the coastal regions. The colonial influence is felt with Roti John served up in hawker centres and food courts across the peninsula and islands, ending with cooling desserts like cendol, sago pudding with gula melaka and santan or 'pancake'.
posted by infini on May 26, 2007 - 35 comments

Malaysia, Politics, and Bloggers

An Indonesian TV crew was invited to Malaysia for their Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign but encountered many problems. They write up about it - and start a flurry of comments and controversy across the Malaysian government about blogging. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 6, 2007 - 14 comments

Laptopalooza

Ever wondered where your laptop's parts come from, what it's made of, or what toxins are in it?
posted by aerotive on Mar 19, 2007 - 19 comments

Manuscripts Don't Burn

Malaysian bookstore Silverfish Books recently pubhlished a list of books restricted by the Malaysian Home Ministry (confiscated at the border by Customs) - a list that includes Chinese teapots, children's prayers, and Dora the Explorer. Banned books & magazines aren't exactly news in Malaysia; indeed, possession of said books can lead to severe penalties, even jail time.The Opposition has made a statement before, but that hasn't led anywhere. However, since Silverfish's list, Malaysian bloggers have had enough with the arbitrary and Kafka-esque bans and restrictions, and have come together to form Manuscripts Don't Burn, to protest and talk about banned books and the larger issue of freedom of speech in Malaysia.
posted by divabat on Nov 7, 2006 - 19 comments

Blogs under scrutiny in Malaysia

PM of Malaysia: Those who spread untruths on the Net will be detained Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, warned all bloggers that "if information in blogs, websites and online portals were incorrect, bordered on slander, caused disturbance or compelled the public to lose faith in the nation’s economic policies, their authors would be detained for investigation". The Malaysian government is even considering adjusting the Printing Presses and Publications Act^ to include blogs and online media.

This comes hot on the heels of a government-ordered media blackout on Article 11, a coalition of NGOs dedicated to upholding the principles of Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, about freedom of religion, after several protests claiming Article 11 to be anti-Muslim and confusing it with the now-defunct Interfaith Comission Initiative, which aimed to be a body of people of different faiths raising awareness about diversity of religion and working together on religious issues.

Minister of Energy, Water, and Communications Dr Lim Keng Yaik said that they will not censor the Internet (as promised when the Multimedia Super Corridor was launched), but after events such as prominent Malaysian political blogger Jeff Ooi being investigated over a supposedly offensive comment on his blog entry about Islam in 2005, and alternative news source MalaysiaKini's office raided after carrying a letter critical of the ruling party's policies in 2003, no one is really quite sure.
posted by divabat on Aug 3, 2006 - 16 comments

Asian progressive music from the 60s and 70s

60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter on Dec 8, 2005 - 15 comments

AnwarFilter

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's dissident ex-deputy PM, released from prison after sodomy charge quashed. More background at the Free Anwar campaign, Human Rights Watch.
posted by plep on Sep 3, 2004 - 4 comments

Culture wars: peace at last.

France wants you secular. Malaysia wants you circumcized.
posted by jfuller on Dec 17, 2003 - 12 comments

World Scrabble Championship

The World Scrabble Championship is taking place this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 98 players from 38 countries are competing in the seventh biennial WSC. The format: everyone plays 24 games over three days, then the top two finishers play a best-of-five match for the championship. Past winners include three Americans, two Canadians and an Englishman, but this year's final pits two Thai players: Pakorn Nemitrmansuk vs Panupol Sujjaykorn.
posted by Daze on Oct 23, 2003 - 15 comments

Its a Small World After All

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's recent speech to the OIC has drawn criticism from around the world for its antisemitic tone. The same kind of assertion has been doing the rounds for centuries. The question is: where do beliefs like this come from?
Does this kind of conspiracy theory fall neatly out of small-world network theory (coupled with private obsessions and prejudices) or is Kevin Bacon really the Centre of the Hollywood Universe?
Is this an existing kind of inductive fallacy or do we need a new name for this phenomenon?
posted by snarfodox on Oct 16, 2003 - 29 comments

Penang

The Khoo Kongsi. Images and history of a Chinese clanhouse in Penang, Malaysia.
The 'kongsi' or clanhouses provided a support network for members of the southern Chinese families who migrated to southeast Asia during the 18th century. The Khoo Kongsi is one of the most impressive. Here's an article on the history of the Cheah Kongsi.
More on the heritage of Penang at the Penang Heritage Trust, the Penang Story, and the Penang File.
The history of the Chinese community in Penang; the history of the Indian community in Penang; and Penang's Victorian architecture.
For more news on Malaysia: Malaysiakini, an independent online news service which has been in trouble with the government, is excellent.
posted by plep on Aug 13, 2003 - 8 comments

Made a terrible mistake in Las Vegas

Made a terrible mistake in Las Vegas? Just say "talaq, talaq, talaq"
posted by kodas on Jul 27, 2003 - 6 comments

Once Upon A Time In Malaysia

Once Upon A Time In Malaysia I’ve seen lion dances performed before but never anything like this. (windows media)
posted by snez on Feb 21, 2003 - 8 comments

As late as July 4, the US State Department described Malaysia's Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial as preventing people from "exercising internationally recognised rights of free speech, political expression and assembly" and therefore (more diplomatically-speaking) a cause for concern. Yet when it was recently used to detain those connected to terrorism, Bush decides to invite the Prime Minister of Malaysia to thank him for a 'stirring response' in combating terrorism. Eh?
posted by timyang on Apr 20, 2002 - 4 comments

One of Malaysia’s Petronas Towers Being Evacuated.

One of Malaysia’s Petronas Towers Being Evacuated. Great. Is this gonna happen everywhere?
posted by Davezilla on Sep 11, 2001 - 16 comments

US Woman Killed in Malaysia

US Woman Killed in Malaysia "Police believe an American woman whose remains were recently unearthed in Malaysia was used as a human sacrifice in a ritual to obtain lottery numbers from the spirits..." The article didn't say if they won. Not that it matters.
posted by mcsweetie on Jun 26, 2001 - 8 comments

Bummer.

Bummer.
posted by highindustrial on Oct 11, 2000 - 18 comments

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