Archive for the 'Society' Category

Some time back in 2015, I walked down to the train station after having a late meal in Bangsar. It was almost an hour to midnight and I did not want to miss the last train home. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the Bangsar train station from Jalan Telawi […]

It’s a big, big interconnected world out there. And that interconnectedness, ironically, makes the world smaller is a non-physical sense. Economically, socially and politically. Our lives are no longer affected purely by domestic matters. To some, the foreign affairs segment in the newspapers is an abstraction but for some others, the lines demarcating domestic and […]

Part of Jalan Bukit Bintang has been transformed into a mini-Arab town over the past 5 or 10 years. It has been quite an intriguing trend. Arab restaurants and tourists are not uncommon along the stretch between the Pavilion and beyond Jalan Raja Chulan. They like Malaysia for various reasons and it is easy to […]

How would you imagine a utopia? What is that utopia? These are hard questions to answer. It is hard because it requires deep reflection. It cannot be answered on the spot. In this age when pessimism against liberal values grows day by day, to me, the need to imagine a utopia becomes greater than ever. It is […]

Has Malaysia eliminated identification of race by economic function? I have been thinking about this casually over the past several years, ever since that one afternoon when I wanted a cold drink and began to take notice the ethnicity or nationality of the men and women working as waiters at various restaurants and cafes. I […]

It is September 15, the eve of Malaysia Day. As I walk out of the train station into the atrium of KL Sentral, I see rows of the Malaysian flags draping down from the ceiling. Those red and white stripes are unmistakable. The flag-flying fervor has not been as strong as it had been in […]

Kuala Lumpur opened the extension to its light rail transit lines late last month and I was pretty excited about it. After years of delay, the system is finally here. I am excited because I can now hop on a train to Subang with ease. Previously, I would either have to drive, get on a […]

As an individualist, I do not condemn a whole community for wrongs of the few. I do not subscribe to collective blaming for individual crimes. Each person is responsible for his or her action. In the context of terror acts frequently committed by Islamic extremists these days, I would not ask a random Muslim to […]

[2820] A god to justify us

Yet a personal God can become a grave liability. He can be a mere idol carved in our own image, a projection of our limited needs, fears and desires. We can assume that he loves what we love and hates what we hate, endorsing our prejudices instead of compelling us to transcend them. When he […]

[2818] God in the marketplace

There are times when books of different focus and field would run parallel with each other and reveal new insight on a specific idea, making that particular idea richer. I recently finished Jürgen Kocka’s Capitalism where he touched on, among others, the shift of power from feudal lords to the merchant class. I am currently […]

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