Azmi Sharom, author of one of our latest titles Brave New World was interviewed for Star2.com recently talking about his role as an academic, his latest book, writing, politics, his run in with the Sedition Act and of course Flight of the Hamsters.
Azmi talked of his reluctance to go into politics:
“I don’t like the politics in the country, where the personal becomes intertwined with the public. I’m a private person and I don’t want to be exposed in that way.
“But more importantly, I’m not sure I can play by the rules – being an independent candidate, to me, is not a realistic option at this time and in this country. And if I joined a party, I don’t know if I could play nice with the other boys and girls!”
The difference between a public intellectual and an academic:
“When academics step out of their ivory towers and talk or write about things which happen in society, that’s when we get into trouble. But we aren’t here just to teach students, we’re also reaching out to the wider community. When I write for journals, nobody reads ’em. My students are asleep. But once you step outside that, that’s when you encounter problems.”
and the politics behind his choice of football team:
“The Spurs are the best team to support if you’re someone like me in Malaysia, someone who is up against the system. It teaches you patience, to enjoy the small moments of victory you get, it teaches you to be stoic in the face of seemingly endless failure. If you are fighting for democracy and human rights in this country, those are the characteristics you need.”