Date : 19 September 2015, Saturday
Time : 3:00 pm
Venue : Rumah Gerakbudaya.
Launch by : Pak Samad, National Laureate
Forum title : Growing up Malaysian: Young Malay Experiences
Dr Ooi Kee Beng, Co-Editor, Deputy Director of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
Sdr Wan Hamidi, Co-editor; Advisor, Impian Malaysia Initiative
YB Zairil Khir Johari, Member of Parliament, Bukit Bendera
Sdr Raja Iskandar Fareez, Entrepreneur
INDIVIDUAL experiences, though strongly influenced by collective identities, are in essence unique ones. But in Malaysia, where ethnic identity is overpoweringly applied to constrict popular thought and rationalise government policies, the uniqueness of individuals is ignored and devalued – even by the individuals themselves.
Paradoxically, the community that has suffered the political ascription of group identity most acutely and most inescapably is the ascribed majority group, the Malays.
In this collection of essays edited by Ooi Kee Beng and Wan Hamidi Hamid, nine young writers – Haris Zuan, Wan Hamidi Hamid, Zairil Khir Johari, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, Altaf Deviyati, Izmil Amri, Syukri Shairi, Raja Ahmad Iskandar and Edry Faizal Eddy Yusof – share their individual memories about growing up in Malaysia, and in some cases debate the racial politics in which they – and all Malaysians – seem inextricably caught.