Posts Tagged ‘malaysia’


Please Don’t Arrest Me Under The ISA

June 20, 2010

Street protest outside Malaysian Tourism Office, end of May 2010.



January 18, 2009

She came back and said she had told her dad about me

And he had replied

“So now you are dating that funny looking matsalleh?”

That word again I had heard so often

Accompanied by laughter and soft derision

I am far from home, and this word I don’t own

Fits uncomfortably into my personal composition.


(They even call her coconut; brown on the outside, white in the middle).


Are we really defined by race?

By the colours of our face?

But they feel the same; soft-smooth skin

And our hearts beat the same rhythm.


Her father was unhappy

And now daily tells her not to marry; not to embarrass the family

For I will never be considered their kin

Even if I convert and sacrifice my foreskin

Even circumcised I’ll always be circumspect

Given some respect but always a reject

Simply because of my melanin-defect

For both my race and religion are from the wrong set.


It is HARAM. I am HARAM. We are HARAM.


So maybe I’ll never get my Bumiputra discounted education and housing

And I might remain a heathen and a sinner

In their eyes

But at least I try to transcend skin colour

At best I look beyond the appearances and the differences

At least I seek the humanity within us all

They are trapped by their definitions

We break free and forge new ones

And when she puts her hand brown in my white

And the two become one

I’ll say to all those name-callers and curtain-twitchers

This matsalleh has his own words for you

And that is

That some sons of the Earth are real sons of bitches.






Please Don’t Arrest Me Under The ISA

January 11, 2009

Please Don’t Arrest Me Under The ISA


This is not a poem about Malaysia

This is not a poem about Malaysia

This is not a poem about Malaysia


This is not a poem about institutionalised racism

Not about fear, division, hatred

Not about conformity, self-censorship and blindness

This is not a poem about mindless construction and destruction

And slash and burn economics


This is not about a one party state


Nor is it about theocracy, autocracy, hypocrasy and a complete lack of democracy

About dead Mongolians, sodomy or segregation

About apartheid, 13% discounts or sons of the earth


This is not a poem about propaganda, fascism, consumerism or detention

About the disappeared, the Orang Asli

This is not a poem about Malaysia.


This is a poem

About the poem

I cannot read out

The words I cannot say

The things I cannot think, or feel

The person I cannot be

Even though this poem is not about Malaysia


Tell the hakim

Tell the jury

Tell my lawyers

Tell the people when I disappear

When I am detained

When I am revoked

When witnesses testify I sodomized them

Or drugs are found in my house

Or a bullet in my head

That it should not be so


This is not a poem about Malaysia.



February 24, 2008


Whatever happened to individuality?

Whatever happened to idiosyncracy?

Whatever happened to unity? Unity? Unity?

Whatever happened to you and me?


There’s a war going on in Batu Arang

There’s a war in the Bukit Bintang

There’s a war going on in Chow Kit, Brickfields

There’s a war going down your street

From the KLCC to the Damansara Heights

From PJ to Puchong to Ipoh

Port Klang, Melaka, Penang, JB

There’s a war in your kampong scene


You need to get up, get alive and get free

What you see on your TV is not reality

Camera cannot capture a conscious duality


I express through creativity.


In a society where art is a travesty

Self-expression denied with screams of death to originality

A championing of bland, oppressive banality

Of musical theatre and brash commerciality

I fear the seductive lure of mediocrity

And self-censorship, where you don’t say what you think

(Muffled) People here acting like their shit don’t stink.


I call up warriors of words to combat this depravity

Because word sound have power, charged with liberty

Literary emancipators, the inside-outsiders

Introverted heroes of rhythm and rhyme

Extrovert to reconstruct our world with a freedom cry.


There’s a war going on all across the globe

You fighting in that war as you crossing the road

The war is for your thoughts, your mind, your desire

From the moment you born to the time you expire

How you gonna get-de-get-de-get-get free?

Buh-buh-buh-buh-break your mental captivity?

For me-me-me-me-me the answer’s plain to see

You gottagot to think, you got to write, right?

Conjure lexical spells to challenge lies and hype

Thinking free and feeling fast

Combat dead futures by remembering past.


There’s a war going on in London Town

Brazil, India, China, Japan

All across the globe from shore to shore

Whose side you on in the cultural war?


Here is the time you find creative revolution

Artists, poets, addicts in a new art evolution

You can’t see us; we throwing cultural bombs

Art-terrorists, wailing freedom songs!

Storming the barricades of your mind-wipe galleries,

By chanting poems we burn-up those lethargic calories.

Fighting fit, mentally clear

Overcoming the little death of fear.

Guerillas of thought in the jungles of your apathy

Cathartic expression changing lives subliminally.


You see our words is weapons

A poem is an army

A poet is an ideology.

Freedom fighters of the mind, born to defy

Heart warriors and disciples of Hakim Bey

The inside-outsiders, we are many not few

Living amongst you

But never of you.