TRAVEL WRITINGIn its full breadth of form and subject, and I run the gamut of it. This is the space I ultimately want to move into professionally, though I'm more interested in travel writing that crosses into reportage.
"A New Hope" about Star Wars and shadow puppet theatre in the Islamic state of Kelantan, Malaysia for Roads & Kingdoms (and Slate)
"Settling into a Routine of Killer Fish for Breakfast" in the Peruvian Amazon, for Roads & Kingdoms
"Swimming with Big Fish" [PDF] on swimming with tuna and cage diving with great white sharks in South Australia, for Esquire Malaysia
"The Aunties of Chinatown, Guatemala City" who initiated me into my gap year, for GeoEx's Wanderlust
"Wild enough?" on female travel narratives
Introduction to Kuala Lumpur for NBC's Today Show
"Travel for Geeks: 5 Destinations You'll Love" for Expedia Singapore
Fun fact sheet on Peruvian food and drink for Esquire Malaysia's Manual section
My travel blog, Letters from the Real World:
"Paradise Lost in Pisagua" about the rise and fall of an old nitrate-mining town in the Atacama desert.
"Twenty-one things you (maybe) didn't know about Iceland"
"Getting around Lima: for noobs"
NEWS & FEATURE WRITINGMy earliest and most formative journalism experiences were in news, with internships at The Star (Malaysia's highest-circulating English national daily) and The Guardian; and later, a stint at The Malaysian Insider (leading online news source, now defunct) during the 2013 general elections. I have also written news, cultural and personality features for Esquire Malaysia, the leading longform-journalism outlet in the country where I was Associate Editor and Feature Writer.
"Beyond the Sea" [PDF] on the Rohingya refugees in the aftermath of the 2015 Southeast Asian boat crisis.
"The Death Penalty" about a young man waiting on a royal pardon for killing his girlfriend's stepfather more than a decade ago.
Malaysian novelist Tan Twan Eng
Australian actor Craig Fong
What I've Learned: Clare Rewcastle Brown—the English thorn in the Malaysian government's side.
What I've Learned: Neil Strauss—author of lad bible The Game, before he publicly recanted with The Truth.
What I've Learned: Michael Chong—Head of the Malaysian Chinese Association's Public Services and Complaints Department. A real character, this one.
"A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Underachiever"
Interview with Shih-Li Kow on The Sum of Our Follies
"In Ipoh, a lingering loyalty for Pakatan among the Chinese"
"Builders facing costlier labour as ETP project go full steam"
Rock Climbing 101 with the "world's best rock climber", Chris Sharma, for Esquire Malaysia's Manual section
RESEARCHING & FACT-CHECKINGMy experience has been in historical and legal research (not surprising since these were the subjects I studied at university), but I'm also open to research on human rights, travel and development, cultural and social issues, or even the most arcane of queries. Any opportunity to learn something new about the world is always welcome.
1. Assisted in the research for Road to Nationhood [preview]: a two-part historical documentary on Malaysia's road to independence spanning the Japanese Occupation in the 1940s to the separation of Singapore in the 1960s, produced by Rack Focus Films in Kuala Lumpur. Part one was broadcast on History Asia in September 2016.
2. Assisted in the research for an as-yet-untitled feature film set during the Japanese invasion of Malaya in World War Two, focusing on the Malayan Volunteer Air Force and the British and Japanese military forces. 2016.
3. Assisted in researching a background paper outlining the UK's approach to anti-terror legislation for the Malaysian Bar Council Human Rights Committee, to provide a comparative analysis for the Malaysian government. 2010-11.
4. "To a Multicultural Future? The Reality of Sharia Law in the United Kingdom" for my LLM thesis at The City Law School, UK. Distinction. 2010.
EDITINGI can kungfu whatever you need into shape. As a former Associate Editor at Esquire Malaysia, I was one of the last gatekeepers of the magazine before it went to print, and I'll apply the same rigorous perusal to whatever you send my way.
CONTENT WRITING & COPYWRITINGI'm happy to work with companies that reflect my interests, such as human-rights NGOs and travel businesses. Among more well-known clients are Expedia and Tripadvisor, for whom I've written travel blogs and travel guides.
"Emily, counter to all this, is the presence of the good. I had the great pleasure to work with her and be her editor, her support so she could pen articles of consequence and value in the magazines I helmed: Esquire Malaysia and Esquire Singapore. Emily crafted well-thought, balanced and insightful pieces on issues of the day that other media—print or online—rarely addressed. Her on-the-ground environmental piece that tackled the endangered pygmy elephants of Borneo underscored the plight of all human-animal conflicts; her piece on the Rohingya refugee crisis of 2015 saw her travelling and interviewing dozens of informants to reveal its true horror; and her story about the death penalty in Malaysia was prescient on the global debate about capital punishment. Emily inspired me and made a true difference to the readers who read her analysis and beautiful prose."