Stories

 
 

Selected Writing & Journalism

 

PEOPLE, politics & society

  In Spain, There Is Still the West   Roads & Kingdoms   A European paean to an American idea, passed from generation to generation, lives on in Spain half a century after the filming of a classic spaghetti western trilogy.

In Spain, There Is Still the West
Roads & Kingdoms

A European paean to an American idea, passed from generation to generation, lives on in Spain half a century after the filming of a classic spaghetti western trilogy.

  The Temuans of Damansara Perdana   Malaysia.my   Before the buildings obscured the skyline, Damansara Perdana used to be home to the indigenous Temuan people who tended to durian farms as one way to make a living. What's life like for them now?

The Temuans of Damansara Perdana
Malaysia.my

Before the buildings obscured the skyline, Damansara Perdana used to be home to the indigenous Temuan people who tended to durian farms as one way to make a living. What's life like for them now?

  Pygmies in Peril   Esquire Malaysia   Borneo’s baby-faced pygmy elephants are increasingly pitted against humans, in sometimes-fatal confrontations, due to habitat loss and fragmentation. But if the wildlife and forestry authorities, oil palm plantations and tour operators see the creatures’ conservation as a common cause, they might just have a chance of survival.

Pygmies in Peril
Esquire Malaysia

Borneo’s baby-faced pygmy elephants are increasingly pitted against humans, in sometimes-fatal confrontations, due to habitat loss and fragmentation. But if the wildlife and forestry authorities, oil palm plantations and tour operators see the creatures’ conservation as a common cause, they might just have a chance of survival.

  For Some People, Sex is a Total Turn-off   The Straits Times  (Singapore)  Asexuals say theirs is a valid sexual orientation, not a health problem. “Sex is just not as interesting as the other things I could be doing with an interesting person,” says David Jay. Like having a really “mind-blowing” conversation.

For Some People, Sex is a Total Turn-off
The Straits Times (Singapore)

Asexuals say theirs is a valid sexual orientation, not a health problem. “Sex is just not as interesting as the other things I could be doing with an interesting person,” says David Jay. Like having a really “mind-blowing” conversation.

  A New Hope   Roads & Kingdoms; Slate   How a Hindu epic inspired a Malaysian art form that survived attacks by Islamists and learned to love Star Wars.

A New Hope
Roads & Kingdoms; Slate

How a Hindu epic inspired a Malaysian art form that survived attacks by Islamists and learned to love Star Wars.

  Unseen Tours Kuala Lumpur   Malaysia.my   An initiative to train homeless people as tour guides is helping to put lives back on the map.

Unseen Tours Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia.my

An initiative to train homeless people as tour guides is helping to put lives back on the map.

  In the Last Room   Esquire Malaysia   Who waits on death row? A 29-year-old has been sentenced to die by hanging for killing his girlfriend’s stepfather. He has one last chance to stay alive: a pardon from the King.

In the Last Room
Esquire Malaysia

Who waits on death row? A 29-year-old has been sentenced to die by hanging for killing his girlfriend’s stepfather. He has one last chance to stay alive: a pardon from the King.

  In Ipoh, a Secret Loyalty for Pakatan Among the Chinese   The Malaysian Insider   Ahead of Malaysia's 2013 General Elections, I returned to my hometown to find out which way the voters were likely to swing.

In Ipoh, a Secret Loyalty for Pakatan Among the Chinese
The Malaysian Insider

Ahead of Malaysia's 2013 General Elections, I returned to my hometown to find out which way the voters were likely to swing.

  Dispatches on the Batang Kali Massacre   The Malaysian Insider   A narrative of the events of December 12, 1948 and three court dispatches from London. Has the British Government acted unlawfully in its continued refusal to order an independent inquiry into the killings?

Dispatches on the Batang Kali Massacre
The Malaysian Insider

A narrative of the events of December 12, 1948 and three court dispatches from London. Has the British Government acted unlawfully in its continued refusal to order an independent inquiry into the killings?

  Beyond the Sea   Esquire Malaysia   The 2015 Southeast Asian boat crisis made Myanmar’s Rohingya more visible to the world, but the problems they face have persisted for decades. Now that the annual sailing season is under way, Esquire digs into the roots of the crisis and find out what life looks like for those who made it to shore.

Beyond the Sea
Esquire Malaysia

The 2015 Southeast Asian boat crisis made Myanmar’s Rohingya more visible to the world, but the problems they face have persisted for decades. Now that the annual sailing season is under way, Esquire digs into the roots of the crisis and find out what life looks like for those who made it to shore.

  Paradise Lost in Pisagua   Unpublished   “Pisagua debe ser puerto”, the banner reads. Pisagua should be a port. Does the dream still live?

Paradise Lost in Pisagua
Unpublished

“Pisagua debe ser puerto”, the banner reads. Pisagua should be a port. Does the dream still live?

  The Science and Sentiment of Division   Esquire Malaysia   From freaks of nature and medical conundrums to individuals, conjoined twins have come a long way since "Siamese twins" Chang and Eng. Esquire takes a closer look at the mathematical, emotional and ethical considerations of bisecting a human body and what life is like after separation via brothers Muaiman and Muaimin Azli, the most recent case of separated twins in Malaysia.

The Science and Sentiment of Division
Esquire Malaysia

From freaks of nature and medical conundrums to individuals, conjoined twins have come a long way since "Siamese twins" Chang and Eng. Esquire takes a closer look at the mathematical, emotional and ethical considerations of bisecting a human body and what life is like after separation via brothers Muaiman and Muaimin Azli, the most recent case of separated twins in Malaysia.

  Former Leprosy Patients Search for Children They Were Forced to Give Up   The Malaysian Insider

Former Leprosy Patients Search for Children They Were Forced to Give Up
The Malaysian Insider

 

Personal Essays

  Killer Fish for Breakfast in the Amazon   Roads & Kingdoms   What to eat when you spend ten days on a dugout canoe in the northern jungles of Peru.

Killer Fish for Breakfast in the Amazon
Roads & Kingdoms

What to eat when you spend ten days on a dugout canoe in the northern jungles of Peru.

  The Aunties of Chinatown, Guatemala   GeoEx's Wanderlust   The story of how a group of Cantonese aunties in Guatemala City took me under their wing.

The Aunties of Chinatown, Guatemala
GeoEx's Wanderlust

The story of how a group of Cantonese aunties in Guatemala City took me under their wing.

 

destination Guides & FEATURES

  Kuala Lumpur city guide   Silverkris.com (Singapore Airlines)

Kuala Lumpur city guide
Silverkris.com (Singapore Airlines)

  Hotel Review: Alila Bangsar   Silverkris (Singapore Airlines)   The first Kuala Lumpur property from Alila Hotels & Resorts is a lush and towering urban retreat

Hotel Review: Alila Bangsar
Silverkris (Singapore Airlines)

The first Kuala Lumpur property from Alila Hotels & Resorts is a lush and towering urban retreat

  Ipoh, Malaysia: A Cultural and Culinary Guide   CNN   What to do, where to eat, and where to sleep in a city often compared to Penang, but doesn't have its crowds—yet.

Ipoh, Malaysia: A Cultural and Culinary Guide
CNN

What to do, where to eat, and where to sleep in a city often compared to Penang, but doesn't have its crowds—yet.

  24 Hours in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur   Smile (Cebu Pacific Air)   Edgy cafés, bars and artist collectives have sprouted and taken up residence in the timeworn colonial-era shophouses that characterize KL’s Chinatown. PS150, a popular speakeasy-style cocktail bar, is one of these new inhabitants. Its co-founder and bartender, Angel Ng, who has lived most of her life in Singapore but now calls KL home, walks us through the neighborhood’s back alleys and five-foot ways to show us how past and present cultures have intertwined.

24 Hours in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Smile (Cebu Pacific Air)

Edgy cafés, bars and artist collectives have sprouted and taken up residence in the timeworn colonial-era shophouses that characterize KL’s Chinatown. PS150, a popular speakeasy-style cocktail bar, is one of these new inhabitants. Its co-founder and bartender, Angel Ng, who has lived most of her life in Singapore but now calls KL home, walks us through the neighborhood’s back alleys and five-foot ways to show us how past and present cultures have intertwined.

  Swimming with Big Fish    Esquire Malaysia   If you have an appetite for extreme adventure, you’ll definitely want to visit Port Lincoln in South Australia as a gateway to cage dive with great whites. If that doesn’t rock your boat, there are other fish in the sea to fill your downtime—and stomach.

Swimming with Big Fish
Esquire Malaysia

If you have an appetite for extreme adventure, you’ll definitely want to visit Port Lincoln in South Australia as a gateway to cage dive with great whites. If that doesn’t rock your boat, there are other fish in the sea to fill your downtime—and stomach.

  Kuala Lumpur Nightlife: From Sneaky Drinking Dens to Swanky Rooftop Bars   CNN   It's when hot days give way to balmy nights that this city really comes alive. Here are some of the best spots in town to spend your evenings.

Kuala Lumpur Nightlife: From Sneaky Drinking Dens to Swanky Rooftop Bars
CNN

It's when hot days give way to balmy nights that this city really comes alive. Here are some of the best spots in town to spend your evenings.

  One Perfect Day (of Eating) in Kuala Lumpur   Lucky Peach   Malaysians think nothing of spending a whole day eating. Here are seven great spots to hit in the city centre for fuss-free Malaysian food, from sunrise into the wee hours.

One Perfect Day (of Eating) in Kuala Lumpur
Lucky Peach

Malaysians think nothing of spending a whole day eating. Here are seven great spots to hit in the city centre for fuss-free Malaysian food, from sunrise into the wee hours.

 

personalities, Arts & Culture

  16 Baris Is a YouTube Cypher Show That's Reviving Malaysian Hip-Hop   Vice Indonesia   How Malaysia’s “President of Hip-Hop” Joe Flizzow is bringing new talent and new fans to the local and regional hip-hop scene.

16 Baris Is a YouTube Cypher Show That's Reviving Malaysian Hip-Hop
Vice Indonesia

How Malaysia’s “President of Hip-Hop” Joe Flizzow is bringing new talent and new fans to the local and regional hip-hop scene.

  Bad is the New Good   Esquire Malaysia   Craig Fong has come a long way from his one-liner as a gangster's foot soldier in  Entrapment  opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. Still, he's always been good at playing the antagonist. Here's why.

Bad is the New Good
Esquire Malaysia

Craig Fong has come a long way from his one-liner as a gangster's foot soldier in Entrapment opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. Still, he's always been good at playing the antagonist. Here's why.

  Q&A with Shih-Li Kow   Esquire Malaysia   "It can be quite hard to resist writing about the supernatural because it's very much a part of our life here. You know, you sit down and you meet people and chances are everybody has had a couple of conversations with friends about ghosts or something like that."

Q&A with Shih-Li Kow
Esquire Malaysia

"It can be quite hard to resist writing about the supernatural because it's very much a part of our life here. You know, you sit down and you meet people and chances are everybody has had a couple of conversations with friends about ghosts or something like that."

  What I've Learned   Esquire Malaysia   Three of my favourites:  Clare Rewcastle Brown   Neil Strauss  (&  Online )  Michael Chong

What I've Learned
Esquire Malaysia

Three of my favourites:
Clare Rewcastle Brown
Neil Strauss (& Online)
Michael Chong

  Q&A with Miguel Syjuco   Esquire Malaysia   "We ride our car to work and we see the beggar knocking on our window on a daily basis; our roads are terrible; we see endemic corruption. And, of course, every day you ask yourself, 'What can I do with my life to kind of cope with this? To address this, or help fix the problem?' I think that's why as writers from developing countries, we want to do something more with our work than just entertain or sell."

Q&A with Miguel Syjuco
Esquire Malaysia

"We ride our car to work and we see the beggar knocking on our window on a daily basis; our roads are terrible; we see endemic corruption. And, of course, every day you ask yourself, 'What can I do with my life to kind of cope with this? To address this, or help fix the problem?' I think that's why as writers from developing countries, we want to do something more with our work than just entertain or sell."

  Brilliant Malaysian Literati: Tan Twan Eng   Esquire Malaysia   Throughout his life, the Penang-born, Cape Town-based author has often felt like the outsider, observing worlds as a transient visitor. Now, with two critically lauded novels under his belt, he’s come home.

Brilliant Malaysian Literati: Tan Twan Eng
Esquire Malaysia

Throughout his life, the Penang-born, Cape Town-based author has often felt like the outsider, observing worlds as a transient visitor. Now, with two critically lauded novels under his belt, he’s come home.