Skip to main content

Malaysian International Literature Society.

So I assume you've heard that Raman of Silverfish Books is setting up the Malaysian International Literature Society (MILS. What? Stop that sniggering! At least it's not as bad as KLit...).

Their objectives are to promote reading and writing, organising lit events, y'know, those sort of stuff.
Their first task is to organise the 2nd Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival in 2007.

The pro tem committee:

President: Prof Lim Chee Seng
Vice-president: Datin Kanagam Palanivel
Secretary: Mr Raman Krishnan
Asst Secretary: Ms Yeoh Phek Chin
Treasurer: Mr Mathew Thomas
Auditor1: Ms Nesa Sivagnanam
Auditor2: Ms Sheila Rahman

That's all well and great... but who are these people? Are they writers? Well, yes and no. Are they readers? Of course!

Many will recognise Prof. Lim Chee Seng, a professor of literature at UM. He is a published writer but his work has mostly been academic text, such as "Challenges of Reading the New & the Old", and "Perspectives: Essays on Language & Literature".

Datin Kanagam Palanivel is the wife of Datuk G. Palanivel, who recently made news for winning the post of the deputy and anointed successor of the MIC president. She is an avid reader herself, and loves writing. She has published a series of books for pre-schoolers called the Pet Series. She has also been involved in the publication of a local magazine, Junior, later called Junior Statesman. If memory serves me correctly, she also has a column in The Star (but I'm really unsure of this and I'm too lazy to go and check).

Raman Krishnan is some bloke in Bangsar.
Yeoh Phek Chin works with Raman at Silverfish Books (and cameos on Sharon's blog once in a while).

Nesa Sivagnanam is a subeditor at The Edge Daily, and was the editor of the recently released "25 Malaysian Short Stories".

Mr Mathew Thomas and Ms Sheila Rahman, however, remain off the Google radar. They have left no internet trail at all! They must really be off-the-grid people, or maybe they just don't throw their names around on the internet with reckless abandon like I do. (I know if I dig far enough, I can find my name on a webpage from 1996.) Anyhow, I'm sure they're cronies of Raman too.

It all sounds so interesting and I hope this takes off well (snobbery aside).

sympozium writes that Mathew Thomas is a lawyer in KL and has a story published in 25 "Malaysian Short Stories". I assume that would mean he has a story in one of the Silverfish New Writing books?


  1. Matthew Thomas is a lawyer in KL. One of his stories was in the Silverfish 25th Anniversary anthology.

  2. Thanks! I don't think Silverfish has been around for 25 years tho...

  3. *lol* raman "some bloke"? give the poor guy his due - if he hadn't got the first kl litfest of the ground it wouldn't have happened and the silverfish new writers series has been the most important initiative in encouraging new writers ...

    but it will be intersting to see what happens with this

  4. I couldn't resist poking some fun at him! hehe

    But you're right. He has been doing a lot for the local lit scene. We should all be grateful.

  5. Ah, now I see the light. When I first read about this in Sharon's blog, I wondered who these people are. I've only heard of Prof, Datin and Raman, the rest were unknowns to me.

  6. Strange as it may seem, my view was completely different to that of Lydia's. I had no clue who the datin and prof were. I knew who the lawyer was and I know Sheila! Raman, who cannot help but know the bloke.

  7. Yes... who doesn't know the bloke in Bangsar! :D You know Shiela? Care to tell who she is?

  8. what hey are the literary credentials of all but the prof and the bloke in bangsar??

  9. I assume they're close pals with the Bloke himself! Isn't that a literary credential by itself?

  10. sheila, if I remember correctly, was a former editor of a newspaper (sorry, don't know which one). But she's a really lovely person ... and yes, pals with the Bloke himself.

  11. good lah. since i'm a friend of the bloke in bangsar my literary credentials are in place. sorry for you, ted.

  12. Aneeta: Thanks for the info! Much appreciated!

    Sharon: Haha! That's okay, my literary credential is being chummy with Raja Ahmad... Ooh! And an uncle who knew Anthony Burgess! That's not so bad there... :D

  13. Sharon, a most pertinent question indeed. Enjoy this lil exchange of info.

  14. Sorry, I meant the 25th Best of, not anniversary.


Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

HOWTO: Get Rid of Silverfish

The bane of every book collecting person: the Silverfish. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!

How to get rid of them?

If one book has been infected, place it inside an air-tight plastic bag along with some silica gel desiccant. The silica gel is important to get rid of moisture, because you will now place the sealed plastic bag with the book in it inside the freezer. Leave it in there for a couple of days so that those bugs catch their death of cold.

If you're feeling particularly paranoid, (like I usually am) feel free to leave the plastic bag in there for a week. If they're not dead, then you might likely have an infestation of zombie silverfish, which is out of the scope of this blogpost.

But what if a whole colony of silverfish decided to invade your whole bookcase? Then you have to make sure you're ready for war.

Place a generous amount of silica gel (or if you can find it, diatomaceous earth) behind your books at the back of the shelves so that moisture levels remain low. Silverfish l…

Hitting 1000.

Last night Sharon quoted Raman of having said to writers when they bring him their manuscripts for publishing, "How many books have you read? Have you read a thousand books? If not, get out and go read a thousand books, then come back with your manuscript." His point being, you've got to have read a lot if you want to be a writer.

And I thought to myself, a thousand books isn't so bad. I've probably read more.


After some quick calculations, we determined that if a person read a book per week, it would take around 20 years to reach a thousand. I'm a slow reader. I'm only 25. There's no way I've read 1000 books my whole life!

When I got home I counted the books in my house. I estimate I own around 300 books, probably another 300 left at my parents's house. That's only around 600 books that I own... and a lot less that I've read!

So with that number in mind, I have resolved to start keeping track of my book reading. I need to know …

The Water Tower.

Back in February, I heard that local publisher Silverfish was accepting submissions for their new short story compilation. I've always wanted to get into some serious writing, so I sat down and wrote The Water Tower. Then I rewrote it again for another six times. But alas, the story was rejected. Oh well. Here it is anyway. I present to you, my first short story. Enjoy! (Please?):
Suresh once asked what I loved so much about exploring.

“Seeing new things, new places. Seeing what kids in the other neighbourhoods do in the evenings,” I had said.

“The kids elsewhere do the same thing other kids do lah,” he replied.

“No, sometimes they have different activities. What they do depends on what’s around them. And what’s around them is what I look forward to finding when I go exploring.”

“What do you mean, around them? Like what?”

“Like the airport. The kids in that neighbourhood play different games than in other housing areas. I think it’s the noise. Or the planes.”

“The airport! Now that’s fun…