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College Students Respond!

Remember back in January I mentioned an article in The Sun in which I got so riled up about because there were a bunch of college students who didn't know about the local writing scene?

Well, Joanna Van, the writer of the article, and Ashvini, one of the students mentioned in the article responded to my blogpost.

Joanna Van:
Actually, the original article had the fellow interviewees state out possible solutions to help the problem. Unfortunately, the 700-word limit got in the way and my editor took that chunk out.

So no, they didn't just "whine" about it. They had solutions and ideas (I would be a complete baffoon journalist for not asking such an important question).

As for not wanting to be aware, many teens/youths (this article was after all meant for that group) have their heads stuck in books and nothing more. This article was spawned by my personal experience that I wouldn't have known about the writing community if not accidentally. And that accident was due to a tiny and small article in the newspapers. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't even be a journalist nor a writer, just a wannabe.

My point is, most articles related to writing are small and far between. I thought I could help but voicing out what the youth says and in a bigger article.

As you said: I have no problems against you; but what's your contribution to help the scene? At least we managed to create some sort of spark of debate and force people to face the fact that we're "whining" about something that is very real.
...we're not condemning the writing scene either, that was my point. And also the point of the article. To tell those who write and know nuts about getting known for it, that there are other people like them around and it wouldn't hurt to be open about your writing despite limiting factors and what the general public thinks about people who DO write.

Well, I participated in a writing competition a few years ago which happens to currently be a project I'm still actively involved in, along with the Irish Embassy, The Star and The National Library. Perhaps you've heard of it, the IMPAC Literary Award for Young Malaysian Writers? Also participated in a writer's workshop which was a project involving writers from several countries by the British Council. Contributed some poetry to the Utusan for teaching English to primary school kids in text books.

The problem is, we don't have a reading community to begin with. So the various measures taken to get people interested sometimes even fails to get noticed. I have from personal experience, met many who are interested in knowing about the scene but due to ignorance about it, they fail to get proactive.

Every now and then, a problem needs to be addressed to keep pushing the people to realise that it's still an on-going problem. It's not that we don't appreciate current measures taken to make things better, it's just that we don't want to live in denial of some things either.

That was merely what it is.
There was also a lot of name-calling thrown about but I've helpfully edited it out. Hohoho. Visit Ash's blog for the full read (the juicy bits are in the comments).


  1. Can't see any comments to the full read blog entry.

  2. Yup. Went and left this there:

    "Help the situation by being, proactive, and not expecting other people be active for you."

    I'm here from Ted's blog too. I met Ted at the recent Breakfast Club for LitBloggers and Readings @ Seksan's. Now, initially I was of the opinion that no writing community existed in Malaysia, or if they did, they were all bearded 90-year-old poet laureates. All hoity-toity and artsy-fartsy.

    How wrong I was! What I've found is a growing group of people who care about reading & writing, about creating a culture and environment for this in Malaysia; people who will be more than willing to support you and give you a chance if you would only ask.

    A couple of weeks in, I've not only met some wonderful people, but found a outlet to share my passions. Come join us! :)

    This is actually a great opportunity to introduce more people into our little growing community.

    P.S. The thing that stuck to me most from the comments was your age. Dash you! You're two years younger than me. Darn, darn, darn. All you talented and younger buggeroos... ;)

  3. Haha! Age shouldn't be an issue, Kenny. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Good on you, Ted. Age is just a number, isn't it? Wish I was born 20 years later, sometimes.

  5. hello!

    interesting little 'discourse' here :)

    and thanks for the comments (on sharon's blog haha). you're too kind! i was just generally hoping that my piece would not die a horrible death in the hands of the audience.

    wished i could have chatted more with you that day, if not for a certain old man barging in (:D) and my friends who wanted to slip away.

  6. No, your piece certainly found a great reception in that audience that day, if I may say so.

    Ted and I are gonna start the 1st Pat Low Appreciation Fan Club (PLAFC), aren't we, Ted?

  7. Yes! But I got dibs on President. You can be Secretary, Kenny. Members will be call "Patricians". Membership is free, but you'll have to fork out the dough if you want the PLAFC bandanna and wallet-sized photo.

    And if that didn't freak you out, welcome to the blog, Pat! Nice to know you have one too... will be adding you to my links soon.

  8. 1. The secretary is the one they sleep with anyway, so yes, I'll take this position, please.

    2. Mr. President, I vote for a PLAFC bazooka to go with the PLAFC bandana. Cos I'm insecure like that.

    3. Who actually carries a wallet-sized photo in their wallets? Other than narcissists, I mean. :P

    4. I think we're freaking Pat out, Ted...

  9. 1. Bah! Real Playas know it's the president's post that gets the chicks, the home-made cookies AND the intricately well-designed and laminated bookmarks!

    2. Sure. We will bring it up at inaugural AGM.

    3. Wait, wait! Narcissists carry wallet-sized photos of Patricia Low in their wallets?

    4. But we just got started!

  10. 1. You can keep the intricately well-designed and laminated bookmarks. I'll have everything else. ;)

    2. I love the word "inaugural" --- it's so seductive. What?
    3. Their own photos, I mean. Man, what a numbnuck of a President. (But if the Americans can deal with one, so can I...)
    4. No response to this, strangely enough. I think I ran out of my stalker-juice. :(


  12. Oh, everyone does, including me. I had to let you have something, don't I, after snapping up all the food and ladies? ;)

    Generous, that's me.

  13. Oh, by the way, you can go grab the latest poster for the breakfast club at my blog. I think you'll like it, given the aggressive look on your teddy bear, Ted.

  14. (flops over laughing. i think my naan supper is being overworked by extreme stomach muscle-pulling)

    you guys are really funny :)

    well, i endorse the bookmarks, bandanna and bazooka. whatever keeps members happy! i'm not sure about the photos though - not photogenic enough. i always look strange on film.


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