Ian DoescherIan Doescher (US) is a fiction writer based in Portland, Oregon. He is best-known for the 'William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy' series, a parodic retelling of George Lucas' Star Wars film trilogy in blank verse and the 16th-century style of William Shakespeare. These works include: 'Verily, a New Hope (2013), 'The Empire Striketh Back' (2014), and 'The Jedi Doth Return' (2014). In 2015, he is releasing the Shakespeare Star Wars prequel trilogy, with ‘The Phantom Menace’ (April), ‘The Clone Army Attacketh’ (July) and ‘The Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge’ (September).
Ram DevineniRam Devineni (US) is a filmmaker, publisher and founder of Rattapallax films and magazine. He produced ‘The Russian Woodpecker’, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. He is the co-creator of the augmented reality comic book, “Priya’s Shakti’, which received the 2014 Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from the Ford Foundation.
Lindy WestLindy West (US) is a Seattle-based writer, columnist, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humour and body image. She's currently a culture writer for GQ Magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of ‘I Believe You | It's Not Your Fault’, an advice blog for teens. In January of 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an internet troll who impersonated her dead father. In 2013, Lindy won the Women's Media Center's Social Media Award, presented by Jane Fonda in New York City. She is currently working on her first book, a memoir called Shrill, slated for a Spring 2016 release by Hachette Book Group.
Joshua Oppenheimer [SKYPE Q&A]Joshua Oppenheimer (US) is an Oscar-nominated American film director based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is also the recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award and a 1997 Marshall Scholar. He is best known for his films 'The Act of Killing' and his most recent documentary that follows that is 'The Look of Silence'.
Ian McDonaldIan McDonald (UK) is a British science fiction writer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His themes include nanotechnology and post-cyberpunk settings and his works are known to be set in developing nations, and the impact of rapid social and technological change in these societies. His novel 'Chaga Saga' (1990) was noted for its analysis of the AIDS crisis in Africa, 'River of Gods' (2004) is set in mid-21st century India and 'Brasyl' (2007) is set in the 18th and 21st centuries in Lusophone, South America. His first novel ‘Desolation Road’ was published in 1988 and a celebrated cult classic. His other works include his first novel turned cult classic ‘Desolation Road’ (1988) and the three volumes of the ‘Everness’ series for younger readers: ‘Planesrunner’, ‘Be My Enemy’ and ‘Empress of the Sun’.
James SmytheJames Smythe (UK) is a British science fiction novelist. His novel ‘The Testimony’ (2012) won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Award, and his other works include ‘The Explorer’ (2013) and its sequel ‘The Echo’ (2014), and ‘The Machine’ (2013). He writes a continuing series of articles for The Guardian called ‘Rereading Stephen King’ and teaches Creative Writing in London.
Sarah ChurchwellSarah Churchwell (UK) is an American-born writer, academic, and lecturer at the University of East Anglia in the UK. She is the Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities and known for her expertise in twentieth and twenty-first century fiction. Her works have appeared in ‘The New York Times Book Review’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Observer’ among others. Her works include a book about Marilyn Monroe entitled ‘The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe’ (Granta, 2004) and a book about F. Scott Fitzgerald entitled ‘Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby’ (Penguin Press, 2014). She is a judge for the Women’s (Orange) Prize for Fiction, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and a member of the judging panel for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.
Kate BassettKate Bassett (UK) is a British journalist, well known as theatre critic for The Times newspaper, as well as being an associate professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. She is also an author. Her book ‘In Two Minds: A Biography of Jonathan Miller’ (2012) was shortlisted for the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography, the Theatre Book Prize (Society for Theatre Research), and the 2013 HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize.
Sabine SchoSabine Scho (Germany) is a prize-winning writer and poet. She has published several volumes of poetry, most of them translated into English. She studied New Philology and Philosophy in Munster and has lived in Hamburg and Berlin in Germany and Sao Paulo in Brazil. She has also translated the work of Judith Beveridge, Major Jackson, Denise Desautels, Karen Solie and Ricardo Domeneck from English, French and Portuguese into German.
Dr. Christiane LangeDr. Christiane Lange (Germany) is the deputy director of the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin. She is responsible for the monthly programmes and acting manager of the main projects like Poetry Festival Berlin, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, open mike (an international contest for German-language literature), and www.lyirklilne.org). Her publications include ‘Art Cannot Shape the Times’ (1994), ‘Europaexpress’ (2001) and ‘Erfolgreiche Künstlerinnen. Arbeiten zwischen Eigensinn und Kulturbetrieb’(Successful Female Artists, Working between Obstinacy and the Business of Culture’.
Svetlana CârsteanSvetlana Cârstean (Romania) is a Romanian poet and journalist. She studied Romanian and French literature at the University of Bucharest. Her first poems appeared in the review 'Adevarul Literar si Artistic' in 1993 and in the anthology Family Picture / Tabou de familie (1995). Floarea de menghină (The Vice Flower), her first book, was presented at the Bucharest Book Fair in June 2008. Highly emotional and playful, she has contributed poetry and articles to the following literary reviews: Luceafarul, Adevarul Literar si Artistic, 22, Dilema, Interval, Euresis, L’Invitation, Cartea and Exces. Svetlana Cârstean has worked as a freelance journalist for press and television and has edited various magazines and anthologies. She lives and works in Bucharest, where she also teaches French.
Ira TrivediIra Trivedi (India) is an Indian novelist, speaker and yoga teacher. Educated at Wellesley College and Columbia Business School, she has published three fiction novels: her debut 'What Would You Do to Save the World?' (2006), 'The Great Indian Love Story' (2009), and 'There is No Love on Wall Street' (2011). Her most recent book and first work of non-fiction is 'India in Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century', a landmark book on India's new social revolution in marriage and sexuality.
Chandrahas ChoudhuryChandrahas Choudhury (India) is a novelist from India. He writes a weekly column for Bloomberg View, and his essays and book reviews have appeared in The National, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy and The New York Times. He is also the editor of the anthology of Indian fiction 'India: A Travellers Literary Companion'. His novel 'Arzee the Dwarf' is published by the New York Review Books.
Sonny LiewSonny Liew (Singapore) is a Malaysia-born, Singapore-based comics artist. He has received Eisner nominations for his work on ‘Wonderland’, ‘Liquid City’ and the New York Times bestseller ‘The Shadow Hero’. Other honours include a Xeric grant, the Best Science Fiction Comic Album Award at the Utopiales SF Festival in Nantes, and the Singapore National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award. His recent works include ‘The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye’ and a new ‘Doctor Fate’ series for DC Comics.
Ovidia YuOvidia Yu (Singapore) is a Singapore-based writer who has won international awards for her plays, children's books and short stories. Trying to write her favourite food, people and places into books resulted in her murder mysteries: ‘Aunty Lee’s Delights’, ‘Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials’, and the forthcoming ‘Aunty Lee's Chilled Vengeance’.
Gwee Li SuiGwee Li Sui (Singapore) is a poet, a graphic artist, and a literary critic. His works of verse include ‘Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems?’ (1998), ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ (2014), and the forthcoming ‘The Other Merlion and Friends’ (2015). He wrote Singapore’s first full-length graphic novel in English ‘Myth of the Stone’ (1993), which has since been re-released in an expanded 20th-anniversary edition. A familiar name in Singapore’s literary scene, Gwee has written and lectured on a range of cultural subjects. He edited ‘Sharing Borders: Studies in Contemporary Singaporean-Malaysian Literature II’ (2009), ‘Telltale: Eleven Stories’ (2010), and ‘Man/Born/Free: Writings on the Human Spirit from Singapore’ (2011) and wrote ‘FEAR NO POETRY!: An Essential Guide to Close Reading (2014)’.
Lim Cheng TjuLim Cheng Tju (Singapore) is an educator who writes about history and popular culture. His articles have appeared in the Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, Journal of Popular Culture and Print Quarterly. He is the Singaporean country editor for the International Journal of Comic Art and also the co-editor of ‘Liquid City 2’, an anthology of Southeast Asian comics published by Image Comics. He is one of the authors of ‘The University Socialist Club’ and the ‘Contest for Malaya: Tangled Strands of Modernity’ (Amsterdam University Press/National University of Singapore Press).
Letyar TunLetyar Tun (Myanmar) is a writer, editor and political prisoner of Myanmar. He joined the 1988 democratic movement working for the newspaper Nyinyootyay (‘To Unite’) and participated in anti-government demonstrations. He was arrested for cutting down trees used in blocking the streets from army convoys. After his release from custody he joined the All Burma Student Democratic Front on the Thai/Burma border. In 1991 he was re-arrested and sentenced to 5 years in prison, released with remission in June 1995. In 1998 he was arrested once, charged with high treason by military intelligence and received the death sentence. After 14 years on death row he was finally released on 19th November 2012 in an amnesty to recognise President Obama’s historic visit to Burma.
He is an editor at the ‘Popular Literature and Art’ journal as an Executive Editor, writing short stories, news features and translating articles. He teaches English at ‘Educational Network Language’ School, founded by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and has led short story workshops in the British Council’s ‘Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds’ project that supports freedom of expression in ethnic nationality literature, cementing his transition from a member of the armed revolution to Burma’s intellectual evolution.
His current work includes concentrating on a photo essay titled “The Transitional Justice”, which is a part of a photography project named “Framing the Transition”, and to focus on his own translation work.
Kuo-Yu LiangKuo-Yu Liang (USA) is a Vice President at Diamond Comics, the world’s largest distributor of comics, manga, toys, games and collectibles. Born in Taiwan, he currently lives in Seattle, USA, but travels extensively around the world on the business of pop-culture. He was recently a guest at the Middle East Film and Comic Con, the Bangalore Comic Con, and the inaugural Shanghai Comic Con.
Landung SimatupangLandung Simatupang (Indonesia) is an Indonesian actor, theatre director, writer and translator who lives in Jogjakarta. He joined the Gadjah Mada Theatre and later STEMKA between 1974 and 1988. In collaboration with various theater groups, he has directed and staged Indonesian and foreign manuscripts, covering the works of Emanuel Robbies, Ugo Betti, Arifin C. Noor, Alexander Dumas, Moliere, William Saroyan, Motinggo Busye, Wisran Hadi, Anton Chekov, Hella S. Haasse, Christopher Fly, Federico Garcia Lorca, Eugene lonesco and TS Eliot. He enriched his experience while working with Black Swan Theater Company, Perth, West Australia, as an actor and a translator of the text (Javanese – English) in the staging of the play ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’, directed by Andrew Ross for the Festival of Perth in 1999. With Yudi Ahmad Tajuddin, Landung directed Teater Garasi in an adaptation and staging of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Endgame’, which toured Jogjakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Jakarta in 1999-2000. As a theater actor, Landung has appeared in many performances and roles, including ‘The Ocean Sings’ by Putu Wijaya (1973), ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett (1984), ‘Mengapa Kau Culik Anak Kami’ by Seno Gumira Ajidarma (2001), and ‘Opera 3 Babak Tan Malaka’ at Graha Bhakti Budaya (2011).
Arif Rafhan OthmanArif Rafhan Othman is a comic artist, illustrator, doodler and teacher whose work ranges from paintings to animation. Arif is currently working on carpentry, publishing illustrations and graphic novels, as well as creating new media and interactive content. On Saturday mornings, he teaches doodle art to kids in his neighbourhood.
Anne OoiAnne Ooi hails from Canterbury, England. She worked as a professional social worker in the UK before relocating to Malaysia 20 years ago. Anne has presented at public exhibitions, schools, bookstores, and shopping malls. Apart from conducting workshops on storytelling, Anne also has storytelling sessions at a public library in the Klang Valley.
Sam HepburnSam Hepburn is a Scottish-Chinese writer and cartoonist, with a background in writing for advertising and design, but as of 2010 has also been drawing and painting cartoons. Sam has published independent books and taken part in exhibitions, which are things she loves to do. Her current projects are a picture book about the zoo and a webcomic about advertising.
Eddin KhooEddin Khoo is a poet, writer, translator and journalist. Eddin studied Politics at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies as a British High Commissioner’s Chevening Scholar. Following a tenure as an arts and culture journalist with the Sunday Star, he founded the cultural centre Pusaka and the publishing house, Kala, which devotes itself to publishing literary translations from the world’s languages into Malay. Eddin is currently translating the poetry of Goenawan Mohammad and Latiff Mohidin into English, and Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman into Malay.
Pauline FanPauline Fan is a writer, poet and literary translator. She studied East Asian History, Literature and Philosophy at New York University and holds a Masters in German Literature from Oxford University. She has translated several books from German to Malay, including Dendang Cinta (Liebesgedichte) by Bertolt Brecht, Apa itu Pencerahan (Was ist Aufklärung) by Immanuel Kant and Nathan yang Bijak (Nathan der Weise) by G.E. Lessing. She has also translated several stories by Franz Kafka into Malay. Pauline is currently translating the poems of Paul Celan, Briefe an einen jungen Dichter by Rainer Maria Rilke, and the poems of George Szirtes into Malay. She also translates German and Malay poetry and prose into English. Pauline regularly contributes articles on cultural heritage to the New Straits Times and writes columns for Malaysiakini BM and Malay Mail Online.
Dr. Heng Aik ChengDr. Heng Aik Cheng is the Vice President and Executive Committee Member of MERCY Malaysia. He is currently a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Traumatologist at the Sabah Medical Centre. He joined MERCY Malaysia as a volunteer in 2002, and was elected to the Executive Council (ExCo) in the same year. He has been involved in local missions in Malaysia and international missions in Philippines, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Yogjakarta, Gaza, Padang and Chile. Dr. Heng was lead the first mission team to the recent earthquake in Nepal. He serves on the Board of Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network (ADRRN) and represents MERCY Malaysia in AADMER Partnership Group (APG)- ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency (AADMER), Asia Pacific Conferences on Military Assistance to Disaster Relief Operations (APC- MADRO), Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance (ALNAP) and Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP). In the field of civil society, Dr Heng has served as President for the Rotary Club Kota Kinabalu (1998-1999). He is the President of The Sabah Society from 2011 to 2012. Dr Heng graduated with a Bachelor in Medicine; Surgery and Art of Obstetrics from Queen’s University Belfast and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1982.
Vice President I
Executive Committee Member
Bernice ChaulyBernice Chauly is a Malaysian writer, poet and educator. Born in George Town, Penang to Chinese-Punjabi teachers, she read Education, TESL and English Literature in Canada as a government scholar. For over 20 years, she has worked extensively in the creative industries as a writer, teacher, photographer, actor and filmmaker and has won multiple awards for her work and her contribution to the arts in Malaysia.
In 1998, she began organizing literary events, and in 2005, founded Readings, the longest-running live literary platform in Kuala Lumpur. In 2011, she was Festival Director for the Writers Unlimited Tour Kuala Lumpur/Makassar and invited to be Festival Director of the George Town Literary Festival in Penang (2011-2013, present -) and Co-Festival Curator at Read My World Internationaal Literatuurfestival Amsterdam (2015). She is the author of five books, which include poetry and prose; ‘going there and coming back’ (1997), ‘The Book of Sins’ (2008), ‘Lost in KL’ (2008) and the acclaimed memoir ‘Growing Up With Ghosts’ (2011) which won in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 in the Non-Fiction Category and ‘Onkalo’ (2013), her third collection of poems. She has lectured for over 12 years in Creative Writing at colleges and universities in Kuala Lumpur and is an Honorary Fellow in Writing at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2014). She is the founder and director of the KL Writers Workshop (KLWW).
Nadira IlanaNadira Ilana is a writer-filmmaker from Kota Kinabalu. She holds a BFA in Film and Television from Queensland University of Technology. Her historical documentary The Silent Riot was awarded Best Documentary at the Freedom Film Festival in 2012. She is now working on her first feature film, Wilderness, and is also leading the Malaysian edition of Big Stories, Small Towns, a global storytelling project that has seen her working with communities in Bongkud, Sabah.
Adam AdliAdam Adli is a student activist.
Masjaliza HamzahMasjaliza Hamzah is a sub-editor for Malaysiakini and a board member for Sisters in Islam. She served as the executive director at the Centre for Independent Journalism from 2010-2014, championing media freedom and access to information, and was once a secretariat member of SUARAM.
Toh Kin WoonA former icon of Gerakan, through which he served as a Member of Parliament, Toh Kin Woon left the party in 2008 to delve further into activism. He currently serves as Bersih 2.0's vice-chairperson for the Northern Peninsula. In addition to his advisory role at the Lim Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre and Institut Rakyat, he had an illustrious academic career as a visiting fellow to the University of Sydney, Australia, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, University of the Philippines, Diliman and the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto, Japan.
Amir HafiziAmir Hafizi has worked in the media for 12 years in various fields and companies including The Malay Mail, Astro, Media Prima and The Malaysian Reserve. He has written five movies and a few TV series, a novel and edited a short story compilation. He also started a comics publishing company with Roy Ablah in December 2014. Maple Comics has published three titles so far and hope to push six titles a year.
Pang Khee TeikPang Khee Teik is a Malaysian arts consultant, activist, curator, photographer, and writer. In 2008, he co-founded sexuality rights festival Seksualiti Merdeka; it was banned by the police in 2011. He was formerly the arts programme director at The Annexe Gallery and editor of arts website Kakiseni.com. Pang recently graduated with an MA in Gender, Sexuality & Culture from Birkbeck, University of London, under the Chevening Scholarship.
Zen ChoZen Cho is the author of Crawford Award-winning short story collection ‘Spirits Abroad’ and editor of anthology ‘Cyberpunk: Malaysia’, both published by Buku Fixi. She has been nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Pushcart Prize, and honour-listed for the Carl Brandon Society Awards. Her debut novel ‘Sorcerer to the Crown’ is due from Ace/Roc Books (US) and Pan Macmillan (UK and Commonwealth) in September 2015.
Sharmilla GanesanSharmilla Ganesan is a chief reporter with The Star, an English newspaper in Malaysia. As part of the features desk, she coordinates the literary section. She also writes a variety of lifestyle-related stories, with a focus on book, arts and movie reviews. Sharmilla has a fortnightly literary column called “Booked Out”, which aims to discuss books and the act of reading in an accessible manner.
Gaik Cheng KhooGaik Cheng Khoo teaches film and television at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. Her research focuses on cosmopolitan spaces that includes eating places and independent filmmaking in Malaysia. She is interested in multiculturalism, citizenship and forms of belonging whether they manifest on film, virtual fora and food. She recently co-authored a book ‘Eating Together: Food, Space and Identity in Malaysia and Singapore’ with Jean Duruz, available at stores locally.
Maya Tan AbdullahMaya Tan Abdullah is a producer/presenter at BFM 89.9, The Business Station. She is a writer, a mother, a performer of music and theatre, and an all-round imperfect human being enjoying the many lessons in life.
Dato’ Kamil OthmanDato’ Kamil Othman has been a film buff since he was 8 and one of the few who could swear he lost it at the movies. Educated at the Malay College in Kuala Kangsar, he left for England dreaming of becoming a filmmaker but ended up with an Economics and Accounting degree. While there, he would be seen hanging around the National Film Theatre or a Sci-Fi bookshop or at concerts by the likes of Frank Zappa and Miles Davies. Upon his return, he worked for Shell Malaysia. Two decades later , he was with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC) to head the Creative Multimedia Division. Just last year, he was appointed the Director General for the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS). If life were like a Hindi movie, he wouldn’t know where the next song and dance will be, but he’ll be prepared to dance along.
Georgina PeterThe kitchen has always been sort of a laboratory to Georgina Peter. Mix this, measure that and produce something creative and new. In 2013, together with her husband John Peter, they gave up our corporate careers in Education and Advertising to jump headlong into the world of food. Bacon was the focus as they realized that no one was doing anything spectacular with it. Proud to be called an Artisan Gourmet Food company, they like to think that they create artistic flavours that are one of a kind and not run of the mill, dedicated to the vision of producing “affordable gourmet” homemade delicacies that are accessible to everyone. Something special for everyday of the week!
Fay KhooWriter and presenter Fay Khoo has authored numerous books on food, the most recent of which won the Best Local Cookbook in the World title at the prestigious Gourmand Awards in Paris. Apart from books, Fay also presents food shows on television and is the host of Feeding Time on BFM.
Zan AzleeZan Azlee is a multimedia journalist who has written three books, made numerous documentary films, and is currently the Senior Editor for Digital Media at Astro AWANI. He writes several columns for AstroAWANI.com, The Malaysian Insider, Kopitiam Ekonomi and MakChic.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast called The Fat Bidin Podcast with his brother Aizyl Azlee where they pretend to be intellectuals discussing media-related issues. His work can be seen at FatBidin.com.
Ahmad Fuad RahmatAhmad Fuad Rahmat is Editor-in-Chief for projekdialog.com, an online publication on intercultural relations and politics in Malaysia. He is the producer of Night School, a show on BFM radio about philosophy and social theory. He is currently completing a PhD at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.
Azwan MahzanAzwan Mahzan is Editor-in-Chief of Coconuts KL. He has been involved in Malaysian entertainment and lifestyle media for the past decade, having served as Associate Editor of JUICE Magazine Malaysia, Photo Editor for Catcha Publishing, and Editor of The Way of the DJ, by award-winning producer and label owner DJ Fuzz. His own photography has been exhibited, most recently in 2014.
John KrichJohn Krich is the author of nine published books, including the Hemingway Award winning novel on the private life of Fidel Castro, ‘A Totally Free Man’ and the much acclaimed anti-travelogue ‘Music in Every Room: Around the World in a Bad Mood.’ He was the main food critic and arts feature writer for the Asian Wall St Journal for six years and has contributed to many major publications, including The New York Times, SF Examiner, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Time/Asia, Vogue, etc. His other books including a study of Brazilian music and ‘Won Ton Lust’, a search for the world's best Chinese restaurant. Born in New York City, and residing many years in San Francisco, he has lived in Asia since 1999. As a journalist or fiction writer, travel literature luminary or columnist/critic, he always delves into crossing cultures and the personal as political.
Chak Onn LauChak Onn Lau is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of CILISOS.MY, a site that achieved more than 200,000 shares on its articles in its first eight months of operation. Strangely, he comes from traditional media background, previously running magazines NewMan and Stuff, and he even did a short stint selling banner space for MSN.
Eric PerisEric Peris spent 24 years as a photojournalist with the New Straits Times. He was Photo Editor of the New Straits Times from 1991 until retirement in 1994. He also ran a weekly photo column for the New Sunday Times special section, Sundate, from January 1986 to December 1998. He has held 36 solo exhibitions since 1982.
Jac sm KeeJac sm Kee is a feminist activist working on a range of issues related to the internet and human rights, including freedom of expression, women's rights, privacy and sexuality. She is currently co-Director of Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia, an organisation working on media freedom and freedom of expression in Malaysia. She is also manager of the Women's Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications, a global membership based organisation working on internet for social justice.
Jahabar SadiqJahabar Sadiq serves as Chief Executive Officer and Editor at The Malaysian Insider. Formerly a Reuters correspondent and senior TV producer, Jahabar Sadiq has worked as a journalist in Malaysia and the region since 1988.
Leslie LauLeslie Lau is a journalist who has been Executive Editor of Malay Mail Online since June 2013. His first foray into online journalism was as Executive Editor at The Malaysian Insider from 2008 until 2013. He started his career at The Star newspaper in the early 1990s and has worked for NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, as well as the Malaysia Correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times. He is an entertainment and news junkie who no longer reads newspapers, and sheds tears only for Manchester United.
Ling LowLing Low is Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine Poskod.MY and produces the annual Poskod Journalism Campus. Prior to re-launching Poskod.MY in 2012, she worked for Time Out Malaysia. Her feature stories have been published in The Edge and Esquire Malaysia. She can also sometimes be found behind the camera, making films.
Mahen BalaMahen Bala is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Kuala Lumpur. With a passion for history, his works focus on documenting the often forgotten parts of our culture and heritage, an essential part in the journey of rediscovering the Malaysian identity. Most recently, he worked on documenting the old cinemas of Kuala Lumpur and the life of a retiring film projectionist. His photographs can be viewed online at 54joules.com.
Niki CheongNiki Cheong lectures on media, politics and power. He was formerly editor of the award-winning youth team R.AGE at The Star, and currently pens regular columns for the paper (The Bangsar Boy) and Esquire magazine (Digital Man) on socio-cultural and digital issues. Niki's passion for issues of unity and diversity manifests through story-telling projects like www.MyMalaysia50.com and www.LimaPuluhTujuh.com, featuring stories of Malaysians from all walks of life. He has consulted organisations such as UNAIDS, Malaysian AIDS Council, National Cancer Society of Malaysia and more as well as led several issue-based online social movements in Malaysia. Niki's research interest lies at the intersection of journalism, politics and digital culture. He also runs his own site, www.NikiCheong.com.
Prangtip DaoruengPrangtip Daorueng is a Thai freelance journalist and member of the Washington-based Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). In the past 25 years she has covered both national and regional issues for local and regional media organizations such as Bangkok-based Asia Times, Inter Press Service, Far Eastern Economic Review and www.icij.org. In 2000, she worked as country director for Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA). She is now active in investigative reporting and journalism training for online news site www.isranews.com under Isra Foundation, Thai
Sharaad KuttanSharaad Kuttan is a producer and presenter with BFM Radio. In 2006 he was a recipient of the Nippon Foundation's Asian Public Intellectuals fellowship and spent a year in the Philippines and Thailand. He has a masters degree in sociology from the National University of Singapore, and contributed a chapter to the book Elections and Democracy in Malaysia (UKM Press). He is a columnist with Focus Malaysia.
Suzanne LeeSuzanne Lee is a photographer and videographer working on documentary projects across Asia. Based in India and Malaysia, she divides her time between long-form personal documentary photography projects and commissions. She has worked on multimedia projects for developmental organisations such as International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Save the Children UK, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is represented by Panos Pictures and her work has appeared in leading publications worldwide. Suzanne has just finished working on a photo book project on modern slavery with Legatum Foundation/Geneva Global.
Chuah Guat Eng (Writer)Chuah Guat Eng is a Malaysian fiction writer. She has a PhD from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for her thesis, ‘From Conflict to Insight: A Zen-based Reading Procedure for the Analysis of Fiction’. Her literary publications include two novels, ‘Echoes of Silence’ (1994, 2009) and ‘Days of Change’ (2010), and three short-story collections, ‘Tales from the Baram River’ (2001), ‘The Old House’ (2008), and ‘Dream Stuff’ (2014).
Harith Iskander (Stand Up Comedian)Harith Iskander is household Malaysian name. Known as the Godfather of Stand Up Comedy in Malaysia, Harith was awarded ‘Asia's Best Stand-Up Comedian Award’ just last year. Apart from being a reputable actor and host, he is also a scriptwriter and owner of the Samsaraa Restaurant in Sri Hartamas.
Isadora Chai (Chef & Food Stylist)Isadora Chai is the chef and restaurateur behind Bistro à Table. She takes great pride in being one of Malaysia's highest ranking chefs in Western cuisine and is currently a panel judge for the San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants List. She is also the resident judge for the current Food Wars Asia on the Food Network channel.
Darren TeohDarren Teoh is the chef of Dewakan. He is passionate about his homeland Malaysia and the rich providence of its farms, forests, plantations, rivers and oceans that are in tune with its unique tropical environment. He enjoys tracing the source of the myriad of indigenous ingredients throughout the country, which has inspired him to reinterpret them in refreshing ways as modern Malaysian cuisine.
Ivy JosiahIvy Josiah tries to "live” up to her middle Tamil name Nallammah which means good woman. She is a women's rights activist being a pioneer member of the Women's Aid Organization, also its President and later, its Executive Director for over 15 years. WAO is one of Malaysia's leading women's organizations confronting domestic violence and promoting women's human rights. Ivy is a member of the Five Arts Centre. She is currently pursuing her 3rd Act by expressing her activism through media in all its forms.
Ng Hui MingNg Hui Ming is an actuary turned ice cream maker. In March 2013, she traded Excel spreadsheets and actuarial models for spatulas and batch freezers to start Fatbaby Ice Cream from her mum's home kitchen. Fatbaby Ice Cream is available from cafes and restaurants around the Klang Valley as well as their retail outlet in SS15, Subang Jaya.
Mamü ViesMamü Vies spent a bulk of his life as that square peg stuck in a round hole. To cope, he divided his time between daydreaming, reading, listening to music, and watching movies. After a botched attempt to reintegrate into society, he has since returned to the one place where he was ever truly happy: the right hemisphere. Also, Guns N’ Roses may not be the best rock band in history, but don’t tell him that.
ZUNARZUNAR (real name Zulkiflee Sm Anwar Ulhaque) is a Malaysian political cartoonist. Through his cartoons, he’s exposed corruption and the abuse of power committed by the Malaysian government. His slogan is “How Can I be Neutral, Even My Pen Has a Stand". He’s won the 2011 ‘Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award’ by the Washington-based Cartoonist Rights Network International. He is now facing nine charges under the archaic Sedition Act and facing up to 43 years imprisonment. He was detained twice under the Sedition Act - once in September 2010 for two days and recently on the 10th of February 2015 for three days. Five of his cartoon books have been banned by the Malaysian government on grounds that the contents were "detrimental to public order". His offices in Kuala Lumpur have been raided and thousands of his cartoon books were confiscated. Printers, vendors, and bookstores who carry his works have also been similarly harassed.
Johanan SenJohanan Sen is a Creative Strategist with over twelve years of experience across content development, product innovation, persuasive experience design, digital marketing and editorial journalism.
John Lim (Writer)John Lim is a sought-after writer with many years of experience in his bag. Having worked in major publishing companies like FHM Malaysia, KLue, The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd, and NewMan Magazine, John is now a freelance writer leaving his footprints on countless projects.
Juana JaafarJuana Jaafar is a freelance writer and project manager. She recently served as Manager of 3R Media, an organisation producing content for young people particularly young women. Through the years she has contributed to various civil society groups and international organisations advocating for the human rights of women and girls.
Kam RaslanKam Raslan is a writer and director, working in film, TV and theatre in Malaysia. He is also a columnist for Options, the lifestyle pullout in The Edge Weekly newspaper.
Marina Mahathir (Activist & Writer)Marina Mahathir is one of the country’s most influential socio-political activists. She is also leader of many non-governmental organizations such as the Malaysian AIDS Foundation, as well as a writer and columnist. She has actively contributed as a columnist to The Star newspaper since 1989. An active campaigner for women and LGBT rights, Marina is a human rights activist and regularly appears in a variety of related events and talks.
Suri Kempe (Programme Manager at Sisters in Islam)Suri Kempe is the Programme Manager for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for the United Nations Development Programme for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. She is responsible for the development and implementation of gender thematic programmes and integrating a gender perspective into the design and implementation of UNDP’s initiatives as well as strengthening the agenda on inclusion, resilience and sustainability. Before joining UNDP, Suri worked with the civil society group Sisters in Islam, as a Programme Manager. She worked in the areas of research, advocacy, public education and legal reform to push for a progressive rights-based understanding of Islam. Prior to that, Suri also worked with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Masters in Southeast Asian Studies, Bachelor in Global Studies and a certificate in Global Cultures.
Benjamin YongBenjamin Yong is a widely-known restaurateur and founder of The BIG Group. A forerunner in creating new restaurant concepts, Yong now has a stable of 18 food and beverage outlets and a bespoke catering service in Malaysia and also runs a quaint fine dining restaurant and lodge in the English countryside. His astute tastebud and business sense has helped him to serve the Malaysian public successfully with his homegrown brand of hospitality over the past 11 years. He shares his insights into the future of Malaysian cuisine from the perspective of a restaurateur and all-round food lover.
Christine LeeChristine Lee graduated from The Academy of Pastry Arts and trained at Shangri-La while developing recipes for culinary courses at Universiti Putra Malaysia. In 2013, she joined Ben’s Independent Grocer’s and started Masak-Masak, a kitchen where avid home cooks gather to learn hands on cooking. Apart from leading the Marketing department at the moment, she also manages and source artisanal and fine food products for the Gourmet department. Cooking still remains as her biggest passion where she continues to expand her love for great food at her Masak-Masak classes.
KsatriyaKsatriya is a poet, spoken word artist and storyteller exploring themes of identity, social justice and marginalisation. He revels in the interplay between lyrical poetry, rhythm and melody. Together with other writers and performers, he co-founded Say It Like You Mean It (SILYMI), a mentorship programme to encourage original expression among young artists. He regularly works with the community, organisations and art centres to further gender equality and freedom of speech through creative expression.