04 Aug 2015 — The Indonesian island of Bali, with its beautiful beaches and natural lakes formed by volcanos, has long been a tourist's paradise. But the huge number of tourists to the island is a double-edged sword. To cater for the rapid growth of the tourism industry, there is a high demand for basic construction material as more shops and hotels are built. This also means more mining activities are carried out to extract black sand, threatening the environment and the lives of villagers. The Malaysian Insider photographer, Hasnoor Hussain, travels to Bali to find out its impact near the Mt Batur Geopark, part of the Unesco Global Geopark Network.
20 Jul 2015 — Marhaban (Islamic caroling) group is still widely practiced in districts and remains an integral part of kampung culture in Batu Pahat, Johor especially in Kampung Parit Begelan. During the Syawal month, the groups make house visits reciting prayers and praises for Prophet Muhammad. Members of the group also recite doa or prayers of blessing for the well-being of occupants of the houses as well as gratitude for being able to complete the fasting month. A house visit normally takes place during the second day of hari raya and usually lasts until the evening and depend on the village population. This tradition has been around during the times of their great-grandfathers and grandfathers. The group will spend almost 10 to 15 minutes in each house and will try to visit as many houses as possible. This event is a good time to meet friends and relatives, and hopefully this tradition will continue on.
13 Jul 2015 — As we enter the last week leading to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the whole country goes into a shopping frenzy, especially in the city. Crowds thronged shopping malls and bazaars for last-minute purchases to celebrate the festivities with their family and friends.
19 Jun 2015 — Muslims worldwide began fasting in the holy month of Ramadan on June 18 in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, they fast from the dawn to dusk and perform Tarawih prayers at night besides observing other rituals. Fasting is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims believe that during the holy month, rewards for performing a good deed and ritual are multiplied, thus they increase their prayers, recite the Quran and undertake charitable acts.
03 Jun 2015 — Photographer Von Wong was invited to view the newly opened 100-room palace in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu. The palace, named Syarqiyyah, which means "Jewel of the East", is designed by Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley, and includes 5,000 unique drawings spanning up to 9 meters in length, all to create the most magnificent piece of architecture the Sultan had ever laid eyes on.
27 May 2015 — In early May, a regional human trafficking crisis erupted when Thai authorities uncovered graves of human-trafficking victims near the Thai-Malaysian border, leading to a crackdown. Subsequently, Malaysian police discovered 28 abandoned camps and 139 grave sites along the 50km border in Perlis. The Malaysian Insider's photographer Hasnoor Hussain documents the first exhuming of victims at the camp located near the forested Bukit Wang Burma, the largest one found which could accommodate 300 people and home to 37 suspected graves.
25 May 2015 — Five months after massive floods laid waste to the state of Kelantan, hundreds of victims in the mostly Muslim state are still living in tents as the fasting month of Ramadan draws near. In the first three months of living in tents in Bandar Utama Gua Musang, meals were prepared by the Malaysian Civil Defence Department three times a day for the flood victims. Since early May, however, the department no longer prepares food and the displaced have been left to fend for themselves.
14 May 2015 — Kuala Muda district in Kedah enjoys a long history and various peculiarities. Its claim to fame was the 2004 tsunami which hit parts of the Kuala Muda shore. Despite the tragic event, some traditions die hard among fishermen and villagers in the shore area. Along the estuary of Sungai Muda is a small market where a unique auction method is practised. Wholesalers and locals buy the fresh catch directly from fishermen via the ‘whisper method’. They whisper the best price to the fishermen and the auction price stays a secret among the buyers. The highest bidder lands the catch of the day.
07 May 2015 — After 12 days of campaigning, Permatang Pauh folk voted on May 7 to elect a new MP for the hottest parliamentary seat in the country. This is a four-cornered fight among PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, new face from Barisan Nasional Suhaimi Sabudin, candidate from Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) Azman Shah Othman and independent Salleh Isahak.
01 May 2015 — Permatang Pauh is under spotlight again following the disqualification of incumbent MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the Federal Court upheld his five-year jail term for sodomy. The 71,890 voters will go to the polls on May 7. The constituency is a mix of suburban and rural areas in the three state assembly seats – Seberang Jaya, Pematang Pasir and Penanti. The Malaysian Insider photographer Hasnoor Hussain captures the mood in Permatang Pauh.