03 Oct 2015 — Apart from its blue skies, white sandy beaches, vivid green paddy fields and volcanos, the Balinese inherited and kept cultural practices from their past generations, which included cockfighting. However, cockfighting is illegal in Indonesia. The only exception is when a cockfight takes place for religious purposes. The roosters are trained for fight and Balinese men spent a lot of time to ensure their fighters come out tops. The losing bird either dies in the ring or gets slashed to death after the fight. Outside the ring, betting with money are common.
16 Sep 2015 — Tens of thousands of people in red shirts gathered in Kuala Lumpur on September 16, 2015 in a show of support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is under pressure to resign in the wake of revelations that billions of dollars had been deposited into his personal accounts. The rally, organised by a martial arts group and backed by pro-government bodies, was held as Malaysia celebrated the 52nd anniversary of its formation as a federation. Many have condemned the rally for its racial slurs but leaders from the ruling Umno have openly backed the protest.
09 Sep 2015 — Makna, the not-for-profit cancer council of Malaysia, organises home visits in every state. The home visits allow Makna to gauge the health of patients under its assistance. Patients wanting support register with the states' Health Department and government hospitals, which will then be in touch with Makna. Patients receive an allowance which goes towards transport for chemotherapy treatments at the hospitals and medicine. The home visit team goes to rural, and semi-urban areas as many of the patients are from the lower-income group, or have lost income because of their illness. In some cases, they are abandoned and shunned by their families. They find solace and hope in the visits.
29 Aug 2015 — Tens of thousands joined a peaceful protest in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, bringing to the streets a political scandal of over a multi-billion-ringgit payment made to accounts under his name. Security was tight and several anti-riot trucks and a water cannon were parked near Dataran Merdeka. Protesters spent the night in the streets behind the barricades. Rallies were also held in Sabah and Sarawak, and several major cities around the world.
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.