27 Jan 2015 — In 2013, there were 35 million people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) worldwide and since then, 1.5 million have died from the disease. The first cases of HIV were reported in 1981. Since then, 78 million have become affected and about 39 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In Malaysia, some 85,000 adults are HIV-positive with 3,393 new cases of the infection reported in 2013. A majority of cases today are those infected through heterosexual sex, including housewives, while the number of injecting drug users infected with HIV has been on the decline. However, a majority of those with HIV do lead productive lives due to advancements in medical technology.
12 Jan 2015 — Scenes of devastation in the flood-ravaged east coast state of Kelantan greeted those who travelled there with aid convoys, leaving many in shock and disbelief at the scale of the disaster. Likening what they saw to a war zone, Malaysians are trying to help their fellow citizens rebuild their lives. The Malaysian Insider photographer Afif Abd Halim travelled to flood-ravaged villages to witness and record the aftermath of one of worst floods in the nation's history.
03 Jan 2015 — In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, there is a tiny house. Wood and boxes are used to patch up the dirty house. There is no water and electricity. The house is dubbed a ‘Rumah Tampal’. It may not be a home for many of us but it serves as a shelter for junkies, ex-junkies and a disabled person. And among its inhabitants is a little girl, who is the subject of The Malaysian Insider photographer Nazir Sufari’s photo essay. Nurchinta Ilyasya Roslan is also known as ‘Caca’. Her parents, who were homeless, are in jail for drug trafficking. Caca was left alone and brought to Rumah Tampal by a family friend. ‘Caca’ is now temporarily under the care of Yayasan Salam Malaysia.
26 Dec 2014 — On December 26, 2004, Malaysians learnt the meaning of the word ‘tsunami’ when a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia's western coast sparked a series of towering waves that wrought destruction across countries as far apart as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia. The tragedy on Boxing Day left an impact on Malaysians, especially in the fishing village of Kuala Muda, Kedah, where it claimed 11 lives and Penang. In Penang, the final death toll stood at 52 and 206 people were injured while 615 houses and 1,332 boats were damaged. The Malaysian Insider photographer Hasnoor Hussain captures life after the tsunami in the two-worst hit areas. Read more
09 Dec 2014 — 'Khatan' is the term for male circumcision carried out as an Islamic rite. It is considered by some as a sign of belonging or introduction to the wider Islamic community. Islamic sources do not fix a particular time for circumcision. It depends on family, region and country. A majority of ulama, however, take the view that parents should get their child circumcised before the age of 10. The preferred age is usually seven although some Muslims are circumcised as early as on the seventh day after birth and as late as at the commencement of puberty. The Malaysian Insider photographer Afif Abd Halim records a mass circumcision held at a mosque in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
02 Dec 2014 — December 2 marks the 25th anniversary of the Hatyai Peace Accord, when the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) laid down arms against the Malaysian and Thai governments, ending an insurgency that began in 1948. Some of the party members left the jungle and returned to their families but 146 members of the 10th CPM Regiment decided to start a new life at Chulabhorn Pattana 12 village in Sukhirin, Narathiwat, Thailand. The Malaysian Insider photographer Hasnoor Hussain travelled to the village to record some of their daily activities.Read more
27 Nov 2014 — As recently as 30 years ago, Kuala Lumpur was a predominantly low-rise city, with hardly any building more than a few storeys’ high. Fast forward to today, and the situation could not be any more different: the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, with the iconic Petronas Towers and massive shopping centre, epitomises the new KL. But, a few hundred metres away is Kampung Baru, a settlement that has so far resisted the march towards modernity. The Malaysian Insider photographer, Nazir Sufari, captures this living heritage of sorts in its element today.
14 Nov 2014 — The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project involves the construction of a rail-based public transport network which, together with the existing light rail transit (LRT), monorail, KTM Komuter, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit systems, form the backbone of the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley region. With the Klang Valley MRT, the target to have half of all journeys in the Greater KualaLumpur/Klang Valley region to be on public transport can be achieved. The Malaysian Insider photographer, Afif Abd Halim records the construction of MRT station around Kuala Lumpur.
01 Nov 2014 — There are two main forms of the Chinese lion dance, the Northern Lion and the Southern Lion. But around the world, especially in Southeast Asia, the Southern Lion predominates as it was spread by the Chinese diaspora communities. Only a few companies in Malaysia make lion's head masks according to traditional methods. Normally, the masks are imported from China because it is much cheaper, but the quality is not very good as they are commercially made and mass produced. The Malaysian Insider photographer, Nazir Sufari, had the opportunity to see and record the making of lion's head masks at a shop in Desa Pandan in Selangor. As said by craftsman Wong Soon Fai: “It is hard to play the lion dance, but to build the lion's head mask is much harder.”
21 Oct 2014 — Deepavali, or Diwali, is a festival celebrated by Hindus to commemorate Lord Rama and his wife, Sita’s return to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile. It was a dark night when they first returned, hence his people lit their houses with lamps (diyas) so that Rama and Sita could find their way. For some Hindus, Deepavali is also celebrated in honour of the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The lighting of diyas would then make it easy for Lakshmi to find her way to homes. Thus, this festival is known as the Festival of Lights. It also signifies the victory of good over evil. Lighting diyas also refers to the inner light, which, according to Hindu philosophy, is called the Atman. Hindus in Malaysia will celebrate Deepavali on October 22.