Columnist

Farah Fahmy

Farah Fahmy is based in London, and has written for the media. She is intrigued by trans- and international relations between Malaysia (ns) and the Rest of the World.

The Lee Chong Wei Effect

AUG 8 ― Last Sunday, for the first time in my life, I literally bit my nails. I paced around my living room, I jumped up and down, I cheered and... READ MORE

Critical thinking, anyone?

JULY 18 ― Recently Datuk Seri Najib Razak called on young Malaysians to “think critically” and not be unduly influenced by the Internet and... READ MORE

Yet another book banned

MAY 29 — Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved reading. My parents started me off with the “Peter and Jane” Ladybird series, and I discovered Enid... READ MORE

The inconvenience of standing up to be counted

APRIL 29 — I read the news with a feeling of déjà vu. Here we are, in April 2012, yet the news feels very much like it was July 2011. Another... READ MORE

Elections: France vs Malaysia

APRIL 23 — If all indications are to be believed, it looks like we will be going to the polls soon. Well, at least, you in Malaysia will. I,... READ MORE

When will our MPs act professionally?

APRIL 4 — Following the latest round of insults thrown in our Dewan Rakyat, I wonder: Isn’t it time proceedings there were televised “live”? It... READ MORE

Those poor abandoned babies

MARCH 15 — My heart sinks every time I read another story about a baby found abandoned somewhere in our country. The details never seem to change —... READ MORE

Learning about another’s faith

FEB 29 — You can’t make this kind of thing up: The leader of a multi-religious and multi-racial country is vilified for showing up at a major... READ MORE

Why we need more libraries

JAN 24 — Education, education, education. That, stated Tony Blair, was his government’s top priority when campaigning during the UK’s general... READ MORE

What is patriotism anyway?

JAN 15 — We may have only just begun the new year, but some things remain the same. Take the report on last week’s Friday khutbah regarding street... READ MORE

So, this is Malay leadership

DEC 20 — If our politicians are to be believed, the Malays are under threat these days. Our religion, culture and power are steadily under attack... READ MORE

Voting rights for overseas Malaysians

NOV 20 — I shouldn’t be amazed, but I am.  Here we are in the year 2011, and astonishingly, there are still people out there who hold antiquated... READ MORE

Anyone for PM?

NOV 10 — Not so very long ago, a couple of my relatives came to stay with me whilst on holiday. This was in July, and unsurprisingly, our... READ MORE

Recent events have been illuminating, have they not?

OCT 24 — The suspension of Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari last week was disappointing. Universities are supposed to be places where critical thinking is... READ MORE

Let’s talk about hudud… openly

OCT 5 — When I was a young child I was often told what to do. Salam everyone when we go visiting. Go ask the ladies of the house if they needed... READ MORE

Reaching for the prize

SEPT 19 — Days after the announcement, I still can’t quite believe it. Our Internal Security Act (ISA), abolished? Unexpectedly, my respect for our... READ MORE

Colonised minds

AUG 25 — Last month, our prime minister spoke about the colonisation of the mind. “We might not be at war but there is the threat of the... READ MORE

Whatever happened to respecting other religions?

AUG 8 — A few years ago I attended a debate with a couple of English friends. Whilst waiting for it to start, we conversed, and soon enough the... READ MORE

Advice to the PM

JULY 19 — Dear Datuk Seri Najib Razak, After your mishandling of the Bersih demonstration, I thought it only right that I offer you some advice. Of... READ MORE

Another day, another bogeyman raised

JUNE 24 — In all the furore surrounding the Bersih 2.0 rally, I couldn’t help noticing that all the things and events used to scare us are being... READ MORE

Marital sex and the OWC

JUNE 13 — The Arab Spring may be continuing but for one section of Arab society some things don’t appear to be changing. In March, Amnesty... READ MORE

The importance of Bahasa Malaysia

MAY 30 — Reading The Malaysian Insider in recent weeks it appears that there are a number of people who see no point whatsoever in learning Bahasa... READ MORE

Ding-dong! The witch is dead!

MAY 10 — Yes, after 10 long years, the scourge of the West, America’s Enemy Number One, the man who spawned a generation of jihadists and... READ MORE

Cheers to the Royal Wedding!

APRIL 28 — I admit, dear reader, of a great affliction, a secret that I am about to reveal to you: I am looking forward to the Royal Wedding. What... READ MORE

Mixing politics with religion

APRIL 19 — “Never mix religion with politics. There is nothing more volatile, nothing more provocative than mixing the two. Inevitably, we will... READ MORE

Really now, is it right for Kampung Baru?

APRIL 6 — In two months’ time, the government will be tabling the next reading of the Kampung Baru Development Corporation Bill. The government has... READ MORE

Kampung Baru’s flawed development Bill

MARCH 30 — As you know, I am an ex-Kampung Baru resident who still has strong ties to the area. I last wrote on why I strongly think we should look... READ MORE

Preserving Kampung Baru’s heritage

MARCH 16 — Undeveloped.  Left behind.  Full of Indonesians. These are some of the phrases used to describe Kampung Baru.  My friend once told me... READ MORE

Race, race, race, race, race

MARCH 3 — All I wanted to do was see if I could watch a Malaysian programme online without having to resort to Youtube, so off I went to a... READ MORE

Taxi drivers as propaganda machines?

JAN 27 — Oh dear. Is it getting so hard for the government to reach the rakyat that they have to rope in taxi drivers for help? Or maybe the... READ MORE

Er, why can’t I vote?

JAN 15 — There were two things that really, really, really bugged me as a Malaysian who resides overseas.  The first was something I wrote about in... READ MORE

Just how dangerous is pluralism really?

DEC 23— Just when you think public pronouncements can’t possibly get any worse in Malaysia, along comes the recommendation that Jakim should... READ MORE

What is ketuanan Melayu?

DEC 10 — As a Malay I have been accorded some special privileges by the Federal Constitution. My religion is the official religion of our land, my... READ MORE

Making a case for automatic voter registration

NOV 26 — Last month, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz announced that the government will not implement automatic voter registration: “The government does not... READ MORE

Clean up after yourself!

NOV 9 — About a week ago, a friend on holiday in Europe marvelled at the clean toilets she was encountering and wondered why we can’t have clean... READ MORE

Malaysia’s towering ambition

OCT 27 — It wasn’t so long ago that we finished building the Petronas Twin Towers.  Personally I like them and feel that they’ve defined KL’s... READ MORE

What gives rise to Islamophobia?

OCT 16 — Like most other Malaysians, I too, read the speech that Datuk Seri Najib Razak gave during the UN General Assembly. Going through the... READ MORE

Grudge match!

SEPT 26 — That's what I thought when I saw Lee Kuan Yew's assertion that Malaysia would have been better off had Singapore stayed and Tun... READ MORE

Reflecting on Malaysia’s birthday

AUG 31 — Birthdays are special days, aren’t they? The way we celebrate them differs too throughout the years.  As children, we look forward to... READ MORE

Divorce and underage marriages

AUG 10 — Much has been written about the Malacca state government’s announcement to allow underage marriages and the opening of a special school... READ MORE

Little Napoleons behind religious clubs episode

JULY 27 — We pride ourselves in being a multiracial and multireligious country. Yet we don’t always appear to believe in what we preach. What is... READ MORE

The ABCs of birds and bees

JULY 10 — Should we teach our children about sex? Kelantan’s Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat doesn’t think so. Sex education could prove to be... READ MORE

So who are you supporting this World Cup?

JUNE 21 — Up till the last weekend, three things are certain as far as I’m concerned when it comes to the World Cup:    1. Germany always win... READ MORE

Refugees? What’s that about?

JUNE 13 — “Britain mengamalkan konsep ini iaitu jika ada pihak mengadu kepada kerajaannya bahawa jika dia tersekat atau diapa-apakan di luar... READ MORE

Worse things than being gay

MAY 25 — Never have we been so threatened than by the emergence of various gay parlours dotted around the country. Gays are the scourge of society,... READ MORE

In support of banning the burqa

MAY 12 — Burqas, the all-enveloping, face-covering garment imposed on Afghan women under the Taliban, have made quite a bit of a news splash over... READ MORE

UK elections vs Malaysia elections

APRIL 27 — After six blissful days of silence in the London skies, the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland has dissipated... READ MORE

On child marriages

APRIL 13 — How can it be right for young girls to be married-off to older men? I am as aware as anyone else that in syariah terms, we Muslims are... READ MORE

Changing the Malay mindset

MARCH 30 — As a Malaysian overseas, one of the ways in which I keep myself up-to-date with what’s going on in the Motherland is by reading various... READ MORE

Mixed up about mixed marriages?

MARCH 22 — Nobody ever said marriage would be easy, let alone marriage to someone whose background isn’t similar to your own. I know this for a... READ MORE