October 27, 2016

Unheard Voices in Malaysian Writing

“Unheard Voices in Malaysian Writing”

13 November 2016, 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm 

What does it mean to write from the position of marginalization and exclusion in Malaysia and what does it mean to represent the marginalized in writing, either in fiction or non-fiction? To answer these questions we have brought together writers who have tried to represent those voices which are often forgotten, repressed or ignored within Malaysian society, from refugees to mak nyahs, to those who experience mental health problems or other forms of social exclusion. How as an editor or writer does one represent these voices, can one even represent such voices? And how can writing help to challenge the marginalization and social exclusion faced by such groups?


Moderator: Angela M. Kuga Thas

A feminist, human rights activist, Angela M. Kuga Thas holds a Bachelor in Economics and a Doctor of Creative Industries. Angela draws her knowledge and experience from her wider networking and work experiences with human rights advocates on the CEDAW Convention; the human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and queer people; women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights; gender and information and communication technology; gender evaluation; social entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation. Angela’s current interests lie in the areas of gender and sexuality, gender evaluation, good governance, litigation advocacy, women’s political participation, social entrepreneurship, and young people’s, particularly young women’s, empowerment


Hanna Alkaf

Hanna Alkaf has over 10 years of experience in journalism and communications. She currently juggles freelance writing assignments, personal works-in-progress, and motherhood.


Regina Ibrahim

Regina Ibrahim is holistic artist and an ex-secondary school teacher. She switched her focus to emcee for corporate functions, painting and singing in the early 90s, and is a firm believer in the author’s freedom to write and the importance of craft. She has written widely on the topic of transsexualism in social media and semi-academic books, and hopes that her fiction can allow readers to understand the lived experiences of Malaysian transsexuals without any prejudice.


Azwan Ismail

Azwan Ismail is a poet, writer, editor and translator whose work has appeared in local and international anthologies including the US-published Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011). He is the co-editor of Orang Macam Kita (Matahari Books, 2010), the first Malaysian LGBTIQ anthology in Malay, and is now working on his first novel, Disko. Because of his courageous and controversial It Gets Better video, he was listed among the top 10 “gay right heroes” of 2010 by Change.org. He lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.