Thursday, February 17, 2011

Eight months on, we are happy to announce that we have raised the full ideal budget of RM360,000, which is particularly wonderful since Volume I has almost doubled in content! Thank you once again to all our benefactors for their incredible support.

Meanwhile, Volume I: Imagining Identities is under way, and we get more and more confident in the value of this knowledge project as we review the evolving content. It's been exciting working with the participating writers, and with our consultant editor TK Sabapathy, putting together existing and new information and fresh perspectives. We're reproducing texts by Redza Piyadasa, TK Sabapathy, Syed Ahmad Jamal, Sulaiman Esa and Zainol Abidin Shariff. Other writers for Volume I are: Kelvin Chua, Emelia Ong, Ooi Kok Chuen, Dr Zakaria Ali, Adeline Ooi, Beverly Yong, J Anurendra, Laura Fan, Dr Izmer Ahmad, Chai Chang Hwang, Eddin Khoo, Siti Zainon Ismail, Safrizal Shahir, Lok How Yuan, Yee I-Lann and Rahimidin Zahari. Once all the new essays have come in, we hope to reveal the contents list. Nur Hanim and I have also begun to conduct interviews for a review of the National Cultural Congress and the ensuing National Cultural Policy - an interesting exercise forty years on, as we try to talk to the original participants, critics and defenders.

Volume II: Reactions - New Critical Strategies has also gotten off to a great start, tackling some big areas - I will leave Nur Hanim to expand.

The process of translation between English and Bahasa Malaysia and also from Chinese (for Chai Chang Hwang's text) is challenging but seems so important - why don't we do it more often? It seems incredible that we are only now translating a key text like the manifesto for Towards a Mystical Reality.

All in all, NMA has become a very positive learning experience for all the team. We're pretty busy just trying to get the publication out, but we'll try to keep this blog updated when we can. Meanwhile do send us your comments or write to us at


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