Columnist

Khairie Hisyam Aliman

A geology graduate turned writer, Khairie Hisyam Aliman enjoys stating the obvious... occasionally in writing. He is still figuring out how to write a proper bio of himself.

Say hi, have a conversation

JUNE 13 — When I was in university, a lecturer once advised me to make the most of my student years by making friends with everyone. And she meant... READ MORE

Not fresh grads anymore, are we?

JUNE 3 — “Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.” — Laurence J. Peter Remember when you and I were part... READ MORE

A writing lesson from ‘The Apprentice Asia’

MAY 27 — So what can writers learn from “The Apprentice Asia” premiere? The first challenge for the show’s contestants was to make a profit selling... READ MORE

Sidetracked by kari kepala kucing

MAY 23 ― Mostly, my work revolves around using the Internet... a lot. As any avid Internet user will tell you, the incomprehensible amount of... READ MORE

Are you a closet racist?

MAY 8 ― On Sunday night, a Chinese friend tweeted: “Why are Malays so anti-Chinese? What did we ever do to you guys?” Dear friend, I have no idea... READ MORE

Alas, I think too much about books

MAY 6 — I wrote previously that starting a new job is like reading a new chapter in a book. In fact, each of our lives is like a book. It might... READ MORE

It’s a terrible, terrible world

APRIL 29 — “Familiarity breeds contempt — and children.” — Mark Twain Some time ago, after breaking the news of my wife’s pregnancy to a couple of... READ MORE

Fasihkah kita berbahasa ibunda kita?

25 APRIL — Kekadang penulis kagum dengan rakan-rakan penulis kolum di The Malaysian Insider ini yang mahir menulis dalam Bahasa Melayu walaupun... READ MORE

Planning your online afterlife

APRIL 22 — People who know me know that I think about death a lot in a preparing-for-afterlife way. So it was welcome news that Google announced... READ MORE

Candidate vs party: How to choose?

APRIL 21 — I remember a time in my early teens when I sat near a group of adults discussing the pros and cons of BN and the opposition at a local... READ MORE

So how?

APRIL 11 — Earlier this week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged to fight corruption if Barisan Nasional retains power after the coming... READ MORE

Protecting the faith

MARCH 29 ― In school, one of my teachers was an ustaz whom we fondly (and quietly) nicknamed “The Rock” for his muscular build and piercing... READ MORE

This balancing act called writing

MARCH 21 — Sometimes I feel that writers should have their own personality disorder classification, because writers live with a split personality.... READ MORE

Your world is yours for the taking

MARCH 11 — “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it... READ MORE

Merit vs self-entitlement

MARCH 8 — The line separating the two is very often blur. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that I’m a third-generation owner of a company... READ MORE

Stop living in the past, your majesty

MARCH 3 — Blood has been spilled in Lahad Datu. Sadly Malaysian blood has too. The Lahad Datu standoff has been going on for weeks. Since I first... READ MORE

Do you dream of success?

FEB 18 — In my line of work, sometimes we get lucky enough to meet successful people who are very good and successful at what they do, to the... READ MORE

How do you properly raise a child?

FEB 12 — That question has been playing in my mind ever since we found out that we’ll be having our first. At first we were ecstatic, as all... READ MORE

Are we too harsh?

FEB 1 — I was queuing up to pay for groceries at a local supermarket when a middle-aged woman came from a different direction towards the counter.... READ MORE

Conversation with a volunteer firefighter

JAN 14 — “How do you look a grieving father in the eyes and say ‘you can’t go in my truck and see your burnt dead child without my chief saying... READ MORE

Corruption? It’s OK lah

JAN 7 — “It’s amazing how much shit people put up with, as long as you give it to them slowly.” The above quote from Mack Leighty echoed in my head... READ MORE

Are you afraid of something silly?

DEC 31 — We all have our fears. We have things we are uncomfortable with, so much so that we go out of our way to avoid them in our daily lives.... READ MORE

On the teaching of English

DEC 24 – Declining English proficiency standards among our students has been a major concern for years and apparently we are now keen on bringing... READ MORE

Save your children from themselves

NOV 29 — Do you remember when you were 13 years old? I’m sure you do, because everyone in primary school looked forward to it. I did. That’s when... READ MORE

Are you ready to die today?

NOV 19 — Recently I met a best-selling author who is just a few years older than I am. Over lunch, the conversation drifted to the writing process,... READ MORE

Live like we’re eating

Nov 12 — It’s indisputable that Malaysia and food are inseparable. We Malaysians eat a lot, partly due to the amazing variety of food available,... READ MORE

A language-divided Malaysia?

OCT 29 — Many of us live different worlds every day. At work we play the role expected of us by our bosses and colleagues whereas at home we become... READ MORE

Are you doing what you love?

OCT 19 — Some time ago, I received an email from a career website I forgot I had subscribed to. The email subject was: “Are you doing what you... READ MORE

Raising children to know right from wrong

OCT 8 — It was Saturday night and I was waiting for my turn at an ATM, behind a woman with a small boy, perhaps about two years old. His mother... READ MORE

Buy more, pay extra?

OCT 1 — Last weekend, my wife and I stopped by the market for some groceries. “Five eggs, please.” “Take six lah, RM2.” “No, just five, thank you,”... READ MORE

Children: Mirror images of us?

SEPT 24 — Last week my wife went for her regular pre-natal check-up. While waiting to see the doctor, she noticed that in the crowded waiting room... READ MORE

A matter of perception

SEPT 17 — One particularly memorable class I had in university was when a professor talked about marble stones and the metamorphic processes that... READ MORE

I wrote this myself

SEPT 10 ― Last week, there was a bit of a drama about a newspaper columnist caught plagiarising. Apparently some of the articles that person has... READ MORE

When you can never be good enough

SEPT 3 — It was 3am and I couldn’t sleep. I was staring at the fresh, empty Word document I started half an hour ago, my eyes locked on the cursor,... READ MORE

Early marriage and lifelong wondering

AUG 27 — “Wah, so young already married?” That was basically my new colleagues’ reaction when they found out last month that I’m married, barely... READ MORE

My first visit every Raya

AUG 22 ― Last Sunday I woke up to my brother calling frantically and asking if I was already on my way to pick him up. I sleepily said yes,... READ MORE

Do you know where home is?

AUG 13 — Eight years ago, I left my home in Kuching to pursue higher education. After they finally let me walk up the stage in a fancy robe for a... READ MORE

Going home for Raya

AUG 7 — For many east Malaysians living in the West, going back home for any length of visit is a complicated affair. Even more so for Raya;... READ MORE

Which bazaar is this again?

JULY 30 — The local Ramadan bazaar in my hometown Kuching is especially familiar to me. Every year it’s usually the same faces selling the same... READ MORE

Earning our Raya

JULY 23 — Ramadan is with us again, and one of the reasons we look forward to it is the Ramadan bazaar. For one whole month, we have great... READ MORE

Finding your drive

JULY 16 — My colleague told me about the time she showed her report card to her older sister. She had landed in the worst class of her standard and... READ MORE

The pain of no goodbye

JULY 9 — Two weeks ago my colleague passed by an accident in Nilai. It was a hit-and-run — there was only a wrecked motorcycle in sight. She didn’t... READ MORE

End of a chapter

JULY 2 — I’ll never forget my first day at work. It was nearly three years ago yet feels just like it was yesterday. Starting a new job is like... READ MORE

When did we grow up?

JUNE 25 — I was eight. It was another forgettably dull day at school. Then he showed up. My first impression of him was that he looked so shy: his... READ MORE

Making ‘feel good’ go viral

JUNE 18 — Like most people, I have a Twitter account. I mostly use it to follow news and other things I’m interested in. Like most people, I have a... READ MORE

Occupation or vocation?

JUNE 11 — Do you have a friend who is a sub-editor? I do. Maybe you do too. Your sub-editor friend, or “sub”, is a writer’s safety net. Throw... READ MORE

In the nick of time

JUNE 4 — We walked through the door. A wave of foreboding washed over us, not unlike the warmer air we had just walked into. It’s a vast, crowded... READ MORE

Chasing your dreams by letting them go

MAY 28 — It is that time of the year again when the academic year draws nearer to the close for many students. For final-years, it means an end to... READ MORE

The quiet wave of change

MAY 21 — Timing is everything when it comes to performing. And the same can be said for politics. For politics is, in some part, performing to an... READ MORE