Columnist

Zan Azlee

Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, New Media practitioner and lecturer. He runs Fat Bidin Media www.fatbidin.com

Would God place an infidel in heaven?

I'm a Muslim and I have been to several non-Muslim funerals and most of them have been of dear family members. I mourn and pay my respect... READ MORE

I agree with Ridhuan Tee

I never thought in my entire life that I would one day state publicly that I am in support of my self-declared arch nemesis Ridhuan Tee... READ MORE

Proud to be a Malaysian driver

I'm proud to say that I'm a true-blue Malaysian driver. In every country I've driven in outside of Malaysia, it is always a more pleasant... READ MORE

Every press has its agenda on MH370

As a journalist, you must always have a certain perspective or context for the stories and issues you are working on or there really won't be any... READ MORE

The truth is out there

So, 14 days into the search and rescue effort for the missing MH370 flight and still no sign of anything concrete. Well, we have a positive... READ MORE

Raja Bomoh needs to be brought down

Malaysian Christians who are practising an Abrahamic faith, as is Islam, are forbidden to use the Arab word "Allah", which means "God", because... READ MORE

The new breed of ‘Generation 5D’ journalists

I wish I could categorise myself as a "Generation 5D" journalist. Unfortunately, I can't because according to Spencer Chumbley, the person who... READ MORE

Frozen feminism

My friends and family all know how fiercely protective I am when it comes to my daughter Athena's exposure to anything princess-ey. I pray that... READ MORE

When literacy means more than reading and writing

Literacy is an important ability that is almost a must for any human being to lead a quality life. That's the reason for education. Every... READ MORE

Get that RM1,200, Teresa Kok!

Time and time again I have said it. Malaysians have no appreciation for satire, sarcasm and humour. And that is just so laughable that it just is... READ MORE

Wayang kulit, pigs and Islam

I remember many years ago, I directed a documentary film about Dollah Baju Merah, the last classically trained wayang kulit dalang in Malaysia... READ MORE

Don’t mock us typical, average Malaysians

The way the government is trying to appease the public with regard to all the price hikes that have been implemented is quite farcical at the... READ MORE

In bleak times, faith in Allah should prevail

Three years ago, I remember shooting a television report about the “Allah” issue in Malaysia for a Dutch news agency. I had interviewed Herald... READ MORE

Tighten your belt before ours, Najib

Ahh... the 11 steps taken by the government to cut their spending. This was announced earlier in the week by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib... READ MORE

The Heat has yet to cool down

And here we go everyone. The clampdown has begun! Shut up your face! We don't like what you're saying! Do you think you can say what you want?... READ MORE

Better resources for freelance journalists

It’s been a year and a half now since I’ve been fully employed at a local news organisation. This is after 10 years of being self-employed as a... READ MORE

Does Ridhuan Tee consider himself educated?

I’ve been secretly smiling to myself almost every day the past week. It is because I’ve been very happy with certain stories I’ve been reading in... READ MORE

Flooding and Umno rhetoric… the same every year

If this week of mine were to be made into a short film, it would probably be broken up into two main juxtaposing scenes that can be put... READ MORE

What’s wrong with incest anyway?

Sex between two consenting adults should not be made a fuss about. A male who is willing and a female who is willing – once they get together,... READ MORE

Johoreans and their blind pride

I have always been waiting for the chance to give my hometown, Johor Baru, a nice, big burn! And it looks like the chance is now. It’s not that... READ MORE

The Malays have been circumcised wrongly

What are the Malays best known for globally? Aside from being the inspiration for the English word "malaise", I really can't think of anything... READ MORE

A racist Budget 2014

So it's been exactly one week since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled the National Budget 2014 in Parliament. There I was, sitting... READ MORE

Waze is the key to civic-mindedness

Malaysia is a country with people that have no manners or civic-mindedness when it comes to being on the road and driving. Behind the wheel,... READ MORE

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Call me murtad (apostate), I don't care. Call me syirik (polytheist), I don't care. Heavy accusations in Islam, these two. I hope the accusers... READ MORE

We’re not multiracial enough in schools

Last week, my wife and I were called to our daughter, Athena's, school by her teachers. They had something to report, they said. All kinds of... READ MORE

Don’t doubt the “lost at sea” explanation

As many would know, aside from writing my articles, I am also a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker. Hence, a lot of my time is... READ MORE

Datuk Seri Draco in da house!

How well do we know our politicians in Malaysia? We know them well enough to know that they are populists when it comes to election period. How... READ MORE

One positive statement regarding Umno please

My colleague, Dzulfitri Yusop, a fellow journalist, asked me yesterday if I could make one positive statement about Umno or name one positive... READ MORE

Learn to swim if you don’t want to sink

The Bumiputeras of Malaysia. The princes of the land. The race that has the ruling blood flowing through it's veins. The rightful owner of... READ MORE

What happened to Shabery Cheek?

I've met Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek on countless occasions. Usually it's to interview him, but there were times when we just had a drink or... READ MORE

Happy Merdeka! Even if it isn’t

It's that time of the year again when all of the media gears their content towards that one national theme - Merdeka Day. How cliched, but... READ MORE

Who’s to blame when a minister acts out?

When an elected minister or politician says or does something that doesn't make sense or is not becoming of a leader, who is to blame? Many... READ MORE

The actual Malay dilemma

It seems that one of the big discussions amongst Malaysians at the moment is if we are actually getting too sensitive. This is because of the... READ MORE

An open letter seeking help from JAKIM

Dear JAKIM, First and foremost, I would like to wish you assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and a blessed Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.... READ MORE

A conspiracy to pull Malaysians apart

In just a matter of approximately a month, we Malaysians have been flooded with all kinds of propaganda that seems to be threatening our racial... READ MORE

So where shall we eat?

It gave me the shock of my life when I found out about it. It was posted all over the Internet. A bunch of Malay-looking (and hence, presumably)... READ MORE

Free Alvivi, charge real hate speech makers

I had made it a point to not comment in my writings or even mention in any conversations that I had about the Alvivi bak kut teh puasa... READ MORE

You can’t teach an old politician new tricks

What happens when an elected representative does something in office that is against the wishes of his electorate? To be more specific, what if he... READ MORE

Your child can vote however she wants!

As a parent, you start to lose control of your children as they start to grow up, get older, mature and become less needy. And as s a parent, you... READ MORE

You can’t fire me! I resign!

Watergate - the granddaddy of all political and government scandals. US President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in 1974 as investigations... READ MORE

Social media determines editorial direction

I travel quite often to report news and also to produce documentaries on countries other than Malaysia. And, being a foreigner in these countries,... READ MORE

Happy birthday, Che!

JUNE 14 — Ah yes! As we celebrate the birthday today of one of the world’s great rebels and human rights fighter, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, it is hard... READ MORE

Will we stagnate with the status quo?

JUNE 7 — During the election period last month, I was pretty adamant about wanting to see change, whether it be a change in government, or at least... READ MORE

From excitement to fatigue

MAY 31 — Last week I had lunch with my friend Liew Seng Tat, a famous award-winning Malaysian film director of Chinese descent. If you haven’t... READ MORE

I’m afraid, really afraid!

MAY 24 — I’m going to be honest and say outright that I’m afraid of the recent turn of events in our country, with the numerous arrests being made... READ MORE

Serve all races

MAY 17 — Yesterday, I got back from a working trip to Jakarta and in the taxi from KLIA, the driver started chatting with me about the recent... READ MORE

The race factor

MAY 10 — The race factor definitely played a role in the voter swing in the recent GE13. No doubt about it. So when Umno-owned newspaper Utusan... READ MORE

My top 5 issues when dropping my ballot

MAY 3 — What can I write about today that would help you make a decision when Sunday comes? I doubt that any of you are still undecided at this... READ MORE

Can campaign style determine a winner?

APRIL 26 — It’s a week into the official campaign period and following the candidates around their constituencies has started to take its toll on... READ MORE

DAP CEC dilemma will prove Malaysians’ maturity

APRIL 19 — The decision by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) not to recognise the DAP’s central executive committee, or CEC, is a surprising move... READ MORE

No votes for racists

APRIL 12 ― I turn to my right, and I see two Malaysians. Their names are Cherish Leow and Cynthia Ng. I look further down to the left; I see... READ MORE

Islam says to obey your leaders

APRIL 5 — Linawati Kate Adnan is my colleague and she sits next to me at work. One Friday, as I was leaving the office for Friday prayers, she... READ MORE

Habemus Papam!

MARCH 29 ― I have a friend by the name of Marcus Lim. He is my colleague at Astro AWANI. Marcus is a devout Catholic and we have interesting... READ MORE

I see what IC

MARCH 22 — Sijah Ejut is a true blue Malaysian. She is an Iban tuai rumah (village head) who has lived her entire life on the outskirts of Sibu,... READ MORE

Ops Daulat is taking too long!

MARCH 15 — I’m in full support of Malaysia’s security forces who are defending our sovereignty and protecting our people in Sabah from armed... READ MORE

Information in times of conflict

MARCH 8 — When conflict happens anywhere around the world, notice that conspiracy theories start coming alive. Allegations of propaganda and spin... READ MORE

Women can be just as good

MARCH 1 — I’ve always been a proponent of gender equality. I believe that anything a man does in the world, a woman can do just as well or even... READ MORE

Ridhuan Tee… Malaysians’ patience has its limits

FEB 22 — I have spent many years of my professional career trying to promote and encourage a multicultural and multireligious Malaysia. I have had... READ MORE

Foot in the mouth?

FEB 15 — Sometimes, people get their feet stuck deep in their mouths that it is impossible to pull them back out. Sad for them, but good for me,... READ MORE

So who are the racists here?

FEB 8 — “It was never like this back in my day.” “We mixed with everyone when I was a child.” “Race was never an issue. We were all Malaysians... READ MORE

Staring Fear in the eye

FEB 1 — I recently interviewed a young Brit by the name of Harry Fear for “Vantage Point”, a current affairs talk show on Astro Awani. Before... READ MORE

Digital isn’t the death sentence for Newsweek

JAN 25 — I’ve been looking high and low for the last printed edition of Newsweek since the end of December 2012 all around the Klang Valley, but... READ MORE

Sharifah Zohra Jabeen, I challenge you to a debate!

JAN 18 — You were way out of your depth. It was obviously clear. And that was the reason why you had to pull the microphone away from KS Bawani... READ MORE

The true measure of a society

JAN 11 ― They say that if you want to know the maturity and development of a society, you look at how it treats its least privileged. But I think... READ MORE

Television news sucks!

JAN 4 — Yes, it sucks big time and those involved in it have put themselves too high on a pedestal to realise this. Newspapers globally are already... READ MORE

2012 according to Google

DEC 28 ― The year is coming to an end and it is time to look back and reflect upon the momentous events of the passing year. I thought it would... READ MORE

Have fun in Jerusalem!

DEC 21 — I’m very religious in my own opinion. However, there are many people — some I know and even those I don’t — who might not agree. But these... READ MORE

I’m older than I look, really!

DEC 14 — I’m lucky to have youthful looks that do not reflect my actual age. I dare say this because many people have guessed my age as being a... READ MORE

Lessons from the Jasmine Revolution

DEC 7 — My last stop in my Arab Spring documentary tour was Tunisia. It also happens to be the first country in the Arab region to start revolting... READ MORE

A passion for documentaries

NOV 30 — Shooting documentaries in the Middle-East isn’t for the faint-hearted; there is the harsh natural environment and, of course, the volatile... READ MORE

When democracy is a double-edged sword

NOV 23 — Sometimes democracy works in very funny ways. I recently observed this first hand in Cairo, Egypt, where a revolution recently ousted a... READ MORE

Back in my day …

NOV 16 — Just a few weeks ago, I was listening to a couple of my friends have a conversation about their children and the younger generation in... READ MORE

Let’s do the Dappan!

NOV 9 — So, there’s this video from Petronas to celebrate the coming Deepavali celebrations. And we all know what suckers Malaysians are for... READ MORE

Spoiler alert: 007 wins in the end

NOV 2 — My wife (being a TV personality and all... whoo!) was invited to walk the red carpet at the recent gala premiere of the new James Bond... READ MORE

My cost of living

OCT 26 — Recently, my employers gave out pink forms after they re-listed and made an initial public offering (IPO). I was pleasantly surprised to... READ MORE

Will the real racist please stand up?

OCT 19 — I was in Singapore recently to shoot a documentary on one of the Malay world’s greatest music icons, Zubir Said, who composed songs during... READ MORE

The snatch thief and the iPhone

OCT 12 — My wife called me up on the phone sobbing uncontrollably, which actually made me panic since she has never done that before. “I just got... READ MORE

Internet freedom: It’s not that bad lah!

OCT 5 — Malaysia and Libya have the same Internet freedom ranking, which is 23 out of 47 countries. We trail behind countries such as the... READ MORE

The opposite reaction

SEPT 28 — I will always stand up for what I believe in. I’ve even walked away from lucrative projects because I didn’t think they were right. Most... READ MORE

Choosing tom yum over Big Macs

SEPT 21 — I’ve always had the indie spirit in me. I like being unique and one of a kind instead of being part of a corporate dinosaur. (Yes, for... READ MORE

Stop spamming my phone, Raja Nong Chik!

SEPT 14 — If there is one thing that I hate to death, it is spam. Getting spam email is one of the most annoying things ever. Even more annoying... READ MORE

It was a different Malaysia

SEPT 7 — Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Tunku Ahmad Nerang, the son of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first prime... READ MORE

My top 10 reasons for celebrating National Day

AUG 31 — I haven’t come up with a top 10 list in a long time. And seeing that it’s National Day, I thought it would be apt to do just that this... READ MORE

Interns — the bottom of the food chain

AUG 24 — “Check out the three drawers full of tapes. Clean them out, arrange the tapes in alphabetical order and type the list in the computer,”... READ MORE

Irritating Hari Raya TV ads!

AUG 17 — Have any of you seen the latest batch of Hari Raya television commercials yet? I don’t know about you but I’m getting pretty annoyed and... READ MORE

The Malaysian ‘kafirs’

AUG 10 ― For a newspaper that toes the government line, I am shocked to see that Utusan Malaysia did not heed the prime minister’s call to not... READ MORE

Janji Dicapati!

AUG 3 — Rumours have been rife and everyone in Malaysia has been trying to predict when the prime minister is going to call for elections. It seems... READ MORE

Ridhuan Tee does it again!

JULY 27 — My beef with Ridhuan Tee began a few years ago when I first started reading his writing and listening to him speak in public about... READ MORE

Darn those pesky evil spirits!

JULY 20 — I know so many Malaysian Muslims who do things that have no basis in Islam so much so that I find it scary to think that these are the... READ MORE

Blasphemous Ramadan

JULY 13 — I could kick myself for missing Tariq Ramadan’s talk in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday but I had just started a new job and I’ve been too... READ MORE

Sex and public office

JULY 6 — Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll... but many would also say that sex and politics go well together too, as far as scandals go. Recently, the... READ MORE

Bald women, fatwas and the news

JUNE 29 — What’s the big deal about going bald? Apparently, in Malaysia, it is such a huge deal that it becomes public interest and even the media... READ MORE

Social media journalism

JUNE 22 — Recently, on the invitation of the British Council and FINAS, I attended the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival in the United... READ MORE

Newer new media

JUNE 15 — I’ve always had the idea that multimedia or interactive content meant that it had to be able to be delivered over traditional and also... READ MORE

Wan needs an education

JUNE 8 — I have a friend who goes by the name Wan (not his real name of course as he doesn’t want me to disclose it). He is much younger than me... READ MORE

A Malaysian Spring? Not!

JUNE 1 — It’s annoying to me when I meet people who say that we should be thankful to be living in a country like Malaysia and that there are so... READ MORE

Those condemned to hell

MAY 25 — Many years ago, I was a big fan of Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, because I was a lover of wildlife and animals... just like him. I... READ MORE

Empowered by video

MAY 18 — One of the main objectives of the existence of the media is to give a voice to normal people, or the rakyat. But sometimes, this objective... READ MORE

Manipulating religion for worldly gains

MAY 11 — One Muslim calling another a kafir (infidel). Muslims simply declaring anything they don’t like as haram. What I am referring to is to the... READ MORE

Violence against Malaysia

MAY 4 — I waited for almost a week before actually writing or posting anything much about the recent Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur. There were... READ MORE