Thursday, April 2, 2009


Malaysian literature in English (MLIE) is something new when I started my second semester in my second year degree. Frankly, I only have been exposed to English and other writers’ art of works from all over the world. Yes, I have learmt few Malaysian writers’ writings in my secondary schooling. However, no other approaches from my teachers to explain any further about MLIE. I am so glad and very fortunate for taking this course because I am able to learn more about MLIE its challenges, and its future.

What I know about MLIE is very little when I started my semester early in 2009. What I know is, MLIE is having very slow growth in our own country. There are several factors that will be discussed later, and also the limited sources to gather information and to do researches on MLIE and the Malaysian writers. There are several determined Malaysian writers that survive in the literature field. However, the issues and theme they brought in the writings are restricted to our culture, and bound to the beliefs. In addition, piece of Malaysian writers’ I have read show that they are influenced by their mother tongue. Besides that, Malaysian is not exposed to literature in English. Due to that, there are lacks of appreciation to the writers compared to the writers in Malay literature. As the result, writers in English literature feel being marginalized and isolated.

Deep in me I know MLIE contains a lot of story to share. There are several things I would like to know while studying MLIE. I would like to know, how the writers get inspired to write such beautiful piece. Why the writers write such issues and I wonder if there are any personal experiences involved. Some of them are old and I want to know, are they still alive so that we could get primary sources in order to complete the assignments. Besides that, were they genuinely writers, and another question that puzzle me is, why is MLIE not profitable. These are only part and partial of questions contained in my little brain.

Throughout the lesson, I have learned that MLIE faces many challenges and risks in order to be in the system. MLIE is lacking of the freedom of speech due to certain rules and laws writers need to obey to. They are not allowed to talk on some sensitive issues for instance political, racial, and religion issues. Since Malaysia is a multiracial country with dramatic history involving, it is difficult to write such issues although basically government is giving such ‘freedom’ to write. It is normal to writers write based on their experiences they encountered. It is because; they could elaborate more on the topics and issue. Other than that, I have learned that Malaysian is hardly appreciating the MLIE due to several factors. The factors are, prejudices towards English that is being second language in the country plus the thought that English is still colonize language. This conservative ways in looking MLIE lead Malaysian to think inwardly.

Literature is interesting. I learnt MLIE in few ways. I read the article about MLIE and digest the ideas and thoughts of the writers, and try to understand their difficulties. I compare and contrast the acceptance among readers in Malaysia and abroad and found that all the assumptions are quite true. I read their writings and understand the issues they brought in the story. With the consistent guide from our lecturer made the process to understand much easier. I did researches on the writers and their writings and through presentations and interactive discussions, we could learn better and as time goes by, I started to fall in love with MLIE. MLIE generate my creative thinking and allows me to speak my mind and share in class. Though some of the ideas are acceptable, and some are not, but I realize that I am developing and practicing the writers’ ritual, speaking out loud the ideas.

I have developed the love on MLIE in a room of my heart. I will not stop reading and gather the ideas so that I could appreciate the writers in future. Being an English teacher is an advantage for me to expose the MLIE to the younger generations. My endless prayer to the development of MLIE in future and may people could accept its existence and appreciate the gifted writers. I hope I will be one of the writers in Malaysia and reach readers through my writings.