Thursday, April 2, 2009


Getting involved with Malaysian Literature in English (MLIE) makes me enlightened by the fact that there is too little I know about MLIE. Mostly just about how difficult to get the sources of the products and there are few barriers for the writers to express their thought and creativity. Living in multi-racial country definitely limited they aspect that they could touch as every race has their own sensitive issues to ponder about. The growth of the literature works written in English can be said quite slowly if we want to compare with literature works written in Malay.

Always in my mind the questions of why they wrote such of works? It keeps getting to my mind each time I come across with literature works in English. How they get such ideas to write something like this? Is it because they have encountered it before? Or they just borrow others experiences concerning the matter they planned to write about and compose it beautifully as theirs? Something to think about isn’t it? If I have the chance to meet the MLIE writers, I would like to ask why they use English instead of Malay. Is it because they feel some sort of excitement or merely they want their works to be published worldwide?

After some times being surrounded by the “marginalized” literature works, I began to notice few things which before it were in opaque state. First, the writers face with the difficulties to write beyond our norm because they are bounded to Malaysian culture and beliefs. They have to obey with certain aspects of life like religion and customs which they cannot simply make comment even using their literature license. The writers also again have to admit that the status of Bahasa Malaysia as national language in some how influence them in the sense of their works. Malaysian especially Malays will go for Malay literature works and the size of Malay readers who advocate MLIE writers is not that big. Only people from higher status of education will read and get the message embedded by the writers in their literature works. One more common thing about MLIE writers is they share almost the same issues to express their thought through their works. They commonly write about racial, political and religion issues which considered sensitive issues to some of the Malaysian.

All this I learned by the acceptance of Malaysian of the literature works in English. They still need some times to get themselves used to this kind of literature because they are set to accept everything in Malay. The difficulties to get the copy of MLIE writers in market also indicates that the publishers face with problem that low demand from readers for the works of MLIE writers. Isn’t this demonstrably obvious that the acceptance of Malaysian towards works of MLIE writers is still low?

No matter how cold the acceptance of Malaysian towards MLIE writers’ works, the essential part is the intention of the writers to make the readers aware about certain issues regarding our country and how to maintain what we have enjoyed now.