“I miss my grandmother. She is very old, she’s 77 now…”

 “I love her a lot. She taught me to sing traditional Hokkien folk songs. I don’t know the names of the songs in English, but the songs talk about lives of people in the past”.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa and Christine Cheah

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on May 22nd 2019)

“My parents wanted me to become a lawyer or a doctor. I wanted to become an animator. I love drawing. We had arguments and they didn’t allow me to draw. That broke my heart. I was angry. I didn’t want to leave my room nor eat that one time I was a teenager. I want to pursue my dream juga. I don’t care. Luckily, my parents didn’t take away my drawing materials…”

“I have been drawing since I was seven. I draw every day, even at school. I like to draw cute girls and design dresses. I am now studying animation.

I don’t want to be a lawyer or a doctor because the mentality of many people is that they want money. I feel that instead of money, why don’t I enjoy my work?

I don’t want to be someone I don’t want to be and make my parents even more disappointed. Now, I hope they would accept me for pursuing animation.

This one time in class, we had to draw human figures. That’s my greatest flaw. I can’t draw human figures. I can draw in the Japanese ‘anime’ style. It’s hard already for me taking this course by myself and having to find balance with my family. I broke down and started crying at the studio. I found out later that many of my classmates were actually under stress too.

My friend said: ‘Your drawing is nice. If you say your drawing is shit, my drawing is lagi teruk’. So I was like tak bolehlah downgrade diri sendiri. You have to kadang-kadang rasa percaya yakin sikit. (I got to believe in myself and have self-confidence). So let me stick with this style la.

Her mom also doesn’t allow her to draw and join the animation class. Her mom wants her to become a housewife, to sew, to cook – all that kind of stuffs. I don’t think that’s necessary ‘sebab if you kahwin pun nanti buat, belajar juga’ (even if you get married, you’ll still have to learn all that).

‘Saya nak meningkatkan nama Malaysia. Nak harumkan nama negaralah’. (I want to bring up the name of Malaysia). Animation pun tak banyak syarikat kat sini. Dan government pun tak provide more money untuk animation. Sekarang animation pun ada sikit je’. (There isn’t much animation studios here, and the government doesn’t fund animation as much).

And like every artists, I never feel satisfied and I never feel like I’m good enough. I keep practicing every day. Learning is a part of our life.”

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa and Ariya Ling

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8
(This post was first published on May 22nd 2019)

“I am no different than anybody else. I want to prove that despite being ‘differently abled’, I’m capable to live independently and to succeed at whatever I’m doing. I want to prove my worth to my family and for that, I will continue to work hard ignoring the hardships and challenges that I face…”

“Hello, my name is Ahmad Nizam and I have been wheelchair bound since birth. I was born as a premature child along with my twin brother who unfortunately did not survive.

As a child, I went to the school for the differently abled to get the necessary vocational training. I speak fluent English, I can read and understand things well. But sadly, an education is not enough to survive these days.

So, I moved from Perak to Kuala Lumpur in search of work. I applied for several jobs but was rejected every time.

Some employers even told me that hiring me means added expenses for them, to organise for a special desk or make a wider door to accommodate my wheelchair yet others doubted upon my capabilities.

Frustrated of being rejected so many times, I joined my friend at his shop in KL Sentral where I currently work, non-stop, everyday. Together we sell crackers, cola and energy drinks and water for commuters who want to take a quick break.

I now live on my own in Kajang. Every morning I travel by myself from my house to the bus station with my electric wheelchair.

From the bus station I take the train to Kajang MRT station and from there the MRT to reach my work place.

Once at work, I involve myself with the routine tasks of the job, trying not to focus on the problems I face. Work is the only way for us to survive and provide for our needs, otherwise we are just an ignored section of society.

That being said, I’m very grateful for the job I have today and for being born in a country like Malaysia.

You see, not everyone likes the ‘differently abled’ and not everyone hates us. But here, I have only found kindness.

People from all backgrounds and races (Malay, Indian and Chinese) have been nothing short of helpful, always assisting me at the staircase, to get to the bus or even purchasing our products.

A big show of gratitude to Allah for surrounding me with people who are kind.

If I’m successful I want to help my disabled friends to improve their life and bring about a change in our circumstances.

Like everyone else, I would also like to give money to my family and support them. I want to show them I’m no less than ‘normal people.’

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur
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This story was taken on a Humans of Kuala Lumpur Photohunt at KL Sentral Station. Ahmad Nizam runs a small stall there just across from the main information booth (next to MyNews). The next time you pass by KL Sentral, do stop by to tell him a hello and support his enterprise by making a simple purchase. We are sure we all need water

Photostory by Nafisa Dahodwala and Steven Soh
Edited by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on May 17th 2019)

“I am half Kadazan and half Bajau. I left my hometown of Sandakan (Sabah) two and a half years ago to pursue my degree in Strategic Studies at the National Defence University of Malaysia…”

“I never thought of joining the army when I was a kid, it was my father who actually pushed me.

Also, my grandfather was in the army, he was an army ranger. I’m currently a cadet, although I’m not so sure which army branch I will be joining, but if I get picked to join the ranger, then ranger je lah. 

There was this one time I spent one month in a training camp at Port Dickson, and that was one of the most challenging moments for me. The training camp was in a jungle, we did survival training and military studies. It wasn’t easy and I faced difficulties. At that point of time, I missed my parents and my hometown Sandakan but I just never thought of giving up. 

Even so, after I graduate, I will be serving here in Semenanjung for at least 5-6 years before I have the opportunity to go back to Sabah and to serve there”. 

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Samantha Siow 
Edited by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on April 17th 2019)

“I am going to the Ed Sheeran concert tonight!”

“I’m not the biggest fan, but my friends were going and they asked me: ‘Do you want to come along?’. I just said yes of course. And so I bought the ticket for my boyfriend too.

My favourite Ed Sheeran song is Supermarket Flowers. It’s about his mom and it’s very touching. It relates to me personally because me and my mom are very close, but we fight a lot – it’s a whole mother-daughter thing”.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photstory by Mushamir Mustafa and Christine Cheah

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on April 17th 2019)

“People usually say there are more men working in ‘building conservation’ because it is part of being in the construction line…”

“But as a woman, I have been fine happy with my work – this is my seventh year in this field that is mostly taken up by men. All is okay. I see the opportunities in this field and that’s why I am doing a Masters in Facilities Management.”

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Christine Cheah
Edited by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on April 16th 2019)

“Usul seterusnya, sudara-sekalian: Rukun Haiawanisme. Kami telah berjaya meringkaskan Falsafah Haiawanisme kepada tujuh perkara…”

“Rukun pertama: Makhluk berkaki dua: musuh haiawan belaka.

Rukun kedua: Makhluk berkaki ampat: sudara dan sohabat.

Rukun ketiga: Semua haiawan: dilarang berpakaian.

Rukun keampat: Semua haiawan: dilarang tidur atas katil.

Rukun kelima: Semua haiawan: dilarang minum arak.

Rukun keanam: Semua haiawan: dilarang bunuh haiawan lain.

Rukun Ketujuh: Semua haiawan: sama cita, sama rasa, sama rata.

Ini lah Tujuh Prinsip Rukun Haiawanisme! Undang-undang Perlembagaan Ladang Haiawan.”

– H̶u̶m̶a̶n̶s̶ Haiawan of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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KANDANG adalah sebuah adaptasi novela George Orwell yang berjudul ‘Animal Farm’ ke dalam Bahasa Malaysia serta konteks budaya kepimpinan tempatan.

Adaptasi ini mengikuti jejak langkah sekumpulan haiwan ternakan di Ladang Jones yang berjaya mengusir keluar tuan ladang manusianya dan meraih kemerdekaan. Namun, janji manis kebebasan dan kemakmuran terbukti janji kosong apabila mereka sendiri terjebak dengan pengkhianatan idealisme dalam bentuk korupsi dan kezaliman.

Dapatkan tiket anda di sini https://proticket.com.my/klpac-kandang/ !

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KANDANG is a Bahasa Malaysia play/theatre (with subtitles) of George Orwell’s novel ‘Animal Farm’, about a group of farm animals who fight off their human master, and tries to create a place where all animals are equal, free, and happy. KANDANG is set to open its curtains on 25 April and will end its run on 28 April in klpac’s Pentas. Get your tickets here https://proticket.com.my/klpac-kandang/ !

If you want to know more about Kandang and other klpac’s upcoming shows, follow @klpac on facebook and stay-up-to-date.

(This post was first published on April 16th 2019)

“I would say that even animals can be better than human beings…”

“In many ways, they are. We can be so terrible, and we have the means to be so, I mean look at this world – animals aren’t destroying it, we are. We are the prime animal that is all about greed and corruption.

Again, we can create so much good but we choose to destroy and choose to consume. And we are all involved in this and we admit that we are consumers and users. 

Sometimes the way we (humans) treat each and look at each other can also be so terrible, but at the same time animals can be so much better than us because of the stuff that we do. 

I am the director of the theatre/play ‘Kandang’ (Cage). It is a Bahasa Malaysia version of George Orwell’s novel ‘Animal Farm’, about a group of farm animals who fight off their human master, and tries to create a place where all animals are equal, free, and happy. 

In the end, however, the animals themselves (the pigs) betray the rest (the horse, the chicken, the sheep, the ox etc) and the farm ends up as bad it was before.

The babi (pigs), let’s use that word. Even pigs are actually not as bad as we are, and how we treat each other. 

In the theatre play, you can see how the pigs play the ‘political game’ – using fear to make people follow and do all sorts of things. 

It’s not just here in Malaysia, but you can look at America too, and what President Trump is doing creating fear in the minds of Americans. 

Kandang/Animal Farm, is not focused on politics or the ideology of a political party, but the leadership in culture – ‘budaya kepimpinan’, a theme my late father really explored. When it comes to leadership in culture, is it about power or responsibility?

It’s really about the conversation on where do we want to go as a nation and what are we going to do. For example, my father would ask a question: ‘It doesn’t matter who’s up there, but once you’re up there, what will you do (to make things better)?’ 

Because sometimes we talk about power, we talk about perks and we talk about position, as opposed to responsibility and trust (amanah). It’s a responsibility to everyone involved. Ultimately, as a whole nation, from the different types of animals, we are all on the same boat – so what are we going to do?

That’s the thing about human beings, we can be so beautiful, we have the potential to be….custodians of this world. We can be the best, but for some reasons, we tend to be the worst”.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

KANDANG is a Bahasa Malaysia play/theatre (with subtitles) of George Orwell’s novel ‘Animal Farm’, about a group of farm animals who fight off their human master, and tries to create a place where all animals are equal, free, and happy. 

KANDANG is set to open its curtains on 25 April and will end its run on 28 April in klpac’s Pentas. If you want to know more about Kandang and other klpac’s upcoming shows, follow @klpac on facebook and stay-up-to-date. 

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa and Sue Jiun

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on April 15th 2019)

(In character) “My name is Zabir. It is 1940 and Mak hasn’t left her room. It has been two years since Pak Amir died and I’ve tried my best to assume my new role as ‘man of the house’… but honouring Pak’s legacy is difficult…”

“He was one of the most famous Bugis traders in Singapore and I’m trying my best to fill his shoes. Zubaida, my kakak, is unlike me. She is still with an English soldier in the British army. It is such a betrayal to our culture, to us, to sleep with our very own enemy. She has forgotten her roots and our Bugis ways.

Pak wouldn’t be happy and I feel so sad, and frustrated. To cope with this, I have gone deeper into my beliefs, and I believe that the supernatural powers holds answers to our problems”. 

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

HOKL went and interviewed the cast (as their characters) of ‘Malaya Relived: The Fall of Singapore’ theatre/play, which tells the story of Zubaida and Zabir, two siblings of Bugis ancestry living in Singapore under the British empire coping with their father’s mysterious death. Their relationship is conflicted when Zabir blames their father’s death on Zubaida’s courtship with a British soldier, while Zubaida is convinced that there are ‘black magic’ forces at play.

The next play, ‘Malaya Relived: Merdeka’ is playing from 19th – 21st April. For more information please visit http://www.liverandlung.com/malayarelived — with Zickry Trumpeter.

(This post was first published on April 10th 2019)