(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)

(In character) “I’m Zubaida Amir, I’m of Bugis descendant and my family and I live in Singapore…”

“I grew up here, my grandpa brought his family here to start a better life. My father, I mean my late father, was a famous tradesmen within the Malay Archipelago.

It got harder when the British opened up the trade but my father still pulled through despite the huge competition.

He passed away about two years back and it’s taken quite a toll on my family. My mother locks herself in her room, she almost never leaves the room ever since then. My brother has learned to cope through other, supernatural way, and its upsetting.

As for me, it was hard at first I think I wasn’t too different from my brother, coping with father’s death through “other ways”, but ever since being married and becoming a mother that has changed me.

My husband is a big impact in my life, he’s a British lieutenant, so his views of the world are different than my people. He has never ignored an opinion of mine, he continues to remind me that my voice matters. That wasn’t something I learn growing up under a Bugis household.

No woman really had a say in anything. In fact, when my father found out about me and Rick, my husband, he banned me from seeing him. I went against that of course, behind my father’s back, then my son came along the day my father died and that’s where my new life truly took off. It’s confusing being a woman with a traditional heritage.

I’m the eldest in my family but my brother is the next in line to lead this family. I have ‘elder sibling’ responsibilities which is generally to lead, yet I am never always the leader, so no matter how I lead, right or wrong it barely matters.

I love my new little family with my husband and son, but it’s hard not to admit that this was my way of coping with my father’s death, allowing myself to be lost in a totally different world and finding myself along the way”.

– 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 Putrina Mohamed Rafie.

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