Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-2009

Abstract

The Malaysian poet Ee Tiang Hong was troubled by the fundamental changes being introduced by the leaders to ensure that Malaysia (which Ee always referred to as Malaya) became centrally a Malay nation. Not only was Ee trying his best to dissociate himself from what he termed the “mimicry of foreign birds” (i.e. the language of the colonial masters) but he was more critically searching for a new idiom which would give freshness to the rendition of the Malayan experience. While this struggle was in process, the tragedy of May 13 (1969) struck: here was a blatant illustration of the extent to which greed and power could bring people into conflict, with the dominant ethnic group claiming victory over misplaced emphasis of national values. Unable to accept the new order, Ee migrated to Australia in 1975, forever lamenting the breach which thus occurred. Throughout his poetry are powerful reminders of what happens when a sensitive poetic mind is traumatised by prejudice writ large. For Ee the politics of history demanded urgent attention and in his own unique way he attended to this, giving us some of his best poems along this painful journey.

Keywords

Poetry, Politics, Malaysia, Malaya, good, just, nationalism

Discipline

Asian Studies | Creative Writing | Political History

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Asiatic

Volume

3

Issue

2

First Page

25

Last Page

37

ISSN

1985-3106

Publisher

International Islamic University Malaysia

City or Country

Malaysia

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://asiatic.iium.edu.my/v3n2/article/Kirpal%20SINGH%20Article.pdf

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