Stream time: story of a pre-war Malaya-era poet, rubber tappers that time forgot

A screen shot of the mini documentary by contemporary artist Chang Yoong Chia, which accompanies his new batik art series at the 'Ilham Art Show 2022' at Ilham Gallery in KL. Photo: Handout


Date and Time: May 29, 11am

Have you always wanted to take on some Malay traditional dance and you don’t know where to start? ASK Dance Company’s Forging Traditions e-learning platform gives you access to the virtual dance courses. Get to know Malay traditional dance better and transcend yourself into learning traditional roots of Malaysia. Learn through video tutorials, submit your recorded videos for assessment and get a certificate. This weekend, learn the basics of joget, a traditional dance from Melaka influenced by the Portuguese dance of Branyo and zapin, mostly associated with Johor.

Forging Traditions can be streamed for free via Zoom.

More info here.


Date and Time: Unlimited

Hop on the Federated Malay States Railways and journey along Kluang, Gemas, Seremban and other stops in Francis P.Ng’s poem F.M.S.R., a poem written during pre-war Malaya.

But who was this elusive and mysterious poet who wrote F.M.S.R., Singapore’s first book-length poem, and disappeared during World War II? Join the search for Ng, whose real name was Teo Poh Leng in this virtual documentary series by National Library Singapore. For those into early English language publications in Singapore and Malaysia, this documentary is an eye-opener.

Researcher Eriko Ogihara-Schuck recounts the almost miraculous way she was able to confirm his fate and to connect with a living relative of his – a niece. Inspired by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, his poem describes a nine-hour train ride on the Federated Malay States Railways. Poets Alvin Pang and Robert Yeo, both from Singapore, offer their thoughts on Ng's significance. This episode is based on two essays from BiblioAsia - On The Trail Of Francis P. Ng and Ties That Bind: The Story Of Two Brother Poets.

The Poet And The Night Train can be streamed via National Library Singapore’s Youtube channel.


Date and Time: Unlimited

The short documentary by contemporary artist Chang Yoong Chia poses a pertinent question: Does the current narrative of Malaysia cover the layers of our past existence? Why can't this aspect of our identity be reflected in our batik? Follow Chang as he investigates the forgotten rubber tappers and the tribulations they endured under British colonial rule.

His intention is to reconstruct a rubber plantation out of batik fabric as a memorial for the forgotten rubber tappers. These pieces are currently on display at Ilham Gallery as part of the Ilham Art Show 2022. After relocating from Kuala Lumpur to Tangkak in Johor, the highly-regarded artist Chang has been contemplating the agricultural history and plantations of the small town.

A Leaf Through History: Family Tree can be streamed via the artist’s Youtube channel.


Date and Time: Unlimited

The George Town Literary Festival 2021 (GTLF) first publication Muara: Confluence/Pertemuan, is a bilingual journal (English/Bahasa Malaysia) with contributions from a cast of authors, poets, thinkers, translators and literary activists. It is a collaboration between GTLF and the Bahasa Malaysia journal Svara, published to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of GTLF. Catch this video for a literary reading of one of the works that talks of friendship, startling discoveries and strained relationships.

The Last Ferry To George Town can be streamed via GTLF’s Youtube channel.


Date and Time: June 9, 5pm

Mark your diary next month for this fourth episode of Badan Warisan Malaysia’s six-part webinar "Spotlight On Sarawak" series.

Moderator Mike Boon will speak to architect/researcher Dr John Ting about the forts of Sarawak. Three successive Rajahs in Sarawak constructed whitewashed timber forts for the Brooke administration, which contrasted with indigenous and vernacular architectural styles. Frequently, their primary structure was prefabricated in Kuching and assembled by government carpenters. While defensive, they introduced modern institutions such as courts, taxation, shipping, and post offices. Regional migrant and indigenous carpenters, suppliers, and labour are reflected in the fort's construction and use of local materials.

More info here.

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