KUALA LUMPUR: For the past 10 years, Niki Cheong’s popular column The Bangsar Boy has entertained and illuminated many readers of The Star newspaper.
Many fans and readers of the column flocked to MPH Nu Sentral here yesterday for the launch of Growing Up in KL: 10 Years of the Bangsar Boy, the first-ever book compilation of Cheong’s articles.
“The Bangsar Boy column has always been an opportunity for me to put into words my feelings about growing up, not just as someone who lives in Bangsar, but as a young Malaysian with urban, progressive values,” Cheong said at the launch.
Published by MPH Publishing, Cheong’s book is a selection of about 40 of his columns from 2006 until now. The column captures snippets of life in Kuala Lumpur through the lens of an urban city kid from the 1980s until now, and speaks of the many shared experiences that KL-ites and Malaysians can relate to.
“My Bangsar is reflective of KL, and by extension, Malaysia. It’s no wonder then that over a decade, the articles I wrote extended beyond stories just about the life of a city boy, but also to include current and social issues,” Cheong said.
The book also contains contributions from many of Cheong’s friends and colleagues, including luminaries such as entertainer Datuk Yasmin Yusoff, actor-directors Jo Kukathas and Datuk Zahim Albakri, and United Nations Goodwill ambassador James Chau.
“Because some of my articles are about 10 years old, I invited some of my friends to muse and give their thoughts about the articles of the book, and ensure they are still relevant,” Cheong said.
Also present during the launch was Star Media Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, who in his address, shared his fond experiences working with Cheong, and wished him success for the future.
“The Bangsar Boy has been part of The Star for about 10 years now, and for good reason. Niki’s stories, from growing up in Kuala Lumpur and his insightful commentaries on Malaysians, are evidence that progressiveness and moderation have been part of our culture and country, for a very long time,” Wong said.
A writer, lecturer and journalist, Cheong is also a former editor of the paper’s youth section, R.AGE. He has been featured on the BBC, Al-Jazeera and MTV Asia, among other platforms.
Cheong’s column The Bangsar Boy runs in the Star Metro fortnightly on Wednesdays. Growing Up in KL: 10 Years of the Bangsar Boy is available at major bookstores for RM32.90 a copy.