A throwback album from 6 years ago - during the heyday of Dato Seri Najib’s rule as the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia - and when Tan Sri Dato’ Muhyiddin Yassin was still his right hand man (he was replaced three years later by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi).
The message of this series is to highlight the stark contrast between the glitzy Royal Party and the rugged Occupy Dataran.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, the first Occupy Dataran assembly was held on the 30th July 2011, with the aim of becoming an autonomous grassroots movement. Incidentally, Occupy Dataran was often regarded as an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street which happened on the same year. But unlike the latter, Occupy Dataran’s main objective was to provide a platform to experiment participatory democracy based on the popular assembly model.
The Royal Party, was a week-long (11-21 April) nationwide celebration in conjunction of the installation of the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. The theme, “Raja dan Rakyat Berpisah Tiada” (The Ruler and His Subjects Are Always Together) - which highlighted alongside it the ‘1Malaysia Community’, a programme launched by Malaysian 6th Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on 16 September 2010 with the intention to promote ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance in the country.
And this is where the irony lies bare for all to see. One was of spectacle, colors and excessive attention - while another was with an air of stereotype, curiosity and purpose. Both happening simultaneously at Dataran Merdeka on the night of 21st April 2012 - just a few meters away from each another.
Like myself, little do people there that night knew that history would made 6 years later, when the government that has been ruling for the past 6 decades would to be toppled through voting power of citizens of Malaysia, near and far.
Occupy Dataran 1Malaysia 2012
Live hi-def nationwide telecast vs fuzzy mobile phone snap shots.
Eager to appear in the front line with something to say vs the public who stood at a distance and observe in their silent curiosity.
A crowd which will go home when the party is over vs the crowd that will stay on until the next morning and the next.
1Malaysia vs the 8th day at Occupy Dataran.
An event that will appear on national headlines vs an event that will receive biased reports on blogs.
Italy has always been a feminine country. That’s a compliment. Its beautiful. It’s seductive. It’s warm. If you think about it, Rome’s seven hills even resemble breasts; New York’s skyscrapers resemble penises. It all fits. So it’s natural to compare Italy’s cities with women. Milan is the snooty catwalk model, dressed for the gods with an attitude to match. Rome is the sexy showgirl. Her revealing outfit and engaging smile promises a week you’ll never forget. Florence? She loves the arts. She’s into nature. She wears comfortable shoes.
Meanwhile, Naples is Italy’s slut. Its best days are in the past but she still has a lusty air about her. She looks sweaty and tired and is scruffy around the edges. A cigarette hangs from the corner of her mouth. Yet in a moment’s notice she can turn on the charm and be the funnest day you’ll ever have. And after a few glasses of Aglianico wine, she starts looking pretty good again.
Love in Chiaia
Di qualunque cosa le nostre anime siano fatte, la mia e la tua sono fatte della stessa cosa (Whatever our souls are made of, mine and yours are made of the same thing)
Perhaps the best reading spot in Naples.
Home by the bay at Possilipo
Villas by the Gulf of Napoli with a breathtaking panoramic vista of southern Italy and Mt Vesuvius looming in the background.
Cobblestone alleyways characteristic of the historic city of Naples.
Old City of Napoli
Cityscape of Naples, South Italy - one of the densest populated city in Europe.
Bay of Pozzuoli, Bagnoli
From the promenade, facing the Bay of Pozzuoli at Bagnoli. On the other side of this coast, is a large decommissioned steel plant which was closed down in the 1990s due to pressure from the EU on the grounds of chemical and ecological pollution, traced through to the high heavy metal presence in the marine sediments around the coast.
FORMS OF CENTRAL LONDON
Some of these photos were taken during my regular walk around city of London, and also from a city walk guided by Ricky Burdett on the 13th Nov 2017. Ricky, the Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age project gave us a brilliant walkabout as he reveals the city's rich historical and architectural layers, giving us all a fresh perspective on how the city and its form that we see and experience today weren't something that was left to chance. Everything has been designed and signifies something - from power and influence, to form and function. Blog post about this coming up soon. Watch this space :)
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
Fountain Court Chambers
Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
No 1 Poultry
1 Cornhill, London Executive Office
The Lloyd's Building
LIFE IN PENANG (2016)
Ongoing collection that captures the moments of life on Penang Island.
An afternoon with friends
Kids having a relaxing time afloat at the beach of Gertak Sanggul
Open mic & open sky
Enjoying the night breeze with music and friendly chatter in the air at Kim Haus.
A much welcomed rain in an otherwise scorching Sunday afternoon at Queen Street, George Town
Catching up on the day with the family next door - a day in the life at the floating village of Chew Jetty.
Thai food fix
A popular place for delectable Thai food by the beach at Teluk Kumbar.
"HELLO MADAM, HOW MAY I HELP YOU?"
A lady checking out one of the beautiful murals adoring the walls of a heritage home at Balik Pulau. The mural, titled "The Old Fishermen" was painted by Julia Volchkova in 2014 - and has remained one of the most iconic depiction of the little known local community of the suburban Penang Island.
SHARING A GOOD LAUGH
A char koay teow hawker having a light moment with his faithful customers. Such camaraderie that is built upon many years of relationship is getting increasingly rare as the younger generation now live in a built environment that inadvertently fragments the society. There is hardly any meaningful connection that can be fostered among the people who are sharing the same public space but are always on a constant rush to get somewhere.
BROKEN AND IDYLLIC
A view from the old dilapidated wooden jetty that used to serve the fishing community of Gertak Sanggul. It looks out to the sea area which has been earmarked for the reclamation of three man-made islands that would irrevocably change the face and the dynamics of Penang island as we know it.
House of Koh Lay Huan
Georgetown, Penang (Malaysia)
Ha Long Bay
Quảng Ninh (Vietnam)
Ubud, Bali (Indonesia)
Georgetown, Penang (Malaysia)
Chao Phraya River
Langkawi Cable Car
Langkawi Island, Kedah (Malaysia)
Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Badung, Bali (Indonesia)
Ko Phi-Phi Don
One Fathom Bank Lighthouse
Selangor, Strait of Malacca (Malaysia)
Pura Tanah Lot
Tabanan, Bali (Indonesia)
Lao Cai (Vietnam)
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia)
Pura Tanah Lot
Tabanan, Bali (Indonesia)
GUERILLA EXHIBITION 2014
Least we forget the yesteryears that was once part of our lives.
The photo series, "Old vs New" is about looking back on how times have changed via the things we use in our daily lives. And in more ways than one, to contemplate on how these 'things' has tangibly changed the way we live and interact with each other. The series hopes to invoke a sense of nostalgia, reflecting on how far we have come and to instill a sense of anticipation - as we think about where we will go from here.
- Showcased at the Guerrilla Photography Exhibition 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Typewriter : Laptop
Pestle and mortar : electric blender
Walkman : iPod
Wooden clogs : Rubber slippers
Nautical ship lamp : Electrical table lamp
Mechanical clock : Battery operated clock
Floppy disk : USB drive
Shower gel : Bar soap
Candle holder : Torchlight
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Name cards : Facebook
GUERILLA EXHIBITION 2012, MALAYSIA
Series showcased at the Guerrilla Photography Exhibition 2012 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
A storm is brewing in the background at this idly tropical island, Malaysia
A view from the top of the volcano, via a short trip up on a horseback ride. The volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire with the last eruption in 1977.
Mother of Pearl
Local Halong Bay village girls selling nacre, also known commonly as mother of pearl
FLORE DU BOTANICA
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
Geometry, fractals and lines of flowers from Penang Botanical Garden
Michelle + Kenneth
MAGS & KO
The Anemone's Keeper
[Featured as front cover of Nature Reports : Climate Change. Vol 2, November 2008]
Almost every Penangite would have noticed the two tiny islands to the left whenever they take a drive across from Penang to Seberang Perai on the Penang Bridge. Little is known about these unoccupied islands, less is known about their names. Known as Pulau Gazumbo, whereas the smaller island is unofficially known as Pulau Gazumbo Kecil - these are but artificial islands that were formed during the construction of the first Penang Bridge back in the 1980s. It sits along the large sandbank that connects to the Middle Bank - slightly north of the Gazumbo islands, adjacent to the Sungai Pinang river mouth. Like Middle Bank, Pulau Gazumbo hosts a large expanse of seagrass meadow - one of its kind along the (often) ecologically barren Straits of Malacca.
Visiting this seagrass bed brings out the inner marine biologist in me again. It was a great experience to finally step foot on the seagrass area of Gazumbo islands which is still existing in Penang despite the rapid coastal development.
Middle Bank on the other hand, is apparently the second largest intact seagrass area in the Peninsula Malaysia, after Sungai Pulai in Johor. During very low tide, the large sandbank that connects Middle Bank to Gazumbo Island will be exposed, revealing the ecosystem connectivity between these two areas.
It is vital to preserve this sensitive habitat as they support a high marine biodiversity. Seagrass beds are home to anemones, crustaceans, mollusks - aside from being important nursery ground for juvenile fishes. Seagrass beds are also significant carbon sequester and help mitigate the effects of climate change. Pulau Gazumbo and Middle Bank are undoubtedly among the very few left of Penang's marine natural heritage - which deserves our conservation priority and attention now before it is gone forever.
The plant occurs around reefs, estuaries, islands, inter-tidal areas, on soft sand or mud substrates. The leaves are ovate in outline, appearing on stems that emerge from rhizome beneath the sand. The roots get up to 800 mm long and covered in fine root hairs. It is often found in meadows that dominate a sand bank or other patch of sea floor. The arrangement of the plant, above and below ground, provides stability to the sea floor and habitat for other species. It is used as food by dugong, as is therefore known as dugong grass.
The two most prominent genera are Alpheus and Synalpheus, with species numbering well over 250 and 100, respectively. Most snapping shrimp dig burrows and are common inhabitants of coral reefs, submerged seagrass flats and oyster reefs. While most genera and species are found in tropical and temperate coastal and marine waters.
A very simple method of documenting bird tracks at seagrass area is to use Plaster of Paris (Calcium sulfate) as a liquid mixture poured into the bird tracks. The plaster cast is quick drying and easily stored for further ex-situ identification and documentation. Seen here is possibly the tracks of a small wader bird. Click here for steps on how to make your own plaster casts.