Grand Delusion: A Road-Map To Nowhere

Thailand apparently has road-maps for everything under the sun. Road-maps for national harmony, road-maps for unity, road-maps for peace in conflict-torn south Thailand, road-maps for digital economy, and road-maps for solidifying power. This “road-map” is of course debatable, something that politicians and right-wing factions widely abuse when they speak to their audience, to the unconvinced rural crowds or the applauding teary-eyed urban middle class. Road-maps, aye, so often mentioned by uniformed powers that at times the general public forgets to ask what is this so-called strategy…

Compassion Is Not An Embracing Virtue

The tudung-clad Malay girls who were seen hugging and kissing members of a K-pop band at a concert in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday have been given a week by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) to come forward or face arrest, Utusan Malaysia reports. (The Malaysian Insider). Meanwhile the institutions in Malaysia neglect social concerns on rampant poverty, poor education system, and marginalization of young people. However they, these mighty moralistic bodies have the resources and time to purge those they classify as deviants.…

Tragedy of the Poor, Living in Societal Apathy

Sunday, hellishly humid and blisteringly hot. Bangkok. I’m in one of those random moods to explore places, away from anything that looks and feels elaborate in structure and decoration. The feet, thighs and lower back set in motion, and I’m off. Bangkok holds much for a traveller, particularly when one is away from the main roads and shopping malls. Life, as in many cities, begins in the older districts, where tourists would not venture, where the middle-class are conveniently absent. Elderly Thai man walks slowly…

Societal Pursuit of Gratification, during Ramadan

We swing, most often with relish, from euphoric intensity, then to the other, to immortality of emotions; self-emptiness, shreds of self.   Ramadan, during the month, Muslims engage in the ritualistic obligation of fasting; the deprivation of cycles, the consumption of limitation, of modest portions and outwardly respectable behaviours. Not an easy task for many, if one is conscious of the glares and the mock looks of disgust from other Malaysian Muslims. Society’s obsession with trying to subdue others into similar paths of emotional repression,…

Rejuvenation in Rural Pathum Thani Province

A rural road, in the depths of a province that I am unfamiliar with. Pathum Thani. Imposing highways, leading to narrow roads, and how I remember the small dusty town, somewhat a taint of resemblance of Phnom Penh, though not quite. The escape, away from Bangkok, was thankfully rejuvenating. The nap, a couple of hours in the moving vehicle, prepared me for the “rural” province. Relaxing, despite the signs of the dry season in these parts. I’ve always enjoyed the trips, and outreach, in rural Thailand,…

My Random Snapshots of Life

Mix-matched, I know, though I see life almost through random events. The longer I travel, the more I see the neglect. Society rushes to fulfill its desires, and yet we sometimes, or often forget to capture the moment.       ZashnainAn avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfuryMore Posts -…

A Quick Visit to Malacca

I had the opportunity to visit Melaka during my last visit to Malaysia. When I was there, met a good friend, tasted the local food, managed to finish my reports and unwind, despite spending only two days in the ancient city.   ZashnainAn avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfuryMore Posts…

Rohingya: A Dying Community

They are branded as one of the most persecuted communities in the world by the UN, yet nobody knows their name. They are the forgotten people. In recent weeks, the escalating violence has displaced more than 90,000 Rohingya people. Villages are being burnt, people are being abducted, concentration camps are being created, women are being raped and children mercilessly killed. The persecution against the Rohingya can be described in no other terms but that of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Check out: Burma’s Rohingya – The…

Contradiction of Behaviors, The Arrogance in Time

Time. I feel life seeping out from hunger, from that dreaded cold we find in humanity. Left behind, we are running out of time. Society cannot help itself, nor does the cosmos demand such. Last night, as I slumped into the shadow reality, I saw the contradiction of civilized behavior. We claim to know much, yet we use the skills and opportunities in pursuit of materialism, a ghastly illusion. Society is unfamiliar with our own doom; we find nothing in the presence of chasing that erroneous perception…

Labyrinth of Capitalism and Hardship

Life in the fast lane of Bangkok, a heavy burden for the urban poor and working class. Such wickedness of life, yet Thais and migrant workers struggle together towards a common goal. People work on the streets, selling products and services of all sorts to that eager odd tourist who seems lost in the labyrinth of capitalism and hardship.   ZashnainAn avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the…