Culture at warp

RECENTLY, the Japanese Ambassador hosted a special performance of Noh, a form of classical musical drama with origins in the 14th century, which is inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. I was... more »

More than twice a king

WRITING on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Sultan of Kedah in July 1983, former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman referred to the ancient history of the sultanate, including the legend of Marong Mahawangsa and his apparently Mongul... more »

Patriotic musical notes

ALTHOUGH the buzz right now is sport because of the SEA Games (and perhaps more on that properly next week), it’s also been an incredibly busy month for many in the musical world. Certainly, I’ve never played so many concerts... more »

Yakking on Yunnan

CHINA has been featuring in our consciousness every week of late: whether it is concern about that country’s role in our economy or national infrastructure [as exemplified by the ground-breaking of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project last week],... more »

Monarchy at our nation’s foundations

THE title of this session – monarchy as the nation’s pasak (a word that literally means ‘peg’ or in architecture ‘fastener’, but more broadly connotes ‘foundations’) – reminds me of Istana Lama Seri Menanti, a palace famously constructed without nails.... more »

Cool Asean heads in Bandung

BANDUNG is now the coolest city I’ve been to in Southeast Asia. I don’t mean in a cultural way (although the district of new coffee shops I visited felt extremely hipster), but in terms of temperature. Though the weather forecasts... more »
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