The Asam Team at Asam Event March 2010 Videos

Naturally we'd put our videos up first!

More after the break.


Farish Noor's book of lectures reimagines Nusantaran history

A lot of people will find a lot of things wrong with this book. Malay ultras will not appreciate their much-loved Hang Tuah reframed as the universal man, Islamic types would have much to say about the celebration of hindu-buddhist pasts, and the people of the region would not like the thought that they continually feed the neo-feudal foundations that form the governments of the day.


Alice in Wonderland.

Before I begin, we need to be clear that the reason why Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) is so famed, and I dare say, immortal in the literary world is that he is a logician that speaks nonsense. And obviously I mean it in the most impressed manner. He has a way with words that skates beyond that is understandable but still capable of forming images in our heads. And that was the entire point of Alice in Wonderland. Knowing that itself, I do not think that it translates very well into a movie.


Reading, problems and art

Here's a little something from The Age.

"Reading is our favorite art form to consume. 84% of Australian say they read books"

Impressive figure eh? You cannot walk around Melbourne and not see at least one person reading a book, whether while in a tram, or waiting for one, in the park or even when lining up for movie tickets.

How many of you turn to books when you have a problem? Life problems, I mean. I dare bet that most of you have never thought of such an idea before. Many of us would turn to friends, who tell us how cruel life can be, sobbing while slowly expressing how difficult breaking-up is, angrily complaining how much of a jerk  your so-called best friend is. Others might  just keep to themselves and hope that time will heal the heart, the friendship, the annoyance.

Friends are not entirely reliable when it comes to solving problems though. Most of them are just there to comfort you, telling all those good things you wanted so much to hear. I'm not saying thats bad. But lets put it this way; it's good in a bad way because at the end of the day your problems aren't really solved. In fact, your problems may even worsen when you discover that those words of advice weren't truly the keys to solving your problem.

Here's an example. Let say you had a huge fight with one of your best friends. You go to another best friend and tell them about the fight you had. The friend might comfort you and might wanted to cool you down by saying that the best friend is a jerk and should apologize. The problem is, you were the bad one.

I'm not making a generalisation, and saying that all friendly advice is 'ill-advised'. But to say that most of them are, would not be an overstatement.

I once had this huge problem (for me at least, i'm not sure if anyone else would call it that). Apart from not having a friend that i can and truly rely on (don't tell them, its just how I feel), I kept to myself, and repeated those magic words "time heals". It worked for me before, But not this time. The issue  continued to haunt me. At last i told a friend and asked for his advice. Though his advice was fairly logical, I could not figure out whether it was told to comfort me or to solve the problem.

Thats when i tried something different. I bought this book that is fairly related to the problems that i was having and started reading it. Reading the book, i felt if as i'm talking to the soul itself (mine of course), which provided me with an insight into what my problems really were about while the author gave some advice on how to deal with/solve them. The thing with the book is, you surely knew that the book would never please you. Most of the advice is bitter but medicine taste worst eh? and look at what miracles medicine has brought us.

Furthemore, all of the writing was written based on the experience of thousands of people facing the same problems that we have. So the odds of solving the problems are high enough. You'll be amazed to find out that you are not the only one having such miserable life, and others are much worse off. The key is solving it once and for all. Not just hoping some good words to please you and time healing miracle.

At the end, its all up to you. No matter how much books you  read, or advice you hear, be it from friends, family, you are the one that have to do the final step in acting accordingly to solve the problem. God will never help you, if you yourself never make an effort in doing so.

Now, no wonder Australian love reading books and even regard it as an art form. Reading is for nerds? Think again!

Melbourne essentials

If you find yourself alarmed by the hail falling from the sky last weekend, don't. That is merely the way Melbourne shows its love to newcomers, by throwing rocks at them like boys do to girls in sekolah rendah.
Epic Hail by Shiny Things

I'm seriously sorry for you new arrivals. When I first came here some time ago, things were normal. Summer was hot and dry, you could hate the Prime Minister without having to explain yourself, and you got curry-bash because you deserved it. It's all different now, nothing's the same now. You, my Bata-wearing new friends, are in a completely different Melbourne.

Down in front by looking glass
In my role as unsolicited guide, I first offer this piece of sagely advice: gather every thought you have about Melburnian campus life, and chuck it in the bin (some local lingo there, take note). A SAM or AUSMAT certificate does not prepare you for life within the hallowed halls of Parkville, Clayton, or Hoyts Melbourne Central if you're in RMIT. You will find little discipline, motivation and support, and that's just for waking up for 9am classes. Taking it easy is an extremely seductive option, but do so at your own perril. (rolling r added for effect.)

Make friends, and soon. The longer you wait, the harder it gets to break into cliques. In university, girls (and boys) are like cookies; you snooze, you lose.

And please, if you're here with mates (aha!), don't forget them just because you have some unexplainable need to hangout with whatever new bunch of people who take you in out of pity. Pity works for some people, but for the rest of us it's just sad. Besides, you might need those bridges you burnt one day in the future. Which can turn out to be not so distant sometimes.

Being active is good, but don't invest to much of yourself in clubs and societies. You can make friends outside of club circles. You should make friends out of club circles. Constant club meetings does not necessarily lead to deep meaningful conversations. Which you need; trust me.

Have fun. Responsibly. Think off all the crazy stuff you can do now with your new-found freedom. Do only half of that. You need your brains for your studies too. And writing for ASAM.

So those are some tips plucked from my reservoir of wisdom that I now share with you my fob brethren. Heed them, and tread wisely the road ahead. Godspeed.


YHA Sydney Harbour

My 2nd day in sydney began abruptly. A staff member stormed into my dorm, and announced that 'two boys were supposed to have checked out at ten am'. It was already 10.15. That was how I got turned out of my room. A humiliating experience, but educational nonetheless. Never overstay your welcome, or checkout time.

Yha apparently has a 10pm checkout time, strictly enforced (as i had recently discovered) failing to comply with this will incur you a fine.

The rooms were good for hostel standards. clean, neat, with a private bath in each room, travelers have a choice of renting out the male, female or mixed dorms (four to a room), or the twin sharing ones.

This is a backpackers hostel, so you will be sharing rooms with other people. if you're the sort to mingle with new people, you'll find plenty of opportunity here to get to know people from all over the globe, and their associated smells, sounds and sleeping habits.

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Rooms start from 46 dollars a night, check in at 2pm.

Upcoming events: Massive BBQ


"Bring Your Appetite!"

Upcoming Events: Pesta Warisan Melayu

The Victorian Malay Community is a community that values the uniqueness and beauty of their proud heritage. This is personified in their arts and culture. The passion of their arts is not only in their song and dance but is reflected in their traditional attire/wedding costume, customs and craft. The tantalizing Malay Cuisines is world renown and celebrated in all occasions.

Upcoming events: Muzika Musim Luruh

This autumn, Melbourne hosts Muzika Musim Luruh – the only event designed to explore and showcase the musical talent of Malaysian youth in Victoria, Australia.