I am at the tiny police base in my parents’ neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve come to report the loss of my Identity Card, a document Malaysians must carry at all times.
I am writing from the country of my childhood and adolescence, the place that inspires everything I write, the place that invigorates and exhausts and devastates me like no other place on earth.
Before I became a mother, I thought I’d take my child(ren) back to Malaysia for Deepavali every year. For various reasons, I haven’t made that particular trip with my daughter since she was born in 2009, although we’ve been to Malaysia three times as a family.
On July 14th, the Prime Minister and First Lady of Malaysia had a private audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. The Prime Minister, Najib Razak, wore a dark suit; the First Lady, Rosmah Mansor, wore a pale blue baju kebaya, a traditional Malay women’s garment that harks back to a time before Malay culture was as heavily Islamised/Arabised as it is today.