IN conjunction with Merdeka Day on 31 Aug and Malaysia Day on 16 Sept, BFM 89.9 is currently featuring a series of interviews called Bloodlines with prominent personalities about their ancestral heritage and their Malaysian identity.
These conversations are with Malaysians The Nut Graph has interviewed for its Found in Malaysia series. These individuals are also now featured in a new book called Found in Malaysia, available at all good bookstores for RM45. The book has 50 interviews from the website plus four exclusive ones featuring Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Ramli Ibrahim.
BFM89.9 will continue these interviews until 16 Sept. Listen to those featured so far on the podcasts below and catch upcoming interviews on Bloodlines which airs on the Bigger Picture show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm, and Saturdays at 1pm, on I Love KL.
Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad: Shahrir, an Umno veteran and Johor Baru Member of Parliament, tells BFM89.9 how he made the conscious decision to befriend non-Malay Malaysians after the race riots of 13 May 1969. He also touches on student activism in Universiti Malaya where he was an undergraduate. He opines that what university students need now more than to be politically active, is to build character and learn values like honesty and hard work.
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan: The Former Bar Council president and now Bersih 2.0 chairperson talks about her 13 May 1969 memories of giving shelter to those fleeing the riots. She recalls how the incident made her realise everyone’s “Malaysian-ness” – because everyone was equally scared. Ambiga also believes that the fragmentation of Malaysian society today is deliberately manufactured to meet political agendas. Still, she has hope in the younger generation.
Shanthini Venugopal: Singer, actor, director and teacher Shanthini, who teaches children theatre, says children just aren’t conscious of race. So it was for her as a child. “I feel like a person, I don’t think of myself as Indian, Malay or Chinese,” she tells BFM89.9 when asked what she thought of her Malaysian identity. Shanthini recounts the part of her childhood when she lived in a neighbourhood of civil servants and played outdoors with children of different races. She also sings in Chinese in this podcast!
Other Bloodlines podcasts to date of Found in Malaysia interviewees are assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh, human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, environmental activist Gurmit Singh, and corporate figure Azran Osman-Rani.
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