Malaysiaku: A celebration of Malaysia Day at Jalan Bangkung

Malaysiaku: A celebration of Malaysia Day at Jalan Bangkung

Sometimes, we just need a reason to go out and have some fun with our fellow Malaysians. The Malaysiaku Celebrations involve one big street carnival held in Bangsar, with an overwhelming array of food stalls, talks, poetry recitals, book signings, and lots of musical performances – basically, there is something for everyone.

The Malaysiaku Celebrations started in 2010, and it was also held in the years 2011, 2013 and 2015. The organiser for this community project is Edward Soo, a lawyer by profession who is part owner of the Bangkung Row Restaurants (Opus, Cava, Leonardo’s, Lucky Bo, Bobo).

Jalan Bangkung Street at Malaysiaku 2010.

In this year of 2018, Soo is bringing back the Malaysiaku Celebrations, in part to rejoice the arrival of Malaysia Baru after #GE14, but mostly to celebrate our rich and diverse Malaysian culture, and to promote the celebration of Malaysia Day on 16th September.

“We want to celebrate all that is good about Malaysia – our culture and food. And in that way, it will remind ourselves of why we are still here fighting for a better Malaysia,” he said.

Peter Yew and Edward Soo (right), organizers of the Lion Dance event at Malaysiaku 2013.

The reason Soo wants to celebrate Malaysia Day and not Merdeka Day is that Malaysia was formed in 1963, and Sabah and Sarawak have always been big contributors to Malaysia in terms of resources. Yet, those of us in West Malaysia do often neglect to think about our fellow countrymen in East Malaysia. Ed Soo said he would want them (Sabahans and Sarawakians) to feel a part of Malaysia.

Sabahan dancers at Malaysiaku 2013.

Kuda Kepang dance from Johor Malaysiaku 2013.

Soo also wants to build more community spirit through these celebrations.

“I hope this will catch on like a trend and spread all over. Everywhere, every community can have this celebration, whether it’s small or big. Get to know your community and your neighbours better,” he added.

The Bangsar community certainly knows how to have fun. And what better way to showcase the best of Malaysia than through our lip-smacking good food?  

Hence, you can look forward to a street carnival atmosphere filled with 70 food stalls along Jalan Bangkung offering a plethora of authentic food from all over Malaysia.  Sample local favourites such as Kelantan Nasi Kerabu, Sarawakian Laksa, Tuak, Indian Vaday, Penang Rojak, Satay, Nasi Lemak Bobo, Johor Laksa, Nyonya Kueh and many more delightful treats to satisfy your palate.

 For those with a sweet tooth, look out for the Depressed Cake Shop booth inside Lucky Boo. This global community initiative promotes awareness about mental health issues by baking cakes which are grey in colour. Funds raised from the sale of these cakes will be donated to Angsana Care.

Wayang Kulit performance at Malaysiaku 2010.

The food is not the sole highlight of the day, as there are also art and craft booths set up by various indigenous and NGO groups, talks/forums, a stand-up comedy act and book signings to be held indoors at Bobo Piano Lounge, Leonardo’s Dining Room and OPUS throughout the day.

The topics of the two talks scheduled at Bobo Piano Lounge are Key Economic and Political Reforms for Malaysia Baharu by Professor Dato’ Woo Wing Thye and Dr. Wong Chin Huat, and Malaysia 2.0: Pressing the reset button by Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan and YB Fahmi Fadzil.

The standup comedy act in Malay is called Malaysia Baharu Boboleh, featuring Hishamuddin Rais, Shashic, KC Nazari and Abe Latte, and hosted by Ayim Razak and Filzah Awok. This is the only event to have a RM30 cover charge at the door and it is open to those above 18 years old only.

Talk “Descendants of the Founding Fathers” organized by IDEAS Malaysiaku 2013.

Over at Leonardo’s Dining Room, there will be another talk presented by Five Arts Centre titled Dibuang (Dalam) Negeri: Who and What is Excluded from Malaysia Baharu? This talk has a unique format which requires audience participation, and it is curiously called the Fishbowl Conversation.

Poetry lovers should not miss Malaysian Poetry Recital: A Nation in Verse. It is presented by an eclectic lineup of home-grown Malaysian poets and storytellers, navigating through these puzzling times of our 55-year-old country using poetry.

At the same time, there will be book signings over at OPUS with local authors Lina Latif, Adilin Arifin, Saidah Rastam, Bernice Chauly, and Benz Ali. Fans of iconic political cartoonist Zunar can also look forward to his interview with Umapagan from BFM Radio.

Last but not least, there will be a huge stage set up in the car park for non-stop song and dance performances from 4 pm to 10 pm. Malaysian folk singer Azmyl Yunor and Ushera will both be performing, as will Saidah Rastam and friends.

We are Malaysia singers at Malaysiaku 2011.

Join in the fun singing patriotic songs to bring back those nostalgic feelings of yesteryears gone by, sway to the music of Nada Bayu, a Sabahan Band, and dance to the pulsating beats of Bhangra music to cap off the night. There will also be welcome speeches given by Ed Soo and YB Fahmi Fadzil, MP for Lembah Pantai, and a Malaysia Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony at 6.30pm.

So, bring your dancing shoes and enjoy the Malaysiaku Celebrations at Jalan Bangkung with your family and friends this year if you have nothing else planned. You can use Grab to get to Bangsar and minimise the parking problem on the day due to the large crowds expected. 

Use Grab promo code: GRABSP18 which entitles you to RM5 off two rides (max 1,000 promo codes) to and from Jalan Bangkung on Malaysia Day 16th September 2018.

For those who prefer to drive, you can park at BSC or BV/Jolly Green Giant or better still, take the train to the Bangsar LRT station and take a Grab over to Jalan Bangkung.


For more information, go to








James, Blunt me!

James, Blunt me!

When someone mentions the James Blunt, one would harken back to the year 2005, where he slowly stripped his clothes in the pearly white snow, lip syncing “You’re Beautiful” in all his mopped hair glory, and proceeding to jump in the icy cold waters in Mallorca, Spain.

The song itself proved to be a huge hit, and almost everyone who had access to a radio heard of “You’re Beautiful” itself. Depicting a man who saw his ex girlfriend with another man in a train station, the lyrics were simple enough for a young teen to deduce, and an older adult to take a spanner and hit the radio as hard as he or she can. While the song would continue its run for the rest of 2005 and early 2006, the song proved to also be a bane to his career, for James Blunt was forever known as that ‘You’re Beautiful guy’.

If anything, Blunt’s endurance for criticisms has been nothing short of astonishing. A poll conducted in 2008 deemed him as the most hated man in Europe – only 3 years after bursting out of the seams, becoming the pop sensation of the mid 00’s. There were apparently more people hating him just because of “You’re Beautiful” playing in the airwaves than people hating the then-notorious Oasis, when the Gallagher brothers were on the verge of breaking up the band (which they eventually did). It was, and still is, hard being a James Blunt fan when the critics take up their tiki torches and ready to burn down Blunt’s career.

But how could we possibly hate Blunt? Handsome, a near to posh background, married to the granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington, living on one of the most beautiful island in the world (Ibiza) and having the voice of an angel. He is, in fact, the British Tom Cruise, but Tom Cruise never had four albums out and being Twitter’s reigning banter king.

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fester and exist in this Internet era, Blunt is constantly a part of the circle-jerking, sometimes being called a failure in music or even a hack, being in the music scene in the first place due to him having a relatively easy life, being in a military family. In an article in Spin off, he mentioned that “I think it’s always worth remembering that online is one thing and there’s a real world out there, and the real world is probably more important”. This motif has stayed by Blunt for half his career, allowing him to sift through the negativities and still placing him as relevant in this competitive music scene.

If anything, his patience has derived from serving the Army in 1996. His accolades surprised even me as I type this; being named a Captain, participating in the Kosovo War by volunteering in the Blues & Royals squadron, being posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London as the Queen’s Guard, and even standing guard during the Queen Mother’s funeral. His career choice from army to musician was a definite eye opener, but let’s face it; if he did not, there would be one less person to hate just because he has talent, no?

Image by bellybuzz

If anything, his patience has derived from serving the Army in 1996. His accolades surprised even me as I type this; being named a Captain, participating in the Kosovo War by volunteering in the Blues & Royals squadron, being posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London as the Queen’s Guard, and even standing guard during the Queen Mother’s funeral. His career choice from army to musician was a definite eye opener, but let’s face it; if he did not, there would be one less person to hate just because he has talent, no?

Besides having a decorated Army career and being the echelon of wit and sarcasm in Twitter, Blunt himself is also a philanthropist, being a hearty patron of Help for Heroes, a charity that rehabilitates wounded British soldiers. He is even an environmentally conscious person, screening the trailer for An Inconvenient Truth in concerts during the first years of his musical career, and performed in the Live Earth concert in 2007. How could you hate him now?


Perhaps one may point to the ever expanding range of James Blunt’s music range. For the first four albums before his most recent one, The Afterlove, there were subtle changes to his musical touch, but not enough to garner any attention. However, in The Afterlove, his collaboration with Onerepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and best friend Ed Sheeran propelled him to create a synth-heavy, tropical beat based album that was unlike any of his previous albums. Singles such as Love Me Better or Bartender were so off the beaten track even by Blunt standards, even stalwart James Blunt fans would have to stop and take a listen to this album.

Image by popsugar

Critics call it ‘another inoffensive album’. Fans call it ‘different’.

I call it unique.

It has been a while since Blunt burst out in the pop music scene, filling our radios with his vibrato and well meaning songs. However, there has never been much progress in his musical path, especially with songs like Postcards or Bonfire Heart, both of them being songs in his fourth album, Moon Landing, did not land into the hearts of many outside of the UK. In The Afterlove, he decided to go for the electronic route, gagging himself with autotune and tropical grooves that can only be traced back to the Daft Punk Effect, where Random Access Memories lurks and still manages to influence the music industry and how their music sounds like, even after close to four years before The Afterlove was released.

We may have been wrong about Blunt before, but make no mistake about it; James Blunt is here to stay, and we will be so glad to have him for a long, long time.

Interested to meet James Blunt in Malaysia? Come join him in Dewan Wawasan, Menara PGRM, KL at 25th March! Get your tickets now!

Tickets are priced from RM122 (including RM4 handling fees)

and available online from

or call 03-2280 0363
for phone booking.

Visit our Official Facebook Page
for more exciting activities.

Are you too Blunt to know him?

Are you too Blunt to know him?

When James Blunt came into the spotlight fourteen years ago with nothing more than mopped hair and a guitar strapped across his waist, he was nothing more than another musician striving to make it big in the already competitive music scene in the mid 00’s. However, “You’re Beautiful”, his 3rd single off his debut album, Back to Bedlam, shot him up into the No. 1 spot in the Billboard charts, catapulting him into what seemed to be another soft rock sensation.

Fourteen years later, many Malaysians scratched their heads when he is mentioned.

Who is James Blunt?

James Hillier Blount, better known as James Blunt, was born in 22nd February 1974 in Hampshire, UK. Having graduated from the University of Bristol using a military bursary, he went on to serve for his country for 6 years, even participating in the Kosovo Wars and rising to the ranks of Captain.

After serving, he went on to sign with a recording company, and adopted Blunt as his stage name. After Back to Bedlam, he has released four more studio albums, including his latest album, The Afterlove, propelling himself into the mainstream pop music scene once more. Both his singles, Love Me Better and Bartender, echo his 2005 form with his melancholic singing and modern vibes, allowing him to stay relevant in this already competitive music scene.

You’re Beautiful?

When the song, “You’re Beautiful” was released as a single in May 2005, it was easily the most played and requested song of the year. The soulful tune, along with Blunt’s unique vibrato belting to a man’s lost love captured the hearts of everyone who had learned to appreciate his music.

However, “You’re Beautiful” was also deemed as one of the most irritating song ever recorded, with Spike writer D. Sussman calling it the “worst song of all time”. It was largely derived from the song constantly being played in the radio stations, and would continue to do so for the year.


One of the most intriguing aspects of James Blunt’s career was not his music, but his Twitter account, where he frequently answer insults or negative comments made by Twitter users with sarcasm and dry wit, which gave him the repertoire of being snarky.

Some may call him rude or ungrateful towards fans, but James Blunt had unwittingly injected non-verbal humor in this verbal-heavy Internet era, and has never taken himself (or his songs) too seriously. If anything, that generated even more hate for him, which he had since turn it into free publicity.

Photo by Gala

Someone loves him…No, really, someone loves James Blunt

Being dubbed a playboy in the mid ‘00s, Blunt attracted many attractive women by his side, often showing in events with different women. One would have to assume that his swooning voice had something to do with that.

His infamy for female flatulence finally ended in 2012 after he married to socialite Alexandrina “Sofia” Wellesley, daughter of Lord and Lady John Henry Wellesley, and also happens to be the granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington, Valerian Wellesley.

His music may be questioned by many, but his looks is not for many women out there!

The Carrie Fisher Factor

Many may not know this, but James Blunt’s fame was largely influenced, or indirectly so, by the late Carrie Fisher herself.

While having signed a record deal, James Blunt arrived in Los Angeles with nowhere to stay. Carrie Fisher offered him a place to stay, and they remained close friends ever since. One of his hit singles, “Goodbye My Lover”, was recorded in Fisher’s bathroom, and she named his debut album, “Back to Bedlam”, for him.

Their friendship never wavered even after his eventual success in the music charts, as Blunt continued to keep in touch with Fisher. A much more recent event before Fisher’s passing was at a Star Wars event, where Blunt was Fisher’s date of the day.

Interested to meet James Blunt in Malaysia? Come join him in Dewan Wawasan, Menara PGRM, KL at 25th March! Get your tickets now!
Tickets are priced from RM122 (including RM4 handling fees)

and available online from

or call 03-2280 0363
for phone booking.

Visit our Official Facebook Page
for more exciting activities.

James Blunt to perform for the very first time in Malaysia

James Blunt to perform for the very first time in Malaysia

James Blunt rose to fame with the release of his internationally acclaimed debut album ‘Back to Bedlam’, achieving worldwide fame with songs like, ‘You’re Beautiful’, ‘Goodbye My Lover’.

This album sold over 11 million copies worldwide, topping UK Album Chart and peaked #2 in the US and was one of the best-selling album in the UK in 2000.

This success also granted this singer-songwriter, numerous awards and recognitions such as like two British Awards, MTV Video Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, 5 Grammy Award nominations.

With the success of his debut album, he went on to release 3 multi- platinum selling albums; All The Lost Souls, Some Kind if Trouble and Moon Landing

James released his fifth studio album The Afterlove in March 2017. In this album, James worked with a wide range of talent including Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder from One Republic and Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol

The first single ‘Love Me Better’ is a new light, thanks in part to Ryan Tedder’s fresh and modern pop production, and the lyrics combine a heartfelt poignancy along with touches of Blunt’s classic, self-deprecating humour.

James is currently on The Afterlove World Tour across Europe and Asia Pacific, after touring and opening for Ed Sheeran’s North America Tour.

James will be performing for the very first time in Malaysia, bringing his The Afterlove tour to his Malaysian fans

Date : Sunday, 25th March 2018
Venue : Dewan Wawasan PGRM, Cheras
Time : 8pm

Tickets are priced from RM122 (including RM4 handling fees) and available online from or call 03-2280 0363 for phone booking.

Visit our Official Facebook Page for more exciting activities.

Run For Your Lives Malaysia: Zombie Apocalypse Chronicles

Run For Your Lives Malaysia: Zombie Apocalypse Chronicles

Did you know that on December 31, last year, Malaysians spent their final night of the year with the thrill of battling zombies into 2017? The event also turned the National Botanical Garden of Shah Alam into a scene right out of a zombie apocalypse horror movie!

Well, just in case you didn’t, let me brief you on it very quickly so that you can better prepare yourself before the next night of the living dead. Time is of the essence here, so take heed.

Run For Your Lives (RFYL) is a 3-5km zombie-themed obstacle-adventure run series brought over from the United States since 2011. It is of an international level and was introduced for the first time to Malaysia back in 2014. It has also been held in Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and now in Malaysia!

Did someone say Zombies?

Photo credit to Run For Your Lives Malaysia

According to Monkey Theory, the RFYL organizer of Malaysia, Run For Your Lives is the world’s premier Zombie-infested 5K (five kilometres) obstacle course whereby participants assume the role of either a Survivor or a Zombie in this one-of-a-kind event filled with thrilling chases, rocking music by performing deejay’s and a kick-ass dance party finale.

Part obstacle course, part music festival, and a full on encounter with “the running dead”, Run For Your Lives promises a fun day (and night) with friends, colleagues and evil ex-bosses alike.

Photo credit to Run For Your Lives Malaysia

You’ve played the video games. You’ve watched the movies. You’ve even followed the whole TV series. Now’s the time to put what you know into practice. Maybe you fancy your chances reaching the Safe Zone for supplies through a Zombie-infested 5K route laced with demanding obstacles? Or perhaps getting transformed into one of the “running dead”, Zombies hell-bent on stopping the Survivors in their tracks? This is your chance to Run For Your Lives!


On December 13, 2014, the first ever zombie apocalypse invaded Kuala Lumpur attracting a whopping 7,000 participants in Malaysia Agro Exposition Park, Serdang. In the zombie infested fun run, it consisted of thrilling obstacles such as Blood Pit, The Ladder, The Crawl Fence and many others. Many survived the apocalypse while many also failed to save themselves in this thrilling run.

Photo credit to Run For Your Lives Malaysia

The idea behind the highly anticipated Run For Your Lives Malaysia is that a zombie apocalypse has plagued the world, and so, participants were given the choice to take part as a ‘Survivor’ or a ‘Zombie’ in a gameplay that is generally simple – the survivors have to outrun the zombies who have the goal of ‘capturing’ the humans. Besides the chasing zombies, survivors also have to battle a gruelling obstacle course.


Photo credit to Run For Your Lives Malaysia

Catching on the deadly virus, Penang were soon invaded on May 16 at Penang Botanical Gardens for the very first time – attracting about 1,500 participants from the small island to again experience the world’s most thrilling run.

Photo credit to Run For Your Lives Malaysia

The 2015 edition round was accompanied by obstacles such as Blood Pit, Smokehouse, Holey Trap and many others throughout the 5KM route. The gamification of this exciting and thrilling run is to give participants the chance to choose between being a Zombie (chasing and catching humans) or a Human (running away and escaping from the zombies).


Photo credit to Nick Josh Karean

In 2016, Malaysians got the opportunity to experience the first ever zombie “Running Dead” (Night Edition) in Malaysia! This time, the virus continued to spread and found its way back to Kuala Lumpur, breaching the city’s first line of defence. Run For Your Lives Malaysia 2016 was hosted on New Year Eve’s, 31 December accommodating about 7,000 participants! They came from different ages, levels and experiences who showed skill and courage during the run. There was also a fantastic sense of camaraderie along the course.

Photo credit to Run For Your Lives Malaysia

Watch the video below for yourself and see it in action how extremely exciting and thrilling the experience was on the night the dead arose for dinner, and how the survivors strived to stay alive to not end up on the zombie menu:


The Z-Virus for Run For Your Lives Malaysia 2017 was safely contained and zombies prevented from coming into existence. However, this may not be the end of the story just yet…


Monkey Theory advises us to be wary of new outbreak warnings by following their Run For Your Lives Malaysia Facebook Page so that you can better prepare yourself before the next zombie invasion in Malaysia. Until then, no signs of an outbreak it seems. But don’t relax too soon… We may be safe for now, but the question is, until when?

To be continued…

Swordfish Hits KL! Epic Play Packed with Fun, Drama and Gamelan.

Swordfish Hits KL! Epic Play Packed with Fun, Drama and Gamelan.

Swordfish Hits KL! Epic Play Packed with Fun, Drama and Gamelan.

Swordfish + Concubine, an epic production based on the classic Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) by Kee Thuan Chye, is set to hit Kuala Lumpur from November 2 to 5.

This lavish and fun-filled piece of theatre, packed with drama, humour, silat and gamelan music performed by the magnificent Rhythm in Bronze, will be staged at Pentas 1 of the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac).

The story of ancient Singapura attacked by swordfish until it is saved by a boy, and of a young, smart and spirited concubine sentenced to death by impalement – this is made relevant to Malaysia today.

The play pays tribute to Sejarah Melayu by sharing it with a wider audience, and celebrates Malay culture by drawing from traditional Malay dance and theatre forms like zapinwayang kulitkuda kepangbangsawandikir barat, etc. But it is also contemporary in embracing influences from Brecht, Tarantino and contemporary dance.

KLPac Pentas 1

Thurs (Nov 2) | 8.30 pm
Fri (Nov 3) | 8.30 pm
Sat (Nov 4) | 3 pm & 8.30 pm
Sun (Nov 5) | 3 pm & 8.30 pm

Ticket Price:
RM 95
RM 75
RM 45 (students & disabled)

Be Part Of The Good Cause!

This production aims to help raise funds for the family of Ooi Eow Jin, the former RTM Orchestra conductor, who is 80 and suffering from Alzheimer’s and whose son recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Box Office: 03-40479000

For group bookings of 10 tickets
or more, contact
Cathy Chin at 011-26262744.

Check out our Facebook events page:

For enquiries, please e-mail [email protected].

The Dream Cast!
Na’a Murad, Sandra Sodhy, Qahar Aqilah, Alfred Loh,
Hana Nadira, Arief Hamizan, Amanda Ang, Bella Rahim,
Gregory Sze, Iefiz Alaudin, Lam Ghooi Ket and 12-year-old Joel Timothy Low.
In the play, they act, sing, dance and fight. Yes, fight!

Gamelan Will Rock!
Jillian Ooi, Teuku Umar Ilany, Adilla Fauzi, Amira Farhana,
Muhammad Anas Syafuan, Nur Diyana Nadirah, and
Thong Yoong How are going to rock the house!

About The Playwright

Kee Thuan Chye is best known for his plays 1984 Here and Now and We Could **** You, Mr Birch.
Both were staged to full houses, respectively in 1985 and 1994.

He has directed a dozen plays for the theatre, and is also an actor of stage and screen.

For more information on Kee, visit here