The bookman who embraced Penang

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Petaling Jaya-based independent publisher Fixi conquered Malaysia's bestsellers charts with a new wave of pulp fiction that dares to defy Islamic conservatism and the country’s alleged lowreading rates.

Flesh-eating zombies, teenage drugrunners, cannibal condoms from outer space. On the other hand, there’s also Jemaah Islamiyah-affiliated terrorists on the hunt for runaway Thai prostitutes, glue-sniffing motorcycle gangs, shifty immigrant workers, incestuous imams and all sorts of ghosts. If it’s dark and scary, Malaysia seems to have it these days. Nothing to worry about though, because in order to save the nation from the forces of darkness, one just needs to stop reading and put the paperback down.

Giving Malaysia this fiction-based bad name is all in a day’s work for Malaysian publisher and director Amir Muhammad, who launched four new books at the George Town Literary Festival in November 2014.


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