The Malay Literary Scene (Part 1): The Influence of Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi

By Alicia Izharuddin

September 2022 FEATURE
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Syed Sheikh Al-Hadi (far right, standing) with his family outside their home on 410 Jelutong Road, Penang.
ON 410 JELUTONG ROAD in Penang sits an imposing house on brick piles divided into tripartite sections in the style of a traditional Malay family home. In the middle part of the house, the rumah ibu, are tall bay windows with elegant wooden shutters that stretch from the floor upwards to the ornately-carved kerawang border that trails along the bottom of the roof. When the window shutters are pushed open to let the familiar wafts of the Penang breeze in,...

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Alicia Izharuddin

is a Research Fellow in Asian Studies at Leiden University. From September 2022, she will be a lecturer in Gender Studies at Monash University Malaysia, and later from January 2023, a Senior Visiting Fellow in Gender and Sexuality at the Malay Studies Department of National University of Singapore. She was previously a Research Associate in the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School and Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at University of Malaya. She is completing a book on modern Malay romance.