Finding Malaysia: Making Sense of an Eccentric Nation


Some of the most engaging contemporary writing has seen the transformation of the political column into a literary art form – an important way of taking in the world and thinking deeply about it. In his first collection of essays, Zairil Khir Johari offers quick-witted and focused reflections on some of the most pressing and contentious issues of the day. At the heart of the matter is the bane of Malaysian politics – the ethnic question – from which he explores a range of high-profile issues: identity, secularism, federalism, the economy, good governance and education. After sixty years of nationhood, Zairil finds much that is wrong with Malaysia. Its eccentricities are by no means benign. Yet these essays also offer answers to his own assertion that ‘we need to move beyond this.’ At once both philosophical and practical, Finding Malaysia lays down a marker for any serious debate over the future trajectory of the country.