Ma-Thida#Word – A Cooler Lumpur Festival, Kuala Lumpur

Sunday 23 June 2:00pm MYT

Censorship Today

Keynote: Dr Ma Thida
Panelists: Marina Mahathir, Lourd de Veyra, Nicola Morgan  Moderator: Ezra Zaid

Author biographies:

Dr Ma Thida is a Burmese surgeon, human rights activist and writer, famously known as the leading intellectual in Burma whose writings dealt with her country’s political situation. She was sentenced to prison for twenty years for “endangering public peace, having contact with illegal organisations, and distributing unlawful literature.” She has published nine books in Burmese and English, including two fictional works of and a prison memoir.

Marina Mahathir is well known as a leader in many non-governmental organizations such as the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and is currently an active socio-political blogger. She also writes in her bi-weekly column called Musings in The Star newspaper since 1989. Some of her pieces in the column have been published in her books such as 50 Days: Rantings by MM, published in 1997 and Telling It Straight, published in 2012 by Editions Didier Millet. The latter is a selection of her articles published in her column between 2003 and 2012. It includes a foreword by Dr Farish A. Noor, a local political scientist and historian. It contains 90 articles which are written thematically including a special written introduction on the topics discussed in the book. It also includes two previously unpublished articles.

Lourd de Veyra is an award winning poet, novelist, musician and broadcast journalist from Quezon City, the Philippines. He has published three collections of poetry, a collection of essays from his blog, and a novel. He has also released four full-length music albums as the frontman of spoken word-jazz-rock band,  Radioactive Sago Project. He currently hosts TV and radio commentary programmes in the Philippines.

Nicola Morgan is an award-winning British writer, teacher and professional speaker, best known for fiction for older children and teenagers, non-fiction about the teenage brain, and her advice on publishing. Nicola was the Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland, is a member of the committee of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group within the Society of Authors and is an Ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.

Ezra Zaid is the proprietor of publishing house ZI Publications, which has produced some of Malaysia’s most important and best-selling books in Bahasa Malaysia and English over the past few years, including Amir Muhammad’s  Rojak, Farish Noor’s Di Balik Malaysia: Dari Majapahit ke Putrajaya, Hishamuddin Rais’  Tapai, Marina Mahathir’s  50 Days: Rantings by MM and Zaid Ibrahim’s Saya Pun Melayu.