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Malaysia Now and Then: ‘How did things get this bad?’, rubber tapper asks

Sweating under the scorching sun in Kuala Kangsar, chased by hordes of mosquitoes (one clap of the hands can kill up to five!), 57-year-old Ah Seng teaches Team Ceritalah how to tap rubber.

"It has to be one steady motion, if the cut is jagged, the milk will not flow."

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sekinchan paddy field

Malaysia Now and Then: ‘We are always on our own’, says Sekinchan padi farmer

"There's a new disease. It's spreading fast. It's called BBM".

Abang Zaki (not his real name) lights a kretek (clove) cigarette and inhales deeply. "Nobody knows how it got its name or what causes it. It dries out the stalks of the padi. After that, you can't use it." Abang Zaki is a burly 43 years old.

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Malaysia Now and Then: Don’t mess with the ladies, they’re UMNO backbone

“Whether in or out of government, Umno’s Wanita wing is the backbone of the party. Their door-to-door canvassing operation is second to none and is one of the main reasons why the party was so dominant over the decades.

While it couldn’t stop the defeat of 2018, the women who work in its ranks are the hardcore: they pour their heart and soul into the party.

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Malaysia Now and Then: Life in a low cost flat

Team Ceritalah first met Mala, a 50-year-old resident of the Kota Damansara PPR (government-built, low-cost flats) exactly one year ago.

She was – and still is – pragmatic, proactive and positive.

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Malaysia Now and Then: Palm oil smallholders still left behind?

“Walking up to Abang Man’s oil palm plantation on the outskirts of Kampung Jerlun, Kuala Kangsar, it’s clear the roads – they’re narrow and treacherous – are a major problem for him.

One wrong move and even a light, nimble car – say a Perodua – could careen off into the dense bushes by the side of the lane; what more a lorry packed to the brim with oil palm bunches.

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Malaysia Now and Then: We are the last generation

“We understand that the government is new, but we hope that they can just hear us out.”

This is the plea from Tan, a fisherman from Parit Jawa, Muar. Seated on a wooden bench overlooking the port, the 50-year-old is forlorn.

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by Team Ceritalah
Photography by Joe Kit Yong

A DAY IN THE LIFE AT BFM 89.9

On a Thursday morning Team Ceritalah headed into BFM 89.9’s new office space at Menara KEN TTDI.
We followed the station’s various teams – from dawn to dusk – to find out what a ‘typical’ day at the radio outfit looks like as Malaysia’s authoritative frequency on business and current events turned ten this year.
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