A room inside the Woodlands Regional Library is full of new and aspiring writers, as well as several established ones, on a Saturday afternoon. They’re discussing various issues faced by Singapore’s Malay writers.

In my home country of Indonesia, a gathering of writers anywhere across the archipelago would be dominated by millennials aged between 15–25 years old. In Singapore, this gathering in the northern part of the island is attended by a group of middle-aged adults and elderly citizens, most of whom have established careers in other professions.

Members only

Log in or

Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading

We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to sponsorship@newnaratif.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.

Okky Madasari is a novelist and columnist for several media outlets in Indonesia. She has published 11 books and is now doing her PhD at the National University of Singapore, with a thesis on censorship and silencing in Indonesia.