Book pokes fun at Singaporeans and Malaysians

  The Star, Malaysia
October 6, 2002

N WHAT is seen as a bold venture, a Singaporean journalist and a Malaysian artist have teamed up to produce a book which takes a dig not only at politicians but also the quirks and foibles in both countries.

The book, The Difference Between Malaysians and Singaporeans, is written by Singaporean Ravi Veloo and spiced up with Malaysian Cheng Puay Koon’s cartoons.

As the title suggests, there are almost 100 cartoons which poke fun at the political, social and cultural differences between the two neighbours.

Ravi, 43, is a journalist, playwright and author who trains journalists as well as newsmakers in media skills. Cheng, 29, who is an artist, designed the Singapore national daily newspaper Today, for which she now works as the senior art director.

“It’s all in good fun, because the one thing we share undeniably is the ability to laugh at ourselves.

“Laughter is the best ubat, koyok, medicine, whatever you call it, for what ails our two countries now in these troubled times when the headlines in our newspapers tell us daily that we cannot get along,” said the authors in their foreword.

Cheng’s artwork includes caricatures of an ancient Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and an emotional Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

One of the funniest cartoons in the book is titled: How Singapore politicians express their sense of humour. It is a blank page. On where Singaporeans will get their water, the authors wrote:

“Piss talks are now on to renegotiate the price of fresh water sold by Malaysia to Singapore. Meanwhile, Singapore is bravely recycling its used water and calling it NeWater, which the local media politely fails to mention as often as it can, comes directly from the toilet bowl. This is what happens when neighbours cannot get along.”

Retailed at S$12.90 (M$27.09), the book, which went on sale today, is published by Ravi’s Newsbooks, the publishing arm of The Media Campus, a company that trains journalists. — Bernama