Kuali Hitam

Warisan Zurinah Hassan


My latest collection of short stories is Murka Lautan (The
Wrath of the Ocean), published by Institute of Translation and Books Malaysia,  2016 It is a portrayal of Malaysian life in recent days.
The term short story apparently means a story that is short, as
compared to a long story of a novel. In spite of the word story,   what is
to  be delivered in a short story is not
a ‘story’ but issues in a society while a story is an element required to bring
the issues.  Although short stories and
novels are termed as fiction, the purpose of writing is to convey the realities
of life. The reality is blended in the craft of language befitting a work of
Short stories give more space for elaboration and discussion  while poetry 
is considered an outburst of feelings.  I write on issues hovering
my mind such as the split among the Malay community who are  divided by their political stands. This triggered
the writing of Cerita Berangkai Hulu Negeri (The Chained Stories of Upstream
States) .
I have written several pieces out of my concern for the  younger generation. Why are they racing on the
roads and getting killed or disabled in accidents? School goers are playing truants,
wasting their precious time and their parents hard earned money at game
stations. An example of such short stories, The Curse Of Kuala Kedah is included
in this book. This is a sad tale of the state of Kedah, where I was born. The
state was attacked and the people tortured mercilessly by the Siamese. The horror
of war is over but regretfully  the youth
are inflicting their own injury.
The issue of youth  lulled by unworthy entertainment is also
highlighted in another short story, Menara Impian.(The Coveted Mineret)
If the younger generations are going astray, the elders are
to be blamed. There are short stories in which I criticized  those who have neglected their role as
leaders of the families and leaders of the nation. In The Wrath of The Ocean (Murka
Lautan), the wrath refer to the tsunami sweeping the shores of Southeast Asia
in December 2004.  A top government official
was flying to Phuket for the fun of his life not knowing that his daughter was
travelling by road to the same island full of anxiety to be photographed for a
cultural magazine. What she did not know was, they had prepared to trick her
into phonography.   Fortunately  father and daughter were helped by God
Almighty and spared the worst. They were given the chance to return home and to the right
Another grief in my heart is caused by the loss of Malay
lands to immigrants and foreigners. “Diamond Brooch of Wan Tempawan” reveal how
royal ladies have been taken advantage of by the Arab and Indian merchants who
sold to them jewellery on instalment 
basis. More often the instalment involved mortgaging of lands with the
usually illiterate and trusting ladies not understanding fully the terms and
conditions.  They end up losing their

Poverty is always a major problem. Blame this on the bad governance
 and mismanagement of the country.
Poverty breed crime in “Tangisan Peragut” (Tears of a Snatcher).   Life is
now harder for the rubber tappers with  falling rubber prices. Condition became bad
that a poor father braved into a sundry shop just to steal some rice and salted
 fish to feed a hungry crying child. This
is portrayed in Kecurian di kedai ayah )( Break in into my father’s shop) 

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