Allison Hill – Born in Malaysia – A Photographer's Journey
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Allison Hill

When Kenny first talked to me about the book, I was really excited to be part of the project, because I felt it was a book whose time had come. Here is a book that reaffirms what we always knew deep down – that ordinary Malaysians are essentially decent, hardworking and tolerant folks, who embrace diversity with open arms.

This book will renew your faith in your fellow Malaysian. After all, Kenny, a nosy Chinese Malaysian bloke with a big camera, was welcomed time and again with disarming hospitality and warmth from all the people he photographed, regardless of culture, religion, age or social standing. I think this speaks somewhat for the sort of person that Kenny is, but volumes for the sort of Malaysians we all are.

This book also reminds us that we Malaysians cannot be neatly categorised. We are in turn a bit of this and a bit of that and much more, influenced by one another, diverse yet uniquely Malaysian. This book refuses to categorise people by race, choosing instead to categorise geographically. As long as one is born in Malaysia, one is Malaysian.

What I love about this book is how it reflects our Malaysianness in every way, even outside of the subject matter. The modest size is comfortable in your hand and not imposing, the format with the soft cover is unpretentious and approachable, and in keeping it this way, the price is also kept accessible. When I leaf through the book, I feel like I am hearing Kenny’s voice telling me the stories from his travels again, recounting small details that help to transport me into the scene as it were. Individually, these are not grand inspiring stories, but collectively the message is an overwhelmingly powerful one. ~ Allie

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