Southeast Asia’s first festival of ideas, the Cooler Lumpur Festival, returns to Publika this weekend with the theme #Fast. Established in 2013, the festival aims to provide audience members with great discussions and dialogue. If you believe in the power of a good idea, this is the festival for you.

This is our selection of events from the festival for you, dear reader:

Friday, 20 June

#Fast Talks: Opening Keynote – F**** Censorship! by Miguel Syjuco, 830-930pm

This years #Fast Talks Lecture series at the Cooler Lumpur Festival will be opened by distinguished Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco who represents the bright future of Asian literary talent. Beginning a series of lectures by distinguished guests, with the ever present and timely topic of censorship and its constraints.

Saturday, 21 June

The Modern Malay Tongue, 12:30–1:30pm

How has Bahasa Malaysia in its written form changed over the years? From the rigid, strict, sanctioned, to the slang filled, rojak-ed hybrid we experience today, this panel will explore the evolution of the Malay language into the 21st century. It will ask whether or not in there is still room for an institutionalised tongue in this modern age?

Panelists: A. Samad Said, Uthaya Sankar SB, Nadia Khan
Moderated by Ahmad Fuad Rahmat

We’re all Beige: New Ideas in Cultural Identity, 5–6pm

We are cultural consumers. We are exposed to a glut of popular content that isn’t bound by geography, or language, or ideology. We adapt and adopt these ideas freely. So much so that our new cultural identity is something of a mishmash of global proportions. What does this mean for our notions of self? What does it mean for conventional notions of nationality?

Panelists: Miguel Syjuco, Adam Foulds, Eka Kurniawan
Moderated by Marion D’Cruz

#FAST Films: Early Indies 2 (Page 2), 8:30–9:30pm

A selection of Malaysian shorts from 2000-2005, the pathbreaking years of local independent digital filmmaking. Curated by Imri Nasution. Join us for a walk down memory lane, through the beginnings of a new century in Malaysia, when a wave of young filmmakers & alternative stories emerged. These films, all made before the age of YouTube, capture how #FAST the urban Malaysian landscape has changed.


  1. ‘Me, My Mother & Mosquito’ by Shan (2001 / 7 mins).
  2. ‘Classrooms’ by Ho Yuhang (2003 / 6 mins).
  3. ‘Flower’ by Liew Seng Tat (2005 / 19 mins).
  4. ‘Ada Bola’ by JImmy Choong (2004 / 8 mins).
  5. ‘Majidee’, by Azharr Rudin (2005 / 15 mins).

Total running time: 55 mins.

Bump in the Night, 11:59pm

Once upon a midnight dreary…Bump in the Night is back to spook and excite audiences at The Cooler Lumpur Festival. Come join us at midnight and be scared silly by a series of horror stories performed by some of the best voices Malaysia has to offer.

Note: Persons under 18 are not recommended to attend.
Storytellers: Kamini Ramachandran, Susan Lankester, Patrick Teoh

Sunday, 22 June

Lost and Found in Translation, 11am-12pm

How important is translation in broadening our horizons, in opening our minds to other lives and other worlds? Join the panel as they discuss whether translation can be the key to unity in the multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-coloured, multi-everything societies we live in. Will it help us better understand ourselves and those around us?

Panelists: Dr Sarah Meisch, Zhang Su Li, Pauline Fan
Moderated by Eddin Khoo

Nay Phone Latt in conversation with Sharaad Kuttan, 4:30–5:30pm

Sharaad Kuttan, radio producer and presenter with BFM89.9 will host Nay Phone Latt the Burmese blogger and activist who was a recipient of PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in 2010. From 2008 to 2012, he was detained at Hpa-An Prison due to his alleged involvement in spreading news during 2007 Burmese anti-government protests using his blogs. He was also listed as a political prisoner by Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma. Join us as he talks about his fascinating story.

Reimagining Malaysian Cinema, 6–7pm

We’re making and releasing more movies than ever before. But are they any good? We’re setting ourselves up to be the Vancouver of South East Asia. But do we have the chops? An open and honest, down and dirty discussion on the future of Malaysian cinema.

Panelists: Hassan Abd Muthalib, Low Ngai Yuen, Tengku Iesta Tengku Alaudin
Moderated by Johanan Sen

The events listed are available for free, so no tickets are required. Enjoy, and we hope you find inspiration for your next great idea from this festival.

Disclaimer: Panellist for Reimagining Malaysian Cinema, Low Ngai Yuen, is the head of our parent company Kakiseni