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Go East!

Author: Karim Raslan

Presented by: Qing Yi Nateesha Emily Shafik Azham

Authors Background
Karim Raslan Father (Raslan Abdullah) & English mother. Brother (Kam Raslan): writer and director in Malaysia. Occupation: Educated lawyer Writer of short stories and articles on society Political analyst and travelling columnist (currently based in Indonesia)

Are you ready for a story of

Forbidden

love,

sexual

identity

&

self discovery?

Go East
(Where magic happens)

Welcome to the world of

Synopsis
Protagonist: Mahmud (plantation manager in Lahad Datu) A story of sexual identity (homosexuality), masculinity (mans ego), cultural & moral constraints, as well as the unhealthy effect of a lawless, morally corrupt society. What does it really mean to be a man? Sexual performance v.s. Sexual identity

Plot
Exposition Mahmud mentioned his job in Lahad Datu, the society and his background. He met Jimmy Gan, and declined offers to drink or join the other planters at the whore-house as he was engaged at that time.
Rising action He started to drink and the incident in the bedroom made his servant, Suriya suspect that he was gay. She later brought in Anton as a helper. Mahmud becomes sexually attracted to Anton, and their relationship becomes a hot topic among workers at the estate.

Plot
Climax He abused the prostitute at Varnas party and went to Antons room when he reached home. He wanted to do it but he restrained himself. On the next night, he had sex with Tita but kept on thinking about Anton. He felt relieved because he managed to perform with a girl. Resolution He went to the club and felt very good about himself; he believed that he was now able to have sex with women and then asked Suriya to sack Anton.

Setting
Place
Lahad Datu, Sabah

Society
Mixed race (Malay, Filipino, Indian, Chinese) Planters Lawless, dangerous, violent

Time
1970s 1980s

List of characters
Major Mahmud Anton Suriya Farida

List of characters
Minor Varna Jimmy Gan The other planters Various prostitues (Esther, the Filipina, Tita) Chan the barman Khalid Apong & family Maria (ex-maid)

Character Analysis
Mahmud:
Ambitious and focused (in the beginning) Dislikes the constraints of the city Seeks danger and adventure Nave (in the beginning) Submits to alcohol and prostitution (as story progresses) Lingering self-conscience Egoistic Confused about own sexual identity Very self conscious of his inability to perform with women Self deception

Character Analysis
Anton:
Filipino Early twenties Poor, impoverished family background Sold into slavery since 8 years old Handsome, well built Nave Submissive Sensitive Knows his place (as a servant)

Character Analysis
Suriya
Javanese Seductive Underlying motive Superficial kindness

Character Analysis
Varna
Indian Untrustworthy Deceptive, steals from Mahmud (workers, wire fence) Buys smuggled items Violent & abusive Inhumane Treats women as sex objects

Character Analysis
Jimmy Gan
Chinese Old time planter Knowledgeable about local culture Introduced Mahmud to the club on his first night Violent Has a black past Cautious, keeps guns (his girls) Will do anything to protect his property (kills the people who attacked his house)

Themes
Homosexuality and hidden internal conflict Moral & religious constraints v.s ugly realities of life (murder, prostitution, degradation of women) Masculinity & what it means to be a real man

Issues
Homosexuality in a masculine-based society Homophobia Perceived appearance v.s. hidden desires Morally corrupt society & how it affects an individual Relationship between employer and employee

Internal Conflict
Inability to perform sexually as a man Confused about sexual identity Contrast between moral self & hidden desires Egoistic ideal of self as a man

External Conflict
Awkward relationship between Mahmud and Anton Inablity to fit in with other planters (in the beginning)

Literary Devices
Use of loan words (Malay language, slang words)
kerbau, budak-lah!, kenduri, baju kebaya

Simile Flashback
Flashback on Mahmud and Faridas trip up to Genting.

Any Questions?

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