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12 Mar

Errata

Errata

Concerning the article:

Starrs, Bruno D. 2016. Self-censorship in Bruneian Literature and Journalism.  Aesthetique Journal for International Literary Enterprises (AJILE) 2 (1): 1-8.

 

The passage below (pp. 3-4), extracted from Starrs’ article, contains several errors—both factual and misleading:

 

"Un-redacted, fortunately, is the comment by then Singaporean academic, Grace Chin, about Singapore and Malaysia:

 

Be it man or woman, the writer located in the plural contexts of Malaysia and Singapore has always been aware of the   censorship apparatuses operating within the nation space. S/he has learnt to treat with caution the subjects forbidden in these countries—namely race and religion (Chin 2006: 13).

 

Chin might just as well have counted Brunei alongside Singapore and Malaysia—but diverted censors in the country where she was later to find teaching work at University of Brunei Darussalam—by not doing so. Judicial writing has enabled this academic to retain a professorial position in English literature at the University of Brunei Darussalam: it may be assumed that Chin practices what she preaches with regard to exercising caution when mentioning race or religion" (pp. 3-4).

 

Error #1: Singaporean academic (p. 3)

Correction: Malaysian academic

 

Error #2: Grace Chin (p. 3)

Correction: Grace V. S. Chin

 

Error #3:  Chin 2006: 13 (p. 3)

Correction: Chin 2005/2006: 13

 

Error #4:  Chin might just as well have counted Brunei alongside Singapore and Malaysia—but diverted censors in the country where she was later to find teaching work at University of Brunei Darussalam—by not doing so. (p. 3)

 

Correction: Chin’s article (2005/2006) was based on her 2004 PhD thesis on the representations of censorship in Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese women’s writings in English. As she was focused on Malaysian and Singaporean literary contexts, Starrs’ contention that Chin has “diverted censors in the country [Brunei] where she was later to find teaching work at University of Brunei Darussalam” is both erroneous and misleading, as is the emphasized bit at the end, “--by not doing so”, which implies that she deliberately omitted Brunei from her analysis.

It was only in 2007 when Chin turned her attention to Bruneian Anglophone literary scene, which was so limited it was considered negligible. With only poems and two short stories published (see Chin 2007), it would have been unproductive to speculate how much of this non-existent corpus of literature could actually be attributed to state and self-censorship. From 2009 onwards, the Anglophone literary industry began to slowly expand, and included authors like KH Lim and Amir Falique, whose works have been examined by Starrs in his article. Chin welcomes the readers to learn more about the Bruneian literary state in English—both its negligible condition (2007) and burgeoning progress (2016)—here:

 

Chin, Grace V. S. 2007. Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam: A comparative study of literary developments in English. Asian Englishes: An International Journal of Sociolinguistics of English in Asia / Pacific 10 (2): 8-29.

 

Kathrina Mohd Daud, Chin, Grace V. S., & Maslin Jukim. 2016. Contemporary English and Malay literature in Brunei: A comparison. In Noor Azam Haji-Othman, J. McLellan, & D. Deterding (Eds.), The use and status of language in Brunei Darussalam: A kingdom of unexpected linguistic diversity, pp. 241-251. Dordrecht: Springer.

 

Error #5: Judicial writing has enabled this academic to retain a professorial position in English literature at the University of Brunei Darussalam" (pp. 3-4).

 

Correction: Chin was a lecturer at the University of Brunei Darussalam and has never held a “professorial position.” Without evidence to support what Starrs means by “judicial writing” and in what ways it has “enabled this academic to retain a position,” his argument is baseless,  as it works on generalizations that misrepresent Chin, her writing, and how she has retained a position at the university.

 

Chin therefore invites AJILE readers to read the essays below (both co- and self-authored) and judge for themselves the kind of writing that she does while working at the University of Brunei Darussalam. These essays examine Brunei’s state ideology, Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB; Malay Islamic Monarchy), and relates it to, among other issues, the culture of censorship in Brunei and how it may have affected literary writing and publication (Chin and Kathrina 2015;  Kathrina et al. 2016).  Chin has also published an essay on Bruneian women writers’ marginalized position “by examining the ideological intersections between race, gender, language and literature, and their relation to the discursive hierarchies produced by MIB” (Chin 2016, 590).

 

Chin, Grace V. S., & Kathrina Haji Mohd Daud. 2015. Negotiating difference: The trope of “anak derhaka” and ideological endings in Bruneian writings. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 50 (2): 101-114.

 

Kathrina Mohd Daud, Chin, Grace V. S., & Maslin Jukim. 2016. Contemporary English and Malay literature in Brunei: A comparison. In Noor Azam Haji-Othman, J. McLellan, & D. Deterding (Eds.), The use and status of language in Brunei Darussalam: A kingdom of unexpected linguistic diversity, pp. 241-251. Dordrecht: Springer.

 

Chin, Grace V. S. 2016. Bruneian women’s writing as an emergent minor literature in English. In Special issue: English in Brunei Darussalam, eds. J. McLellan & G. V. S. Chin. World Englishes 35 (4): 587-601. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/weng.12228/full

 

Error #6:it may be assumed that Chin practices what she preaches with regard to exercising caution when mentioning race or religion” (p. 4)

 

Correction: While Chin acknowledges there is some amount of caution and self-regulation among scholars in a country where censors are active, and that acts of expression are subject to the discursive boundaries in place, it is still erroneous on Starrs’ part to presume that Chin “practices what she preaches” without valid evidence. Moreover, there is no link between Chin’s old article (2005/2006) on Malaysian and Singaporean literature (which Starrs cited) and the argument that she “practices what she preaches with regard to exercising caution when mentioning race or religion” while working at the University of Brunei Darussalam.  This statement is not only misleading, but the reasoning here is also flawed. In fact, Starrs’ reasoning of Chin as an example of self-censorship in Brunei works on a false premise, as the 2005/2006 article in question was based on her 2004 PhD thesis on Malaysian and Singaporean literature and contexts, which was her specialized field at the time.

 

Error #7: Bibliographic entry - Chin, Grace (2006) (p. 7)

Correction: Chin, Grace V. S. (2005/2006)

 

Approved by Manu Mangattu, Editor-in-Chief, AJILE

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