Like other magazines who Malaysian university debaters feel compelled to berate for using substandard paper, I must regretfully point out (to the other magazines) that copies of this production is sustainably charming. The kind of quality that draws you to want to touch it. Being a debater, these attributes are somewhat essential, especially when building a matter-file. Substandard paper that gets easily destroyed when you flip the same pages like a mere ten times is utterly annoying and nerve wrecking – You can’t read the article that you desperately need the most for a particular debate round because if you’d pick it up from your matter-file, it’ll turn to dust.
But this is not the only reason why debate-dunderheads should turn their attention to this magazine. Unlike many of the other, more egocentric magazines produced i.e. Times, Newsweek and the Economist; Off The Edge captures the rich humanity — the friendship, bravery, and unfailing humor — of the millions of Malaysians trying to make sense of the chaotic politics and cultures around them. It not only provides stories, news and information. It is narrated in a way where the emotions and empathy of these stories are not divorced from its factual and statistical value. As a result, this magazine is not just informative, funny and heart-breaking at the same time, but utterly engrossing; a vivid chronicle of the disintegration of a post-colonial nation, and the rebirth of a multiethnic Malaysian society.
Part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-news, and part-everything, this insightful, penetrating and incisive magazine is populated by the sort of colorful characters and larger-than-life tales that seem to flourish in modern Malaysia (whatever that means). My favorite magazine for 2010 would be my favorite magazine in 2004 – if only i had known about it.
Off The Edge
Magazine MYR12.00, approximately 100-pages .
See the magazine cover for Issue 64 April 2010 here.