Esquire (Malaysia) - - EDITOR'S LETTER - IAN LOH Act­ing Ed­i­tor

In Chi­nese cul­ture, it’s com­mon to have longevity noo­dles, a longevity peach (it’s a bun, not a fruit) and red eggs on your birth­day. The noo­dles (sau mein) and bun (sau tou) are a sym­bol for longevity and the red eggs rep­re­sent a new start. More of­ten than not, peo­ple are in­spired to make ma­jor changes in life at the brink of their birth­day.

As our coun­try cel­e­brates its 61st birth­day, it’s also go­ing through a ma­jor change. The Pakatan Hara­pan has of­fi­cially taken the of­fice for more than four months now. And since com­ing into power, the new govern­ment didn’t lose any time get­ting started on ef­forts to build a “New Malaysia”. As amor­phous as the slo­gan sounds, GE14 proved that peo­ple wanted change.

Like the na­tion it­self, our me­dia land­scape is shift­ing; and our mag­a­zine is chang­ing. Since the be­gin­ning of the year, Esquire Malaysia has re­vamped into a quar­terly with a re­newed fo­cus on our dig­i­tal sites. With that in mind, this is­sue is about cham­pi­oning the new while re­mem­ber­ing the old.

The Hol­ly­wood new­comer that is Henry Golding stars in not one, but two high-pro­file films this sea­son. The lead ac­tor of Crazy Rich Asians and Blake Lively’s co-star in A Sim­ple Fa­vor—as writer Kevin Sin­tu­muang rightly pointed out—is quite pos­si­bly the luck­i­est ac­tor in Hol­ly­wood right now. Not only is Crazy Rich Asians killing it at the box of­fice, it’s sig­nif­i­cant that this is the first movie with an all-asian cast in 25 years since The Joy Luck Club. As di­rec­tor Jon Chu claimed, “It’s not a movie, it’s a move­ment.” Rightly so—its glo­ri­ous re­sults proves that rep­re­sen­ta­tion mat­ters. It proves that di­ver­sity mat­ters. And more im­por­tantly, it proves how things can be dif­fer­ent when peo­ple want change.

To cel­e­brate that, we’ve casted all Asian mod­els in our fash­ion spreads this is­sue. One par­tic­u­lar spread hit close to home when we were pro­duc­ing it, as we not only show­case the sea­son’s best fash­ion but also high­light lo­cal artists’ works from Balai Seni Ne­gara, The Na­tional Art Gallery, in con­junc­tion with the cel­e­bra­tion of the in­sti­tu­tion’s 60th an­niver­sary.

Asian or Malaysian, we’ve come a long way. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? There are some things that are go­ing to take a long, long time un­til we see a real dif­fer­ence. So, we’re ded­i­cat­ing this is­sue to any­one who has fought/is fight­ing for a bet­ter change.

Like our cover star Tom Hardy. He bat­tled al­co­holism and other ad­dic­tions since the age of 13 (even got kicked out of drama schools nu­mer­ous time), yet he never gave up and was fi­nally clean in 2003. Read how his life has changed in pg.56 where the Venom ac­tor took writer Eric Sullivan on a mo­tor­cy­cle tour of his home­town.

When we cel­e­brate the (New) Malaysia Day on Septem­ber 16, we should re­mind our­selves that the fight isn’t over, and the best is yet to come.

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