EDITOR’S LETTER —
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.