張老闆是個頑固老頭,但總的說是討人喜歡的|因愛而留在馬來西亞的 Nine


受訪人: Nine (張永新老闆書店雇員)
採訪者:黃孫權 王岩


A: We just have a few questions. So, the first… Would you just briefly introduce yourself with your background?

Q: OK. My name is Nine, and I’m from Northern Ireland. I’ve been living in Malaysia 4 years. I’m a writer and an editor. I’m quite involved with this like various human right issues, I guess, like sexual issues, that’s my main thing.

A: How about your background, your study?

Q: I have degree in Sociality with gender studies.

A: That’s the thing you want to have, right?

Q: Right.

A: Why you working at this bookstore? Why you came to Malaysia? Why you came here?

Q: Why I came to Malaysia is kind of a long story, I guess so. I was traveling for several years. So I started, you know, passing through Malaysia briefly and I met somebody, so I stayed. And then after the relationship ended, by then I had so much like community in Malaysia. I wanted to stay here. So after a point, (what) I needed is just to get a job, you know, and this was a place that I already admire, because I have bought books from there before and it was in line with my interest and preferences. So… Yeah..

A: What’s your current work in this bookstore?

Q: I’m in the Publications Department. So I coordinate the publications that we’re doing in English and to understand in Malay. So coincidence the writers and deal with all their queries. I do editing of myself or like some of the manuscript from my other editors, and sort of manuscript reviews, that kind of things. But on the top of that, I do, actual things, like sometimes organize events, do some of the social media stuff, sometimes ordering books from other publishers to distribute in the shop. 
我主要在出版部門,負責協調英語書籍和馬來語書籍的出版工作,也要和作家們協作,幫他們解決困難。我自己也做手稿編輯一類的工作,包括審閱其他編輯的手稿,諸如此類。但是總體上,我還做很多組織工作, 比如組織活動,有時候做社交媒體,有時候從其他出版商那裡訂書,然後在店裡上架。

A: What kind of events…?

Q: Usually, book launches. But we also run series course of “Enclosia”, where we get together people to understand academic, but not only to talk about certain issues with great focus. So we have like three on higher education in Malaysian problems and complains, and also solutions for the situation with that. Now are female’s migration,

A: What’s his personal attitude with your course?

Q: He’s good. He’s sometimes, you know, stubborn old man, kind of thing. But he’s quite endearing. At the end of day, he has certain sense of fairness, like we’re coming from fairly positions politically. So it’s pretty decent. f he wasn’t doing that, I wouldn’t be interested in working here.

A: In that case, you can talk more about yourself with the left thing? You are activating in the left wing bookshop…

Q: It always be my interest especially like social issues, like my own personal, areas focus sex rights, refuges, LGBT, gender issues, race. But on the top of that I think living in Malaysia, I’ve been…I’ve wind up more interested and more knowledgeable about Malaysian politics and history than the politics and history from my own country. So it’s been interesting to learn that.
我個人一直對社會問題、性權利、難民問題、LBGT、性別問題、種族問題等等很感興趣。 但最重要的是,我生活在馬來西亞,我變得……變得對馬來西亞政治和歷史的興趣和瞭解比對自己祖國的還多。這一點我覺得很有意思。

A: So what do you think the biggest problem or the biggest difference with your country?

Q: There are so many things. There are various … maybe I’ll say the justice because I think they are like, you know, the lawyers here have such a struggle because it doesn’t matter. You know, things keep going to appeal. Things keep going to different courts. There are so many setbacks. You know, I really admire some of the lawyers, like, I don’t know, do you know lawyers for liberty? that kind of folks like human rights lawyers? They have such a task ahead of them. They themselves get arrested for station, and things like that. It feels like it’s quite hard to get anyway.

A: Do you mind talk more about your boss, something about him?

Q: Sure. I’m not sure what should I actually to share…He is pretty funny sometimes. We have some degree of language barrier, you know, but I think we’ve learned to get along quite well. I mean, you are gonna meet Charles soon and he’s the English guy. And then sometimes he like… Sometimes, we have a meeting the three of us, Charles speaks and say something. And then there’s pause. And boss just goes, “I’m sorry. Can you translate?” So I’m the one got to do that, just translate from English to English. I try to choose my words carefully, so he can understand me easily without too much.
可以。恩,我其實不知道從何說起……有時候他很有趣。我們之間有某種程度的語言障礙,不過我們相處得很好。你們很快要見到Charles了,他是講英文的,有時候,我們三個會開會, Charles會說點什麼。他說完了會出現一陣停頓,然後老闆就(對我)說,“對不起,你能翻譯嗎?”所以我得在中間做翻譯,從英語翻譯到英語。我用詞很仔細,所以他很容易明白我的意思。

A: Does he interfere your work? Or you guys…

Q: It depends. He’s a bit of control freak. So he wants to know what’s going on like everything. Sometimes, it’s like, Oh… takes long times to explain this, and it’s not really very important because I’m handling it and it’s fine. OK. I tell you all about it, you know, but usually I can negotiate to do it in the right way, like my way.

A: Is there any this kind of shop in North Ireland?

Q: Good question. Not really. I mean, maybe, but I can’t think of any. Actually, I didn’t live there for 20 years, so I don’t really know. In which is like my home city like an independent bookshop but most are fictions, so not the same. They have like… They have some lefty ideals, you know, but it’s kind of a fringe thing.

A: So you mean that is not that popular in the Europe?

Q: Yeah. I used to live in Edinburgh and Scotland and there’s one particular independent radical bookshop there. It’s been there like maybe 20 years. I used to buy everything from there.

A: So there’s got one in Scotland actually?

Q: Yeah, probably more than one.

A: Do you know the standard of principle, on how the bookshop actually choosing the different topic of book? How would they choose the books? The principle to choose a book to publish.

Q: It should be progressive. Sometimes I do that myself, but not usually. Usually somebody else here handles it. So I don’t know what cafeterias specifically focus on, but it should be that.

A: Mr. Chong have the final decision to choose the book?

Q: Yes, I think so. Yes, He does.

A: Include the other, some gender, developmental, social justice, history? Crazy things. We’d know that Mr. Chong has some influence to you, and young generation, so if you can take an example to us, tell us a story? Or…How did he inspire you sometimes, I mean…

Q: Actually, I’m quite impressed that (Name of Bookshop) has survived for so long. Because it’s so… You know, it does take a lot of risks in Malaysia especially, right? A lot of controversial stuff. I don’t think that any of our books has been banned, if any, that’s quite a while ago, and it’s like nothing since I’ve involved. So it’s quite impressive that it keeps going like that. We have some books contest here last year. But they were just confiscated, just a few copies. they were not banned yet. I think in some way he’s prepared to take risks like… He won’t take risks with too much money but it will take risks with like controversial content, maybe. And then, that’s pretty good.

A: Thank you!

Q: You’re welcome.