Scenes of Malaysian Life

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Scenes of Malaysian Life
Current status/scheduleEnded
Launch date1974
End date2014
Publisher(s)New Straits Times

Scenes of Malaysian Life is a comic strip series by Malaysian cartoonist, Mohammad Nor Khalid, better known as Lat and published in the Malaysian English-language daily newspaper, the New Straits Times.[1][2] The comic strip, which ran for 40 years, from 1974 to 2014,[3] illustrated the common way of life of the multicultural Malaysia.[4] Some of his cartoons in the series also compiled in his comic books.


In 1973, Lat, who was then a crime reporter at the New Straits Times,[5] submitted his comic strip for the Hong Kong-based Asia Magazine with the traditional life culture as the main subject where he drews a cartoon and provide the dialogues about a traditional Malay Muslim ritual, the circumcision.[6][7][8] It drews attention from the-then New Straits Times editor-in-chief, Lee Siew Yee, who later offered him a permanent column cartoonist role in the newspaper.[9] Lat then taking that position specially created for him by the the-then newspaper's editor, Abdul Samad Ismail.[10][11] This gave birth to the Scenes of Malaysian Life comic strip where his first duty is to highlighted the daily lives of Malaysian multiracial culture and current affairs.[12][13]

The first cartoon that Lat drew in the series is the Perak Wedding, which was published in March 1974.[2][14] After returned to Malaysia from his 4-month study at the St Martin's School of Art in London,[15] Lat changed the format of Scenes of Malaysian Life into an editorial cartoon series. In 1984, partly from a desire to step away from the public limelight, Lat resigned from the New Straits Times to become a freelancer,[16][17] but continued to draw Scenes of Malaysian Life for the newspaper. In 1995, Scenes of Malaysian Life absent briefly from the New Straits Times as Lat decided to take a sabbatical for a year. The series resumed publication the following year[18] until it finally ended in 2014.[3]


The comic strip was well-received[19][20] and propelled Lat's work to a greater heights.[21] In the 2000s, the series ran three times per week in the New Straits Times.[22]

Ilham Gallery describe the series as "a truly Malaysian narrative and perfectly pictured the life of a nation".[23]



  • Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi (17 March 2019). "Lat, his cartoons and appreciating our multiculturalism". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  • Tan Mei Kuan (29 December 2020). "Interview with Lat: Kampung Boy and Beyond" (Interview). Ipoh Echo. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
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