Kassim Ahmand

Kassim Ahmad is Malaysia’s foremost thinker and philosopher. He grabbed national headlines in the 1950s with his dissertation on the characters of Hang Tuah, the Malay literary classic. In it he challenged the traditional interpretation and made the hitherto hero Hang Tuah as nothing more than a palace hack, and elevated the anti-hero Hang Jebat as the true hero, willing to kill even the sultan in defence of honor and principles.

Kassim was jailed for nearly five years under the ISA for daring to express openly his political views, an experience which he recounted in his book, Universiti Kedua (Second University).