Salleh Ben Joned
Born in Malacca in 1941, Salleh spent several years Downunder as one of the last Colombo Plan Scholars. He got an Australian fellow student pregnant in his first year and married her. Due to her family's disapproval of the marriage, the couple moved from University of Adelaide to University of Tasmania, where he became a student of the major poet James McAuley. He came back to Malaysia in 1973 and lectured in English Literature at Universiti Malaya until 1983, when he quit to become a freelance scribbler. His first book was the bilingual poetry collection "Sajak-Sajak Saleh" (Teks, 1987). His publisher later committed suicide. This was followed by "As I Please" (Skoob, 1994) which compiled his popular New Straits Times column. A remixed version of "Sajak-Sajak Saleh" was published by Pustaka Cipta in 2002. Several other books are promised. His last film appearance was as the vicious pimp Farouk in "Bintang Malam" (1991) and he also wrote the original story for "Amok (1995), both directed by Adman Salleh (no relation).
(Pix by James Lee)