Tan Kaiyi in conversation with Tunku Halim: The Dark Lord of Malaysian Horror

In Tunku Halim’s illustrious career in horror writing, his beginning could be the strangest story of all in the history of the genre.

His first ever published work was Everything the condominium developer should have told you, but didn’t, containing his musings on buying condominiums during the Klang Valley real estate boom in the ‘90s. He followed that up with a sequel, Condominiums: Purchase Investment & Habitat, before publishing his first ever horror novel, Dark Demon Rising, in 1997. The hero of the story is Shazral, a city lawyer, who returns to his home kampong to attend his father’s funeral. It is there that he realises that he has been given a supernatural inheritance, in the form of a Hantu Penanggal, a Malay nocturnal vampiric entity.

An English anthology of works by Taiwanese and Malaysian writers was launched in late January this year to introduce more literary works from the two countries to English-speaking readers.

The “Anthology of Short Stories Malaysia-Taiwan” features 12 short stories by six Taiwanese and six Malaysian writers, Sarah Hsiang (項人慧), secretary and assistant editor at the Taipei Chinese Center International P.E.N., said Tuesday.