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Pursuing Imperfection, Forgiveness, and Repentance in Popular Twenty-first Century Malay Television Fiction

Mohd Muzhafar Idrus, Raihanah M. M., Ruzy Suliza Hashim


Since the turn of the twenty-first century, popular Malay television fiction has been thriving and gaining popularity. Through staggering online reruns, this sheer popularity broadens the expanse of multifaceted issues. This paper contextualizes popular TV fiction within a space of imperfection, focusing on audience responses to Julia, Adam & Hawa, and About Dhia. Using the lens of democratic habits of mind according to Mezirow: “respect for others, self-respect, willingness to accept responsibility for the common good, willingness to welcome diversity and to approach others with openness,” this paper reveals two of the many emerging themes, namely, forgiveness and repentance, which can intensify possibilities for acknowledging human faults, vulnerability, and imperfection between the private/public and self/society. By considering reactions of some of the many popular TV fiction audience, this paper presents unfolding, interactive twenty-first-century insights into what it means to pursue an imperfect duty, whose responsibility could be understood in the sense of forgiveness and repentance.


Islam; Malaysia; Malay culture; popular culture; Psychology; TV Fiction

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2020.03322