Saturday, 2 February 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in February 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


February 2019

(Last Updated 20-2-19)

This is a list of new arrivals advertised at The Penang Bookshelf for this month. Please note: -

  • Each book advertised below includes a brief description of its contents and condition as well as the price in Malaysian Ringgit. If you want a fuller description of a used book's condition, to look at the scanned contents page, if any, and or to find out the price in USD, please click on the link in blue for the relevant book. 
  • If you click on a link after the current month and find nothing, the book's been sold.  
  • Of course, if you want to buy anything you see here, you can either do so from the site or contact me at 
  • This page will be updated constantly until the end of the month.
  • The prices shown here hold good for at least this month, but for out of print books, the prices may change in subsequent months.
  • All prices include free postage to anywhere in Malaysia.

Malaysia & Singapore - Arts & Crafts

Malaysia & Singapore - Boats, Fishing & The Sea

Firth, at the time Professor of Anthropology at the University of London, initially produced a detailed study of the fishing industry in Kelantan state just before the Japanese invasion of Malaysia. He revisited his original research area in 1947 and 1963 to produce this updated version of his classic  398 pages and two maps of the area of study, more than 30 black and white plates, a set of 9 appendices at the end of the book, numerous statistical tables and an index    Very Good Paperback Reprint of the 1966 revised edition 


Penans, The Vanishing Nomads of Borneo -  Dennis Lau   RM150

A photographic essay by one of Sarawak's best known photographers with the elusive Penan tribe as his subject. There is a brief five page introduction about the tribe followed by a wide selection of black and white photographs. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition, 99 pages. 0.9 kg

Politics and Local Government in Sarawak - Faisal S Hazis & Stanley Bye Kadam Kiai (eds)   RM50

Whereas politics in Malaysia has often been governed by racial alignments since the moment its citizens were allowed to vote, Sarawak has the added ingredient of inter and intra tribal rivalry. In this book the contributors provide a comprehensive introduction to politics at the state level. They also consider the workings of the Bintulu Development Authority, a modified local government body for the area. New Paperback. First Edition. 298 pages with an index

Views of British North Borneo with a Brief History of the Colony - The British North Borneo Company   RM2000

This was published as a puff piece by the The British North Borneo Company in 1899. Through photographs and statistics the book trumpets the Company's success in establishing itself and expanding its influence in a little more than a decade before this book was published. Good Hardback. First Edition. 61 pages with numerous black and white photographs, a couple of tables and two coloured maps. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

Strategies of Singapore's Economic Success  - Sui Sen Hon   RM60

A collection of writings of Hon Sui Sen, one of the world's longest serving Finance Ministers, and the Government's main driver in Singapore's economic success. This new edition has a foreword by Saw Swee Hock. 540 pages including index and list of other titles on economics and policy studies. New Paperback Revised Edition 

Towards A Competitive Malaysia: Development Challenges in the 21st Century - M. Bakri Musa  RM60

The author, well known for his books and articles on Malaysian issues, here suggests a plan for the revival of the country's economy. Rather than continuing to align itself with ASEAN, where he thinks co-operation is 'ambitious and unattainable', he instead proposes that Malaysia should link itself more closely with Brunei and Indonesia to demonstrate not only how Islam and modernity are compatible, but also to kick start an effective regeneration of these countries' economies. Near Fine Paperback. 465 pages with an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Children's Books

The Sea Monkey - Geraldine Kaye    RM100

A children's story set in Malaysia about the adventures of Kassim and his sister, Siti, and their pet monkey, Adek. Colour and black and white illustrations by Kay Galsworthy. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First edition. Unpaginated about 30 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Dance & Drama

Panggung Semar: Aspects of Traditional Malay Theatre - Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof   RM150

A collection of articles by arguably Malaysia's leading authority on Malay theatre. The purpose of the book is to introduce the general reader to research on the three principal genres of Malay theatre, i.e. Mak Yong, Wayang Kulit and Bagsawan. There are also articles on Nora Chatri  and Wayang Gedek as well as a chapter on Semangat, the Malay concept of soul. 246 pages with a bibliography, glossary and index. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Education

Kent Ridge: The Untold Story - Kevin YL Tan (ed)  RM80

Perched on Kent Ridge since the 1980s is Singapore's leading educational institution, the National University of Singapore. This book is not so much a history of the university, but a teasing out of various aspects of its character - the changing landscape, the fauna and flora of the area and its history before it became a campus. The book concludes with a description of the construction of the university on its new site. 316 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. New Paperback. First edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute   RM50

Nevil Shute's classic war story of danger, suffering, cameraderie and romance set in Malaya during World War II and in the Australian Outback.  Very Good Paperback Reprint         352 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - History 

A History of Malaya - J. Kennedy  RM50

For many years this was the standard text book on Malaysian history and could still be said to be as good a place to start as any. However, like too many books of this period, it takes history as beginning around about 1400 AD. In the preface the author puts up a bit of a weak defence as to why he didn't start this history earlier. Good Paperback. Reprint of the 1964 edition 311 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - History (19th Century)

William Farquhar and Singapore: Stepping out from Raffles' Shadow - Nadia H Wright   RM70

Brushed aside by the Raffles PR machine and , possibly, the inability of many in Malaysia and Singapore to pronounce his surname correctly, William Farquhar and his legacy have not today matched the high regard in which they were held during his life time. Based on research of the British East India Company records and other contemporary sources, Nadia Wright demonstrates that much of the credit for the establishing of the Singapore settlement that has been attributed to Raffles, more properly belongs to his subordinate, Farquhar. The book covers Farquhar's successful role as Resident and Commandant of Malacca before moving on to Singapore take up the same position in the vital first four years of its rule by the Company. New Paperback. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - History (20th Century)

Journeys Hazardous: Gurkha Clandestine Operations - Borneo 1965 - Christopher Bullock    RM150

The author  was in charge of a Gurkha company that specialised in operating deep inside Indonesian territory during the Konfrontasi/Confrontation between Malaysia, supported by Commonwealth forces, and Indonesia. Based on this personal diaries, Bullock recounts with humour and care the difficult nature of these operations, the existence of which were officially denied at the time. New Paperback. Reprint. 182 pages with six maps

The British in Malaya, 1880-1941 - John G Butcher    RM330

While literature on colonial Malaya is awash with studies on the three main ethnic groups, Malay, Chinese and Indians, there is very little academic literature on how the colonisers, the British, functioned as a community. Butcher seeks to redress that imbalance by analysing the this group's accepted way of living and their interaction with other communities in the country. Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition 292 pages with black and white plates, appendices, glossaries, maps, tables and an index.

The Development of British Malaya 1896-1909 - Chai Hon-Chan   RM120

In this book the author examines how various aspects of British policy, whether they be constitutional, economic, political, administrative or social, affected the Federated Malay States, i.e. Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. He seeks to show how, when these disparate strands and how they interacted with each other are studied, one acquires a more holistic picture of the foundations of the country known as Malaysia today. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 364 pages with a bibliography, index and five maps. 

The Undeclared War - Harold James & Denis Sheil-Small   RM50

An account of the military aspects of the 'Konfrontasi' with Indonesia. The book is written from a British viewpoint and is seen as 'Britain's most vital victory since the Second Word War.' 171 pages Acceptable Paperback. Reprint. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Journalism

Just in So Many Words - Kee Thuan Chye    RM60

A collection of previously published articles by one of Malaysia's better know literary figures. The contributions published here include reviews, travelogues and general musings. 267 pages. Good Paperback. First Edition.

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

An Unabridged English-Malay Dictionary - RO Winstedt   RM140

The standard work of its time in the Rumi script before the spelling changes. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Third Enlarged Edition. 437 pages.

The Complete Eh Goondu - Sylvia Toh Paik Choo   RM70

This volume contains the original Eh, Goondu! and Lagi Goondu, bestsellers in Singapore since Eh, Goondu! was originally published in 1982. It has been claimed that Eh, Goondu! was the first book written about Singlish, the Singapore patois. 221 pages. New Paperback. Reprint

Malaysia & Singapore - The Law & Legal Issues

The David Marshall Trials - Alex Josey  RM70

Outside Singapore, David Marshall is probably best known as being the city state's first elected Chief Minister. However in Singapore he was equally well known as a leading criminal barrister. Here Josey follows his courtroom career, demonstrating how British law was applicable in Singapore. Near Fine Paperback. Reprint. 252 pages.

The Rape Report: An Overview of Rape in Malaysia  - Alina Rastam (ed)   RM120

This book is based on a year long study of how Malaysian institutions treat both victims and perpetrators of rape in the country. Being the first of its kind, it looks at the strengths and weaknesses of various agencies and compares the current system in Malaysia to those that are in place elsewhere. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 208 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture

Winstedt, one of the foremost English scholars in Malay affairs at the end of the British colonial period, demonstrates his learning, in this very readable introduction to Malay culture, as he observed it on the peninsula, rather than in the Malay world as a whole. His broad sweep not only looks at culture in the mid-20th century, but also at its roots in Hinduism, animism and other influences prevalent before the arrival of Islam. In this 221 page book there are chapters on Origins, Migrations and Language, Beliefs and Religion, Social, Political, Legal and Economic Systems, Literature and Arts and Crafts as well as 2 appendices with (a) Malay text of passages cited in the book and (b) Relationships in Negri Sembilan as well as a Bibliography.     Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.    This is a revised edition, updated by Tham Seong Chee in 1981 Very Good Paperback Reprint

Malaysia & Singapore - Nature & Wildlife

Common Malayan Butterflies - R Morrell  RM70
A handy guide with 20 colour plates and information on butterfly habits and distribution.   Very Good Hardback. Reprint 64 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

Handbook to the Ferns of British India, Ceylon and the Malay Peninsula with Supplement - RH Beddome    RM300

Beddome's original work, published in 1883, was a digest of other works on the subject with the aim of producing a comprehensive handbook. This revised edition was published following the author's retirement to England which gave him the opportunity to consult collections of ferns at the British Museum, Kew Botanical Gardens and elsewhere. The result was this more comprehensive book. Very Good Hardback. Revised Edition. 500 pages and 102 page supplement with 300 line drawings and an index.


Fraser's Hill and Lewis J Fraser of Singapore - RE Hale    RM50

A welcome biography of one of Malaysia and Singapore's early expatriate pioneers. Born in Singapore in 1841, Fraser became a prominent businessman until he was embroiled in a murky financial scandal which saw him sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment. On release he headed for Pahang on the mainland and re-invented himself as a reasonably successful tin miner. His last mining venture was on the hill that now bears his name Bukit Fraser (Fraser's Hill), which later became a hill station for convalescents and tourists. New Paperback. First Edition. 88 pages with 24 black and white and colour photographs and maps For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 


Blood on the Golden Sands - Lim Kean Siew   SOLD

Jerejak: Penang's Untold Story - Mike Gibby   RM100

Pulau Jerejak ( Jerejak Island) probably gets barely a mention, if any at all, in Penang guide books. For residents of the Penang area the island has one immediate association - leprosy. In this book Gibby reveals a more varied and interesting history than most know about - besides being an isolation centre for leprosy sufferers in the past, the island has hosted a shipyard, a prison, a staging post for arrivals and departures from the country and a holiday resort. Thanks to meticulous research from the 19th century onwards, the author brings to life this apparent backwater. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition. 258 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Penang Hokkien Dialect for Penangites & Tourists - Tan Choon Hoe    RM50
A jokey introduction to the main Chinese dialect spoken in Penang in a somewhat mangled form. It's a phrase book with a guide to pronunciation and a few hints at grammar, but without a vocabulary. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 136 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Penang Sketchbook by Chin Kon Yit & Chen Voon Fee     RM150

Through both evocative watercolours and line drawings on every page Chin Kon Yit works a marvellous partnership with the author Chen Voon Fee to bring to life both the architectural heritage and the current street life of the rich blend of Chinese, European, Indian and Malay cultures which nurture the roots of Malaysia's second city. 96 pages. Very Good. Hardback in a similar dust jacket. First Edition

Penang Sketchbook by Chin Kon Yit & Chen Voon Fee  RM250
Near Fine. Hardback in a similar dust jacket. First Edition

The Armenians of Penang - Nadia H Wright   RM50
European colonies worldwide were a magnet for both the enterprising and those who wanted to escape life at home. Families of  Armenians, who had a troubled history of disruption, settled in Penang for similar reasons. Although they probably never numbered more than thirty at any time, they left their mark, most notably with the founding of The Eastern & Oriental Hotel. In this booklet Nadia Wright, an authority on the community in Southeast Asia, gives the reader some background to Armenian life in Penang and the more notable members of this forgotten, but significant, minority. New Paperback. First Edition. 78 pages with 63 black and white and colour photographs, tables and maps.  For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Peranakan/Straits Chinese

A Baba Wedding - Cheo Kim Ban    RM60

The Babas and Nyonyas, or Straits Chinese, are the descendants of early Chinese immigrants and their Malay host community. In the course of time their culture has evolved into a heritage distinct from their Chinese and Malay compatriots in Malaysia and Singapore. One of the central feaures of this culture was the wedding which used to take place over several days, but now occasionally takes place in an abbreviated form. This book is the result of of oral and written research by the author so as to reconstruct such weddings through informed text and colour illustrations. Very Good Paperback. Reprint 110 pages.

Chinese Peranakan Heritage in Malaysia and Singapore - Tan Chee Beng     RM370

A collection of four essays on the culture of the Peranakan or Straits Chinese, descendants of early Chinese settlers in the Malay Archipelago, who intermarried with their host communities. Over the years they have developed a distinct way of life drawing on elements that were originally Chinese or Malay. Here the author, a noted academic on the community, explores not only the variety within the culture itself, but also its contribution to various aspects of history in the region. First Edition. Very Good Paperback. 78 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Peranakan Chinese of Kelantan - Teo Kok Seong    RM240

This unique study of assimilation concentrates on a community of mixed Chinese, Malay and Thai ancestry which has been living in Kelantan since at least the 18th century. The author chooses to focus mainly on the community's mother tongue, how it reflects the Chinese Peranakan hybrid nature and how it facilitates interaction with the group's neighbours. Near Fine Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition. 335 pages. with three maps, some black and white plates, a bibliography and an index.  

Malaysia & Singapore - Poetry

Potret Puisi Melayu Singapura - Isa Kamari (ed)  RM100

Buku ini mempamerkan karya-karya 44 penyair, baik yang mapan mahupun yang pelapis. Rentetan sedemikian membolehkan kita melihat perkembangan sastera ini menurut peredaran masa, juga menjejak arah pekembangan itu. Walaupun liputannya meluas sedemikian, Isa Kamari mengingatkan kita buku ini bukanlah merupakan antologi yang berpura-pura lengkap dek keterbatasannya.. New Paperback First Edition. 392 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

Diplomatically Speaking: Dispatches from The Best Democracy We Never Had - Dennis J Ignatius   RM50

A collection of previously published articles by a senior retired Malaysian diplomat, who takes a trenchant look at the state of his country prior to the upheaval caused by the 2019 general elections. His subjects are wide-ranging and include, amongst others,migrant workers, governance, political personalities, religion and the economy. New Paperback. First Edition. 229 pages.

Malaysia's Parliamentary System: Representative Politics and Policymaking in a Divided Society - Lloyd D Musolf & J Frederick Springer  RM80

This book is part of a series examining how parliamentary democracies work in practice. In this case the authors, through interviewing politicians, administrators and constituents assess issues such as how MPs contribute to policy making, if at all, how they represent different racial interests, how politicians are recruited and how they perform in Parliament.  143 pages with tables and an index. Good Hardback. 

Malaysian Politics under Mahathir - R. S Milne & Diane K Mauzy  RM100

Written by two academics with a long and respected interest in Malaysian politics, this book assesses what they believe to be his major achievements and his weaknesses after nearly two decades of his first period as Malaysia's premier. This study demonstrates how the master of Malaysian politics for so much of his adult life manages to successfully continue to play his game. Near Fine Paperback. First edition. 225 p[ages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

To Digress A Little - Syed Akbar Ali  RM80

The author, a businessman and an activist in the United Malays National Organisation, Malaysia's longest ruling party, sets out what he thought was wrong with the country. His main focus is on what he sees as the disastrous effects of allowing those he sees as Muslim extremists to dictate policy. 340 pages with an index. Very Good Paperback. First Edition.

This interesting set of essays and memoranda to the colonial authorities were written between the end of the war and independence by an influential British economist ,long resident in Malaya, to influence his fellow countrymen to do something about encouraging the formation of a multicultural Malaya. While interned by the Japanese, Silcock realised that one of the reasons why the Japanese took the country so quickly was because so few of the non-British inhabitants felt any common identity which could have inspired a more spirited resistance. After the war he was one of the first prominent British residents who sought to refashion Malay so that it was a country which all races could call home. 112 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Good Hardback First Edition  

Malaysia & Singapore - The 'Emergency'

Jungle Campaign : A Memoir of National Service in Malaya, 1949-51 - John Scurr   RM200

Based on his journals of the time, Scurr records his 'rite of passage' from being an unsporty youth into something more resembling a man in the course of two years as an infantryman in the Malayan Jungle. In the book he demonstrates, sometimes in vivid detail, why he never considered the jungle to be 'neutral,' as Spencer Chapman claimed. Scurr considered the jungle an implacable enemy that favoured only the British Army's opponents. Very Good Hardback in Near Fine Dust Jacket. Reprint 408 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - World War II

From Syonan to Fuji-Go: The Story of the Catholic Settlement of Bahau in WWII Malaya - Fiona Hodgkins   RM150

For the first time the author gives a comprehensive account of an under reported series of events during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. At the time of the fall of Singapore several Catholic families, mainly Chinese and Eurasian, fled to Bahau in Negeri Sembilan as a refuge from the upheaval of the war. Through research of written records and conversations with survivors, who included her mother, Hodgkins has managed to piece together an unusual story of this group. New Paperback. First Edition. 266 pages with an index.

Red Jungle - John Cross    RM160

This is the story of a small party of British soldiers left behind in the jungle to radio intelligence to the Allies following the Japanese takeover of Malaya in 1942. They worked closely with the Malaysian Communist guerrillas, Orang Asli (indigenous tribes) and other Allied troops until they were picked up by a British submarine shortly before the war ended. Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition 244 pages with a index.

Singapore at War: Secrets from the Fall, Liberation & Aftermath of World War II - Romen Bose   RM100

A combined volume of the World War II expert's three works providing a detailed account of Singapore's role in the Malayan campaign. The works included are - I - Secrets of the Battlebox: The History and Role of Britain's Command HQ During the Malayan Campaign, II - The End of the War: Singapore's Liberation and the Aftermath of the Second World War & III - Kranji: The Commonwealth War Cemetery and the Politics of the Dead. 469 pages with an index. New Paperback. Reprint. 


A Naturalist's Guide to the Trees of Southeast Asia - Saw Leng Guan   RM60

In this pocket sized handbook the author, the curator of the Penang Botanical Gardens, provides us with a handy quick reference to the myriad varieties of trees, shrubs and palms both endemic and introduced from elsewhere, that are commonly seen in Southeast Asia. 286 species are covered with information on identifying features, distribution, ecology and, uses, if any. Scientific, common and vernacular names and colour photographs are also included. New Paperback. First Edition. 177 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Changing Identities of the Southeast Asian Chinese since World War II - Jennifer W. Cushman & Wang Gungwu (eds)   RM80

A collection of papers submitted to a conference at the Australian National University. Laying a particular emphasis on the historical aspects of the Chinese Diaspora's changing identities the papers are divided into the following sections -
  •  1. Literacy and Culture,
  • 2 - Politics and Nation Building,
  • 3 - Economic Activity and
  • 4 - Associations.
  • Good Paperback. First Edition 344 pages

A testy response by Al-Attas to an article by GWJ Drewes on the work of a 17th century Indian Islamic scholar who settled in Aceh. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 123 pages 

A collection of previously published articles by a US reporter in Asia. Newman makes a point of getting out of the cities to try and find 'real people.' The result is a discovery of a humanity at its best. Fair Paperback. First edition.

Any discussion of the Royal Navy's activities in the Far East in World War II will almost certainly include the disastrous sinking of the Prince of Wales and The Repulse that set the scene for the fall of Singapore in the following year.  In this book Boyd argues that the loss of the two ships was an unusual blip in an otherwise very successful performance of Britain's navy during this period. In fact the navy managed to secure the Indian Ocean before the United States had properly entered the Eastern theatre. New Paperback. Reprint. 538 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Transcultural Healing: The Whole Human : Healing Systems under the Influence of Abrahamic Religions, Eastern Religions and Beliefs, Paganism, New Religions, and Mixed Religious Forms - Roland Werner    RM300

The author is best known in Malaysia for a series of important works recording healing practices from a range of traditions in the country. In this book he takes a broader view teasing out the common beliefs and practices from a wide range of healers from other parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In doing so he hopes to be able to elevate these traditional practices into a complimentary healing tradition alongside Western medical practice. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 430 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 


The Coins and Banknotes of Burma - M Robinson & LA Shaw   RM100

Prior to the publishing of this book information on Burmese coins and banknotes had been hard to come by or scattered through various publications. The authors here gather together information from Burma and Arakan from the 16th century to the date of publication. Most of the banknote illustrations are in colour. 160 pages with 14 pages of colour plates. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition.


China, the Land and Its People Early Photographs - John Thomson    RM60

This is a revised and edited edition of Thomson's 'Illustrations of China and its People', originally published in 1873. He spent ten years in the Far East and the original four volume set is considered by many to be the first photographic travelogue of any kind. His photographs are accompanied by his observations on China and its peoples in the last part of the 19th century. Very Good Hardback in a similar Dust Jacket. 160 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

The Traditional Art of Chinese Fortune Reading - Peter Shen    RM80

A book designed to make Chinese lunar astrology more easily understandable to Western readers. Included are tables to cross-reference Chinese to Western dates, a simplified Chinese chart based on the subject's birthdate and many more useful tools of this art. 188 pages. New Paperback. Second Printing.

The Traditional Art of Chinese Fortune Reading - Peter Shen   RM60

Very Good Paperback First Edition

Sri Lanka

Traditional Appliances and Practices - CG Uragoda   RM150

The author, a distinguished member of the medical profession, takes the reader on a last minute tour of practices and equipment that used to be common in Sri Lank,a but which are now fast disappearing. Near Fine Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 228 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page.


PostScript  - Roger Crutchley   RM50

A collection of previously published articles by the author in which he describes his amusing adventures during his twelve years as a foreigner in Thailand. Good Paperback. First Edition. 197 pages. 

Alana and The Secret Life of Trees at Night: Book One - Keith Hockton   RM70

The story of a 10 and a quarter year old girl who has discovered the magical nature of trees. Illustrated by Winnie Cheng. New First Edition Hard back in a New Dust Jacket 44 pages.