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Saturday 2 November 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in November 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


November 2019

(Last Updated 30-11-19)

  • 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. 
  • Orders for Brunei and Singapore also shipped free, where the order weighs more than 3 kg. Other orders from established customers in both countries will also be shipped free, whatever the weight.

Malaysia & Singapore - Architecture

A detailed study of both the long roofed and pyramid roofed Malay house perfected through generations to be in harmony with Malaysia's tropical climate. With extensive colour and black and white plates and diagrams. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. Fine Hardback in a Fine Dust Jacket. Reprint 175 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Armed Forces & Police

Police and the Law - Siti Zaharah Jamaluddin & Others (eds)  RM60

An introduction to the history and workings of the Royal Malaysian Police. The contributors not only examine the rights of those arrested, but also explain police disciplinary proceedings and civil actions against the police. 146 pages with a bibliography and an index New Paperback. First Edition.

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

Durians Are Not the Only Fruit - Wong Yoon Wah   RM60

This evocative book is a mix of memoir, essay and nature writing recalling the author's time as a boy on rubber plantation at the edge of a rain forest in his youth in Malaya during the 'Emergency.' The author has held senior positions as a Chinese literature academic in universities in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. He has been awarded the Singapore Cultural Medallion for his work. This is translated from the original Chinese by Jeremy Tang.New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 2013 175 pages

Growing Up in Trengganu - Awang Goneng  RM70

The author, a Malaysian journalist living in London when this book was published, is a self confessed blogger. However he's far from being an introverted blogger as his wide readership testifies. This book brings together amusing, insightful and wistful reminiscences of his early life in Trengganu, now renamed Terengannu in the Bahasa spelling reforms of the 1970s. Very Good Paperback First Edition. Signed by the Author. p.p. 336 which include an extensive glossary of Malay words used in the book 

Queen of the Head Hunters - Sylvia Brooke  RM50

The wife of the last Rajah of Sarawak gives her own account of how she coped with the transition from a fairly fraught upbringing to being the consort of Vyner Brooke who ruled Sarawak until the outbreak of World War II. 194 pages including more than 20 black and white photos.Originally published in 1970. Very Good Paperback. Reprint 

Rice Wine and Dancing Girls - Wong Seng Chow   RM60

This biography relates the exciting life of Wong Kee Hung, an itinerant cinema manager in 50s and 60s Malaya and Singapore. It's a fast paced tale of the raw side of the entertainment industry. To be able to adapt to changing demands and pressures Wong reputedly moved about the country with little more than a folding camp bed and a mosquito net. His scribbled recollections of how he coped with dark world of movie stars, gangsters, politicians and headhunters have been brought into the light of day by his son. 184 pages with some black and white photographs. Near Fine Paperback 

A very readable account of the life of the founder of a significant business empire in what is present day Malaysia and Singapore. Aw Boon Haw, born in Rangoon of a Chinese immigrant family, was best known for popularising his range of Tiger Balm ointments internationally, but the business also had significant newspaper and leisure interests. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 371 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Boats & Fishing

Malay Fishermen: Their Peasant Economy - Raymond Firth  RM60

Firth, at the time Professor of Anthropology at the University of London, produces a detailed study of the fishing industry in Kelantan state just before the Japanese invasion of Malaysia.  Amongst the 398 pages are included a  map of the area of study, more than 30 black and white plates, a set of 7 appendices at the end of the book and numerous statistical tables. Contents include - 1 - Fishing Economy and Rural Malay Society, 2 - Economics of the Industry in Two Malay States (Kelantan and Trengganu), 3 - Structure of A Sample Fishing Community, 4 - Planning and Organisation of Fishing Activities, 5 - Ownership and Management of Capital, 6 - The Credit System in Financing Production, 7 - Marketing Organisation, 8 - The System of Distributing Earnings, 9 - Output and Levels of Income, 10 - Fishermen in the General Peasant Economy and 11 - Modern Developments - A Re-Study after Twenty-Three Years.   Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. Reprint of the Revised and Enlarged 1966 edition 398 pages with an index, figures, tables, a fold out map and plates 


Beads Of Borneo - Heidi Munan    RM90

Heidi Munan uses her 30 years' experience in being involved in and studying Sarawk culture in this book which has a good balance of stunning photographs and well informed text. Ms Munan's experience as Honorary Curator of Beads at the Sarawk Museum stands her in good stead as she explains the significance of beads in Sarawak's social, religious and cultural life. The contents of this 144 page book include 1 - Borneo: The Land and People, 2 - Beadmakers, Bead Sellers, Bead Buyers, 3 - Beads of Power, 4 - Beads as Wealth, 5 - Beads of Beauty, 6 - The Bead Trade Today and 7 - Bead Names. New Paperback. Reprint

Borneo People - Malcolm MacDonald   RM120

This classic account of the writer's visit to Borneo just around the time of independence includes history, ethnography and anecdote all written in an entertaining style. The book includes 44 black and white illustrations of the country and the people whom the author met. The 376 pages are divided into six parts, i.e. 1 - The Country, 2 - The Land Dayaks, 3 - The Ibans, 4 - The Kayans and Kenyahs, 5 - The Melanaus, Malays and Chinese and 6 - Envoi.           Very Good Hardback First Edition  

Borneo - the Stealer of Hearts - Oscar Cook   RM100

Cook was a District Officer in North Borneo for about eight years, returning to England in 1920. This is his memoir of his time there. He served in the Tenom, Kaningau, Semporna, Tuaran, Kota Belud, North Keppel and Labuk and Sugut districts. The experience obviously made a significant impression on him as for some years after his return to the UK he wrote short stories based on his experience in Sabah. 286 pages with 26 black and white plates Fair Hardback  First US Edition

Khabar Gembira: A History of the Catholic Church In East Malaysia and Brunei, 1880-1976 - John Rooney   RM140

The history of the Roman Catholic Church for most of the century celebrated in this book is based mainly on the work of the Mill Hill Missionaries, founded in the UK a couple of decades before the arrival of the first Mill Hill Fathers to reach Borneo in 1881. At the time there were just 20 Roman Catholics in what is now East Malaysia and Brunei. This book records how their numbers increased to 200,000 in one hundred years. Near Fine Hardback in a Near Fine Dust Jacket. First Edition 292 pages with a list of sources and an index.

Legal Culture in South-East Asia and East Africa - Masaru Miyamoto & Judeth John Baptist (eds)  RM120

This is a collection of papers, Sabah Museum Monograph Volume 11,  highlighting the benefits of traditional law, which is often less adversarial than European imports, can contribute to conflict resolution. Indigenous practice in Sabah, Southern Palawan in the Philippines, Brunei and among the Igembe of Kenya are examined.  Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 239 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

The Dusun: A North Borneo Society - Thomas Rhys Williams  RM60

The author originally went to Borneo in the late 1950s to research the methods by which the Dusun teach their children customary behaviour. He returned in 1962 to validate and extend  his research. In this book he provides the reader with a succinct, yet comprehensive review of Dusun society at the time. First Edition. Good Paperback  100 pages including black and white illustrations, a glossary and a bibliography. The book's chapters include - 1. The Background of Customary Dusun Behaviour, 2 - Conceptions of the Natural World, 3- Religious Belief and Behaviour, 4 - Omens, Luck and Chance 5 - Sickness and Death, 6 - Social Relations, 7 - Property, Order and Authority, 8 - Subsistence and Economy, 9 - Life Experience and World View. Good Paperback First Edition

The White Rajahs of Sarawak - Robert Payne   RM100

This book recounts the entire history of three white men who ruled Sarawak in the 19th and 20th centuries: James Brooke, Charles Brooke and Vyner Brooke. Their exploits include pirate attacks, battles, extending the territory under their rule and eventually being pushed out by the Japanese. The events detail British colonialism in miniature. 189 pages which includes of photo illustrations, a bibliography and an index.  Please see scanned photos for a list of the chapters. Near Fine Paperback. Reprint  Originally published in 1960 

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economic & Labour

The book seeks to promote cluster development in Malaysia whereby businesses draw on more than pure market data to develop by incorporating a range of other human elements, such as history and culture of the product and potential consumers. The methodology is amplified by two case studies in Selangor and in Johor. New Paperback. First Edition. 102 pages with figures, tables, a bibliography and an index.

The Malaysian Economy: Structures and Dependence - Martin Khor Kok Peng  RM80

It is generally understood that colonial economies are dependent ones, i.e. they rely on some input of external labour and, usually, capital and their markets are restricted, to a lesser or greater extent, by a more dominant and global colonial market. In this book, the author examines the extent to which this was true in colonial Malaya and how, if at all, it was transformed as a result of independence in 1957.  New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1983.

Malaysia & Singapore - Children

Kancil and the Crocodiles: A Tale from Malaysia - Noreha Yussof Day  RM50

A children's tale about a mouse deer and a tortoise and their attempts to find food without becoming food themselves - for the crocodiles. Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Unpaginated about 25 pages with colour illustrations throughout.

Malay Pirate - Clive Dalton   RM150

This book is an adventure story written for children by Dalton, who had been brought up in Malaya. A group of three boys, while on a deserted island,  have their canoe stolen from them by Bangka Buas, 'the notorious Malay pirate'. How will they get it back? Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition 119 pages. 

Sorak of the Malay Jungle - Harvey D Richards  RM100

The fictional adventures of two young Americans in the Malay Jungle. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 206 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

Pickering: Protector of Chinese - RN Jackson  RM60

Chinese immigrant labourers and traders was essential ingredients for the development of Malaya and Singapore under the British. It is therefore surprising that William Alexander Pickering was reportedly the first European official who could speak both Mandarin and Hokkien fluently, although he arrived in the colony almost a century after the establishment of Penang, which began the British expansion in the area. This biography mainly covers his important role as the first Protector of Chinese, from 1876 to his retirement in 1889, when he was responsible for a considerable improvement in relations between the colonial Government and their Chinese subjects. Good Hardback. First Edition 127 pages with a bibliography and a few black and white plates. 

The Impact of Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya - Wilfred Blythe    RM170

Blythe, Secretary for Chinese Affairs in Malaya in the immediate post war period, produces one of the most comprehensive accounts of secret societies that were an integral part of Chinese society both on the mainland and amongst Chinese overseas. The book looks at both the attempts of the Ching Dynasty and British colonial authorities to suppress these groups as well as the role played they played in the Malayan 'Emergency'. With a foreword by Malcolm MacDonald 570 pages with about 20 black and white plates, a bibliography, general index and an index of Societies and Organizations. Very Good Hardback in a Fair Dust Jacket. First Edition  

The Malaysian Chinese: Towards National Unity - Malaysian Chinese Association  RM80

A collection of papers from a convention of the Malaysian Chinese Association, the Government party representing the country's citizens of Chinese origin, to mark 25 years of independence and the half way mark of the country's New Economic Policy, which was designed to improve the economic status of citizens of Malay origin. The first section of the book reviews the state of the policy to date, while the second looks forward to the future. 103 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Originally published in 1982 Good Paperback. Reprint.

Through the Bamboo Window: Chinese Life & Culture in 1950s Malaya and Singapore - Leon Comber   RM130

This book is a reprint of four of Leon Comber's books on Chinese life in Malaya and Singapore - Chinese Ancestral Worship; Chinese Festivals in Malaya (with Dorothy Lo); Chinese Magic & Superstition in Malaya; and Chinese Temples in Singapore. They are still a readable account of many customs, which still persist, but have often died out on the Chinese mainland. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. 303 pages with a Chinese and General indices and a bibliography. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

Telltale Food: Writings from the Fay Khoo Award, 2017-2019 - Bettina Chua Abdullah (ed)  RM60

The Fay Khoo Award for Food+Drinking Writing was established in memory of the late Fay Khoo, who was best known for her writing and broadcasting on the delights of cooking and consuming food. This book is a collection of the best contributions in the first three years of the award's existence where the writers reveal their foodie adventures, usually with an Asian theme. New Paperback. First Edition 207 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Dance, Drama & Music

Reflections of Change: Sociopolitical Commentary and Criticism in Malaysian Popular Music Since 1950 - Craig A Lockard  RM120

An examination of the relationship between popular music in Malay and English and sociopolitical change in the period. The author focuses particularly on the 1980s. This is a 112 page article  with an index  in Crossroads, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies,  Volume 6, No 1  . The remainder of the journal consists of book reviews. Near Fine Paperback First Edition. 144 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Education

Seeds of Separatism: Educational Policy in Malaya, 1874-1940 - Philip Loh Fook Seng  RM70

Malaya inherited a four school system from the British on independence, i.e. systems based on the Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English languages. This fulfilled the concept of a plural society where disparate parts of society existed side by side without much common social purpose. This system reflected society as a whole where Malays, Chinese, Tamils and Eurasians generally filled certain jobs in which members of other communities hardly participated. In this study, based on the former Federated States of Perak, Selangor Negeri Sembilan and Pahang, Loh examines how the system operated and extrapolates the effect on the Malaysia of the future. Good Hardback. First Edition 165 page with a bibliography and an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

A Guide to Snakes of Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore - Tom Charlton   RM180

Malaysia plays host to around about 160 species of snake, both on land, inland waterways and the sea. Most can also be found in Singapore's parks and remaining wild spaces. In this book Charlton describes the history and ecology of snakes in the area together with concise descriptions of morphology and coloration, an overview of ecology and distribution, and detailed photographs of each species. The book is intended for both the amateur naturalist and professionals working with snakes. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition. 350 pages

The Butterflies of the Malay Peninsula - A Stephen Corbet & HM Pendlebury   RM220

This classic work on butterflies in peninsular Malaysia is divided into three parts - Part I - Introduction, Part II - Discussion of the Species & Part III - A Synonymic List of the Butterflies of the Malay Peninsula. All of the species have detailed descriptions of habits and habitats and many are illustrated either in in the 55 plates of line drawings and black and white and colour photographs at the end of the book or in line drawings in the course of the book. 537 pages with a general index, a scientific index and an index of English names. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. Revised Second Edition

Second copy  RM140

Malayan Nature Journal Vol IV.2 (1949) & Vol V. 1-4 (1950-1951) - Malayan Nature Society  RM250

A collection of five issues of the journal, Vol. IV.2  (1949) & Vol. V. 1-4 (1950-1951), rebound as a hard back.  Very Good Hardback. 326 pages including several black and white plates and line drawings. For further details, please see the scanned contents pages of the first three issues in this volume. Similar scans of the contents pages of the remaining two issues are available on request.

Malayan Nature Journal Vol VII. 1-5 (1952-53) & Vol VIII. 1-4 (1953-4) and Index Vols I-VII - Malayan Nature Society    RM450

A collection of nine issues of the journal, Malayan Nature Journal Vol. VII. 1-5  (1952-53) & Vol. VII. 1-4 (1953-4), rebound as a hard back. Laid into the book is also an index of Volumes I-VII including a separate index to Malayan Wild Flowers, Dicotyledons. Very Good Hardback. 403 pages with several black and white plates and line drawings. For further details, please see the scanned contents pages of the first three issues in this volume. Similar scans of the contents pages of the remaining six issues are available on request. 

Malayan Nature Journal Vol IX. 1-4 (1954) & Vol X. 1-4 (1955) - Malayan Nature Society   RM400

A collection of eight issues of the journal, Vol IX. 1-4  (1954) & Vol X. 1-4 (1955), rebound as a hard back.  Very Good Hardback. 342 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents pages of the first three issues in this volume. Similar scans of the contents pages of the remaining five issues are available on request.

Malayan Nature Journal Vol XV 1-4 (1961) & Vol XVI. 1-4 (1962) - Malayan Nature Society  RM400

A collection of eight issues of the journal, Malayan Nature Journal Vol XV 1-4  (1961) & Vol XVI. 1-4 (1962), rebound as a hard back. Laid into the book are also indices to both volumes . Very Good Hardback. 465 pages with several black and white plates and line drawings. For further details, please see the scanned contents pages of the first six issues in this volume. Similar scans of the contents pages of the remaining two issues are available on request.

Malayan Wild Flowers - MR Henderson  RM200

This collection of issues of the Malayan Nature Journals, published between 1949 and 1951, have been bound into one volume to include Part I - Polypetalae, Part II - Gamopetalae and Part III - Apetalae. It probably is still the most comprehensive survey of wild flower species in the country. Many of the plants are illustrated with line drawings. Each part has its own index followed by a comprehensive index at the end of the book. 472 pages. Very Good Hardback 

Manual of Malayan Silviculture for Inland Forest – Volume I - J Wyatt-Smith & Others  RM350

This bible of Malayan forestry had been in the process of compilation since before World War II but appears to have been completed shortly after Independence to sum up the British experience in this field before their officers were replaced by Malayans. This Volume is divided into four parts - Part I - The History of Malayan Forestry, Part II - Environmental Factors and Tree Properties, III Natural Regeneration & IV - Artificial Regeneration Very Good Hardback Loose-leaf bound with pins. 451 pages with many tables and maps, some of which are in pockets

Nature Conservation in Western Malaysia, 1961 - J. Wyatt-Smith and P. R. Wycherley (eds)   RM100

Although this book was produced to celebrate 21 years of the Malayan Nature Society, it also had a more long lasting purpose - to alert the citizens of this new country, Malaysia, to the wealth of natural life around them so as to protect it from development and population encroachment. This book was also the swan song for many British and others who had contributed so much in publicising Malaysia's natural beauty and vibrant wildlife in the first half of the century, with an introduction by EJH Corner and articles by HM Burkill, EC Foenander, HB Gilliland, Tom Harrisson, Gerald Hawkins, RE Holttum, Anne Johnson, Lim Boo Liat, B Molesworth Allen, BE Smythies, MWF Tweedie, the editors and others. Very Good Hardback. First Edition 261 pages with several black and white plates, line drawings and three maps, including a fold out one. 

Opogi: A Bornean Crocodile - Jaswinder Kaur Kler & Others   RM50

A brief introduction to Bornean crocodiles and to crocodiles globally. The book is narrated by a crocodile, Opogi, and his relatives' voices, introducing readers to the folklore and his life and habitat in Kinabatangan, Sabah. The narrators also describe the nesting behaviour of crocodiles, their diet, homing patterns, sensory organs and research that is done on the species. New Paperback First edition. 88 pages.

Rain Forest Collectors and Traders: A Study of Resource Utilization in Modern and Ancient Malaya - FL Dunn   RM100

This book is a detailed study of Malaysian rain forest over a period of 10 years starting from May 1962. The author discusses Malayan rain forest,  prehistory archaeology, methodology, geographical heterogeneity and diversity, biotic and non-biotic resources, ethnoecology and lastly forest product collection and trade. Very Good Hardback. Reprint 151 pages with list of tables and figures 

The Birds of Borneo - Bertram E. Smythies   RM120

After the publication of his similarly comprehensive book on the birds of Burma, Smythies turned his attention to the birds of the island of Borneo and outlying islands. There is a full systematic list of the 554 species recorded until 1958 together with 50 colour plates illustrating 434 species.  There are special chapters by Tom Harrisson, Lord Medway and JD Freeman. Very Good Hard Back in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 561 pages including a bibliography and separate indices of place names, Iban and Malay names and of English and Scientific names and a fold out colour map. 

The Malay Archipelago -Alfred Russell Wallace   RM50

This is Wallace's classic account of his eight year journey through the archipelago, travelling 14,000 mailes by foot and canoe and collecting about 125,000 specimens of inscets and animals. He was the first European to have visited many of the places he so enthusiastically describes. 515 pages with several maps and  line drawings. Very Good Paperback Reprint

The Snakes of Malaya - MWF Tweedie   RM250

At the time of writing a total of 129 snake species had been identified as living on the Malay Peninsula and Singapore. Tweedie, who was director of the Raffles Museum at he time of publication, noted that very little research on the country's snake population had been done so far and hoped that this book would stimulate further interest. This revised and enlarged edition was published to take into account further research and feedback after the publishing of the first edition in 1954. Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Second Edition. 143 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Wayside Trees of Malaya (Two Volumes) - EJH Corner  RM800

The classic work on the trees of Malaya completed by Corner while he was Assistant Director of the Botanical gardens, Singapore between 1929 and 1945. The first edition was published almost as the Japanese were arriving on the peninsula. The first volume is divided into four parts. Part I - Is a general description of the different types of trees to be found in Malaya, Descriptive terms, the different types of vegetation to be found and trees more common in particular states, Part II - Keys to Identification of Trees, Part III Descriptions of Families, Genera and Species & Part IV - Indices to English names, Malay Names, Botanical Names and to Botanical and Descriptive Terms. 772 pages. There are numerous line drawings interspersed within the text of the first volume. The second volume contains 228 black and white plates and an index of the plates. Very Good  Hardbacks in a Good Dust Jacket (Vol1) and a Very Good One (Vol 2) Reprint 

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

It Began In Singapore - GP Willis & Michael P O'Connor  RM70

A novel set amongst the Communist forces in Malaya and Singapore during World War II and the 'Emergency.' The book follows Liew Teck and Kang Siew as they join the resistance movement in the jungle and their experiences afterwards. The focus is particularly on the difficulties of the Straits Chinese during both conflicts. With a Foreword by Spencer Chapman who declares the book  to be 'entirely authentic.' Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition 189 pages.

The Agency House - Susan Yorke   RM140

A tale of love, lust, treachery, thrills and adventure set during the Emergency period. The book was favourably reviewed when it was first published with one reviewer likening Yorke's writing to that of EM Forster and George Orwell. The book was later reissued with the titles 'The Agency House, Malaya' and 'The Girl in the Cheongsam. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good dust jacket. First Edition 224 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Folklore

Collection of Comical Stories   RM50

A collection of humourous folklore from the Malay World retold for children. Very Good Paperback. unpaginated, about 40 pages with colour illustrations. 


Jentayu: Glimpses of Langkawi - Ismail Hanapiah   RM50

A guide book for the island of Langkawi that is heavy on legend and a bit of history. There are also sections on traditional customs of the inhabitants. Very Good Paperback. Second Edition. 66 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - History

A Short History of Malaya - C. Northcote Parkinson   RM60

Parkinson's brief survey of Malayan history opens with the country's first contact with Europeans and ends with preparations for independence. He was Raffles Professor of History at the University of Malaya when he wrote this book. The book's chapters include The Cape Route Opens, The Straits Settlements, The Suez Canal, British Malaya, The Second World War & Self Government. 27 pages.Good Paperback. First Edition

Ah Ku and Karayuki-San: Prostitution in Singapore, 1870-1940 - James Warren  RM90

Warren traces the lives and experiences of women who travelled from China and Japan to provide sex for the men of Singapore at the height of Singapore's development during colonial times. What he has unearthed from various sources, including coroner's records, sheds light on the not so glamourous, and often gruesome, side of the city's history that seldom is mentioned in accounts of the time. 433 pages with appendices, maps, tables, a bibliography and an index.  New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1986

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

The Bidayuh Language: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - Calvin R. Rensch, Carolyn M. Rensch, Jonas Noeb & Robert Sulis Ridu    RM240

A detailed study of the language of the Bidayuh people of Sarawak and West Kalimantan. Part I - Language Development in Bidayuh: Past, Present and Future explains the efforts to reduce the language to a written form so preserving it for future generations. Part II - Nasality in Bidayuh Phonology where 25 Bidayuh dialects are analysed so as to determine the use of nasal words. Part III - Studies in The Early Bidayuh Language: Proto Bidayuh and Its Relatives looks back to how the language developed relative to other forms of Austronesian. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition 449 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Literature

Intimating the Sacred: Religion in English Language Malaysian Fiction - Andrew Hock Soon Ng    RM60

As English language fiction in Malaysia is a minority interest it's not all that surprising that novelists are often pre-occupied with the challenges which minorities face. The author bravely, but appropriately, studies not only how Islam, the religion of the Malaysian majority, is treated in such literature, but also the perceptions of such writers concerning minority religions practiced in the country. 281 pages. The contents include - 1 - Visions of Possibilities: Religion and/as "Hospitality" in Lloyd Fernando's Novels, 2 - Irony and the Scared in Lee Kok Liang's Fiction, 3 - Hinduism and the Ways of the Divine: The Works of KS Maniam, 4 - Contentious Faiths: Questioning Confucianism and Christianity in the Fiction of Shirley Lim, 5 - Islam and Modernity in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction by Malay Writers. There are also Notes, a Bibliography and an Index. New Paperback 

Malaysia & Singapore - Magic & Popular Religion

Malay Poisons and Charm Cures - John D Gimlette  RM100

This is a reprint of the 1929 revised and enlarged edition of Gimlette's classic work, which was based on his 18 years' experience as a doctor in the Malay States. Despite the possibly negative connotations of the title, the book was written for the benefit of the medical profession as an encouragement to carry out research into the efficacy, if any, of the potions and practices of traditional bomoh/pawang, medicine men. Very Good Paperback.  Reprint  301 pages with appendices on charms used, poisonous plants and Kelantan poisons and an index.


Holding the Fort - Brian Harrison   RM300

Basically this is a history of what happened to Melaka after it was eclipsed first by the rise of Penang, which in its turn was eclipsed by the rise of Singapore. The author reminds us that, despite Melaka's apparent 'decline,' it still had a crucial role to play during a period of growing British influence in the sultanates on the peninsula and in laying the ground work for the development South East Asia as she is today. 148 pages including a bibliography, maps and a few black and white illustrations.Very Good Paperback. First Edition

Malaysia - Orang Asli/Indigenous Peoples

Jah-het of Malaysia: Art and Culture - Roland Werner  RM100

The Jah-Het, or Jah Hut, people are a small aboriginal group living in Pahang state in Malaysia. In this book, Werner introduces the reader to a wide range of the tribe's deities, numbering more than a thousand, as represented in wood carvings. 637 pages with nearly 750 black and white plates, 34 line drawings and two maps. Near Fine Paperback Second Edition 


Famous Street Food of Penang: A Guide & Cook Book - Pung Kim Ying (ed)  RM70

Penang claims to be the street food capital of the world and this book demonstrates why. It is not only a collection of recipes of most residents' and visitors' favourite dishes, but also a guide as to where to go to gorge yourself on the best examples of street cuisine, when you give up trying to imitate the real thing. Although the book was published in 2006, Penang being Penang, most of the food stalls highlighted in the book are still doing a roaring trade today. New Paperback. First Edition. 160 pages with many colour photographs and maps. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Penang: 500 Early Postcards - Cheah Jin Seng   RM120

Professor Cheah, having authored four other books on the postcards of former British Malaya, now introduces the reader to the postcards and postal history of his birth place, Penang. It is striking how many of the cards were in colour. The cards illustrate Penang life from the late 19th century until the outbreak of World War II with sections on Colonial Penang, Hotels Schools and Hospitals, Streets, Roads and Transport, life outside the capital George Town and the people of what used to be known as "The Pearl of the Orient."  288 pages including a chapter on philatelic history and recommendations for further reading. New Paperback. First Edition

Penang views 1770-1860 - Lim Chong Keat   SOLD

The purpose of this work was to catalogue the extant painting and prints of Penang from the 1770s untill the nearly a hundred years later when photography arrived. After research in Museums in Malaysia and Singapore, India Office Library in London and amongst private collections, Lim was able to assemble more than 160 paintings, prints and sketches which are now reproduced, mostly in colour, for this book. Each of the items are annotated by annotated by the author, a noted architect and conservationist of his time. 236 pages. including a bibliography. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust jacket. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Poetry

Pantun: The Poetry of Passion - Muhammad Haji Salleh  RM60

Not much has been written in English about the pantun, one of the oldest verse forms in the Malay Archipelago. It is therefore fitting that one of Malaysia's best loved poets takes up the challenge of both explaining the medium's beauty and versatility and also demonstrating how its influence has crept into poetry in many other parts of the world. 108 pages with references and an index. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. New Paperback. First Edition

The Best of Kirpal Singh   RM60

A humourous, political and romantic collection of poems from the noted Singapore poet. New Paperback, First Edition, 93 pages with an index of titles and first lines

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

Malaysian Politics - Gordon Paul Means  RM100

A book with a detailed account of the political evolution of modern Malaysia after Second World War until publication. 483 pages including bibliography and index. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket  Second Edition For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Very Good Hardback Second Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Race Issues

The Peoples of Malaya - DR Hughes   RM130

A general book on the racial mix of Malaya just before the formation of Malaya. The book was published in anticipation of a new Malayan culture arising in the newly independent nation. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 102 pages with about 25 black and white plates. For further details, please see the scanned contents page


Sutan Puasa: Founder of Kuala Lumpur – Abdur-Razzak Lubis  RM200

It is generally accepted that Kuala Lumpur became established as a town, thanks to tin mining and supporting trades, in the mid 19th century. How it came to be established, has been the subject of various claims promoting the local Malay chief, Raja Abdullah and outsiders from China and present day Indonesia. In this book the author makes a case for Sutan Puasa, a Sumatran tin miner and trader. New Hardback. First Edition. 615 pages with about 150 black and white illustrations, a bibliography and an index

Malaysia & Singapore - Transport

Bus Journeys Through Malaya in the 1950's - F.W. York   RM130

A nostalgic collection of black and white photographs, at least two on each page, capturing bus travel on the peninsula during The 'Emergency.' As in all wars, for the civilian population, life just goes on. In fact, it is difficult to spot any sign of military activity in the more than 200 photographs. Near Fine First edition. Hardback. 98 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.


Growing Up in Trengganu - Awang Goneng  RM80

The author, a Malaysian journalist living in London when this book was published, is a self confessed blogger. However he's far from being an introverted blogger as his wide readership testifies. This book brings together amusing, insightful and wistful reminiscences of his early life in Trengganu, now renamed Terengannu in the Bahasa spelling reforms of the 1970s. pp. 336 which include an extensive glossary of Malay words used in the book  First Edition. Near Fine. Signed

Malaysia & Singapore - The Emergency

The Long Long War: Counter Insurgency in in Malaya and Vietnam - Richard Clutterbuck  RM200

The Malayan 'Emergency' was the first of campaigns in the dying days of colonialism where the British had to quickly learn new tactics to combat guerrilla war. The author, who served in Malaya, wrote this book when the USA was beginning to become involved in its own 'Emergency' in Vietnam and, so, draws parallels. The 206 page book is divided into three sections I - Defensive (1945-1951), II - Offensive (1952-1955) & Victory (1955-1960) and Then What? with appendices, maps, diagrams, appendices a bibliography and an index. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket


A Short History of of the Nanyang Chinese - Wang Gungwu  RM140

'Nanyang' amongst the Chinese means the coastal areas which now form part of the larger area known as Southeast Asia. Here Professor Wang, probably the foremost 20th century academic on the subject of the Chinese diaspora in Nanyang, gives the reader a brief introduction to those who transformed the commercial life of the region. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 42 pages. Very Good Paperback First Edition

Admiral Paris' Native Boats of Asia and the Pacific 1841 - Francois-Edmond Paris   RM200

This is a catalogue for an exhibition of hand-coloured lithographs of boats encountered by Admiral Paris of the French Navy in his voyages around the world. They were included in his work, Essai sur la Construction Navale des Peuples Extra-Europeens. The last 75 pages of this book include black and white reproductions of these lithographs together with translations into English of the admiral's comments on each picture. Asian boats from India in the West to China in the East are included. 96 pages. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 

Alexander Hamilton A Scottish Sea Captain in Southeast Asia, 1689-1723 - Michael Smithies (ed)  RM60

This is an excerpt of fourteen chapters - those relating to Southeast Asia - of Alexander Hamilton's A New Account of the East Indies, originally published in 1727. It is a significant source of information on the area at a time when British merchant ships were only just beginning to sniff about in an area whose foreign trade was dominated by the Dutch and Spanish. Hamilton's an accomplished raconteur which makes his account all the more readable. Very Good Paperback Reprint. 206 pages with accompanying notes by the editor. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

Before the Wind The Memoir of an American Sea Captain, 1808-1833 - Charles Tyng  RM50

Apart from being a consummate sailor - Tyng sailed around the world half a dozen times - the author was also an engaging storyteller. He first boarded a ship and thirteen years old and then lived life to the full, tussling with pirates, shipwrecks and storms, dropping into opium dens, making and losing fortunes, but surviving to tell the tale. Good Paperback Reprint. 270 pages with an index

Enterprise in Tropical Australia - George Windsor Earl   RM120

Although Australia has attempted to keep some distance between itself and Asia, as characterised by the White Australia policy, this has not always been the case. This book is the account of the attempt by one of many 18th and 19th century English merchant adventurers - Francis Light of Penang fame, being another - to establish a British colony at Port Essington on the Coburg Peninsula in Australia's Northern Territory. He and others had hoped that with Asian trade and labour the settlement was going to be a new Singapore, adding to the string of British outposts East and South of Penang. Very Good Paperback. Facsimile Reprint with an extensive introduction by Bob Reece. originally published in 1846. 184 pages


Brunei English: A New Variety in a Multilingual Society - David Deterding & Salbrina Sharbawi   RM300

This is a unique study of an overlooked variety of English as it is used in the oil rich sultanate of Brunei. Although the book will be of interest to linguistic academics, it is written in a readable style for lay people as well. There is a wide range of data and many examples of both the spoken and written varieties. 170 pages with appendices, references and an index. New Hardback . First Edition.
City of Many Waters - Peter Blundell   SOLD
This book has been described by some as the only book written in English about Brunei at the end of the 19th century. Blundell, whose real name was Frank Nestle Butterworth, came to Brunei to work for the Island Trading Company to produce cutch, used for tanning leather and dyeing clothes. It was a time when Brunei was more of a backwater than it is now with no roads, few permanent buildings and hardly any trace of the developments of the 19th century. The author travelled extensively by canoe and recounts the life, history and charm of his hosts. Fair Hardback. First Edition. 223 pages with 24 black and white plates


The Birds of Burma - Bertram E Smythies  RM170

The first edition of this classic ornithological work, published in Rangoon in 1940, was sold out a year later.  That concise handbook has been considerably expanded in this edition. The country is a haven for bird watchers with nearly a thousand species recorded, which is striking for a country of this size. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Second Revised Edition  668 pages with 31 colour plates illustrating 290 species, a pull out map, a bibliography and index.


Chinese Lineage and Society: Fukien and Kwangtung - Maurice Freedman  RM80

Freedman was the leading British anthropologist on the culture of the Chinese diaspora in the mid 20th century. This is a follow up to his work 'Lineage Organization in Southeastern China' where he outlines the results of his research into the way Chinese communities record their ancestry and organise themselves on a kinship basis. Very Good Paperback. Revised edition. 206 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Dynastic China: An Elementary History - Tan Koon San   RM90

A readable survey of the country's history from the mythical period of 2200 BC until the revolution of 1911 AD. The author is a retired Maaysian diplomat. 511 pages with 21 maps and an index.  New Paperback

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Fiascos: A Struggle for Survival - David TK Wong   RM80

While pursuing successful consecutive careers in journalism, the Hong Kong civil service and business, Wong also developed a reputation as a novelist and short story writer. Here he turns to nonfiction in the second volume of his autobiography based in mid-20th century Hong Kong, recovering from its World War II wounds to become a major world economic centre. New Paperback 449 pages. 


I Promise to Be a Good Girl, God - Kamini Banga   RM60

A collection of poems on surviving breast cancer. 97 pages. Very Good Paperback


The Blood of the People: Revolution and the End of Traditional Rule in Northern Sumatra - Anthony Reid   RM70

Whereas in Malaysia the sultans and their entourages still survive today, in Northern Sumatra they were wiped out following an uprising at the end of the Japanese occupation. In this book Reid picks his way through the carnage to determine just how 'popular' the revolution was and its long term effects on the fragile ethnic mix of the area. 301 pages. with black and white photographs, a maps, a bibliography and an index. New Paperback. Reprint of the 2014 Second Edition 

The Contest for North Sumatra: Aceh, the Netherlands and Britain, 1858 – 1898 - Anthony Reid  RM80

Aceh and North Sumatra have the double distinction of being both one of the few places in the Archipelago that were left virtually untouched by Indian influence in pre-Islamic times and also of being an important base for Arab and Indian traders who, inter alia, initiated the spread of Islam in the area. That history of independence meant it was one of the last areas over which the Dutch were able to exert their control. Here, in a recently revised edition of his 1989 work, Anthony Reid, traces the history of increasing Dutch influence and the efforts of the British, based in the Straits Settlements, to thwart it. 288 pages with a bibliography, index, maps, tables and some black and white photographs. New Paperback Revised edition

Uncertainty, Anxiety, Fragality: Dealing with Leprosy in the Dutch East Indies, 1816-1942 - Leo Van Bergen    RM130

The traditional method of colonial regimes in dealing with leprosy sufferers in their subject populations was to shut them off from society in designated enclaves while offering little in the way of healing. In the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, the authorities adopted a similar policy for a while, but, even though few resources were devoted to care, they were prepared to experiment with varying policies, including traditional healing, as described here.  New Paperback. First edition. 291 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Wayang & Its Doubles: Javanese Puppet Theatre, Television and the Internet - Jan Mrázek   RM120

Whereas wayang, or wayang kulit, a form of puppet theatre, is stuttering in Malaysia, it still remains vibrant and relevant in neighbouring Indonesia. In this book, the author credits the continuation and development of this lively tradition to the interplay between wayang and more recent forms of entertainment, e.g. television and the internet. It is not always an easy marriage, but Mrázek demonstrates how it is nurtured through his detailed descriptions of both performances and the technicalities of production. New Paperback. First Edition. 349 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

The Philippines


A catalogue of an exhibition in Cádiz of artifacts connected with Spain's association with the Philippines. The text is in Spanish Very Good. Paperback. First edition. 141 pages with many colour illustrations.