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Thursday 29 October 2020

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in October 2020


New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


October 2020

(Last Updated 29-10-20)

  • 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 and to Singapore.

Malaysia & Singapore - Anthropology & Sociology

This selection of essays argues that Singapore has grown to be what it is because of the far seeing imagination of many. The contributors, historians, geographers, economists, psychologists and others demonstrate how bright ideas became a living reality. Very Good Paperback. Second Edition. Originally published in 1992.  378 pages including endnotes and references at the end of each chapter, a beautifully written poem concluding the book at the end and a list of other sociology reading materials.

Malaysia & Singapore - Architecture

Mubin Sheppard was an Anglo Irish member of the Malayan Civil Service who, after internment under the Japanese in World War II, adopted Malaya as his new home. He converted to Islam, became a Malayan citizen and worked tirelessly in reviving the country's cultural traditions. After a short sketch of his life, this book highlights in well researched detail his particular contribution in preserving the country's buildings. New Paperback. First Edition. 341 pages with various figures, tables, plans, black and white photographs, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Armed Forces & Police

At the time of publication this was the only published account that was originally founded by the maverick Captain Speedy as the Perak Armed Police. It came into its own under Colonel RFS Walker in dealing with Chinese clan fights, the Pahang War of 1893-4 and finally in the First World War in Aden. Only 200 of the original regiment, mainly Sikhs and Pathans,  wanted to return to Malaya, so it was disbanded shortly afterwards. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 122 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

The memoirs of an Australian doctor from his arrival in North Borneo, present day Sabah in 1938 until his release from internment by the Japanese in 1945. Much of his work was bringing Western medicine to remote areas and trying to adapt his practice  Even while imprisoned he managed to persuade his Japanese captors to allow him to continue his medical practice among his fellow inmates as best he could with limited resources. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 166 pages with several black and white plates.

As the author says in his foreword, this book contains "no dry as dust...statistics and figures, but rather a gathering together of, grave and gay" that he or his friends experienced. This reprint gives an amusing and thoughtful account of what it was like to be a Brit in Singapore more than a 100 years ago. New Paperback 236 pages. 

This set of memoirs has a slightly different take on the last two years of colonial life in Malaya before the Japanese invasion. Reid came to Malaya for a short holiday and was persuaded by friends to stay taking odd jobs until she was evacuated just before the fall of Singapore . Good Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1942. 116 pages

The memoirs of one of Singapore's bright stars in the years after World War II. He never rose to national prominence in any sphere, but was a well known feature on the country's political and cultural landscape. He started his career as a journalist, became a Communist activist, but fled Singapore in the midst of an internecine shooting war, worked with the disabled in Britain, returned to Singapore as a political organiser, became a Muslim and then spent a couple of decades training civil servants and promoting education in Singapore and Sarawak. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 240 pages.

While many of Indian origin joined the Indian National Army to work with and fight beside the Japanese following their invasion of Malaya, Gurchan Singh chose not to do so. Here Singh, a policeman at the time of the Japanese arrival, tells the story of how he went into hiding and for four years, organised a resistance newsletter and other resistance propaganda, managed to attend a Japanese press conference as a reporter while a fugitive and escaped from a Kempetei prison to Burma only to return with the Allied forces. Fair Paperback. Reprint. Originally Published in 1949  174 pages

Malaysia's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, has been the subject of many biographies. This one  was authorised by his family after his death.  The story of Tunku's life, including his early childhood to education, politics, achievements, reverses, retirement, death and lastly, his funeral is covered in fairly thorough, but uncritical, uncritical detail. New Paperback. Third Reprint. Originally published in 1995 230 pages with an index and a family tree. 


The incorporation of the the former territories of North Borneo, now Sabah, and Sarawak into the state of Malaysia not only provoked opposition from neighbouring Indonesia, which was settled after a low level war, but also from the Philippines. Although the Philippine claim to Sabah, being part of the former Sultanate of Sulu, was postponed by Malaysia agreeing to an annual token payment, the claim has not been withdrawn by Manila. In this book a former Malaysian Attorney General, who began his career in Sabah, seeks to demolish the Philippine claim. Good Paperback, Reprint. 144 pages

An issue of the respected journal devoted to matters concerning the state of Sabah and former British North Borneo. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 108 pages with some black and white photographs. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

In the first monograph Liang Kim Bang, a Sarawakian, looks at the constitutional developments in Sarawak from the Second World War to Malaysian Independence. The second part brings the first monograph up to date to the formation of Malaysia. There is a foreword by KG Tregonning, who supervised the publication. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 65 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

At the time of publication the state of Sabah was supplying over 20% of the world's timber, so this comprehensive book was produced to inform both producers and consumers of the characteristics of the variety of timber available. Essential botanical and industrial information is given for each species as well as photographs, magnified five times, of the grain of timbers of commercial importance. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 501 pages with an index of timber and vernacular names and a map laid in.

Research by the archaeologist, Stephen Chia, and his team have discovered hundreds of coffins in the Kinabatangan Valley dating back for at least a thousand years. In this work Chia details the findings and explains the customs surrounding burial which are still carried out by the Sungai and Murut communities in the area today. New Paperback. First Edition. 98 pages with several black and white and colour photographs, line drawings, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

The author demonstrates how inequality has increased in Malaysia in recent years as a result of fiscal policy, whether intentionally or not. For example corporation tax where wealthy shareholders bear the biggest burden has dropped from 40% in 1994 to 28% in 1998. Similarly fiscal distributions, with the exception of an inadequately funded health system, has done little to alleviate disparities either between regions or between high and low income earners. New Paperback. First Edition. 227 pages with an index, figures, tables, a bibliography and an index.

The author, an experienced Malaysian economist, assesses the impact of the New Economic Policy (NEP), which it was claimed would significantly reduce income inequality, more than forty years after the policy was implemented. As with most other assessments of the policy, the author discovers that disparities in income are greater today than  when the NEP was introduced. The book ends with recommendations to fix the problem. Like the NEP itself the solutions have an ethnic, rather than a needs based, flavour. 249 pages with a bibliography. New Paperback. Revised.

The two main financial arteries of colonial Malaya were the mines and the plantations. In this book the author traces the history of United Plantations from its foundation by a Scandinavian pioneer before the First World War until the present day. Her research was based on well preserved company records and personal accounts of those who took part in and watched the company's development from being rubber planters to concentrating on the oil palm, which remains its main product to this day. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 2003 356 pages. with a bibliography and an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Children

A booklet, possibly given away to child travellers on BOAC, to introduce them to Malay through the life of Ali, who lives in a kampung and visits Kuala Lumpur. Good Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1959. 17 pages with several colour illustrations.

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

When Chinese immigrants came to Malaya from the 19th century onwards, they naturally brought many of the traditional customs of their homeland with them. One of the least reported, yet highly influential, of these traditions was the membership of secret societies, more popularly known as Triads. In this book, Comber brings together the findings of previous literature on the subject, written by mainly British authors, and adds to that his experience of nine years as a police officer in Malaya when he dealt with triad members firsthand. Good Paperback. First Edition. 324 pages with, appendices 11 illustrations and two maps, including one fold out map. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

A collection of Wikipedia articles about the Chinese community in Malaysia. Very Good Paperback. 59 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

The author of several cookery books provides the keen cook with a comprehensive guide, including straightforward instructions, about the essence of Singapore cooking. The book is divided into the following sections The Colonial Heritage, The Snackbar Era, The Cantonese Banquet, Street Food, Singapore Fusion & Ethnic Supermarket. New Paperback  Revised Edition 136 pages with colour photos accompanying each recipe.

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

This is a comprehensive and up to date field guide including all the 829 officially recorded bird species in the are including 165 colour plates and information on identification, voice, habitat and breeding. It also includes key bird watching sites and includes an index of common and scientific names. New Paperback. First Edition. 396 pages.

After years of experience exploring the jungles of South America, India and Malaysia, the author sets out in simple and clear terms what is need to survive in the jungle. Very Good Paperback. First edition 119 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Very Good Paperback. First Edition

A review of the licuala palm, a small forest floor shrub, in the Malay peninsula. At the time of writing 41 species, including 15 new ones, had been identified.  Each species is described with information on identification, nomenclature and distribution. This was published as no 10 of the forestry department's magazine, Sandakania. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. Signed by the Author. 94 pages with several line drawings 

This book is a handy introduction to anyone wanting to quickly find their way around the abundant species of  wildlife on the Malaysian peninsula. The only complaint a modern reader might have is that the book's  photographs are in black and white. However this is more than compensated for by the book's comprehensive and informed, yet accessible, text and an abundance of detailed line drawings. Good Paperback Third Edition The 237 pages have chapters on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fresh and sea water fish, insects, animals of the sea shore and other invertebrates as well as a glossary of Malay names

An exhaustive study of traditional Malay medicine. With black and white and colour photos and line drawings 185 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. New Paperback. Reprint. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

A novel that highlights search for an ideology suitable for a newly independent Malaya. The main character struggles as he travels through the various influences of communism, capitalism and Islam and through different countries in an attempt to discover what rings true for him. This is a translation from Malay into English of  Penyeberang Sempadan New Paperback 250 pages. 

A collection of short stories of well known authors from both countries translated into English. There are also background notes on each of the contributors. New Paperback. First Edition. 134 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents pages

A well reviewed first collection of poems and short stories. New Paperback 125 pages.

One of the world's leading authorities on guerilla warfare in the 20th century has used his retirement to use his experiences as an inspiration for fiction. In this book Jason Rance, a Gurkha officer, is caught up in a game of cat and mouse with four members of the anti-British Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose, who have come from Malaya to India during World War II to eliminate him. New Paperback. First Edition. 287 pages. 

One of the world's leading authorities on guerilla warfare in the 20th century has used his retirement to use his experiences as an inspiration for fiction. IN this book Jason Rance, a Gurkha major, operates both on the Thai-Malayan border against Chin Peng and in the Borneo jungle in raids into Indonesia during the Konfrontasi conflict. New Paperback. First Edition. 400 pages.

One of the world's leading authorities on guerilla warfare in the 20th century has used his retirement to use his experiences as an inspiration for fiction. In this book Jason Rance, a Gurkha officer, has to find and capture or kill a fellow British officer who has deserted to join the Communist guerillas in the jungle during the Malayan 'Emergency'. New Paperback. First Edition. 272 pages.

A selection of Hugh Clifford's stories of life in Malaya selected by and with an introduction from William Roff. Very Good Hardback in a  Good Dust Jacket. Reprint. 225 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page

A tale of breathless adventure on the Malay peninsula written for young British adults to excite interest in the far flung parts of the British empire. Fenn wrote more than 150 such novels. This one was written shortly before he died. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 420 pages.

A debut collection of ten short stories from a New York native based in Malaysia. The general theme of this well reviewed book is the individual's search for meaning and identity in a changing world. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 171 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Geography & Guide Books

A keen cyclist decided to take up her friend's challenge to cycle to all four corners of the Malaysian peninsula with him. The journey took 37 days and they covered a little over 2,500 kilometers. This is their story in journal form with a good sprinkling on snaps of their progress. Helpfully the book also gives anyone who wants to follow in their footsteps lots of useful tips. New Paperback. First Edition 349 pages

Published at the height of empire, this book gives a British eye view of the Malay States in the 1920s, e.g. "Malaya owes its prosperity to the initiative and enterprise of the orang puteh (European) and (so as not to take all the credit) to the climate..."  Ironically today the book is likely to be read for the same reasons as Europeans attended traditional theatre at the time. As Coote writes "The Asiatic...goes entirely for the sake of the performance, whereas the orang puteh visits the wayang (theatre) on account of the unconscious humour which is almost invariably derived from it." A cringe a page on each of the book's 87 pages. with seven colour plates of Malayan scenes For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Good Hardback 

Malaysia & Singapore - History

One of the standard texts on the history of Malaysia from the earliest times until the end of the 20th century. This history claims to be unique in that it tracks issues such as economics, race and politics, pointing out consistency and change, throughout the period. Very Good Paperback. Second Edition. 392 pages with notes, maps, a glossary and an index. 

A booklet in Malay and English explaining the meaning the meaning behind the national and various state crests of Malaysia. It was published to mark the formation of Malaysia, so Singapore is included! Near fine paperback. First Edition. Unpaginated, about 30 pages with colour illustrations for each of the items described. 

An in depth assessment of the city's role in various countries' military strategies from the thirteenth to twentieth centuries with a variety of maps, a bibliography and an index. New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1999. 508 pages

This book details the history of the British in Malaya from 1786 to 1941. Chapters include of Straits Settlements, British administration, Constitution of Malaya, economic development and social life. Fair Paperback. First Edition. This book has 80  pages in total with a bibliography and a couple of photo illustrations. 

Baker looks at issues such as 'Asian values, restrictions on human rights and the multiracial nature of both countries by examining at their origins in the histories of both states. He also offers his insights as to how such factors might play out in the countries' future. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition.   421 pages with a bibliography and an index. 

A school text book for Forms 1,2 and 3 intended to give students perspective on Malayan history, from the time of the Melaka sultanate, in the midst of what was happening elsewhere in the world. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 183 pages with an index and some black and white plates.

This isn't exactly a history, but a collection of historical titbits about the island from 3rd century Chinese record of a place called Pu Luo Chung until the establishment of Singapore as an independent state sixteen centuries later. This 170 page book contains enough black and white and colour illustrations as well as a wealth of facts that will make you want to dip into the book frequently. Unusually, for a generally light hearted book, there is also a six page bibliography to set you searching for more.              Very Good Paperback        

Tregonning's study of Britain's early years on the Malay peninsula leads him to believe that, at this stage, the main purpose of the push eastwards from India was to secure the China trade. The East India Company was more interested in ports rather than exploiting the hinterland. For most of this period, Penang was at the epicentre before ceding its role to Singapore. Good Hardback. First Edition 186 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.

Noor, who has been dubbed as 'Malaysia's hippiest intellectual' demonstrates his wide ranging intellect as well capacity to inform and entertain in this collection of lectures. The chapter titles alone are enough to make one want to read further. Contents 1 - Pity the Poor Keris  (The Transcultural Origins of the Keris and How it was turned into an Ethno-Nationalist Marker), 2 - The Lost Tribes of Malaysia ( The Construction of Race Politics From Colonial Era to the Present), 3 - Of Rajas, Maharajas, Dewarajas and the Kerajaan ( Four Thousand Years of Feudal Politics from Majapahit to Malaysia Today), 4 - From Pigafetta to Panji (Revisiting the History of Sexuality in Southeast Asia in the Hikayat Panji Semirang), 5 - The Red Green Alliance ( The 'Left-Leaning Years'of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), 6 - Hang Tuah The Pacifisct (Deconstructing Our National Hero) and an extensive biography. Very Good Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 2009 287 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - History (Pre 18th Century)

A collection of essays presented at a Symposium held at the Third International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology outlining the prehistory of the Archipelago as deduced from plant and geographical research at the time. Near Fine Hardback. First Edition 147 pages with an index and some black and white plates

While most historical writing in English on Malay Sultans concentrates on their interactions with British colonialism, Gullick here takes a step backwards to look at how they functioned before the British reduced their role. He concentrates on the whole political organisation from village to state in Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan with some references to Kedah and Pahang. Originally published in 1958. Very Good Paperback. Reprint 151 pages.  Please see scanned photos for a list of the chapters.

Malaysia & Singapore - History ( 19th Century)

This is a facsimile reproduction of a book that that has for many years been considered one of the principal historical sources, from a British civilian viewpoint, of Singapore's history from Raffles' arrival until the island become a crown colony as part of the Straits Settlements. Buckley, who was both a businessman and an adviser to the Johor government, painstaking guides the reader through each year of this turbulent period, when the British East India Company appeared to be more concerned with profits than the fast growing population which generated them. The book was originally published in 1902, ten years before Buckley's death. Good Hardback Reprint. Originally published in 1902 790 pages with a pull out map and one or two black and white illustrations as well as a 22 page index. 

This is a revised M.Litt thesis presented by the author to the University of Cambridge and published in Malaya at the suggestion of Victor Purcell. Rubin, a lawyer, is fascinated by the legal justification for European, Malay and Thai actions in their rivalry from the Malacca Sultanate to the late nineteenth century by which time the British had consolidated their position on the peninsula. As Rubin states in his preface, 'the emphasis throughout is on the theoretical justifications advanced for political action rather than on the practical economic or other motives for action.' Good Paperback. First Edition. 327 pages with an index and bibliography.

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

The extensive influence of Chinese immigrants on Indonesia and Malaysia has had its effect on the Malay language spoken in both countries. This study enumerates words which originated from various Chinese dialects. The word-list brings together data from the past century and a variety of modern sources making it a comprehensive study. The history of Chinese immigration and  of dialects from South China are discussed too. Also included is a DVD which features the rare Amoy and English dictionary of Carstairs Douglas published in 1899, with Chinese characters and a supplement published by Barclay in 1923. New Paperback 284 pages with four different parts, bibliography and index.

This collection of studies looks at language issues in Singapore from several angles - cultural, economic, educational, political, psycholinguisitic and social. Although the increased use of English and Mandarin have played a significant role in the country's economic success, contributors also highlight unintended detrimental side effects and methods of tackling them in future. Very Good Paperback Second Edition 407 pages with a list of references. 

This book is the culmination of a collaborative project of etymologists from many countries to compile a list loan-words from the Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Hindi, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Sanskrit and Tamil languages that are now used in the Malay Archipelago. The main focus is on Bahasa Indonesia, but many, if not most, of the words in the dictionary  are relevant to Bahasa Malaysia as well. The project took more than 30 years to complete. Each word in the vocabulary is accompanied by its English translation, its source language and a transliteration of the original word in Roman characters.New Paperback. Reprint 360 pages with a bibliography. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Laws & Constitution

As Fernando points out in his preface, this work is intended to bridge a gap in scholarly writing examining the personal relationships, agendas and deals behind the scenes that led to getting a constitution ready in time for independence in 1957. The omens for achieving something workable were not particularly bright. The encouragement of popular Malayan participation in Government was novel, the country was struggling to come to terms with a new Communist insurrection and racial conflict was being stoked up by several players. The contents include - 1 - The Origins of the Alliance (1948-1952), 2 - The Transformation of the Alliance (1952-1955), 3 - The Alliance Memorandum and the Inter-communal Bargain (1955-1956), 4 - The Reid Commission: A Question of Balance (1956-1957), 5 - The Tripartite Negotiations, 6 - The Alliance, Nationalism and National Identity: Some Theoretical Perspectives & 7 - Conscience of a Nation. 243 pages. There are also two appendices, a list of sources & a bibliography as well as an index. New Hardback. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Literature

The book's title is misleading since it is almost exclusively concerned with works in the Malay language rather than Malaysian literature as a whole, However it covers a wide period from the 18th through to the early 21st century. The colonial period, poverty, the development of tin and rubber - all are featured in the form of novel, free verse and drama. The author demonstrates how  traditional Malay literary styles are blended with new influences. Literary contributions in Malay from Sarawak and Sabah are not forgotten either. 181 pages including bibliography and a list of works that have been translated into English. Very Good Paperback. Reprint  

This beautifully produced volume is the most recent translation into English of the first history in the Malay language that makes a serious attempt at historical accuracy. It is unusually broad in scope, covering the period from the early 17th century to the early 1870s and encompassing all the sultanates of the Malay peninsula and many kingdoms in Indonesia. Thanks to the author's scholarship, the work is also a reliable resource for information on war tactics, kinship systems, trading arrangements, ethnic interactions, music, dance, royal ceremonials and many other aspects of Malay life during this period. The translator is Virginia Matheson Hooker. New Hardback  548 pages with a pull out map of the Malay world of the time.  Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.

Malaysia & Singapore - Magic & Popular Religion

Winstedt, perhaps the leading British scholar of Malay culture in the 20th century, sets down in this treatise his understanding of how Malay popular religion worked in the first half of the century. He explains how and why this ritual practice, grounded in animism and Hinduism, survives and retains its vitality in a predominantly Muslim society. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. Last Revised 1961 180 pages whose contents include chapters on The Primitive Magician, Animism, Primitive Gods, Spirits and Ghosts, Hindu Influence, The Ritual of the Rice-Field, The Shaman's Seance, Sacrifice, Magician and Sufi and Magic in Daily Life. There are two appendices of the original Malay of passages quoted and further notes on practice.There is also a bibliography, an index and four black and white plates.

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture

The Malay kris (keris) is probably unique among weapons in that it is fairly useless in combat because of an inherent design fault. Nevertheless for many Malays it is a symbol of their culture because of its supposed supernatural powers and place in Malay legend. In this amply illustrated book, Frey not only looks at the knife's origins and varieties of design but also explains why and how it came to assume this semi-hallowed status. New Paperback. Third Edition. Originally published in 1986 98 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.


Ever since the British gained a foothold in Penang in the late 18th century, the island's history has mainly been influenced by a foreign perspective. In this collection of essays, the contributors seek to establish an alternative narrative looking at the archaeology of the area, the history before the British arrival and the language of the area in earlier times. New Paperback. First English Language Edition. 101 pages with some photographs, tables, a bibliography and an index

While Penang's cookery book market is positively crowded with books dishing out tips on Chinese Peranakan (locally born) cuisine, there's little about the other main cooking tradition in the city - Jawi Peranakan, Muslim cooking developed a fusion of Indian and Malay cooking. This book more than fills that gap. Its 305 pages include sections on 1- Herbs and Spices, 2 - Bread and Breakfast Cakes, 3- Noodles, Savoury Porridges and Soups, 4 - Rice, 5 - Malay Rice Meals, 6 - Indian Muslim Rice, 7 - Jawi Peranakan Cuisine, 8 - Bridal table Spread, 9 - Cakes and Puddings & 10 Chutneys and Condiments with a list of references and an index of recipies. New Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 2013 

Before you groan "Oh, no not another Penang picture book," this one is a bit different. Firstly, it's small enough to fit into a big pocket or a normal handbag and although every page has a colour photo by Howard Tan, it's about the people who lived in the buildings of Penang, rather than about the architectural styles. The book lists over a hundred houses and other places of interest, devoting a page to each. It also comes with it's own fold out map with all the places mentioned in the book marked on it. When you look at the map you'll realise that the sequence of buildings, whose stories are described in the book, is so designed that the book's a handy companion for a walking tour of the city. New Paperback. First Edition 195 pages 

The Habitat Penang Hill was established to give lay people an insight into the importance of conservation of one of Malaysia's prehistoric rainforests. This book sets out to acquaint visitors to the Habitat  not only with the project itself, but also with the history of other buildings on the hill dating from colonial times. New Paperback. First Edition. 60 pages with colour photographs a fold out map and an index. 

The author of several works of popular history about colonial Malaya and Penang has, in this work, turned his hand to fiction. His subject is David Brown, who arrived in Penang in 1800, and founded one of the most successful businesses on the island until the Japanese occupation in 1941. In the book he mixes fact with fiction with a particular focus on what he imagines life must have been like for the early European settlers on the island. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition. 134 pages


These are the private journals of Sir Frank Swettenham kept during five missions to Perak between April 1874 and February 1876. They mostly record his experiences on the missions, but there are also some references to his work as Assistant Resident at Selangor at the the time. The journals mainly reveal prevailing attitudes of British colonial officials at the beginning of the main British intervention in the country. This work was issued as Volume XXIV Part 4 of the Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in December 1951 Very Good Paperback. 148 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - Poetry

A collection of poems by a Singaporean who migrated to Australia. The theme of the poetry centres around connectedness, whether with the award winning  poet's past, with his new home or his birthplace. New Paperback. 

A collection of 144 mainly romantic poems written over a few years on origami paper. Adly has previous had Malay poetry published. 144 pages. New Paperback.  

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

As in most countries where there is a limited freedom of expression, most of the censorship is implemented by citizens, rather than the government which benefits. Singapore is no different. Rather than taking this for granted, the author examines what motivates people to keep their heads down and what can practically be done to give them a voice in such situations. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. Signed by the Author. 98 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Race Relations

The classic and withering exposition of a myth that was used time and time again by colonial powers to justify their rule. The myth has the simple premise that 'the natives' do not behave and think like we do, so they need help - from outsiders. Alatas looks briefly at the image of Malays held by outsiders and then in more depth at how it was transformed into being the raison d'être of colonial rule. New Paperback. Reprint, First published in 1977. 267 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details

Malaysia & Singapore - Religion

The author argues that not only is the current traditional design of mosques not in keeping with the original teachings of Islam, but also that the design does not fit in with the lifestyles of modern Muslims. After a fairly detailed religious analysis of the mosque and its place in Islamic society, the author makes suggestions for further research to bring about change. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 291 pages with a bibliography. 


A collection of articles about the sites and sounds that most tourists and many of the capital city's residents miss - the traces of the past and makers of a future that are not reflected in the shiny skyscrapers that dominate the city. The articles originally appeared in Poskod.My, an online magazine 'about city, community and culture based in the Klang Valley.' New Paperback 148 pages.

This book is the result of field work carried out in 1965 to attempt to track the development of Kuala Lumpur in geographical terms. By studying the topography at that time, the author comes to various conclusions as to what assisted the city's growth. He hopes that they will be the basis for further research. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 68 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Sports & Recreation

Produced as publicity material for Malaysia Airlines, this booklet provides a thorough introduction to the history and making and flying of kites in Malaysia. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. Signed by the Author. 39 pages with several colour photographs and line drawings

A celebration of Lee Chong Wei, who has won more Olympic medals than any other Malaysian athlete and was the leading men's singles badminton player in the world between 2008 and 2012. New Paperback. First Edition. 32 pages with many colour photographs 

Malaysia & Singapore - World War II

Based on survivors' accounts, this book tells the story of British and Australian prisoners of war, who were removed from constructing the Burma-Thai railway to be shipped to Japan. In the course of their sea journey to Japan their boats were sunk  by US submarines. Two thousand Allied prisoners had to fight the Japanese guards and the perilous conditions in the sea to survive. Good Paperback. Reprint. 338 pages with a few black and white photographs.

This book is unusual among accounts of the Japanese occupation of Malaya as it is made up entirely of accounts of Asians caught up in the building of the Burma-Siam Railway. It is often forgotten that five times as many Asian labourers died on the railway compared to Allied POW deaths there, but the Asians were generally illiterate so that their voices were seldom heard. The author manages to fill that gap through interviews with elderly survivors. New Paperback. First Edition. 148 pages with a bibliography, index and several black and white plates


This is a collection of essays by a selection of notable historians of Southeast Asia to celebrate Anthony Reid's significant contributions to the discipline. The main body of the work is divided into the following sections - Southeast Asia in the World, Early Modern Southeast Asia and Modern Southeast Asia. Good Paperback. First Edition. 400 pages with a bibliography of Reid's works and an index.

Citing evidence from geology, archaeology, genetics, linguistics, and folklore, Oppenheimer seeks to show that the Southeast Asian subcontinent of Sundaland was home to a rich and original culture that was dispersed when Sundaland was mostly submerged and its population moved to away to seed the civilisations of China, India, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean. In other words he challenges many previous theories of early history. Very Good Paperback. 560 pages.

Two snake lovers combine to dispel common misconceptions about snakes in Southeast Asia. Over 70 species are described with text and colour photos. There are also sections on handling snakes and treating snake bites when things go wrong. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. 124 pages with an indexed chart showing the distribution of snakes throughout the area a bibliography and a general index. 

Beebe, Director of Tropical Research of the New York Zoological Society at the time of the publication of this book, records his experiences during an extraordinary journey of just over two and a half years to document pheasants in the East. He travelled through the Himalayas to present day Indonesia, Malaya, Sarawak, Burma, China and Japan in the first decade of the 20th century. The account is less a scientific record of pheasant species, but rather a travel diary recording his experiences and the peoples he met. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 248 pages with an index and many black and white plates.


A dramatic war novel about a group of British soldiers in the Burmese jungle in confrontation with the Japanese. Fair Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1958


Professor Wang Gung Wu tackles China's complex position in the world as it emerges from a relative side show in world history to becoming a central part of the world history of the future. Looking back over Chinese history, he highlights the struggle to make Chinese history, as the Chinese people have and are experiencing it, fit into an altered framework of world history ready to accommodate China's significant contribution to the way that the world has evolved. New Paperback. First Edition. 321 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page


This is an edited collection of  papers from a range of academics dealing with such subjects as Chinese literature in Indonesia, developments in state policy for this community, the assimilation policy during the Suharto period and the Hainanese in Bali amongst others. New Paperback. First Edition 124 pages with an index.


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