Blog Archive

Monday 29 November 2021


New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


November 2021

(Last Updated 29-11-21)

  • 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 orders under 2 kg to Singapore.

Malaysia & Singapore -Anthropology & Sociology

This book is the result of ten years of ethnographic study of the lives of pendatang (immigrant labourers) in the urban centres of Kuala Lumpur and George Town, Penang.  The subjects are both legal and illegal immigrants who, while creating their own subculture, are also able to 'disappear' into the fabric of the larger urban mass. Their integration is so complete that many sectors of the Malaysian economy would struggle or collapse without their support. New Paperback. First Edition.  174 pages with references and an index. 

The results of a survey to determine the extent to which ethnicity and other factors determined the social position of groups in Malaysian society. The monograph was compiled at about the same time as the launching of Malaysia's New Economic Policy in 1972 and sets out models for making such comparisons in future. Good Paperback. First Edition. 115 pages with figures, tables and a list of references. 


Based on a study of village communities in Kedah, Pahang and Johor, the author sets out to discover the various types of leaders prevalent in rural Malays society and how they functioned in relation to both their constituents and to regional and national government. He has a particular focus on the changes, if any, brought about in the decade after independence when the research was carried out. Good Hardback, First Edition. 192 pages with maps, figures, tables, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Architecture

The traditional Malay timber house is fast disappearing as a wave of brick and concrete replacements usurp their central place in villages through out the country. This book describes how three wood technologists 'rescued' several of such houses to move them to the Malay Kampong House Museum at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. By documenting the process the authors hoped to provide a manual for both the conservation of such houses in situ and for those who want to undertake the task of moving such houses elsewhere. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 103 pages with numerous colour illustrations and line drawings. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Art & Crafts

After a career of three decades the artist displays here 124 species of Malaysian birds which he has captured in watercolour. He has exhibited internationally and his work has been sold at established international auction houses. The book ends with an essay on his art. The index contains information on the characteristics and habitat of the birds portrayed in the book. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition  156 pages. Weight: 1.3 kg Post free within Malaysia, but may incur additional charges when posted elsewhere.

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

Unlike most children's biographies of their parents, this one is more impartial than the title might imply. A rags to riches story set in pre-World War II Malaya and Hong Kong. 157 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details

Sim, the wife of a British customs official and a keen artist, shows in this book how she was able to capture pre-World War II Malaya in words as well. The book is a series of prose sketches, sometimes accompanied by black and white photos of her own illustrations, of the Malayan countryside and people. The end papers are coloured illustrated maps of the country. Good Hardback First Edition 248 pages

Through this biography of her great-grandfather, the author, a professional historian, charts Wong's transformation from a carpenter into a master developer when Singapore began to grow as the capital of the Straits Settlements and the spur for the opening up of Johor on the mainland. This biography is also rich in the schizophrenic social history of Chinese immigrants making their new homes overseas while maintaining family ties with China. Illustrations of the buildings constructed by Wong and the important family and public figures intersperse the text. 185 pages including a glossary, bibliography and index 

The author, from the indigenous Iban people, rose to a senior rank in the Malaysian army. Here he recounts his experiences in Rajang Area Security Command (RASCOM) which was set up in 1972 to counteract Communist activity in Sarawak. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 142 pages

A collection of short biographies 18 expatriate women who lived in Malaya in the first half of the 20th century. All of their lives were touched in some way by the Japanese invasion of Malaya. The author is a founder member of the Oral History Association of Australia. Very Good Paperback. Signed by the Author. 262 pages with a bibliography, index and some black and white plates.


Sargent was employed as a visiting consultant by the Government of the Crown Colony of North Borneo as part of plans to develop the area shortly after the end of World War II. His 113 page report  while focusing mainly on the existing infrastructure and possibilities for improvement also offers a significant snapshot of the colony's economy of the time. Interestingly, amongst other things, he raises the issue of deforestation, condemning it in economic terms because the low yield of timber, i.e. a logged area takes almost 100 years to be able to produce timber again, when the area could have produced a far higher agricultural yield in the same period. Good Hardback.

One of the amazing things about this book is that Corfield managed to write so much about an island which appeared to have been barely inhabited until the mid 19th century, but when the author produces an encyclopedia or bibliography, his research always appears to be exhaustive. Here one of the more insignificant parts of Borneo, until it became an offshore financial centre in the last century, is comprehensively covered including details of sites, personalities and communities that have contributed to the island's history and contribute to its current existence. New Hardback. First Edition 823 pages with many illustrations from the past and of the island today. 

The author, whose writings on Iban culture have been published widely, here turns to the community's traditional practices from cradle to grave. The book does not touch on  regular activities like fishing or weaving, but rather on activities that mark life and seasonal events. Very Good Paperback. First English Language Edition. 64 pages with some black and white plates. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economic & Labour

One of Malaysia's internationally renowned economists and his team offer the first in depth assessment of how corporate power has moved from mainly foreign firms into Government-Linked Companies under the control of the Office of the Prime Minister, who is also Minister of Finance. An analysis of the modus operandi of the country's top 100 publicly listed companies demonstrates the extent of Government control. xxxix and 256 with a bibliography and an index.

This book offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of the growth of Malaysian capitalism from the initial British intervention in the late nineteenth century up to the time the book was originally published in French in 2015. Apart from documentary research she draws on her experience in Southeast Asia at the beginning of this century to evaluate how the country reached its 'Asian tiger' status and to compare Malaysia's experience with that of its neighbours. New Paperback. First English Language Edition. 425 pages with maps, boxes, figures, tables, a bibliography and an index. 

The contributors to this book analyse Malaysia's economic, political and developmental policies and practices to determine whether and how it will or can move from being a middle-income to a high-income economy. Will it join the ranks of Korea, Taiwan and Singapore or have its success undercut by efficient lower wage economies such as those of China, India and Vietnam? New Hardback. First Edition. 348 pages with figures, tables and a subject index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Children

A whimsical children's story about kampung life set in a Malay kampung in mid 20th century Malaya. 56 pages with four colour illustrations and other line drawings by Nora Hamerton. Very Good Hardback. Fair Dust Jacket First Edition

A collection of nine Malay folk tales told to the author by his father., who was in Government service in Malaya. The tales were originally told by his father's Malay boatman. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 77 pages with line drawings by Toffee Sanders.

An illustrated story for children of how 'development' obliterated a traditional Malay village and the community life that sustained it. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. 120 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community

Sanchun is a small rural market centre in Malaysia which is predominantly Chinese. Strauch lived in there to conduct this study which focuses on the analysis of the strategies of local rivals over several decades for status and power. The mobilisation movement by the major Chinese-Malaysian political party during the 1970s is taken note of. This book draws together an analysis of anthropology and politics. 187 pages with appendices, bibliography and index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Cinema, Dance, Drama & Music

One of Malaysia's well know playwrights uses as inspiration two stories from the folk tales of the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) for this satirical action drama. It was judged one of the top five plays entered for the International Playwriting Festival held by the UK's Warehouse Theatre in 2006. New Paperback. First Edition. 139 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

A collection of recipes for popular Chinese dishes in restaurants in Malaysia adapted with special cooking methods and buying tips to make them easier to cook at home. The recipes are in Chinese and English New Paperback First Edition. 125 pages with colour photos illustrating all dishes For further details please see the scanned contents page. 

The author was a leading exponent of Malaysian Chinese cuisine producing 17 cook books in her life time. This is one of her last two books explaining more of the home style cooking for which she was famous The recipes are in Chinese and English New Paperback First Edition. 125 pages with colour photos illustrating all dishes For further details please see the scanned contents page. 

The author introduces the reader to 50 traditional Hokkien dishes. The recipes are in Chinese and English. New Paperback First Edition. 160 pages with colour photos illustrating all dishes. For further details please see the scanned contents page.

This award winning author, the writer of nearly 30 cookery books, introduces a wide range of recipes for preserved foods. Topics include appetisers, preserved meat and smoked foods, condiments and relishes, candied fruits, jams and drinks, vinegars and enzymes. The recipes are in Chinese and English New Paperback First Edition. 165 pages with colour photos illustrating all dishes 

Malaysia & Singapore - Constitution, Laws & Legal System

A sentimental journey by the former Federal Court judge through the annals of the Malaysian judiciary. He begins with the appointment of John Dickens in 1801, shortly after the British arrival in Penang. He had to almost make up the law as he went along. The book concludes with a description of the more formal judicial system that had bedded down some three decades after independence. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 119 pages with several black and white photographs and some colour photographs

Malaysia & Singapore - Education

Although Singapore is often touted as a shining example of a meritocracy in practice, the author poses some fundamental questions, looking particularly at the experience of the Malay community in education. Government statistics from 1987 to 2011 show the community to be at the bottom of the academic achievement scale in the city state. The author seeks to demonstrate how the education system there contributes to this situation. New Hardback. First Edition. 211 pages with an index. 

From Decolonization to Ethno-Nationalism: A Study of Malaysia's School History Sylabuses and Textbooks, 1905 – 2020 - Santhiram R Raman  RM60

The book opens with the apposite African saying 'Until the lions have their own storytellers, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.' In this book the author, a Professor at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, picks through the way history has been taught in Malaysia from the late colonial times until now. The result is evidence that when the government's message changes, history does too. As Mark Twain said, 'The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice. New Paperback. 111 pages with a bibliography. 

Affective Governmentality: Neoliberal Education Advertisements in Singapore - Andrew Joseph Pereira  RM230

A critical look at the way at the way education is 'sold' to teachers and students in Singapore. The author discovers the portrayal of education to be a mix of care, the harnessing of vulnerabilities and triumphalism. He also provides a critical and alternative view to the current 'emotional technologies' employed. New Hardback. First Edition. 129 pages 

Malaysia & Singapore - The 'Emergency'

Based on British army experience in the Boer War, and later taken up by the United States in Vietnam, villagers deemed to be potential supporters of the guerrilla forces during the Malayan 'Emergency', were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in 'New Villages.', where they could be more closely monitored by the Government forces. In this book, based on an award winning doctoral thesis, the author retells the villagers experiences backed up by extensive archival and oral research. New Paperback. First Edition. 318 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

This book remains a classic on the 1948-60 communist insurrection in Malaya. The author's unrestricted access to Malayan Government confidential and secret papers without similar access to Communist sources obviously influences his viewpoint to a great extent. Nevertheless the book is a thorough a record of the events and has influenced the conduct of counter insurgency warfare since. Good Hardback.  547 pages including a glossary, appendix, bibliography and index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

Reveals the behavior, personality, and character of orangutans through a collection of color photographs that depict the daily lives of the primates in their natural, tropical habitat. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. 144 pages. 

This book focuses on the sea off Chek Jawa village on Ubin Island in Singapore. It is one of the few relatively undisturbed areas of marine life in the country. The book records the diversity of marine life to be found in the area and the successful campaign to ward off further urbanisation for the time being. Fine Hardback in a Fine Dust Jacket First Edition. 115 pages with many colour photographs and an index. 115 pages. 

A listing of the 199 species of wild land mammals known to be in the Malay peninsula and off shore islands, including Singapore at the time of publication. Information on distribution, identification, habits, voice, breeding, life history and subspecies are given together with their English, Malay and Latin names. 127 pages with a bibliography, index and fifteen colour plates. Very Good Paperback Second Edition. 

This guide contains details of all the known species in the Malaysian/Thailand peninsula when the book was originally issued in 1951. Not only does it contain simple identification help in the text but also coloured plates of most of the species and line drawings of the remainder. 291 pages. Good Paperback  Reprint Originally published in 1951

A survey by members of the Fisheries Department of the more common sea fishes to be found in Malayan waters in the mid 20th century . Most of the species are illustrated by black and white photographs or line drawings and all have text descriptions to enable identification.  Good Hardback. First Edition 180 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

At the time of publication, this book was the first book in mammalogy devoted to the Southeast Asian region. The author, a noted naturalist, presents a handy guide in layman's language of the whole range of mammals from elephants to anteaters, rodents and hares. Fine Hardback. Second Edition. Originally published in 1987 as  Riches of the Wild. Land Mammals of South-East Asia. 95 pages with black and white and colour plates a check list and a bibliography.

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. 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. Very Good Paperback. Third Edition. This edition originally published in 1970. 

At the time of writing 603 species of birds had been recorded on the peninsula. This book confines itself mainly to the year round inhabitants and a few of the more common migratory birds. 69  pages. 20 colour plates and a few line drawings with an index. 

Boomgaard traces the relationship between tigers and their human neighbours during the 350 year colonial period of the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian archipelago. He not only unearths accounts of encounters between both, but also examines the myths attributed to tigers during this period. 306 pages. Near Fine Hardback  First Edition.

This book was for many years the gardening bible for English readers in Malaya. Written by the former Director of the Botanic Gardens of Singapore and the most prolific author on Malayan botany in the first half of the 20th century, the book covers almost anything the Malayan gardener might want to know from flowering plants, trees and hedges to fruit, vegetables an diseases Good Hardback . First Edition. 323 pages with 18 black and white and 16 colour illustrations and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

A romance set in Perak amongst the Malaysian Indian community just before the outbreak of World War II. New Paperback 364 pages. 

A novel filled with mystery and folklore spanning the lives of a grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter from the last days of British rule, through World War II  up to Malaya's independence. The grandmother is a noted ghost hunter whose powers are failing and so inspires her granddaughter to take up her dangerous and secretive work. Near Fine Paperback Reprint 329 pages. 

Silverfish Books has been among the pioneers in Malaysia in publishing new writing in English. One of their best known ventures has been annual collections of short stories by established and aspiring writers. This book consists of the editor's choice of the stories that particularly struck her amongst those published by Silverfish up to the date of publication. 246 pages. 

A set of six stories inspired by Maugahm's servant Ah King, who accompanied him on a six month journey through Borneo, Indochina and Siam. As usual, the main characters in the stories are European, mainly British expatriates, in British colonial Malaya. Very Good Paperback 339 pages. 

Jack, on the run from "Inspector Kris' in Sumatra for a murder he didn't commit, manages to bluff his way into a Malaya seething with terrorists and beautiful, but dangerous, women. A racy pulp novel set in the Malayan 'Emergency.' Good Paperback. First Printing 155 pages.

A collection of ten short stories reflecting the vagaries of current everyday life in Malaysia. The author's  debut collection tackles poverty, class, culture and a whole lot more. New Paperback. First Edition. 244 pages 

In her foreword Han Suyin, the well known novelist, states that she believes this is the first ever collection in English of modern short stories of Malaysian and Singaporean authors. The collection was originally published in 1967. Most of the stories were not written originally in English and were translated by Ly Singko and Leon Comber. The 202 page book contains A Jungle Passage by Tan Kong Peng, The Old Man by Pin Tze, Gone for Ever by Lin Tsan Tien, Return by Miao Hsiou, The General by Wei Yuen, My Violin and Mata Kuching by Chan Chiuan, He Went Mad by Hua Yung Chow, The Trap by Hsiu Hsiu, The Love Nest and The Two Friends by Lee Ju Lin, Lili's Secret by Hwang Hwei, Orang Lari by Yao Tze as well as notes on the authors and a glossary. Good Paperback. Reprint   

A collection of seven stories of the supernatural. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 144 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Folklore

When Indians came to Southeast Asia as settlers and colonisers from about the 4th century BC onwards, they naturally brought their culture with them including the Hindu epics such as the Ramayana. In time these epics became adapted into local folklore. There are two known copies of the Malay version of the epic and Aveling has chosen to translate into English the older of the two, now at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. New Hardback. 287 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Health & Medicine


In the growing international medical travel market, Malaysia has managed to position itself as a key player in the Southeast Asian region. Not only does its hospitals serve patients from neighbouring states with weaker health systems, but also caters for private patients from further afield. In this book the author explores the benefits and challenges of providing medical care to non-Malaysians and challenges some of the assumptions about the sources, directions and political value of care. New Hardback. First Edition. 162 pages with references and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - History

In this work the author, an academic specialising in Malay studies at the National University of Singapore, invites the reader to move away from the normal historian's practice of collecting data and analysing facts and instead to rely more on imagination. In doing so he hopes to challenge some of the existing narratives about colonialism, Orientalism and nationalism. New Paperback. First Edition. 254 pages with a bibliography and an index. 

An account of the coming of age of Singapore as it turned from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries as viewed through travellers' eyes at the time. The text is accompanied by copious black and white photos of the time. 220 pages. 

Developed from lecture notes by Tregonning when he was Raffles Professor of History at the University of Singapore and from his students' research this is a general history of the peninsula from the fifteenth century until the formation of Malaysia. Very  Good Hardback. First Edition. 339 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 

A short monograph on the relationship between Chettiar money lenders and the Malay peasantry in British Malaya. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 28 pages 

Malaysia & Singapore - Indian Community & Culture

In this first history of the fund Rajarao looks through a new lens at  the interrelationship between plantation workers, the fund's beneficiaries, and plantation owners and government, before and after independence. Estate workers were and are one of the more marginalised groups in society, but the existence of the fund provided at least one bit of security amidst the exploitative practices of the industry and successive governments. New Paperback. First Edition. 434 pages with an index and some black and white photographs. 

The author originally thought that his best approach to understanding Malaysian society would be to start by studying its component racial parts. He soon discovered that the idea of  homogenous Indian, Chinese or Malay groups was a misnomer and so proceeded to look at the effects of capitalism in Malaysia as his best way to work back to understanding the role of different Indian groups in the country's history. New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1980.  264 pages with contents which include the following chapters - 1 - Indian Peoples and the Colonial Economy, 1907-41, 2 - The Emergence of Communal Nationalism, 3 Mobilisation of Indian Labour, 1938-41, 4 - Subcommunalism, Non-communalism and Class Affiliations, 5 - Communalism and Class During the Japanese Occupation, 1941-5, 6 - Emancipation or Reaction, 1945-48, 7 - The Working-class Alliance and the Malayan Indian Congress, 1945-8, 8 - Insurgency and Counter Insurgency, 1948-57 and 9 - The Alliance Years, 1957-69. There are also a few black and white illustrations, a bibliography and an index. 


The state of Johor has one of the longest coastlines of any Malaysian state and its coastal communities still mainly rely on the sea for their income. This survey was carried out at a time when industrialisation was beginning to threaten marine based livelihoods. The survey, apart from covering the geography of the area also looks at socioeconomics, land use, other economic sectors, including tourism among others. Good Paperback. First Edition 65 pages with several tables and figures and a list of references. 


Until the intervention of the British in the 19th century, the main threats to Kedah's security were the kingdoms of Siam and Burma to the North. In tis book, Bonney covers Kedah's history in the build up to the Siamese invasion of 1821. Good Paperback. Reprint. First published in 1971. 215 pages with two maps, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

A series of 25 lessons to enable the reader to pick up basic Tatiana' which is spoken in Kuala Penyu are of Southwest Sabah. Very Good Paperback. 95 pages with a vocabulary. 

One of the, possibly unforeseen, tasks of of empire for the British was to deal with polyglot cultures, uncommon in Europe. In this book Leow, a Malaysian academic in Cambridge, explores firstly the British attempts to 'tame' the languages they came across in Malaya and then goes on the see whether an independent Malaysia had more success. The general aim, both before and after independence, was to produce a monoglot state in an untameable milieu of languages in motion. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. 261 pages with a bibliography and an index. 

A picture dictionary in the Iranun, Bahasa Malaysia and English Languages. The illustrations are line drawings. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 47 pages. 

A picture dictionary in the Begak, Bahasa Malaysia and English Languages. The illustrations are line drawings. Fine Paperback. First Edition. 41 pages. 

A set of 25 exercises designed to help people speak the Bookan language spoken by about 2,000 people living along the Sook river in Keningau District. The exercises are centred around the speakers' daily lives  Fine Paperback First Edition. 103 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community& Culture

A collection of essays by the historian, Khoo Kay Kim, tracing the manner in which Malay society dealt with the changes experienced as a result of increased interaction with the world beyond the Straits of Melaka. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 312 pages Very Good Paperback First Edition.

A challenging look at why the Malay community do not often come off well when they become involved in business. In 1971 the Government instituted its New Economic Policy, intended to address the low participation of the Malay community in business. Although the policy has seen a rise in Malay living standards, the author questions the policy's rationale as being out of tune with Malay values. New Paperback. Revised Reprint. Originally published in 1988 189 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.

This is a reprint of a work originally published in 1943. While the author's husband was researching in Kelantan in 1939 and 1940 for his book on how Malay fishermen produced their wealth, Rosemary Firth sought to discover how the wealth was used. She discovers that housekeeping problems are the same the world over. Near Fine Hardback. Reprint 200 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Media & Journalism

In this unusual study, Steele examines how Muslim journalists in Indonesia and Malaysia practice their craft and the extent to which their religion frames their reporting. She goes behind the scenes of five organisations, with varying political agendas, to see the extent to which Islam is relevant to their writings. New paperback. 170 pages with a bibliography and an index. 


Melaka, formerly known as Malacca, has been a hub for internal and foreign trade for centuries. The city and its surroundings may be best remembered today as the part of Malaysia that was first colonised by Europeans, the Portuguese and then the Dutch. However, the author, a native of the city, demonstrates in this book that there are still traces of other indigenous and foreign influences that trace their roots to a more distant past. New Paperback. First Edition. 154 pages with a bibliography and some black and white photographs.

This book is not so much an account of the Portuguese rule in Melaka, but rather is about their relationship with the other two major trading centres of the archipelago at the time, Johor and Aceh. All three centres were trade rivals, but they managed to coexist because none of them was sufficiently powerful dislodge either of the other two. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 375 pages with 6 maps some black and white colour illustrations, a bibliography and an index.

Although this is mainly a quick survey of Melaka's history until the beginning of the 19th century, the author also manages to weave various bits of former residents' personal history and legends into the story. In doing so he manages to add a bit more colour than would usually be found in history text books. New Paperback. First Edition. 154 pages with a bibliography. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Miscellaneous

In this book, originally published as 'Intellectuals, Creativity and Intolerance' in 2010, Ratnam calls out the sham intellectuals who are dogmatic and ideologues as he argues that intellectuals, per se, must be 'open to doubt...tolerant, even welcoming, of alternative views and explanations.' He argues that in this apparently polarising world intellectuals have a particular duty to be critical to better enable us to explore and prepare for an unknown future. New Paperback. Revised Edition. 130 pages with a list of references. 

Negeri Sembilan

The state of Negeri Sembilan has often fascinated anthropologists because it is a matrilineal society. In this book Stivens examines who the system operates in modern day Malaysia. Of particular concern is the extent to which the role of women has been weakened in colonial and post-colonial society. Good Paperback. 316 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Numismatics

A history of both the coinage and the states where these coins were minted with extensive colour illustrations. 59 pages. 

Orang Asli/Indigenous

This is an issue of the Federation Museums Journal Volume 24 New Series. The volume contains a wide range of papers on Malaysia's indigenous peoples presented at a seminar in Kuala Lumpur in 1977. Good Paperback. First Edition. 269 pages with some black and white and colour plates and tables.


The author shares her research among Cham Muslim immigrants from Cambodia who have now settled in Pahang, Malaysia, following the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975.  She describes their manners, customs and current economic activities. New Paperback. First Edition. 71 pages with some figures and tables and an index. 


Yes, another picture book about Penang, but, fortunately, this one is different. While it includes the usual batch of attractive pictures that one would expect from such a book, it also includes many other places that you're likely to have been to or would visit on a trip to Penang, but are missing from similar books. For example Penang's famous Ghee Hiang biscuit shop and the Penang Toy Museum are included. It has another feature too that you won't find in similar books - four postcards built into the covers that won't fall out but won't damage the book either when they're detached for use. It's sturdy and small enough to fit in a handbag for use around the town. New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 2011 160 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Peranakan/Straits Chinese

The Baba of Melaka are probably the descendants of the first Chinese to settle on the peninsula and intermarry with the Malay population. The result, as Tan contends in 'this first comprehensive study of the ethnic identity of the Baba in Melaka', is a community that is basically Chinese, but which is heavily influenced by Malay culture and speak Malay, rather than Chinese, amongst themselves. Based on extensive field work in the community, the author captures the essence  of a small, but influential, group keen to preserve its individual identity amidst the swirl of  the more strident identities of the Chinese and Malay communities in post-independence Malaysia. 303 pages with an index, 49 black and white plates, a bibliography and various figures and tables.  New Paperback Revised Second Edition 

Although there is an ever increasing range of books on the dress, architecture, furniture, silver and much else of the Babas and Nyonya/Straits Chinese there's little published about how this mixed Chinese/Malay group amused themselves. Chee has remedied this by bringing together a wide selection of their traditional songs (with musical scores) and poetry. All of the contributions have English translations. The book also contains short pieces on Peranakan culture and an ample selection of photographs This fourth edition includes many new poems, songs and colour photographs together with other amendments to the earlier editions. 156 pages with a CD included.

Malaysia & Singapore - Poetry

A collection of poems in English from 1900 to 1962,by 15 poets from or based in Malaya and Singapore. Among the poets included are Lim Boon Keng, Lim Thean Soo, SM Ponniah, Margaret Leong, Hedwig Anuar, Edwin Thumboo, T Wignesan and Wong Phui Nam. New Paperback. 174 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

While, at the time of publication, Malaysia has become infamous because of the 1MDB scandal, the author reminds readers that the country has a track record in this respect. Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF) was a financial vehicle set up in the mid 1960s purportedly to promote the participation of Bumiputera, those officially designated indigenous to the country, in the economy. While BMF only lost a paltry RM2.5billion compared to 1MDB's losses of at least twenty times that amount, the author finds interesting parallels and contrasts and reflects on how the country's political and financial culture has developed, if at all, since the first scandal. 439 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

In his usual incisive style the author seeks to dismantle the monolith of the Barisan Nasional coalition by demonstrating that its uninterrupted rule since independence has resulted in Malaysia being 'freer at independence' than when the book was published. He argues for a different vision of the country, one that incorporates democratic planning, direct action and popular participation in a root and branch reform of society. New Paperback. First edition. 200 pages. 

Drawing on his nearly 50 years experience as a public intellectual, academic and activist, Lim Teck Ghee in this collection of his more recent essays, unpicks the malaise that is almost the norm in Malaysian political life today. His essays also draw on his experiences and studies elsewhere in Asia to suggest ways in which politicians and all fellow citizens can begin to climb their way out of this quagmire. New Paperback. First Edition. 476 pages.  

Gomez, who has built something of a reputation for sniffing out to the financial intricacies of the ruling elite for most of Malaysia's life as an independent country, delves in this book into the finances of UMNO, which has hardly ever been out of Government. He traces the development of three principal corporate vehicles and demonstrates how apparent conflicts of interest, corruption and other unsavoury activities have been allowed to proliferate as a result. Good Paperback. First Edition. 189 pages with tables, figures and an index.

A collection of articles written mainly for Malaysian publications on the run up to the 2018 elections which briefly displaced UMNO, the main party of Government since independence, some 60 years earlier. The author, a noted economist in Malaysia and the region, particularly focuses on the the financial problems caused by the 1MDB crisis which still reverberate in the economy today. New Paperback. First Edition. 155 pages.

The newly independent countries that emerged from colonial rule after World War II were usually established on the the premise that a Western democratic system was going to 'successfully manage human conflict and...would assure the viability of the political system,' as the author says in his introduction. Of course, that hardly ever happened. Here the author looks at how the transition was made in Malaysia and how it those democratic ideals fared in the first two decades after independence. 443 pages with an index. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Race Relations

In comparing the affirmative action policies in education in both Malaysia and the United States, the author seeks to discover if a) the goals of the policy have been achieved, b) the reaction of the beneficiaries of the policy to the preferential treatment given to them and c) whether the policy increased or reduces ethnic polarisation in society. 102 pages with a bibliography and index. 

The contributors not only look at the various policies promoted by the governments of Malaysia and Singapore with regards to race, but also examine how multiculturalism, to the extent that it exists, plays out in both societies. The research that underpins this work, not only covers government policy documents, pronouncements and practices, but also the arts, films, fiction, poetry, text books and other reflections of identity. New Hardback. First Edition. with figures, a table, a bibliography and an index 240 pages. 

One feature shared by Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia is the inheritance of a multicultural society created mainly by former colonial powers. Each country has experienced racial violence in the 20th century. As the contributors, who are mostly from the region, note, each country has taken distinctly different approaches. They suggest lasting peace will depend on a combination of civil society and government action to build a tolerance that could promote stability. Good Paperback. 319 pages with an index. 


Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is a fairly typical Asian sprawl with a dynamic that  both the long term resident and temporary visitor often find difficult to get to grips with. In this ambitious work a data collecting company attempts to blow away some of the misconceptions and to open out the city to new challenges. Such questions as which suburbs have more churches or mosques, how does living near to a police station affect property prices, which area is best served by nurseries and more are answered by comprehensible maps and diagrams. 88 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 


This book comprises the collected research of the Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience (M-POWER) look at the vital role that water governance plays in the region. The research undertaken is action research, so the articles in this volume also describe the various authors' attempts to look for and experiment with new ways of engagement with water governance at different levels. 219 pages with a bibliography and an index.

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. 

A collection of poetry by a Syrian poet, performer and engineer who has been in Malaysia since 2016. He was the winner of the Migrant and Refugee Poetry competition in 2017. The poems are in their Arabic original with English translations by Ziad Altaghlibi. New Paperback. First Edition. 109 pages. 

Articles include - Qur'ān 2:114 and Jerusalem - Suliman Bashear; The diminutives in the dīwān of Ibn Quzmān: a product of their Hispanic milieu? - J. A Abu-Haidar; New studies on the verbal system of Old and Middle Iranian - Nicholas Sims-Williams; Al-Bīrūnī's Arabic version of Patañjali's Yogasūtra: a translation of the fourth chapter and a comparison with related texts - Shlomo Pines, Tuvia Gelblum; The shrine of Imām-i Kalān in Sar-i Pul, Afghanistan - 
 Mehrdad Shokoohy; Verb agreement in Proto-Tibeto-Burman - Scott DeLancey. Near Fine  Paperback 198 pages First Edition

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. 

Cameron was an inveterate traveller and had written several books about her travels elsewhere before this book. Here she records her journey from Singapore through the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, the South Pacific and onto her journey's end in Tasmania.  The journey was accomplished in 1922 and 1923. Good Hardback. First Edition. 269 pages with a fold out coloured map and over 40 black and white plates. 

This work, written in originally in Pali, some nine centuries after Buddha's death summarises and interprets the Tipitaka, which is considered by many to be the oldest and most authentic record of Buddha's words. Fair Hardback. Fourth Edition. 885 pages

This is the first English language edition of the author's work, Islam dan Sosialisma, first published in 1976. Altas points out that Islam does not recommend any political system, just a moral code that should underpin any such system. He finds much in Marx's writing to recommend to Muslims and some aspects which he believes conflict with Islam. New Paperback. 107 pages with a list of references.

An introduction to a craft which has been part of a metalworking tradition for more than 3,000 years. The author looks at the traditions in each of the countries singling out their unique characteristics despite foreign influence. Very Good Hardback. First Edition 124 pages with several black and white and colour photographs and line drawings. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 

The Malay Archipelago is home to two of the 34 biodiversity hotspots identified globally. White declaring such hotspots to be protected areas may, on the face of it, please environmentalists, traditional inhabitants of the areas and commercial interests often are not so happy. The contributors to this work analyse how the interplay between indigenous peoples, commercial enterprises, government and environmentalists works out in reality. Good Hardback. First Edition. 478 pages with an index. Weight: 1.3 kg Post free within Malaysia, but may incur additional charges when posted elsewhere.

A history of the region from the early centuries AD to the end of the Second World War. Cady treats the area as a distinct entity rather than as a colonial plaything. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. 657 pages with a bibliography and an index.


A comprehensive review of Chinese sculpture from prehistoric times to the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties. 559 pages with many colour photographs, a bibliography and an index. Fine Hardback in a Fine Dust Jacket.


A collection of papers by media and sociology academics to explain the spread of and determine the effects of 'Hallyu' the Korean wave that has come to determine Southeast Asian pop culture. While the 'Hallyu' has given greater prominence on the international pop stage, it has also tended to subsume existing, more diverse, popular culture in Asia. 200 pages with an index. 

Hong Kong

This is a transcript of the only interview given by Bruce Lee that still survives on videotape. It took place on 9th December 1971 just after he had finished filming 'The Big Boss' (also released as 'Fists of Fury) when he was on the threshold of stardom. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 75 pages. with several black and white photographs from the interview 

Ludowyk was a powerhouse in the study and teaching of the English language and in theatre in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, from the 1930s until his retirement in the mid 1950s. This collection of essays on language, literature and theatre, both English and Sinhala, by former students and collaborators offers a snapshot of the country's intellectual life during this period. Very Good Paperback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 338 pages.


A book full of tips to help you stand out in a crowd. There is advice on learning how to assess others through Chinese face reading techniques, personal grooming, colour coordination, increasing your vitality, etiquette and your choice of what to wear. New Paperback.