Blog Archive

Friday 31 December 2021


New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


December 2021

(Last Updated 31-12-21)

  • 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

While Indonesia and Malaysia, in common with most of the globe, has been going through a process of 'modernisation' from the 20th century onwards, the contributors highlight the dangers of viewing this process as 'Westernising.' Scholars from both inside and outside the region demonstrate in their contributions to this book that the processes have been more nuanced with strong indigenous influences coming into play. New Paperback. First Edition. 257 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Architecture

It's often a complaint of Western visitors to tropical climates that so many buildings appear run down and dirty. Few realise that one of the reasons for this is because the buildings they see are attempts to replicate Western architecture in a climate to which it isn't suited. In this work Lim shows us what Malaysian imitators of Western architectural styles have lost, i.e. a system of housing designed for comfort in Malaysia's environment through the experience of many centuries. 152 pages. Chapters include - 1. Introduction, 2 - The Malaysian Background, 3 - The Houseform, 4 - Design and Layout, 5 - Beautiful Malay Houses, 6 - Adapting to the Climate, 7 - In Harmony with the People's Way of Life, 8 - The Compound and the Kampong, 9 - Building the Malay House, 10 - Extending the House: The Addition System, 11 -Changes, Threats and Constraints & 12 - The Future of the Malay House. There are also copious illustrations, a glossary and a bibliography. Very Good Paperback. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Argriculture

At the beginning of this period Malaya was reliant on imports for two thirds of its rice consumption due to a fairly laissez faire policy of leaving production to Malay padi farmers. That looked as if it might change in the 1930s with a shake up of the agriculture department, the founding of a school of agriculture and the creation of a Department of Irrigation. The author concludes by analysing whether these changes had any real impact. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 60 pages with maps tables and a bibliography. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Art & Crafts

The catalogue for one of the artist's exhibitions held in Kuala Lumpur in 2007. He was exhibiting the fruits of his two residencies in Vermont, USA (2004) and Goyang, South Korea (2005-06). Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 86 pages with colour plates of the artist's work. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

The author, a retired senior policeman, who had seen service both before and after independence traces the country's history, mainly from a police perspective, from World War II until 2005. A major part of the book concentrates on 'The Emergency' period and other events leading up to independence. 425 pages including an index. The contents include 1 - The Struggle for Malaysian Independence, 2 - War Clouds Over Malaya: Japanese Occupation, 3 - Reign of Terror by the MPAJA After the Japanese Surrender, 4 - MCP Prepares for Rebellion, 5 - The Gallant Rubber Planters of Malaya, 6 - General Sir Gerald Templer Takes Command, 7 - OCPD Pagoh - A Communist Stronghold, 8- The Malay Warriors of Bukit Kepong Police, 9 - CPO Perak Outwits CT Ambush, 10 - A Close-Up of the Baling Talks, 1955, 11 - The Rise and Fall of the Malayan Communist Party, 12 - Malaysian Police Over the Years, 1786-2005, 13 - A Close-Up View of a New Village in the Early 1950s, 14 - Town and State Elections Leading to Federal Independence, 15 - The Racial Riots of May 13, 1969, 16 - Undercover Work in Sarawak - Breakthrough New Political Work, 1966-1972, 17 - Serious Racial Riots Averted by IGP, 18 - Teaching of Malaysian History and Racial Harmony in Schools, 19 - Malaysia's War Against Corruption, 20 - Retrospection - What of the Future of Malaysians? 

A no nonsense account of a young man's experiences as a surveyor for roads and railways in Kedah and Kelantan between 1913 and 1918. Wells was an entertaining and observant writer mixing stories of recipes for gin slings with lots of information on the flora and fauna, much of which he presumably had to clear out of his way to get his job done.  Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket Reprint. Originally published in 1923  288 pages with a bibliography and some black and white plates. 


Prior to the publication of this book accounts of the Japanese occupation of Sarawak had been sketchy based mostly on expatriate's experiences as prisoners of war and resistance and anecdotal accounts of Sarawakians. Reece not only relies of personal accounts, but on both Allied and Japanese documents to produce a more nuanced account than many others. For example, the Kuching Malays were not inspired to look for independence, as happened with some Malays on the peninsula, but rather for a restoration of Brooke rule. Also, despite the horrendous treatment of many, especially the Chinese, the occupation had flashes of economic success. Fine Paperback. First Edition. 254 pages with a chronology, bibliography and some black and white plates.

This work summarises the work of the author and his wife in trying to discover how aboriginal Dusun children in North Borneo grew up and took on the cultural norms of their society. During their two year stay in two different villages, they were particularly keen to discover in what ways, if any, such enculturation differed from similar processes in other societies. That said, the author goes to particular lengths in making observations rather than mixing in theory. 137 pages whose contents include 1 - The Setting of Enculturation, 2 - Methods of Study, 3 - Conception, Pregnancy and Birth, 4 - Infancy, 5 - Childhood Years, 6 - Patterns of Enculturation & 7 - Changes in Enculturation. There are also list of references cited and recommended reading as well as a linguistic chart and black and white photographs.

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. Very Good Paperback First Edition 

Although this book was published by the Sarawak Literary Society, it is not just a book about Borneo as it concerns the interests of Robert Nicholl which were wide and varied. The book is divided into the following sections - I - Robert Nicholl; II - Monk and Missionary; III - Education; IV - Language and Literature; V - Sarawak - where he was an education officer from 1946 to 1969; VI - Brunei where he was an education officer from 1970 to 1987; & VII - Borneo and Beyond. Very Good Paperback. 643 pages with figures, tables, maps, an Author Index and a Subject Index. 

The main enquiry pursued by the author is how the individuality of the Iban, essential in their nomadic and warlike life of the past, relates to the way they live in community. Besides being headhunters, they have developed the socially cohesive longhouse, which can house up to 70 families. As the study develops we see how these characteristics equip and hinder the Iban as they adapt to the modern world. 198 pages with 16 pages of black and white photographs. Very Good Paperback First Edition 

When Malaysia came into being in 1963 some of its neighbours were not happy and made claims to parts of Malaysian Borneo. Indonesia went to war, but the Philippines mainly grumbled. This is an example of the grumbling, a speech delivered by a Philippine Congressman in the Philippine Parliament. 28 pages including some black and white and one colour photograph and two maps, one fold out and the other laid in. Very Good Hardback. 

The Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak were and still are one of the more inaccessible areas of the state. These forest dwellers first became internationally known with the publication of Tom Harrisson's World Within. Half a century later the author spent time among these same people to understand their way of life an in particular to document the significance of utensils, tools and other items that featured in their daily lives. This book is the outcome of that work. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 154 pages with black and white plates, catalogues of Kelabit items in the British and Sarawak Museums, maps, figures and a bibliography. 

Winzeler, one of the leading anthropologists to have devoted considerable study to the life of the indigenous people of Borneo, devotes this study to their buildings, both past and present. In the first section of the book he explains the traditional buildings, tools used and the social context in which they were set. In the second section he looks at what is left today either in its original or transformed state.  Please see scanned photos for a list of the chapters. 208 pages with a good selection of black and white photos. 

This monograph was adapted from the Masters Thesis of the author, who later developed into a noted historian of the region. (This appears to be his first publication.) He set himself a difficult task, i.e. trying to report in a balanced way on the changes in lifestyle of the Bajau people, when his primary source of information was records of the imperial power that forced these changes. He was aided to a certain extent by living amongst the Bajau people for two years so that he was able to draw on what was left of the community's oral history of the period.  Very Good Hardback 110 pages. 

Having first got her autobiography out of the way, Sylvia of Sarawak, the wife of the last Raja went on to write about the reigns of her husband and his two predecessors. Her husband, Vyner, says in his preface that he doesn't know how she's going to treat the subject which, considering that the lived separately for most of their marriage, may well be true. Nevertheless the book proved to be a good seller at the time as it purported to be the inside story of this extraordinary family whose rule over Sarawak came to an abrupt end with the Japanese invasion. 304 pages with an index and a few black and white plates. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Business Economics & Labour

Industrial Technology Development in Malaysia - Jomo KS & Others (eds)  RM100

Written in the wake of the financial crisis at the end of the 20th century, the contributors to this book look at the underlying performance of Malaysia's technology sector to see the extent to which it would help the country to weather the storm. They look at the roles of multinationals, the Malaysian Government, innovation, technology transfer and other pertinent issues. Good Hardback. 399 pages with figures, tables and an index. 

The authors, economics academics, were jointly Chief Technical Advisers on the Human Resource Development Plan, part of the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-95.) In this book they analyse the reasons for the country's strong economic performance at the time and also look at Government efforts in poverty eradication and social restructuring. Near Fine Hardback in a Near Fine Dust Jacket. First Edition 328 pages with 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.

Austin examines the policy and practice of  one of the principal architects of Singapore's economic success. Goh Keng Swee, as both a trained economist and Minister of Finance in Lee Kuan Yew's first government demonstrated the efficacy of government intervention in the economy and society at a time when international organisations were advocating the opposite approach. New Paperback. First Edition. 140 pages with a bibliography and an index. 

Before the publication of this book, little had been written about the role played by trade unionism in the outbreak of the Communist insurrection after World War II. Here Stenson traces its development from before the war when Chinese and Indian labourers, the majority of industrial workers, began to increase their economic and political bargaining power. He also looks at the legacy of this movement on the subsequent period up to 1969. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 271 pages with a bibliography and an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community

British colonial administrators had a penchant for labelling almost any Overseas Chinese association as a 'secret society.' The author sets out to show, based on a mixture of first hand oral accounts and documents, that this was usually not the case. While criminal associations did exist, the majority of kongsis, or clan houses, were formed to help new arrivals settle and provide for their welfare once they had found their feet. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. Signed 433 pages with a bibliography, glossary and index.

Yes. Yet another Penang cookery book, but this one is probably unique in that all the recipes are halal, i.e. suitable for Muslims. Quite a feat, considering that Penang is probably home to more non halal foodies per capita than anywhere else in Malaysia. Other halal Penang cookery books exist, but what makes this one unusual is that it includes most of the dishes for which Penang is famous, i.e. Chinese food, but in a way that is suitable for Muslims. The author was brought up eating this food by virtue of having a Malay mother and Chinese father. New Hardback. 151 pages with an index and colour photographs of each of the more than 50 dishes included. 

Based on three decades of research amongst the ethnic Chinese in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Nonini unravels what it means to be a member of the working class from a minority community in Malaysia. This ethnographic study not only looks at the community in its current context, but also traces its historic role in the development of the country. New Paperback.  347 pages with an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

The book claims to be a first of its kind in being not only a comprehensive review of festivals of the Chinese diaspora, but also as a record of the origins of each of the festivals with notes on modifications, if any, following their export to Southeast Asia. 236 pages Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

A Singaporean chef, a Hokkien himself, presents 50 recipes that are popular amongst  the Hokkien community in Malaysia and Singapore. The text is in Chinese and English and every recipe is illustrated by at least one colour photograph. 123 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page. 

Singaporean chef, William Soh, introduces readers to a selection of recipes from his childhood. The dishes are well known standards amongst the ethnic Chinese communities of Malaysia and Singapore. The text is in Chinese and English  127 pages with colour illustrations for each recipe. For further details please see the scanned contents page 

This collection of recipes brings to life again dishes which, though still familiar to Malaysians, have changed over the course of time to suit modern palates. A group of culinary experts dig out recipes that may have been more familiar on the tables of our grandparents rather than what we expect to see served today. New Paperback. Revised Edition. 123 pages For further details please see the scanned contents page. 

A guide through the cooking and lives of four generations of women from the Zecha family. The book was inspired by a treasure trove of recipes carefully preserved in Dutch and Malay by the author's great grandmother. Each section of the book contains recipes from a different generation of this family from Indonesia which survived on Dutch, Chinese and Nyonya home cooked food. 145 pages with  colour photos of each dish. 

Malaysia & Singapore - The "Emergency"

A study of the unsettled period that preceded the Malayan 'Emergency.' Malayans were still suffering from the deprivations of war, but for the first time, they were not prepared to put up with their hardships. The Japanese had demonstrated that Asians could stand up to European colonialism and that awakening was followed by intense political organising in political parties and trades unions in a way that the country had not seen before. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 31 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore -Environment, Nature & Wildlife

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. 

A review of conifers in the West Malay Archipelago, covering Malaysia and Indonesia The text is in German. Good Hardback. First Edition. 168 pages with a pull out sheet with diagrams and some black and white plates.

A strange monograph on Borneo mammals, possibly by an amateur naturalist. It is an off print from the Brunei Museum Journal 4 (2). The book is a mixture of observation, anecdotes and folk takes. The book is quite rare with only the Natural History Museum Library in London appearing to have a copy. This copy is from the library of Robert Nicholl, a 20th century resident of Borneo and well known author. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 62 pages and a further 10 pages of colour plates. 

The President of the Consumers Association Penang sets out what he sees as 'the critical problems of our age' and prescribes some solutions. New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1990 258 pages with some line drawings and black and white photographs. 

A beautifully produced selection of 477 paintings from the collection of William Farquhar made while he was British Resident and Commandant in Melaka at the beginning of the 19th century. He later moved to become the first person to hold the same position in the new colony of Singapore. He was a keen naturalist and has been credited with several discoveries. In order to record his findings he employed Chinese painters, using their traditional methods, but instructed by him to produce  more realistic representations that Western naturalists required. With essays by John Bastin on Farquhar himself and by Kwa Chong Gwan on Drawing Nature in the East Indies. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket  335 pages with a bibliography and index.

Travels in the Malaysian Rainforest - Tan Teong Jin  RM70

A passionate book about the beauty and mysticism to be found in the rainforests of Malaysia. The author concentrates on the forests of the Taman Negara, Endau-Rompin and Belum on the peninsula. He ends the book with chapters of popular magic and religion and big game. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 248 pages. 

RM 650

These three volumes contain the most comprehensive and up to date information on Ferns and Lycophytes on the Malaysian peninsula. Volume 1 (ISBN 9789675221248), published in 2010 with 249 pages contains an overview of the orders, families and genera, and revisions of 9 families, 21 genera and 100 species, Volume 2 (ISBN 9789675221941), published in 2013 with 243 pages, covers 9 ferns families, 26 genera and 107 species and Volume 3 (ISBN 9789672149644), published in 2020 with 307 pages, covers a further 9 families, 32 genera and 115 species. Each volume contains numerous maps, line drawings and colour plates and indices of English, scientific and vernacular names. New Hardbacks, First Editions.

This volume contains the most comprehensive and up to date information on Ferns and Lycophytes on the Malaysian peninsula. There are an overview of the orders, families and genera, and revisions of 9 families, 21 genera and 100 species. The volume also includes numerous maps, line drawings and colour plates and indices of English, scientific and vernacular names. 249 pages New Hardback, First Edition.

This volume contains the most comprehensive and up to date information on Ferns and Lycophytes on the Malaysian peninsula. There are an overview of the orders, families and genera, and revisions of  9 ferns families, 26 genera and 107 species. The volume also includes numerous maps, line drawings and colour plates and indices of English, scientific and vernacular names.  243 pages New Hardback, First Edition. 

This volume contains the most comprehensive and up to date information on Ferns and Lycophytes on the Malaysian peninsula. There are an overview of the orders, families and genera, and revisions of  9 families, 32 genera and 115 species. The volume also includes numerous maps, line drawings and colour plates and indices of English, scientific and vernacular names.  307 pages New Hardback, First Edition. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

Nanyang was the name given by Chinese in the 19th century and earlier to the Malay Peninsula and Singapore. This novel centred around the lives of four generations of a family , through an epic tale, explains how Nanyang came to be the multi-cultural mix that it is today. 462 pages.

A collection of 14 short stories by a Malaysian medical doctor. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 227 pages. 

An unusually 'earthy'  novel from this well known author, who says she's 'old enough to write about sex.' The book is centred on the lives of three women from three generations of the same family. The main character, Yoke-lin, is thrown out of the marital home for producing a daughter and becomes a dance hostess and later a mistress of a businessman who needs a son to claim the family inheritance. As New. Paperback. First Edition. 213 pages.

The  three books of the trilogy Time for a Tiger, Enemy in the Blanket and Beds in the East are some of the best known works in English of the effects of the Malayan Emergency on the declining British Empire and those who struggled to maintain it and those who were ready to see it go. Burgess took the trouble to learn both spoken and written Malay which enabled him to present a more multi-dimensional picture of society than many of his contemporaries writing about the country. 583 pages. Good Paperback Reprint 

A collection of Hugh Clifford's stories inspired by his experiences as a British civil servant in Malaya. Originally published in 1913. Very Good Paperback in a Good Dust Jacket. Reprint  Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. Good Paperback. Reprint 312 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Gender

The contributors to this book give a snapshot of what it's like to be a woman in 21st century Malaysia. The eight essays are divided into sections on their lives from the economic media and legal perspectives demonstrating that although women have made great strides in the last half century, there is still some way to go before many can feel fully valued members of society. New Paperback. First Edition. 132 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Geography & Guide Books

Since there are similarities between the geology and mineral structure of Japan and Thailand and Malaysia, Japanese geologists conducted research in both countries between 1964 and 1967. This work presents the results of their research. 160 pages with several figures and some black and white plates. Very Good Hardback. First Edition 

A lay person's snapshot of Malaya the year before independence according the the British Government's information service. It includes much of what a visitor may want to know about the country including a potted history, description of the peoples, places to see and much else besides. The Malayan 'Emergency' hardly gets a mention. Good Paperback. Second Edition. 80 pages with many black and white plates, contemporary advertisements and a coloured map. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Health & Medicine

A Malaysian expert in Feng Shui guides the reader on what to look out for in order to live in harmony with your environment. He uses the principles of the San Yuan Phai system of feng shui to highlight what is likely to bring balance and what may cause disruption to the life of the urban dweller. His advice is illustrated with a wealth of colour photographs of everyday situations in a city environment. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 

Malaysia & Singapore - History

Stamford Raffles was accompanied by two French naturalists when he arrived in Singapore and ever since then the French have been making a significant contribution to the life of the city. The personalities and their exploits are chronicled in this book. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket First Edition. 240 pages with many black and white and colour illustrations.

The noted jurist and a member of three generations of a Singapore family, recalls the Singapore and the peninsula of the 1930s with a series of anecdotes and vignettes. Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Reprint. Originally published in 1934  205 pages. with 39 illustrations.

Malaysia & Singapore - History (20th Century)

Following the end of what came to be called The Malayan 'Emergency' in 1960, Communist activity still persisted. Between 1968 and the Hatyai peace agreement of 1989, guerilla activity launched from bases in Southern Thailand and further activity by the North Kalimantan Communist Party in Sarawak disrupted life in the country. This is a statement by the Government outlining the various insurgent activities prevalent at the time and their threat to the country. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 32 pages. 


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 Hardback. First Edition. 215 pages with two maps, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistic

As one might expect in such a multicultural country, the range of languages spoken in Malaysia is immense. Some 80 of them, according to this book. This book not only contains short essays from a variety of noted contributors on the languages themselves, but also on their oral and written literature and on language use and policy. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket 144 pages with a bibliography, index and several mainly colour illustrations.

Malaysia & Singapore - Magic  & Popular Religion

Shaw, an honorary curator of Malaysia's National Museum, the Muzium Negara Malaysia, was also at the time of writing, in 1971, a member of the British Society for Psychical Research. In this monograph he reviews superstitious practices employed  in the Malay, Thai and Chinese communities to make themselves 'invulnerable' to attacks by their enemies. The text is in English and Bahasa Malaysia Near Fine Paperback. Reprint. 62 pages with some black and white photographs .

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture

This 232-page book includes a wide range of  proverbs used in the Malay language on a daily basis. They provide a unique insight into the achievements, disappointments, fun and wisdom  of an agricultural and fishing society in the process of transformation. Each proverb has  English explanatory notes.

This study analyses of  howkey leadership roles played out in Sik a rural Malaysian district  in Kedah. The data was collected between1968-1971 and updated in 1974. 79 pages including glossary, bibliography and maps.

Notes on the influence of Malay language and literature on the Malay culture. Good Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1957 35 pages with some black and white plates. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Media & Journalism

This seasoned journalist in a collection of essays published between the resignation of Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister and the groundbreaking general election of 2008, reports back on what his fellow Malaysians thought at the time. They realised the country possesses the stuff of dreams, its great human potential and natural resources, but also that there is some way to go before they overcome several, often self-iconstructed, hurdles. Very Good Paperback. First Edition, Signed by the Author 248 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Minorities

Although Malaysia is generally seen as a country dominated by Malays, Chinese and Indians, there is also a wealth of sub-communities as this book demonstrates. The author brings to life a community of descendants of  Indian immigrants in early colonial times, who practice Saivite Hinduism, have intermarried with the Malay community and speak their own dialect of Malay amongst themselves. New Hardback. Reprint. 118 pages with several black and white photographs. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Miscellaneous

A pictorial introduction to a wide variety of aspects of Malaysian life. Good Hardback. 144 pages with an index. 

Orang Asli/Indigenous

Surprisingly there still remain in peninsular Malaysia remnants of indigenous peoples who had made the country their home long before it was settled by others. This study focuses on a small negrito group in Upper Perak. What is particularly interesting about this work is that it not only describes the Lanoh's current way of life, but links it to the archaeology of the region, demonstrating the group's long established roots with the area. New Paperback. 92 pages with a bibliography, index and several black and white and colour photographs and line drawings. 

With over fifty years experience of living with Malaysia's indigenous peoples and acting as an advocate for their causes, Ratos brings together a wide variety of their art, mainly fashioned from bamboo. Prime examples of their work are captured in colour by the award winning photographer H Berbar. The book ends with three appendices on origin myths, useful plants of the rainforest and traps of the orang asli. As New Hardback in a Near Fine Dust Jacket. Reprint. Originally published in 2003. 183 pages with an index.

Based on approximately two months of living with this orang asli (aboriginal) community Lee reports on how their lives have changed since the end of the Malayan 'Emergency.' He discovers that their current life is a far cry from that of their hunter gatherer ancestors. Very Good Hardback. First Edition 100 pages with tables, charts, maps and a couple of black and white plates. 

To produce this fairly detailed study, the author lived with a Temiar orang asli (aboriginal) community near Sungai Siput in Perak . After giving some background to the community he explains their sociopolitical patterns, rituals on their life's journey, religious practices, agricultural, hunting and gathering activities and their recent history in the face of change Very Good Hardback. First Edition 165 pages with tables, figures charts, maps and some black and white plates. 

The author follows the changes in lifestyle experienced by the Orang Hulu of Johor, otherwise known as Jakun, as they began to adapt to a cash economy in the 1960's. He also compares the social structure of this indigenous group with that of their Malay neighbours. Very Good Paperback. 104 pages with black and white plates, figures and tables . 


The results of surveys of the area carried out at various times between 1937 and 1956. The purpose of these surveys was to identify areas of possible mining interest. None was found in this case. Good Paperback. First Edition 25 pages. with sketches, an index map and  a folding map in a pocket on the back inside cover. 

An exciting, very readable and, probably, exaggerated account of a young American rubber planter in what he describes as 'the largest and probably the most primitive State of the Malay Peninsula." He sets out on his task as "one lone white man with a cane in his hand and a six-gun on his hip among thousands of natives." The story is set in between the two world wars. Good Hardback  First Printing Signed by the author 284 pages


It is well known that Malaysia is a multicultural country settled principally by Malay, Chinese and Indian communities. This book discusses the role of several Muslim communities, which are not Malay, but which emigrated to Penang and to other commercial centres from the Middle East, India and elsewhere in the archipelago. As often happens with minorities, particularly when they are traders and educated, these Muslim groups tended to punch above their weight so  making significant impacts in their new home.  New Paperback. First Edition. 189 pages with several black and white and colour illustrations, maps and an index.

A collection of potted biographies of ordinary residents of George Town, Penang. The text is in Chinese. New Hardback. First Edition. Unpaginated with many colour photographs and illustrations. 

This 148 page book sets out to be an 'objective' history of the city and a record of its achievements on its first centenary as a municipality To achieve this, the book is crammed with facts on the city's administration, buildings and services as well as about forty historical black and white photos. The book ends with a series of 20 street maps of George Town and its environs in 1966 followed by three pullout maps of the city at various stages of its development in the 19th century. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket First Edition For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

This 129 page collection is unusual compared with others of this genre in that instead of buildings, Little, the photographer, and Tan, the author, concentrate more on people than on the buildings in which they live and work. As a result the reader gets a better feel for life on the island than in many similar books. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition                                                                          

From the early twentieth century the George Town Municipality was particularly conscious of Penang's position as a tourist destination, issuing a range of publications informing the visitor of the island's attractions and amenities. This book is the council's comprehensive guide produced in the decade between the end of the world war and independence. Very Good Board Book 99 pages with a fold out map of George Town For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

The book is a collection of pictorial and written sketches about Penang as it was and how it had developed until the early 1990s. Most of the  black and white and colour illustrations are reproductions of artistic impressions of the island.  97 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Very Good Paperback Reprint 

With the co-operation of the hotel management, Isla Sharp has been able to produce a history not only of the structure of hotel, but of the people who have worked there and visitors who have enjoyed the luxuries oft one of the grand Eastern hotels since its foundation in the 1890s until the present day. The book has all the illustrations and well researched text one needs to bring to life what the hotel used to be like at various times in its history and what it is like now. The contents of this 192 page book include 1 - Seeding the Pearl - the history of Penang before the hotel was founded, 2 - Who Were the Sarkies? - the story of the Armenian Brothers who founded the hotel, 3 - Pride Before the Fall - the hotel's expansion and ruin during World War II, 4 - Business Not Quite as Usual - the hotel's attempts at recovery 5 - New Beginnings - The restoration of the hotel in 1981 to its former glory. There is also an extensive bibliography. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Photography

This  edition will be of interest to both historians and collectors interested in the history of North Borneo at the time of Chartered Company rule. The authors present all 148 of the postcards produced by Funk from his Sandakan studio. Each photograph is accompanied by well researched text by the authors. Very Good Hardback First Edition in a Near Fine Dust Jacket . 232 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

A brief statistical study of the election written in the month after polling. The election was unremarkable in that the governing coalition, Barisan Nasional, maintained their dominance against a fractured opposition. The election was however one of the worst showings of the Democratic Action Party which suffered a heavy loss of seats on the peninsula. Crouch was Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Malaya at the time. Good Hardback.  71 pages with various tables. 

Dalam Malaysia dalam Peralihan: Ceritalah 1, Karim Raslan, lulusan Cambridge, meneliti dan mejelajah jauh ke kedalaman nurani sebuah negara yang sedang melalui perubahan dan menerobos benteng sejarah dan ekonomi. Beliau merentas negara dan berani bertanya soalan yang perlu dikemukakan sambil menuding kepada beberapa ketidaktekalan yang masih wujud di Malaysia hari ini. Sudut pandangan peribadi tetapi berhemat yang terkandung di dalam buku ini adalah panduan berhati-hati serta berwawasan yang membantu pemahaman terhadap naga Asia yang kini cuba mentakrifkan peranannya sebagai sangga tuas Asia. 

Syed Husin Ali, an academic turned political activist, earned himself six years in detention from 1974 after supporting peasant demonstrations against rising prices. He was able to keep a diary from time to time and fifteen years after his release produced his humble account of his experiences. 

Politicians anywhere are not necessarily the brightest representatives of the people and Malaysia is no exception. So here we have some of Malaysia's best examples accompanied by illustrations by Shahril Nizam. As New Paperback. Reprint.  115 pages with an index of the culprits with Mahathir Mohamad leading the pack. 

In this pioneering work Funston traces the development of the two principal Malay political parties, UMNO & PAS, from the end of the Second World War to the race riots of 1969. There is also a review of developments up to the death of Tun Abdul Razak in 1976. 326 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. Very Good Paperback. First Edition  

Malaysia & Singapore - Postal History

Wherever European colonialists planted their flags, a postal service soon followed mainly for the purpose of keeping the colonial machine working and ensuring expatriates were kept in touch with home. Malaya was no different. Here we have a record of the development of the post office in the country from the earliest records in 1875 to 1939. The information provides a behind the scenes look at the struggles and triumphs of the service. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 104 pages with an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Religion

This work is devoted to the concept of al-damman, a form of guarantee, under Islamic law. He argues that, because of its longer history, its protection of the individual and her/his property is far more effective than similar and more common forms of guarantee under Western legal systems. 217 pages. 

While much of the focus on Islam naturally centres on the Middle East, few realise that Malay Muslims comprise the largest group of Muslims in the world. Here, a retired missionary among Malay Muslim communities in the Philippines, not only shares what he has learned from Muslim in the archipelago, but also makes a plea for understanding, respect and co-operation between Christian and Muslim communities. New Paperback. 173 pages with a bibliography and an index


Kuala Lumpur has grown, since its foundation in 1860, from a small trading post on a river bank to the national capital. The city had an eventful history, being occupied twice by enemy forces and flooded several times. Gullick has gathered together a representative sample of pictures of the local communities and their leaders, in particular the legendary Yap Ah Loy. Also included are some famous buildings such as the Lake Gardens, Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad and the Railway Station. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1994. 80 pages including original photos, a map, bibliography and index. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.  

Gullick was probably the main 20th century chronicler in English of Kuala Lumpur's history. In this one he traces the city's history from being an early tin mining settlement to the federal capital of Malaya shortly before the Japanese invasion. Very Good Paperback First Edition 178 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 


The editor, who was a senior academic specialising in Arabic Studies and Islamic Civilisation, brings together a selection of writings by European authors appreciating Islamic art. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Revised edition. 150 pages with an index and some black and white plates.

The book contains four versions of a 19th century Malay poem about a European who runs off with the wife of a Chinese man and the husband's subsequent attempt to get her back. This is one of two volumes and consists of the four texts in Malay and commentaries in English. Very Good Paperback. 238 pages. 

Articles include - The Manual de artillerìa of al-Ra'is Ibrāhīm b. Aḥmad al-Andalusī with particular reference to its illustrations and their sources - David James;The prohibition of reinstating a divorced wife in the Druze family1 - Aharon Layish; Particles of concatenation and of reference in Amharic1 - Olga Kapeliuk; Some Amharic sources for modern Ethiopian history, 1889–19351 - Peter P. Garretson; The Sahaskritī poetic idiom in the Ādi Granth - C. Shackle; A post-verbal aspectual particle in Classical Chinese: the supposed preposition hu1 - A. C. Graham.  Near Fine   Paperback. 204 pages First Edition 

At a time when multinational blocs are subject to a fair amount of criticism, the authors make a  positive case for the role of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in keeping the peace amongst the 625 million people of its Southeast Asian members. They not only look at the factors that brought this about, but also examine the role of each of the major powers in relation to the bloc and give the reader brief sketches of the effect of ASEAN within each of its member states. New Paperback. First Malay Language Edition. 250 pages with a bibliography and index. 

A review of the history and politics of individual Southeast Asian countries. The contributors explain the historical background, contemporary setting, political process and major problems of each country. Good Hardback. Reprint of the 1964 Second Edition. 796 pages with maps, a reading list and an index. 


This monograph details the results of excavations at Kota Batu, the epicentre of a powerful sultanate for many centuries before it was subdued by the Spanish in the mid sixteenth century. One of the most remarkable features of the work at the site was the discovery of remains of wooden items from the iron age which expanded existing knowledge on the lives of the early inhabitants of the island of Borneo. Very Good Paperback. First edition.  174 pages including 33 black and white plates and a map. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Brunei was once a political force to be reckoned with in the archipelago, but that power was eventually curtailed by British interference in the 19th century. Here Brown looks at the social structure that underpinned the sultanate from about a thousand years ago until the mid 20th century. The main elements of the structure, different class and ethnic groups, villages, offices and districts, have remained the same, but their inter relationship has changed. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 235 pages with maps, charts, tables and a bibliography. 


This book is based on the author's lecture notes for a four month course giving English speaking students the fundamentals of traditional Chinese medicine which underpin all branches of Chinese medicine and pharmacology. In making such information available in English the author hoped not only to spread information about traditional learning and practices beyond China, but also to stimulate an interchange between Chinese and overseas medical professionals to improve medical practice generally. Fine. Hardback.  300 pages. 

This is the autobiography of the last emperor of China. He traces his life from the final days of the Ching court, through his time as a 'puppet emperor' of the Japanese, his 'remoulding' in prison and his life after he was pardoned by the Communist Government. Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. 496 pages with some black and white plates and an index. 

A Chinese associate professor, specialising in translation studies, theory and technology provides answers to questions such as 'Are puns translatable?,' 'Do translators translate or convert puns?' and 'Do translators retain the form or meaning or both?' The book is intended to be a practical and theoretical aide to translators generally. New Paperback. First Edition. 120 pages with tables, a bibliography and an index. 

Possessing The Past: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei - Wen C Fong & James CY Watt  RM250

This book was published in conjunction with the exhibitions in the United States in 1996 and 1997 of the Chinese imperial treasures from the National Palace Museum Taipei. The book is more than a catalogue of an exhibition as several noted contributors explain the history of Chinese art from the Bronze Age onwards. Near Fine Hardback in a Fine Dust Jacket. First Edition. 648 pages with many black and white and colour plates, maps, a bibliography and an index.


The autobiography of one of India's leading activists for independence. He was a senior member of the Congress Party and the country's first Minister of Education following independence. Fair Hardback. Reprint. 252 pages with an index and several black and white photographs.


Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom: The Sultanahs of Aceh, 1641-1699.  318 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

In this book, Bastin, arguably the world's leading Raffles specialist, looks at his policies while Lieutenant-Governor of Java and later Governor-General of Bencoolen for the British East India Company. Although British influence in these areas was short lived, his policies spearheading a greater involvement of his subjects with administration than was usual amongst the Dutch. Bastin argues that Raffles' efforts in modern day Indonesia had a more lasting effect than his more publicised involvement in Singapore.  163 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

The author's account of her life in Bali, where she has opened a successful hotel, restaurant and cooking school. Good Paperback. 241 pages with some recipes and colour photographs.


Thailand is well known for its wide range of colourful festivals celebrating everything from important events in the life of the Buddha to events in the agricultural calendar. In this book the author explains the significance of these festivals, their timing, where they take place and the traditions involved. Near Fine Hardback. First Edition. 82 pages with a bibliography, index and several black and white photographs.


An amusing collection of words that are fast disappearing from the English language, if they have not disappeared already. This is not just a dictionary, but Quinion explains each word's usage and adds a tale or two. As New Hardback in an As New Dust Jacket. 272 pages with an index.

A self-help book with letters for every social occasion with everything from 'irrelevant letters' to 'killing letters,' whatever they are! Good Paperback. 144 pages 

The autobiography of a British soldier who joined the army in 1947 and retired as Deputy Allied Supreme Commander Europe at the time of the destruction of the Berlin Wall. He manages to present his distinguished military career in an entertaining way, but with many sensible observations as well. Very Good Hardback in a Fine Dust Jacket. 255 pages with an index.