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Thursday 20 October 2022

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in October 2022


New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


October 2022

(Last Updated 30-10-2022)
  • Each book advertised below includes a brief description of its contents and condition as well as the price in Malaysian Ringgit. If you want a fuller description of a used book's condition, to look at the scanned contents page, if any, and/or to find out the price in USD, please click on the link in blue for the relevant book. 
  • If you click on a link after the current month and find nothing, the book's been sold.  
  • Of course, if you want to buy anything you see here, you can either do so from the site or contact me at 
  • This page will be updated constantly until the end of the month.
  • The prices shown here hold good for at least this month, but for out of print books, the prices may change in subsequent months.
  • All prices include free postage to anywhere in Malaysia.

Malaysia & Singapore - Anthropology & Sociology

In this book, Cole, an anthropologist from the University of Chicago, sets himself a large task, i.e. to describe the history, manners and customs of the Philippines, present day Indonesia and Malaysia and some of the Pacific Islands. He confines himself to people of Malayic or pre-Malayic origin. The purpose of the book was to inform colonial decision makers in the immediate post World War II era as they weighed up their future. 354 pages including chapters on Prehistory of Malaysia and the Adjacent Mainland, Historical Review, The Pygmies, The Sakai, The Malay of the Peninsula, The Philippines, Borneo, Bali, Java, Sumatra & Nias. There are about 40 illustrations and maps, three appendices on Tribal Maps, Physical Types and a Distribution Chart of Cultural Traits respectively as well as a bibliography and index. Very Good First Edition Hardback

Malaysia & Singapore - Architecture

Regrettably modern Malaysian housebuilding appears to have abandoned many of the sensible principles of traditional Malay housebuilding. This book was written in the hope of reversing that trend. With colour photos and line drawings.  99 pages   Near Fine Hardback Please see scanned photos for a list of the chapters.

Malaysia & Singapore - Arts & Crafts

Between 2001 and 2008 Latiff Mohidin worked on his Voyage series in the course of which he produced 60 paintings. Simultaneously he produced about another 70 pieces in various media entitled 'Works on Paper.' This book shows 47 of these Works on Paper. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. Unpaginated 

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

This is the autobiography of a scholar and resident of Malacca in the 19th century. He was an associate of several East India Company officers, including Raffles, and so provides a rare account, from a local viewpoint, of the time when the British were rapidly extending their influence on the Peninsula. This translation includes the main work, Volume I, and the smaller Volume II, but is only in English with an extensive introduction, many useful notes and a commentary. The book also contains 7 pages of maps of the Peninsula and Malacca at the time as well as one or two line drawings. and a 28 page historical introduction There is also an index. very Good Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 1955 353 pages with an index and maps.

Stewart Wavell's explorations take us deep into Malayan forests which still cover most of the country . His macho adventures are vividly pictured in a multitude of dangerous situations often by himself or with aboriginal forest dwellers in the midst of the Malayan 'Emergency'. 195 pages with 20 black and white photographs. Very Good a Good Dust Jacket

Malaysia & Singapore - Boats, Fishing & The Sea

Written in preparation for the Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1974, this book, using the example of the Malacca Straits as an example, looks at how the use of the sea was expected to change in the post World War II era. The influence of the former imperial powers was now having to make way for a new scenario based on the national interests of both coastal countries generally and all sea faring nations. Very Good Hardback. First Edition 174 pages.


This is quite an unusual history of the island of Borneo as Wilson blends in his experience as a geologist with history, anthropology and the results of the experiences of his and others' exploration of the island. The broad sweep of the book covers the island's transformation from the earliest times up to North Borneo and Sarawak joining the federation of Malaysia. Near Fine Hardback in an As New Dust Jacket. First Edition. 278 pages with 6 maps, 13 black and white plates, a bibliography and an index.

It is a little known fact that Sarawak can lay claim to having Malaysia's 'oldest legislature,' although until Sarawak joined the Malaysian state in 1963, it was, for most of its history, more of a consultative body for the Brooke Rajahs and the British administration that took over at the end of World War II. This book seeks to trace the Council Negri from its time as the Majlis Umum, set up by the Brookes in 1867, to the time of publication. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 274 pages with some black and white and colour photographs, graphs and tables. For further details please see the scanned contents page.

This collection of articles was published as a result of a meeting between the American Anthropological Association and the Borneo Research Council, the premier body carrying out anthropological and sociological research in Borneo. Anthropologists generally were interested in Bornean research into forms of descent and kinship that were not rigidly patrilineal or matrilineal, but more fluid, i.e. cognate, than in most societies. These articles demonstrate the findings of researchers on this subject and pose challenges for previously agreed methods of determining kinship. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 160 pages

This is principally a photographic record of the Iban of Sarawak, the most numerous and powerful tribe in Sarawak at the time of Brooke rule. As with many similar tribal societies, their way of life is now under threat. So with a hundred full page photographs, 25 of which are in colour, and accompanying text, the authors attempt to capture the main features of Iban life before it disappears. Wright was an academic with ten years' research experience in Borneo, Morrison, was a photographer and writer who had lived in Sarawak for 20 years and Wong, a Sarawakian who, at the time, was the only photographer to have made such an extensive survey of tribal life. Very Good Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 1972 152 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

In order to give context to and evaluate the Malaysian Government's New Economic Policy (NEP), adopted in 1971, one of Malaysia's leading economists reviews the country's economic history from the mid-19th century until the advent of the NEP. This review of the country's economic development was, and still is, unusual in that its emphasis is more on the development and changes in class structures rather than in ethnic relations between the participants in Malaysia's economy. 360 pages with tables, figures, a bibliography and an index. Very Good Paperback

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

Although the Malaysian Chinese Association can no longer claim to be the party with the most Malaysian Chinese members, it remains the largest political party in the country devoted exclusively to representing Chinese interests in politics. This history, mostly devoted to the period prior to independence, traces the roots of the party back to clan associations, its tussles with the Communist Party and the Kuomintang in Malaya and its eventual emergence as the strongest force demonstrating that the Chinese were prepared to take a central place in a multicultural society. An interesting subtext of this history shows how Malaysia's Chinese community was gradually weaned from its focus on the old motherland of China to their new homeland in Malaysia.  Near Fine Hardback First Edition 307 pages

A distinguished retired Malaysian government servant, with the benefit of both an education in China and in Malaya, provides an encyclopedic account of Chinese culture with attractive accompanying colour photographs. An impeccable introduction to one of the world's oldest civilizations and to its continuing relevance today. Near Fine Hardback 262 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Cinema, Dance, Drama & Music

This interesting study demonstrates the effect of emigration and modern cultural changes on a branch of emigrant culture that has not been significantly studied previously. Using historical documentary and current oral sources, the author demonstrates on how this transplanted art form seeks to remain relevant in both Singapore and Taiwan, both significant centres of Hokkien speakers. New Hardback. First Edition. 145 pages with references and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Constitution, Law & Legal Systems

This is one of the pioneering works on the operation of Islamic Law as it has developed on the Malayan peninsula and remains a standard to this day. The contents include I - Sources and Development of Muslim Law, II - Family Law, III - Law of Property, IV - Offences - Evidence - Procedure. There is an appendix with Quranic quotations, a glossary of legal terms, a glossary of minority sects and movements, a table of cases, a Table of acts, ordinances, enactments & rules, a bibliography, state index and general index.   Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket First Edition  444 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Children

A selection of short stories dramatised for performance in the classroom. The book is in Malay. Good Paperback 161 pages. 

This book is an adventure story written for children by Dalton, who had been brought up in Malaya. A group of three boys go in search of their pet monkey who disappears on a mysterious empty schooner that suddenly arrives and then disappears from the island near their home. 124 pages.     Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket First Edition    

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

Published to promote G.E.C's new Kwali cooker, this book is in both Chinese and English. Although titled 'Chinese Cooking'. that may refer more to the language than the recipes since, although there are many Chinese recipes, several of the recipes are probably standard English fare for expatriates in the 1950s when this was probably published, Good Hardback 130 pages with an index. 

Well before the word 'fusion' came to be associated with cooking the Peranakan community, a mix between early Chinese settlers and their hosts,  had been creating their own fusion cuisine from Chinese and indigenous ingredients. The Nonyas, as Peranakan females are often called, had plenty of time in the kitchen to create the antithesis of fast food, complicated and delicious recipes. In this book Tan chooses to show the simpler side of such cooking, the everyday meals for a family at home, rather than the festive feasts for which the community has become famous. New Hardback. First Edition. 240 pages, of which 40 are devoted to ingredients and tools including many colour photographs and an index

Malaysia & Singapore - The 'Emergency'

Malaya in the 1950s was the first post-WWII testing ground where colonial powers had to face up to guerilla warfare from local insurgents with some popular support. Purcell was a frequent visitor to the country and although probably accurately described by the British Communist, Palme Dutt, as an 'apologist for imperialism,' is critical in this book of British attempts to crush the uprising by force without paying sufficient attention to encouraging democratic devlopment elsewhere. The book makes interesting reading in the context of the hundreds of books written about the many similar guerilla wars which followed. pp 288. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

Although Singapore is one of the best known cities in Southeast Asia, the outsider may be surprised to know it is only the third most densely populated in the region. This is because of a conscious decision by the authorities to create green spaces for urban dwellers. As a result residents have become more involved with nature and preserving green habitats in the city. In this book the authors comprehensively set out the range of vegetation to be found in forests, on the seashore and even on buildings in the city state. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 186 pages with a bibliography, indices, maps and some black and white plates

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

A Malay novel translated into English about the efforts of the Orang Asli, indigenous peoples, to gain an education. Near Fine Paperback. 191 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - History

The author, a former Director General of the Malaysian National Archives, has collected together in this book a variety of factual and folklore information about the origins of all of Malaysia's states. The book is neither academic nor systematic, so is useful either as the briefest of introductions to the varied histories of the states or to supplement the reader's existing knowledge. The book helpfully contains a varied bibliography which give pointers for further enquiry as well as brief biographies of historians on whom the author has relied to compile this work. New Paperback First Edition

The Dutch apparently originally came up with the idea of trying to create homes away from home for expatriate colonials unable to cope with the 'unbearable' heat and various tropical maladies associated with the tropics. This fascinating book looks at how the British set up such isolating enclaves in the Malaya of their time. It is interesting to note that Penang Hill's use as a hill station predated even the more well known hill stations of India. 84 pages. The contents include the following chapters :1 - Hill Station, 2 - Penang Hill, 3 - Interlude: The British in the Malay States, 4 - The Mainland Belvederes, 5 - Bungalows and Gardens and 6 - Social Life and Leisure. There is also a bibliography, index and several black and white and colour plates. Near Fine Hardback 

This journal contains the following articles: -  Historical Sketch of Penang in 1794 - Professor John Bastin, An Essex Sailor - Roland Bradell, Archery in South-East Asia & The Pacific (with line drawings) - NW Simmonds, George Windsor Earl - CA Gibson-Hill, Port Weld, Larut (Perak) - ME Whyte, Hollow Clay Stands and Censers from Neolithic Malaya and their Western Prototypes (with drawings and black and white plates) - Prince John Loewenstein, 3 Short notes on Items at the Raffles, Museum, Kuala Lumpur in 1884 and A Forgotten Naval Battle & 3 Archaeological Notes. Very Good Paperback 232 pages with a map, line drawings and black and white photographs 

This book, considered to be a classic at the time, was originally published in 1937 at the zenith of colonial rule in Southeast Asia. This edition has a foreword by John Bastin. It is basically a review of British and Dutch colonial exploits in the Malay Archipelago, with about two thirds of the book being devoted to the development of the British presence in Malaya. Emerson was a Harvard Professor in Government at the time the book was written. Very Good Paperback. Reprint 536 pages with an index

The contents include the following articles - Traditional Malay House Forms in Trengganu and Kelantan by Tan Sri Haji Mubin Sheppard; Persian Merchants and Missionaries in Medieval Malaya by Brian E. Colless;.Early Singapore and The Inception of a British Administrative Tradition in The Straits Settlements (1819–1832) by J. Kathirithamby-Wells; Indonesian Diplomacy. A Documentary Study of Atjehnese Foreign Policy in The Reign of Sultan Mahmud, 1870–4 by Anthony Reid; John Waterstradt 1869–1944 by H.S. Barlow; The Rice Industry of Malaya — A Historical Survey by Cheng Siok Hwa; A Re-Analysis of Negri Sembilan Socio-Political Organization by Maria L.C. Labi; The Relationship Between The Adat and State Constitutions of Negri Sembilan by M.B. Hooker; Sejarah Negeri Dan Raja2 Perlis oleh Hussain Baba bin Mohamad, P.J.K; Excavations at Gua Kechil, Pahang III: Animal Remains by Lord Medway; The Birth Place of Hamza Pansuri by L.F. Brakel, Monash University; Malaysian State Council Minutes in New York by William R. Roff; Early American Adventurers in Borneo by G.N. Appell; Silsilah Raja-Raja Berunai by P.L. Amin Sweeney Very Good Paperback 235 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - History (20th Century)

Upon resumption of colonial rule in Malaya after the World War the British decided to 'rationalise' the various pre-war systems of government in the country into something more centralised. Their efforts were not always enthusiastically received. This book charts the progress or not of such schemes which eventually led to the formation of Malaysia in 1963. 347 pages whose contents include - I - Historical Survey, II - The British Colonial Federation, III - The Malayan Union, IV - The Federation of Malaya, V - The Merdeka Federation, VI - The Malaysia Federation, VII - Citizenship and the Plural Society, VIII - The Problem of Language and Education, IX - Federal Finance, X - Economic Integration, XI - Defence, XII - Federalism and Parliamentary Government, XIII - Summary and Conclusions and a Bibliography. Very Good Paperback

Malaysia & Singapore - Indian Community & Culture

When the British arrived in Singapore in 1819 it was to set up the most eastern outpost of the British East India Company. So the Indian community, though never a majority, has played a significant role as clerks labourers and merchants from the earliest times to providing two Presidents during Singapore's history since independence. Nair, an expert in Indian diaspora studies, in this history notes Indians integral part in the city's growth, but does not forget the Indian role in both world wars when elements were part of the two most serious challenges to British rule there. Very Good Hardback in a Near Fine Dust Jacket First Edition. Signed 325 pages with a bibliography and index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

This book highlights the important role that idioms play in the Malay language. The author selects 300 well known idioms, explaining when they are most likely to be used and providing English translations. Near Fine Paperback. First edition. 146 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Literature

This scholarly and comprehensive review of Malay literature at a crucial period of change is the first English translation of Salleh's work Kesusasteraan Melayu Abad Kesimbilan Belas. With extensive references to the Malay works of different literary genres of the time and to past Malay and European literary criticism, she brings to life the 'soul' and experiences of 19th century Malays through using modern historical, philological and anthropological approaches. New Paperback 372 pp.


A collection of eight postcards highlighting various traditional trades in the city. As New. Postcards.

Malaysia & Singapore - Miscellaneous

This is an ambitious, quirky and thought provoking effort of the editor Amir Mohammed to gather together a set of contemporary Malaysian writers to write some contemporary, though not topical essays to initiate a new Malaysian literary series. The book was written around about the time of the 50th anniversary of Malaysian independence, so some of the contributors have taken that as a theme, while others have mainly written about language in Malaysia. pp 254. Essays include The Trouble with Malaysia by Brian Yap, Branding - Mamak Style by Aminuddin Mhamud, Yes, We Must Move On: theoretician Notes on Various Things Malaysian by Burhan Baki, Teroris Bahasa by Saharil Hasrin Sanin, Unwelcome Words by the editor and A Manifesto for Independence: Fifty Years to Merdeka? by Sonia Randhawa New Paperback First Edition

The editor, Muhammad Amir, describes this collection as "more badass" than New Malaysian Essays 1. The book certainlymore  keeps up the quality of the first, introduces new topics and greater variety. This collection includes Shanon Shah's The Khutbah Diaries wondering about the politicisation of Friday khutbahs in mosques, Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi's The Architecture of Putrayjaya suggesting that Mussolini may have been a role model for the planners, Ridhwan Saidi's Hari-Hari Terakhir Seorang Flaneur making his own questions about Malaysia's urban spaces, Danny Lim's Aku, Hang & Demo, a pictorial guide to street protests Malaysia style, The Editor's Of Jackfruit and Kings playing about with royalty, Ann Lee's The Theme Park of Pulau Jerejak isn't quite tourist grabbing PR, Amir Sharipuddin's Blue, Black & White: How I Survived National Service explains why the military are glad to have seen the back of him,  Yusulf Martin's Colourful Langauage ponders the Americanization of Malayzia and the last two pieces, Andrew Ng's A Cultural History of the Pontianak Films and Jac sm Kee's Boundary Monsters in a Time of Magic, show us respectively how pontianaks (Malaysian spirits) cope with being depicted in film and with new technology. pp 288. New Paperback    


The late Raymond Flower was a regular visitor to Penang, staying at the Bay View Beach Resort. In this book, which may well have been given free to guests, he mixes a bit of Penang history with a range of anecdotes about the island and the hotel and its staff. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. Signed by the Author. 103 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

Some of the survivors of the University Socialist Club, publishers of the Fajar magazine, recount their experiences as the standard bearers of the intellectual left in the Singapore of the 1950s and 1960s. They championed democracy, social justice and multiculturalism in a radical new Malayan state. They survived an attempt by the British to ban the publication in 1954, but succumbed to banning by the Government of Singapore in 1963. Ironically that Government was headed by Lee Kuan Yew, who, as Harry Lee, was a lawyer for 'The Fajar 8' at their trial in 1954. Very Good First Edition 328 pages with an index.

The political developments in the decade following the end of the Second World War laid the foundation for the state Singapore has become today. Events such as the emphasis on multiculturalism, the granting of citizenship to China born Chinese and the formation of the People's Action Part all took place in this period. The author's analysis explains much of how the island's move to independence developed in the way it did. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 320 pages with a bibliography and an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Transport

It was not until 1886 that Singapore had the benefit of the beginnings of a tram system, powered by steam, although there probably were a few buses before this. In this book a couple of enthusiasts have compiled what must be the most comprehensive account of public transport on the island during this period. 256 pages   Near Fine Hardback. First Edition For further details, please see the scanned contents page


Clifford, an experienced British colonial official, takes a break from plying us with his usual tales of life in Malaya. Instead he exhibits a slightly more scholarly bent in bringing together the experiences of other European 'discoverers' including familiar names,  such as Marco Polo, and others not so familiar. 378 pages with an index, several maps by JG Bartholomew and some black and white plates.Near Fine Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket Facsimile Reprint. Originally published in 1904.

A concise introduction to the variety of English poetry that has sprung up in countries in former British colonies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia and the Caribbean following the end of empire. Patke also proposes a method of analysis of this diverse genre as well as analysing the key motifs in such literature. Very Good Paperback.  267 pages with a list of references and an index.


Hijjas examines six syair, narrative poems, from the Riau Archipelago of the 19th century to discover that women were not always portrayed as unequal to men. These syair allow an unusual access to women's imaginative worlds where fiction and social reality have a more complex relationship than one might imagine. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 324 pages with a bibliography an an index.


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