Sunday, December 16, 2007

Memories of Trengganu

Awang GonengGrowing Up in Trengganu by Awang Goneng (RM 39.90)

Growing Up in Trengganu started life as the blog of Awang Goneng (pen name for writer Wan A. Hulaimi) until it was found to be too good to exist only in cyberspace. Through a collection of memories retold in glorious colour, Awang Goneng evokes the pleasures of a kampung childhood for the benefit of new generations brought up in air-conditioned condominiums. Listen to the azan call to prayer from the surau of Haji Mat Kerinci, order satay with toast for breakfast, meet notables such as Tun Long the laundry man and Cik Wook Payong Locoh, whose umbrella turned inside out in a storm, and relive the pleasure of hearing the rain hammer down on a corrugated-iron roof while reading The Beano and eating kuih putu.

Sultans, sweetmeat sellers and shopkeepers all act as springboards as you meander through Trengganu history, and by the end of this book you will have painlessly mastered the 'Trengganuspeak' that foils even fellow Malaysians.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Collectible Cards

The Negaraku 1957-2007 collection

P RamleeFive Arts Centre has released the Negaraku 1957-2007 collection, a set of 25 all purpose greeting cards featuring Malaysian artists for this holiday season (and any after that). Here is an excerpt from their website:

Tash AwThe arts are among our best instructors. They help us understand and feel understood. Through stories, written, spoken, sung, danced and illustrated, they help us connect, beyond race, culture, gender and economic circumstances, to our human condition. Reminding us that we are more similar than we are different.

In Malaysia, our diversity is a blessing and lesson in abundance. Countless artists have given voice to the heart and psyche of our nation using both traditional and modern art forms. They are an archive of the soul of a nation, offering a plurality of views of the Malaysian experience at different points in our collective history.

The cards are sold at RM20.00 for a set of five different cards (with thumbnail images behind each pack to make it easier for you to chose). They are well printed, packaged and lovely. You would probably want to buy the whole set for yourself. Instead of sending cards featuring fake snow on fake Chistmas trees, send your friends one of these 'postcards of Malaysia' this holiday season. They will want to collect the whole set too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Malaysian Lit in English

News from HomeNews from Home

by Chua Kok Yee, Shih-Li Kow and Rumaizah Abu Bakar has been a long
time coming.

Ever since Silverfish Books started publishing activities in 2001, we have been continually asked about the next big thing, namely the next big Malaysian writer. We gave a lot of people hope. While the Silverfish New Writing series was a tremendous success (and it still is very popular) it did not bring to the surface the multitudes of Malaysian writers hiding in the woodwork, waiting for an opportunity to be discovered and be published. The Silverfish New Writing series remains a snapshot of Malaysians writing in English, though we have begun to question its relevance in unearthing new authors.

The Silverfish Writing Programme is an entirely different initiative, the purpose of which was to give writers an opportunity to not just to get published but, also, guiding and training them. The Programme started in June 2006 and we now present to you the first three writers in print. Chua Kok Yee attended the first one, Shih-Li Kow the third, and Rumaizah Abu Bakar the fourth. We are as excited as the writers themselves with this project.

Ten stories were selected from each writer for this book. (Yes, they all have many more that they have completed and many more they are still working on.) Ten stories, we felt, would be a nice number to introduce each of them to Malaysian readers, each with their own distinct Malaysian voice, and each with a slightly different story to tell and way of telling it. These are all writers to look forward to, writers who are genuinely Malaysian and modern. At the time of writing this, they are all working on their own 'solo' efforts which they hope to complete next year.

Chua Kok Yee, who is from Ipoh, manages a cosmetic company in his day job, having graduated from the University of Malaya in 1995. He says he doesn't have a life anymore considering how he says he spends all his spare time now reading and writing. Gothic tales of horror, tender love stories or tongue-in-cheek retelling of fairy tales, Chua Kok Yee does it all. Is he our own Murakami?

Shih-Li Kow holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and currently works for a property developer to pay her bills. But her passion is writing and is a distinctive stylist who is clever and yet charming. Her work defies categorization. I thought Peach Blossom Luck was a gem until I read Don't Depend on Me, and then A Job to Love, and Pak Hassan's Story, and ... All of them different, all of them little jewels. She makes her point not with a smash-down-your-head sledgehammer style but with deft nicks of a rapier.

NFHeventRumaizah Abu Bakar describes herself as a Public Relations professional with a degree in Accountancy. Rumaizah is a writer who is all heart, who so obviously loves the people she writes about, whether it is Shanti the hotel room-cleaner, or Chef Chen the highly principled hotel cook, or Aunt Aini who lost in love but never fell out of it, and a host of others. She joined the Silverfish Writing Programme later than the other two but has made remarkable progress, especially over the past few months.

If there is one thing the three writers have in common, it is their dogged determination to succeed and their work ethic. Whenever they failed they tried and tried again, refusing to be discouraged and taking every harsh criticism as a challenge.

This volume is the first in, what we hope will be, a series unearthing new generations of writers who can hold their own against the rest of the world, and still remain distinctly Malaysian.

News from Home is the first book to carry the 'Malaysian Literature in English' sticker, a new initiative to promote Malaysian literature within the country and overseas. We have, in the past, already published several books in this category including Lloyd Fernando, Salleh ben Joned and Huzir Sulaiman. We believe Malaysian literature has what it takes to earn international recognition with its uniqueness.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


English TeacherA Guide for the English Language Teacher by Maya Khemlani David (RM 18.00)

This book is based on my experiences as a language teacher for over twenty years and some of the chapters have been adapted and revised from early research papers and articles. This book starts with a description of the socio-historical backdrop of language policies in multilingual, multiracial Malaysia. Having to cater to national, international and diverse ethnic interest has not been an easy task vis-a-vis language policies but a vigilant government has endured that policies changed and change with changing scenarios and demands. Keeping aligned with evolving needs is necessary as languages empower individuals and nations to progress both socially and economically - Maya Khemlani David.

Monday, October 15, 2007

History, Society

KinabaluEast of Kinabalu by Leslie Davidson (RM 30.00)

Datuk Leslie Davidson, one of the giants of the oil palm industry in the second half of the twentieth century is the best known for his leading role in introducing to S.E. Asia the pollinating weevil. This has saved the industry millions of dollars annually in assisted pollination.

He was also responsible in the 1960's for bringing oil palm to Sabah on a commercial scale, opening up Tungud Estate for Unilever on what was then the remote east coast.

This volume relates his pioneering experiences in the development. Davidson's account contains episodes which are by turn hilarious, deeply moving, and important from both historical and literary points of view. They also attest to his leadership in creating out of a disparate range of races and religions, a stable and harmonious estate community.

The book vividly captures the atmosphere of Sabah before and immediately after it became part of Malaysia.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Art of Politics

AmirMuShahrilMalaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things (Vol 1) by Amir Muhammad (RM 30.00)

The species called the Malaysian politician often gets in the news, but sometimes not for the right reasons. Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things is a collection of over 100 quotes that span almost three decades. There are things that make you go hmmm, things that make you go gaga, and things that give a refreshingly pithy introduction to several issues of their time. It is a jaunty stroll through contemporary Malaysian culture, society and (of course) politics. We are sure there is more to come, which is why this is only Vol 1.

If Only by Shahril Nizam (RM 35.00)

This is the first collection of Shahril Nizam's quirky illustrations, accompanied by equally quirky verses of his own composition. In Shahril's world mundane things never are, light is edged by dark, and beauty is often glaringly flawed.

Calendar 2008:

Calendar 2008:The Deaf Art project

CalendarThis beautiful 16 inch by 16 inch DEAF Art Wall calendar for 2008 is now available at Silverfish Books. Consisting of reprints of 12 original paintings and displaying the artistic talents of 6 deaf artists in the country, the calendar is priced at PM30.00. Silverfish believes that the Mission deserves our support for their work so that we can all, in a small way, make a difference in the lives of the deaf in this country.

In the words of the Mission, the calendar is unique in that it also incorporates some uniqueness of their language.

One of the visions of the Mission is to make a difference in the livelihood of deaf persons.

The Mission aims to:

Provide Career and Business Opportunities for the Deaf
Set up future businesses to be managed by the Deaf
Consultancy and Training for the Deaf
Community Awareness Projects
Sign Language Interpreting Services
Skill Enhancement Workshops for Sign
Language Interpreters

Sign Language Courses
Form a Network with Employers who have hired Deaf Employees
Encourage Employers to hire Deaf persons
Provide Employers with assistance on guidelines for interviewing and working with Deaf persons
Deaf Studies

Silverfish Books is happy to work with the mission on this project. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar 2008 will, of course, go to RC Deaf Missions Malaysia in support of their work with the deaf in the country.

Please visit their website: for more information or to pledge support.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Books - History

WhiteLilyMalaysian Heritage series:

This is a new series on Malaysian history (many of them on East Malaysia). The 12-volume series comprises of:

This is a new series by the Synergy Media (a wing of SA Majid). The first lot is a release of 12 out of print Malaysian (or Malayan titles) titles although the authenticity of the original print dates quoted in the book is rather questionable. For example J Kennedy's History of Malaya is 1963 book although the copyright page has a nineteenth century date on it. This brings up another issue: this particular book is available online from Sage Journals as PDF download for a fee. So who owns the copyright and has this been resolved before publication of the current series? (I have not checked the other titles.)

Notwithstanding the above we are glad that an attempt is being made to publish these classics. Many of them are on East malaysia and are well worth acquiring (for collecting if nothing else). The quality is not brilliant but that can be forgiven because the prices are affordable. The text and the illustrations appear to be have been reproduced in toto so that should be okay too.)

River of the White Lily: Life in Sarawak by Peter Goulart - RM29.90

Escape from Hell: The Sandakan Story by Walter Wallace (1958) - RM29.90

Labuan Story: Memoirs of a Small Island near the Coast of North Borneo by Maxwell Hall - RM29.90

Records & Recollections 1889-1934 by J.H.M. Robson (1870) - RM29.90

The Story of Malaysia by Harry Miller (1914) - RM39.90

6. Expedition to Borneo: The search for Proboscis monkeys and other creatures by David Macdonald - RM39.90

Under Chartered Company Rule: North Borneo 1881-1946 by K.G. Tregonning - RM39.90

8. History of Malaya by J. Kennedy (1919) - RM59.90

The White Rajahs by Steven Runciman (1903) - RM59.90

World Within: A Borneo Story by Tom Harrisson - RM59.90

A History of Sarawak under its Two White Rajahs 1839-1908 by S. Baring-Gould and C.A. Bampfylde - RM69.90

Rajahs and Rebels: The Ibans of Sarawak under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941 by Robert Pringle (1936) - RM69.90

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Jolly KohArtistic Imperatives: Selected Writings and Paintings by Jolly Koh (RM 80.00)

Dr Jolly Koh studied painting at Hornsey College of Art, London and art education at the Institute of Education, London University. In 1970 he was awarded the Fulbright scholarship and completed the Doctor of Education degree at Indiana University.

The collection of essays in this book represents the sharp and creative mind of one of Malaysia's most outstanding artists. Especially original is his essay "A New Study of Colour for artists and other Visual Designers" which is unique in the world and should rival Itten's work on colour.

The collection of essays and the book itself also represents a rare phenomenon in Malaysia for three reasons. First, Jolly Koh is the only Malaysian artist who has published on theoretical issues. Second, this is one of the very few books about Malaysian art in contrast to the many catalogues. And third, this is the first book of tis kind that comprises both
artist's paintings and writings.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Memoir Abdullah C.D. (Bahagian Kedua): Penaja dan Pemimpin Rejimen Ke-10 (RM 35.00)

AbdullahCD(This is the second part of the memoir of Abdullah CD's - a former leader of the guerrilla movement during the Emergency, who now lives in his old age in a village in southern Thailand, who is featured in Amir Muhammad's movie, Apa Khabar Orang Kampong, which is banned in Malaysia. The book is written in Malay.)

Penaja dan Pemimpin Rejimen Ke-10, Memoir Abdullah C.D. bahagian kedua ini secara khusus memfokuskan kepada perjuangan bersenjata menentang penjajah British untuk kemerdekaan Malaya kini Malaysia yang bermula pada bulan Jun 1948.

Secara umum bolehlah disimpulkan perjuangan bersenjata Anti-British adalah akibat wajar dari kesedaran nasional dan patriotisme Malaya yang mulai berkembang pada tahun 30-an. Perang Dunia Kedua telah mempertingkatkan kesedaran tersebut ke tahap yang lebih tinggi. Selepas tamat perang tersebut, gerakan kemerdekaan yang diterajui oleh PKM, PKMM, API, AWAS, BTM, Kesatuan2 Buruh dan lain-lain berkembang menggelora.

Sesuai dengan tajuk Penaja dan Pemimpin Rejimen Ke-10, Abdullah C.D. tidak hanya menubuhkan Rejimen Ke-10, tetapi juga telah memimpin pasukan itu melancarkan perjuangan
tak kenal ampun menentang kekuasaan penjajah British. Tahun 1953, atas perintah Markas Agung TPNM, beliau memimpin sebahagian pasukan Rejimen Ke-10 menempuh berbagai rintangan dan tiba di kawasan sempadan dengan jayanya. Sejak itu beliau pula bertungkus lumus memimpin pasukan membangun basis sempadan demi meneruskan perjuangan
sehinggalah wujudnya penandatanganan perjanjian damai Haadyai pada tahun 1989.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Malaysian Human Rights Report 2006: Civil and Political Rights by SUARAM (RM 19.00)

The year 2006, the third year of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's term in office, was marked by a continuing lack of resolve tp improve civil liberties despite his pledges to fight corruption and to reform the police force ... Throughout the year, blatant abuses of power by enforcement personnel were rampant. The police continue to act with impunity, resulting in scores of unlaeful detention, deaths in custody, police brutality and various other forms of police misconduct ... As in previous years, the government continued to use restrictive and repressive laws, including the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Ememrgency Ordinance (EO), the Police Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA), the Official Secrets Act (OSA), the Sedition Act, and the Universities and University Colleges
Act (UUCA), as tools to suppress voices of dissent ... A particularly disturbing trend witnessed during the year was the growing intolerance in matters of religion. There was also an increase in human rights abuse against migrants in the country.

The SUARAM Human Rights Report on Civil and Political Rights 2006 documents the human rights violations and the relentless struggles of human rights defenders that took place in Malaysia over the course of the year. The book is published to serve as an important reference to the aspiration of enhancing and promoting human rights in Malaysia.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Understanding the Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia by Leo Suryadinata (RM 69.00)

About 80 per cent of the ethnic Chinese outside China (also known as "Chinese overseas") live in Southeast Asia including Malaysia. This book examines that community in the context of both national and international dimensions. It first discuss the ethnic Chinese and China, addressing the issues of migration, nationality, business success and ethnic conflict; second, Chinese cultural adaptation and various identities; and third, case studies of the Chinese in Indonesia, external actors, the state and ethnic Chinese politics. The book throws light on the complexity of this diverse and important ethnic community.

While the bulk of the book examines the Chinese situation in Indonesia, a significant part of the book looks at the pernakan Chinese of Macacca, Singapore and Penang. These 15 essays, by the author were written from 1987 to 2006, ranging from ethnic politics, economy, ethnic and national identies to China ethnic-Chinese relations.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riot of 1969 by Kua Kia Soong
(RM 20.00)

This is the first credible account of the May 13, 1969 racial riot in Malaysia using the documents recently declassified at the Public Records Office, London after the lapse of the 30-year secrecy rule. These documents provide the only available confidential observations and memoranda by British and other foreign embassy operatives based on their intelligence and contacts with local officials and politicians. They include dispatches by correspondents which were then banned in Malaysia. The local media were suspended at the time and local documents remain classified under the Official Secrets Act.

A social scientist, Kua Kia Soong provides a fresh political analysis of this "May 13 incident". In his view, the riots were by no means a spontaneous outburst of violence between Malays and Chinese but rather a planned coup d'etat by the ascendant state capitalist class against Tunku-led aristocracy. He discusses the contradictions of the post-Independence Alliance racial formula and traces the rise of this new Malay capitalist class which has ruled Malaysia since 1969.

These documents clearly show who were responsible for the violence and pose the question, why the security forces allowed the violence to go on. With this publication, it is hoped that the frequently raised "spectre of May 13" by the Barisan Nasional government will be forever put to rest.

So is the book getting banned? Read this:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fiction, humour

Confessions of an Old Boy by Kam Raslan (RM 32.00)

We have been waiting for this book for a a while. We have not had time to read it yet, so here is the blurb from the back page:

Dato' Hamid - The Old Boy and civil servant who's been everywhere and seen it all (even though he never wanted to). Here he 'spills the beans' on his adventures dating back to the 1940s, from Kuala Lumpur to Monte Carlo, Los Angeles to Algiers, London to Temerloh Rest House and much more. Along the way, Dato' Hamid tussles with a beautiful seductress-cum diamond thief; is corrupted by a ruthlessly ambitious banker; and help solve the murder of a billionaire businessman. And all the time he wishes he were back at home tending his orchids and nursing his favourite cognac.

Shameless, exciting and funny, Dato' Hamid's life and adventures chart the financial, political and amorous relationships that have made Malaysia what it is today.

You'll never meet anyone quite like Dato' Hamid, but You'll know him.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Gold in the South ... the story of an immigrant
by Shan Ru Hong (21st Century, 2007)
Price: RM20.00

(A review. The reviewer who prefers to remain anonymous)

The beginnings

SHAN RU HONG'S FAMILY, reduced to penury by lack of land and an opium smoking father, were lucky. A relative told them there was work and gold in the south seas. With what was left of their money they sailed south in the hold of a ship and landed in Singapore, and put up at Kreta Ayer, where many desperate ones from their area had also come. After the quarantine procedures the relative disappeared, leaving them to fend for themselves in the strange town. There was no work and no food. Sympathising hawkers gave them left overs like iu char koay and pak t'ong ko which helped with the hunger. Then mother and elder sister earned money carrying water for a few cents a time. They slept where they could.

As luck would have it, the missing relative did return with good news - they had relatives up North who had a tin mine. He would ask for their help. That was good news which resulted in their taking the train to Gopeng, Perak. There, father had a job in a mine and mother and elder sister were employed to clear the land of bush and other unwanted growths. The "gold" they had heard about back in the home village was in fact tin which made uncle rich, operating a profitable tin mine. The boy Ru Hong was able to go to school which he leapfrogged with double promotions; but he did not finish for he had to go out and work too.

When he was about 17, Ru Hong became a revolutionary and decided to dedicate his life to the cause of the emancipation of the working class and socialism. He turned down the job of mine manager which uncle offered him and instead went underground. He joined the illegal Malayan Communist Party in whose ranks, unknown to him, was an earlier member Rashid Maidin, a charge man in an English mine at Gopeng. Rashid Maidin was to became one of the leaders of the Communist Party taking part in the so called Baling talks and in the tripartite peace talks in Hatyai in 1989. Ru Hong was to become the commander of the 2nd Regiment of the Malayan Peoples Anti Japanese Army.

One reason why this memoir is important is its account of the transformation of these impoverished immigrants into Malayans. One witnesses it on the occasion of the triumphant celebration of the registration, i.e. recognition, of the Perak Kinta Mine Workers Union which Ru Hong and friends had successfully set up. The organisers had invited the Chinese Consul and Tan Kah Kee (who did not attend) to the opening ceremony, which Ru Hong's group came to realise was a mistake as the event, as they conceived it, was not a Chinese celebration but local event.


Ru Hong tells us of the slump of 1929 and the slow recovery of 1937. In those days the British made sure that there were no "trouble makers" to upset the vital production of rubber and tin. Arrests and banishment of suspects were feared. When police pressure increased friends of the revolution deserted. In addition to harassment by the administration the workers, called "piglets," were forced to work for the same boss despite having paid off their passage money. Among the thugs who kept them in virtual slavery was one Lau Pak Khuan, a tough who, by a stroke of luck, struck it rich when he dug into a wealth of tin.

These memoirs explode the myth about "Moscow trained agitators." It is the history of home made revolutionaries who learnt how to organise, teach and move with secrecy from the hard and merciless school of life. They learnt how to avoid special branch surveillance, they learnt patience and flexibility in steering the pioneer groups into recognition as legal trade unions, skills
which were acquired during hard negotiations with bosses. Bitter lessons taught them how to differentiate between correct tactics and blundering orders; they learnt to avoid the errors of rigid "leftist" orders with apparent compliance but which were in fact subtly disobedient. They discovered themselves that the "closed door" policy of the leadership was wrong, that they had to go out and work among all types of people, workers in the estates as well as on the mines, small farmers, workers who were also part farmers, and take in all views. This was the solid foundation that formed a stubborn, popular and victorious obstacle to Brazier and the British TUC's vain attempts to smash the independent trade unions in 1945.

When he wrote these memoirs Ru Hong was past his 80th birthday. He displays a remarkable memory. We learn that a rubber tapper with good trees earned $20 a month . In 1937 "fat" rice (most could only afford broken rice) cost $4.50 for a 165 kati bag Mine workers earned $29 a month and women workers $12.

This account of a destitute childhood and hand to mouth existence and a struggle to survive, typical of immigrants, is a must read for all whose forefathers headed here in search of work and rice. It should remind them to be charitable to the thousands of immigrants who have today come to this country in search of work but are treated as thieves, scoundrels and prostitutes. But we are sick with meanness best illustrated by the example of the late Dr Tan Chee Khoon who claimed that immigrants were the cause of much of the crime; and this came from one of the heads of the Labour Party and a leader of the Methodist Church. Compare his heartlessness to that of Austria, a country devastated by the 2nd World War, which generously opened its doors to some 3 million homeless and starving refugees without a whisper of complaint.


* fat rice - whole, unbroken rice

Monday, April 16, 2007

New books April 2007

My Life: Chronicles of a wartime pilot and other stories (an authobiography) by Lim Kean Chong (RM 38.00)

The story of his [Lim Kean Chong] life, as a young and intrepid RAAF bomber pilot in World War II, operating in raids over Germany and Europe, his subsequent experiences working in China during the Cultural Revolution, and later in an African country - Tanzania - should make interested reading for those of us who have had no experiences of those parts. But it was not a life without its disappointments and frustrations. Nor is it a story devoid of pathos, when for instance, on returning to Australia after demobilization to rejoin Melbourne University as a second year student, he was asked by Immigration to register as an alien student, a victim of the White Australian policy. These are memories poignant in the telling thereof.

- Preface by PG Lim -

Song at Twilight
by Chan King Nui (RM 20.00)

From living in Hong Kong as a child, to living in Siam and also in the Big House in Kuala Lumpur, the author shares her rich life experiences which will inspire many who read this book. The book continues with her pursuit of education and the interruption due to the Second World War when she lived in India.

Her experience as a teacher and meeting many people who later become important leaders in the political and corporate world is an interesting read. The author traveled to many parts of the world, learnt many types of art and craft, went through some very painful experiences and finally found God in her life.

The Encyclopedia of Malaysia, Volume 13: The Economy edited by Prof Dr H Osman Rani (RM 95.00)

This volume provides an in-depth insight into the dramatic transformation of Malaysia from an agrarian economy at Independence in 1957 into a diverse and triving manufacturing- service based economy in 2006.

The volume begins with an overview of Malaysia's economic history, covering the evolution of economic policies from post-Independence to 1970, the formulation of the New Econmic Policy (1971-90), the balanced growth thrusts of the 1990s and finally the shift towards a knowledge-based economy in the 21st century.

An extensive analysis of the various sectors of the economy follows. The rapid growth and modernization of the Malaysian economy is documented, beginning with the natural resources and agricultural sectors and moving into the manufacturing sectors. The services and financial sectors are then explored, focusing on the development of key sub-sectors.

The volume proceeds with a discussion of the infrastructure which supports Malaysia's economy, and the stable social framework that sustains its human resources.

The volume concludes by examining the macroeconomic policies implemented by various governmental bodies and agencies, and Malaysia's position in the rapidly globalizing world economy.

Monday, April 02, 2007

People, politics and poetry

I am Muslim by Dina Zaman

I am Muslim is a selfish journey of faith. Dina meets shamans, nationalists, moderates and gets into all sorts of scrapes, to discover what it means to be Muslim in Malaysia. Heartbreaking, angry and downright funny.

A Noor. I am Muslim is Dina Zaman's first work of non-fiction.She has written for the media since 1994. Her first column, Dina's Dalca was published in the New Straits Times and she has had her share of brickbats. Her works of fiction and poetry have been published locally and abroad.

Dina Zaman's articles about being Muslim in Malaysia today captures the multifaceted aspects of difference and alterity in normative religios life better than many academic studies ...Dr Farish

Tanah Tujuh: Close Encounters with the Temuan Mythos
by Antares

Tanah Tujuh is what a large number of Orang Asli tribes call our planet. Tanah Tujuh: Close Encounters with the Temuan Mythos chronicles Antares' initiation into a fast vanishing aboriginal cosmo-mythology that offers an alternative view of reality. Copiously illustrated with sketches and photographs, foreword by eminent anthropologist, Robert Knox Dentan.

Antares is a writer musician and visionary who moved out of the city in 1992 and found himself living amngst the Temuan (the second largest of the peninsular Orang Asli tribes) in the rainforest.

Adam's Dream by Salleh ben Joned

This is Salleh ben Joned's first book of poems since Sajak Sajak Saleh (or Poems Sacred and Profane) and it is entirely in English. Salleh says in his forward that, although English is not his first language - he only learned it in his teens - he has two main reasons for writing in English. Firstly, he thinks that a big majority of his readers seem to be non-Malays, and, secondly, "My satires in Malay, the use of humour, parody, irony ... puns ... and othr forms of word-play seem to have been taken wrongly by most of the Malay readers."

Adam's Dream is an intensely personal collection of poems, to make you laugh out loud or cry or to ponder over.

Salleh ben Joned was born in Melaka. He spent many years Down Under where he became a student of leading Australian poet James McAuley. His first collection of bilingual poetry, Sajak-Sajak Saleh (Teks) was published in 1987. [A second enlarged version was published by Pustaka Cipta in 2002.] It was followed by A book of essays, As I Please (Skoob, 1994) and Nothing is Sacred (Maya Press, 2003).

For free delivery anywhere in Malaysia. Click here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Malaysian Journey by Rehman Rashid (RM59.90)

From the preface:
'I am at a happy loss to explain the continuing popularity of A Malaysian Journey, a work of non-fiction, comtemporary affairs, pop history and personal memoir, which was published in 1993, sold a few tens of thousands of copies in Malaysia and Singapore, turned my life inside-out, upside-down and back-to-front, and went out of print at the turn of the millennium...'

This is the story of a Malaysian born in the twilight of British Malaya, growingup in an independent Malaysia, attaining maturity as his nation approaches the turn of the millennium ... and this is the story of Malaysia's own growth, asseen through his eyes.

The historical and biographical narrative is interwoven with passages culled from a months-long journey through the nation as the narrator visits every Malaysian state, exploring his country and, in so doing, his own soul.

A Malaysian Journey is available at all major bookshops in the country. This book can also be purchased online from our secure payment gateway at post free to any address in Malaysia, and at USD3.00 to international destinations. (All delivery will be registered mail, so no PO Boxes please)

(This is the 6th reprint of this book. This book is a virtual Malaysian classic and we have had had so many queries. We are glad to have it back in print)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

History, biography

Brickfields: A Time, A Place, A Memory by Balan Moses (RM 30.00)

Brickfields: A Time, A Place, A Memory, is a first-person account of the childhood and teenage days of Balan Moses, a senior editor with the New Straits Times, in Brickfields.

He narrates the joys and sorrows of growing up between 1955 and 1970 in a middle-to-lower-middle-class neighbourhood with its pecularities, unforgettable personalities and unique ambience. He has tried to trace developments in the area over the period in question in a light, narrative manner.

His sense of humour, evident in the anecdotes and many unique experiences that he has sprinkled throughout the book, has helped bring Brickfields alive. Moses has taken readers by the hand for a stroll through Brickfields and through time so that they too can see and experience what he saw and experienced all those years ago.

This book is intended to provide the younger generation of today a glimpse of the halcyon days spent in a suburban in a newly-independent nation. It is a personal story of how a child grew into a teenager in a quaint area called Brickfields that is almost no more, except in the memories of the people who once called Brickfields home.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The Reluctant Politician by Ooi Kee Beng (RM 68.00)

This is the long-awaited biography of Malaysia's powerful Home Affairs Minister and Deputry Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, who passed away of a heart attack on 2 August 1973. It is based on his provate papers and on numerous internviews with his relatives and with people who knew him well, including Ghafar Baba, Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Robert Kuok, Lee Kwan Yew and Ghazalie Shafie. New perspectives are provided about the struggle for independence, Malaysia's relationship with Singapore, the origins of Southeast Asian regionalism, the internal conflicts of the ruling party UMNO, MCA-UMNO ties, the fatal illness of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the May 13 riots, and the New Economic Policy. This book contains not only new facts about Malaysian and Singaporean history, but also insights into the processes of decolonization and nation building.