Minister of Finance Incorporated: Ownership and Control of Corporate Malaysia

Authors: Terence Gomez with Thirshalar Padmanabhan, Norfaryanti Kamaruddin, Sunil Bhalla and Fikri Fisal
New Pb286 pp.
Subjects: Law & Business, Malaysia
Condition: Good
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960807
Price: RM45.00

This is a study of Malaysia’s new political economy, with a focus on ownership and control of the corporate sector. It offers a pioneering assessment of government-linked investment companies (GLICs), a type of state-owned institution that has long prevailed in the corporate sector but has not been analysed. Malaysia’s history of government-business ties is unique, while the nature of the nexuses between the state and the corporate sector has undergone major transitions. Corporate power has shifted from the hands of foreign firms to the state to the ruling party, and well-connected businessmen, and back to the state. Corporate wealth is now heavily situated in the leading publicly-listed government-linked companies (GLCs), controlled through block shareholdings by a mere seven GLICs under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Finance. To indicate why these GLICs are important actors in Corporate Malaysia, this study provides a deep assessment of their ownership and control of Bursa Malaysia’s top 100 publicly-listed enterprises.

‘By focusing on GLICs, Minister of Finance Incorporated ignites new debates around the role of the government in the Malaysian economy. Through excellent academic research, novel insights are provided about the old question of ownership and control of Corporate Malaysia. Terence Gomez, and his team, further the research on government-business ties, enhancing our knowledge of GLICs by mapping out their corporate influence. This highly thought-provoking book offers timely and considered analysis of the concentration of power in the office of the Minister of Finance.’

 Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux

Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (Paris), Rennes 2 University

 ‘Minister of Finance Incorporated is an authoritative and meticulous account of changes in ownership and control of Malaysian corporations. The study traces the receding role of politicians in publicly-listed companies and the remarkable concentration of economic power in the office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and its holding company, MoF Inc., along with six other GLICs. Minister of Finance Incorporated’s scrupulously empirical X-ray of Corporate Malaysia is presented in a lucid, well-organized and fluent manner.’

Jan Nederveen Pieterse

University of California, Santa Barbara

Posted in Books, Economics, Politics

The Development of Malaysian Capitalism

Author: Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux
New Pb425 pp.
Subjects: History & Biography, Economics, Malaysia
Condition: Good
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960555
Price: RM65.00

As Malaysia grappled with bitter ethnic and political tensions at the end of the 1960s, the government initiated growth-oriented economic reforms to promote cohesion in the young, multi-ethnic nation. The large scale and lasting effects of these policies forged the countries’ exceptional economic development: by 2020, Malaysia will likely enter the club of ‘high-income’ countries.

This volume comprehensively surveys Malaysia’s political economy, mapping the intersecting forces that inform it: economic growth, broader Asian development, the weight of colonial institutions, the influence of Islamic finance, and the sometimes ambiguous role of the state. It offers a discerning overview of Malaysian capitalism through readings of its history since 1874 – from the colonial economy through modernisation and accelerated development, up to its recent passage in global crises. The author details the causes and conditions of Malaysia’s economic success; the result is a compelling portrait of a young capitalist nation sitting at both the geographic centre of Southeast Asia and at the crossroads of sovereign development.
Posted in Economics, History, Politics

Malaysian and their Identities

Editor: Yeoh Seng Guan
Format: Paperback 200 pp.
Subjects: Politics, Culture, Malaysia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960661
Price: RM28.00

Malaysians and their Identities presents a kaleidoscope of insights based on original empirical research by young Malaysian scholars. Among others, their topics cover festive TV advertisements, connoisseur café culture, the smartphone, online sports gaming, Islamic fashion, women indie musicians, men’s health magazines,
inter-racial marriages, and friendships in private universities.
These chapters show the variety of everyday identity-making in Malaysia, and how these actions are also entangled with wider social, economic and technological processes in the world.
Featuring contributions from Zaleha Khalilur Rahman • Melizarani T. Selva • Hal Mahera binti Ahmad • Lim Zhen Hui • Crystal Lim • Chong Ai Rene • Rohini Rajadorai • Tay Siao Lin • Helen Sneha Jambunathan • Lee Jun-Elle
Yeoh Seng-Guan is Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts & Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.
Posted in Arts & Culture, Social Studies

Access to Justice: Women’s Experiences in Penang Syariah Courts

Author: Shariza Kamarudin
Format: Paperback 142 pp.
Subjects: Gender, Law, Religion
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960678
Price: RM25.00

In Access to Justice Shariza Kamarudin offers a rare insight into the lives and experiences of women as they navigate their way through the Penang Syariah court system. Grounded in theories of justice, Islamic jurisprudence and feminist legal theory, Access to Justice collects valuable first-hand accounts of the female litigants as they face an overwhelmingly patriarchal system. Touching on issues of polygamy, talaq divorce, domestic violence, domestic abuse and child custody, Shariza Kamarudin studies the responses of women, highlighting the ways in which issues of gender, class, and race play an important role in the administration of Syariah law. Finally, making use of the United Nations Development Programme Access to Justice Framework, Access to Justice calls for a reform in the administration of Syariah law in Malaysia which puts at its heart access to legal knowledge, legal representation and gender awareness.
Shariza Kamarudin is the Programme Manager for the Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting in Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC), a state-linked company in Penang, Malaysia. She graduated from the Centre of Research for Women and Gender, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Penang with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (Gender Studies) where this monograph was originally developed.
Posted in Books, Law, Religion

Getting By: Class and State Formation among Chinese in Malaysia

Author: Donald M. Nonini
Format: Paperback 348 pp.
Subjects: History & Biography, Malaysia, Ethnic Studies
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960692
Price: RM50.00

“Exceptional scholarship! In Getting By Donald M. Nonini offers an insightful critique of three long-standing theoretical perspectives on the links between class and ethnicity involving the Chinese and then proposes the necessity of adopting a historical ethnographic view focusing on the issues of position and structure.”
EDMUND TERENCE GOMEZ, University of Malaya, coauthor of Malaysia’s Political Economy: Politics, Patronage, and Profits

 “‘Getting By’ illuminates in arresting detail what it means to be working-class ethnic Chinese in Malaysia where racial discrimination molds everyday existence. Donald M. Nonini’s deep ethnography of ethnic Chinese under siege tracks their daily practices of surviving as a subjugated ethnic and class minority. The political, economic, social, and cultural costs of living under majority rule inspire an art of deception and disputation, as well as backup plans to leave a beloved multiethnic homeland. This rare ethnographic history of the Malaysian present is a path-breaking intervention in Chinese diaspora studies. It casts a necessary light on how ordinary ethnic Chinese, often vulnerable to racial discrimination, are the urban backbone of Southeast Asia.”

AIHWA ONG, University of California, Berkeley, coeditor of Privatizing China, Asian Biotech, and Worlding Cities
 How do class, ethnicity, gender, and politics interact? In what ways do they constitute everyday life among ethnic minorities? In Getting By, Donald M. Nonini draws on three decades of research in the region of Penang state in northern West Malaysia, mainly in the city of Bukit Mertajam, to provide an ethnographic and historical account of the cultural politics of class conflict and state formation among Malaysians of Chinese descent.
DONALD M. NONINI is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of British Colonial Rule and the Resistance of the Malay Peasantry, 1900–1957, coauthor of Local Democracy under Siege: Activism, Public Interests, and Private Politics, and editor most recently of A Companion to Urban Anthropology.
Posted in Books, History, Social Studies

Electoral Dynamics in Sarawak: Contesting Developmentalism and Rights

Editors: Meredith L. Weiss and Arnold Puyok
Format: Paperback 120pp.
Subjects: History, Politics, Southeast Asia
Condition: Good
Publisher: SIRD & ISEAS
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960562
Price: RM30.00

Based upon observation of the 2016 Sarawak state elections at a time of political turmoil for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, Electoral Dynamics in Sarawak offers four ethnographic accounts of grassroots electoral politics in diverse constituencies of Sarawak. Covering Ba’ Kelalan, the rural stronghold of Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) leader Baru Bian; Tupong, the urban Malay-majority stronghold of the PBB; Stakan, a mixed constituency in which postal votes proved decisive; and Repok and Meradong, rural Chinese majority constituencies caught between the Sarawak United People’s Party and the Democratic Action Party, this volume exposes the diversity and complexity of Sarawak’s electoral geography. Central to the analyses in this volume are not only the role of ethnicity and the urban/rural divide but also the longer term impact of the politics of developmentalism, the personality politics surrounding Chief Minister Adenan Satem and the emerging force of Sarawakian states’ rights enshrined in the Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) social movement.
Part of a comparative study of electoral dynamics across Southeast Asia, Electoral Dynamics in Sarawak seeks both to analyse the wider lessons to be learned from the 2016 Sarawak state elections as well as to deepen our knowledge and understanding of a state which is likely to play an especially important role in the political future of Malaysia.
“Covering the constituency level politics of five seats in Sarawak the authors provide rich data on how local factors and issues can largely decide the outcome of elections in a large state like Sarawak. It reminds us that Sarawak is somewhat unique in Malaysian elections and that national concerns are often non-issues when it comes to Sarawak elections.”
Professor James Chin
Director of the Asia Institute, University of Tasmania

 “It is becoming increasingly important within Malaysia to understand local political dynamics and the ways in which they impact upon the national distribution of power, especially now that the ruling coalition led by UMNO depends upon the support of Sarawakians to be returned to power. This publication is an important contribution to deepening our understanding of local political dynamics in a Malaysian state.”

Professor Jayum Jawan
Tun Abdul Razak Chair, Ohio University
Posted in Books, Politics

Water Governance Dynamics in The Mekong Region

Editors: David J.H. Blake & Lisa Robins
Format: Paperback 322 pp.
Subjects: Development, Environment & Ecology, Southeast Asia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960449
Price: RM50.00


The Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience (M-POWER) is a network of organizations and individuals collaborating to democratize water governance in the Mekong Region. Since 2006, M-POWER has developed and implemented a wide range of activities across Cambodia, southern China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Younger and older scholars, practitioners and ex-officials have probed water resources decision-making, prodded policy actors on their positions, and proposed ways for more inclusive, deliberative and adaptive water governance. Water Governance Dynamics in the Mekong Region is the fifth and final book in this series. A decade on and it is far from obvious that the promises of democratization and improved public accountability are inevitable. The need for multi-disciplinary scholarship and constructive contestation remains.


1. Introduction: A Backdrop to Water Governance Dynamics in the Mekong Region
David J.H. Blake and Lisa Robins

2. Iron Triangles, Rectangles or Golden Pentagons? Understanding Power Relations in Irrigation Development Paradigms of Northeast Thailand and Northern Cambodia
David J.H. Blake

3. Arenas of Water Justice on Transboundary Rivers: A Case Study of the Xayaburi Dam, Laos
Carl Middleton and Ashley Pritchard

4. Diverted Justice: The Lower Sesan 2 Dam and the Role of Law in Cambodian Hydropower Development
Maureen Harris

5. China’s Dam Diplomacy in the Mekong Region: Three Game Changers
Pichamon Yeophantong

6. Hydropower Decision-making in Myanmar: Insights from Myitsone Dam
Zhu Xianghui, Tira Foran and David Fullbrook

7. Social Movement Resistance to “Accumulation by Dispossession” in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Ka Lone Htar Dam near the Dawei Special Economic Zone
Zaw Aung and Carl Middleton

8. “Fishing–Farming” Communities around Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia: Fisheries Reforms, Natural Resource Management and Changing Livelihood Patterns
Borin Un

9. Water Governance in a Changing Era: Perspectives on Vietnam
Tien L.T. Du, Duong D. Bui, Xuan T. Quach and Lisa Robins

10. Dike Compartments in the Mekong Delta: Case Studies in Water Governance, Farming Systems and Adaptation to Water-Regime Changes in An Giang Province, Vietnam
Nguyen Van Kien, David Dumaresq and Charles Howie

Posted in Books, Environment, Social Studies

Retrospective: A Historiographical Aesthetic in Contemporary Singapore and Malaysia

Author: June Yap
Format: Paperback 355 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Malaysia, Singapore
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960401
Price: RM50.00

Developed as an exploratory study of artworks by artists of Singapore and Malaysia, Retrospective attempts to account for contemporary artworks that engage with history. These are artworks that reference past events or narratives, of the nation and its art. Through the examination of a selection of artworks produced between 1990 and 2012, Retrospective is both an attribution and an analysis of a historiographical aesthetic within contemporary art practice. It considers that, by their method and in their assembly, these artworks perform more than a representation of a historical past. Instead, they confront history and its production, laying bare the nature and designs of the historical project via their aesthetic project.

Positing an interdisciplinary approach as necessary for understanding the historiographical as aesthetic, Retrospective considers not only historical and aesthetic perspectives, but also the philosophical, by way of ontology, in order to broaden its exposition beyond the convention of historical and contextual interpretation of art. Yet, in associating these artworks with a historiographical aesthetic, this exposition may be regarded as a historiographical exercise in itself, affirming the significance of these artworks for the history of Singapore and Malaysia.

In short, which history rarely is, Retrospective is about the art of historicisation and the historicisation of art.

Posted in Arts & Culture, Books, History

Gila Balak: Menelusur jejak-jejak mafia kayu balak Asia

Author: Lukas Straumann
Format: Paperback 323 pp.
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, Malaysia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960494
Price: RM40.00


Gila Balak menyiasat apa yang telah disebut oleh Gordon Brown sebagai “jenayah alam sekitar terbesar masa kini”: kerosakan hutan hujan secara besar-besaran oleh pembalak-pembalak Malaysia. Sejarahwan dan aktivis, Lukas Straumann bukan sahaja “mencari semula” hutan hujan yang telah “hilang” dan orang-orang yang pernah suatu ketika dahulunya tinggal menetap di situ, malah beliau juga menelusur setiap jaringan penjenayah yang telah mengaut keuntungan ribuan juta melalui rasuah dan jualan kayu balak haram.

Straumann telah menamakan Abdul Taib Mahmud, Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak sebagai kepala mafia kayu balak Asia. Pada masa yang sama, Straumann juga menunjukkan betapa keluarga Taib dengan bantuan rakan subahat utama iaitu institusi-institusi kewangan telah berjaya meraih laba keuntungan sebanyak USD 15 ribu juta. Gila Balak ialah kisah sekelompok masyarakat yang kehilangan warisan “syurgaloka” turun-temurun yang telah digalang ganti dengan ladang-ladang kelapa sawit, pencemaran dan rasuah. Dan kini, mereka berjuang menuntut kembali “kehilangan” itu.

Posted in Books, Environment, Malay Books

The Malayan Communist Party As Recorded in the Comintern Files

Author: Fujio Hara
Format: Paperback 164 pp.
Subjects: History & Biography, Malaysia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960531
Price: RM30.00

Comintern (Communist International, 1919-1943) files kept in a Russian Archive were opened to the public in 1991. Various documents relating to the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) were contained therein. Relying on these documents, this research reveals many important and hitherto unknown facts. Consulting with previous works done by C.F. Yong, Cheah Boon Kheng and others, we can identify the extent to which the British colonial Special Branch intercepted them.

The inaugural congress of the MCP, which initially depended heavily on the Comintern’s instructions, was held on 22-23 April and 21 May 1930. Consistent pivotal points of the instructions were to refrain from armed insurgency and to make every effort to obtain the support of Malays and Indians. Although instructions were stopped after 1935, the MCP continued sending reports until the Pacific War started. These reports depict its internal disputes between the left wing and the right wing, which is supposed to have been headed by Lai Teck. Without instructions from the Comintern, the MCP further strengthened its influence among the people through labour as well as anti-Japanese movements.

About the Author

Fujio Hara (Hara Fujio in Japanese order) earned his PhD from the University of Tokyo. After working at the Institute of Developing Economies from 1967-99, he became a Professor at Nanzan University (1999-2012). He has at various times been attached to Universiti Sains Malaysia, the University of Malaya, Xiamen University, and the Yusof Ishak Institute-ISEAS. His main works include The Japanese in British Malaya (1986) and Malayan Chinese and China (1997)

Posted in English Books, History

A Life Beyond Boundaries

Author: Benedict Anderson
Format: Paperback 205 pp.
Subject: History & Biography, Memoir, Politics, Southeast Asia 
ISBN: 9789670960432
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM35.00

An intellectual memoir by the author of the acclaimed Imagined Communities.

Born in China, Benedict Anderson spent his childhood in California and Ireland, was educated in England and finally found a home at Cornell University, where he immersed himself in the growing field of Southeast Asian studies. He was expelled from Suharto’s Indonesia after revealing the military to be behind the attempted coup of 1965, an event which prompted reprisals that killed up to a million communists and their supporters. Banned from the country for thirty-five years, he continued his research in Thailand and the Philippines, producing a very fine study of the Filipino novelist and patriot José Rizal in The Age of Globalization.

In A Life Beyond Boundaries, Anderson recounts a life spent open to the world. Here he reveals the joys of learning languages, the importance of fieldwork, the pleasures of translation, the influence of the New Left on global thinking, the satisfactions of teaching, and a love of world literature. He discusses the ideas and inspirations behind his best-known work, Imagined Communities (1983), whose complexities changed the study of nationalism.

Benedict Anderson died in Java in December 2015, soon after he had finished correcting the proofs of this book. The tributes that poured in from Asia alone suggest that his work will continue to inspire and stimulate minds young and old.

‘Benedict Anderson transformed the study of nationalism … and was renowned not only for his theoretical contributions but also for his detailed examinations of language and power in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines’ New York Times.

‘Everything Anderson wrote was boldly original, challenging assumptions by uncovering a neglected or suppressed voice. He was never content to tell an audience what they wanted to hear’ Guardian.

Posted in Biography & Memoir, Books, History, Politics

Power Sharing in Divided Nation

Author: Johan Saravanamuttu
Format: Paperback 323 pp.
Subject: Malaysia, Politics
ISBN: 9789814695435
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM70.00

This book argues that Malaysia’s electoral politics have historically been premised on a hybridized model of communalism and consociationalism. Beyond this it posits a newer idea of power sharing based on the dynamic and transformative practice of mediated communalism through six decades (1952-2016) of electoral politics.

The strategy of mediating communalism is critically explored throughout the book, serving to test its saliency as a distinct approach to power sharing in a social formation which is ethnically, religiously and regionally divided, yet has remained remarkably and tenuously integrated throughout Malaysia’s electoral history. The book delves into this question by narrating and theorizing the complexity of communal politics leading to the emergence of new politics which have attempted to put Malaysia on the track of further democratization. It is further implied that new politics has to work in tandem with mediated communalism to transcend the most deleterious effects of an ethnically divided society.

Posted in Books, Politics

Malaysia in Troubled Times

Author: Shankaran Nambiar
Format: Paperback 117 pp.
Subject: Economics, Malaysia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM25.00

The recent past has been tumultuous for Malaysia. Malaysia has been rocked by economic uncertainties, political turmoil and allegations of financial scandals. The economy has had to face domestically generated shocks and well as those emanating from external sources. Regional developments have been fast-paced, too. ASEAN has acquired greater significance, and there has been a convergence of interest in the area. The US, China and India have directed increased interest in the region, demanding appropriate policy responses from Malaysia. At a micro level, issues such as education and health have generated controversy and they could turn out to be problematic if not handled carefully. These issues, if ignored, could adversely affect Malaysia’s economic development. If addressed correctly, Malaysia will move up the ladder of development. The present collection of essays attempts to capture the challenges that Malaysia faces. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Malaysia’s growth and development.

Posted in Books, Economics

The End of UMNO? ( Essays on Malaysia’s Dominant Party )

Author: Bridget Welsh, Clive S Kessler, James Chin, John Funston & Saifuddin Abdullah
Format: Paperback 290 pp.
Subject: Malaysia & Politics
ISBN: 9789670960463
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM55.00

What is the future of UMNO? Is UMNO’s 70th year, in fact, the beginning of the end?

The contributors in this collection study developments in Malaysia’s dominant party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), on the anniversary of its 70th year. The answers to its future lies in part with a better understanding of its past. Four international academics analyse the contemporary history of UMNO, with a particular focus on changes in the last two decades. They draw attention to issues of party identity, leadership, membership, governance, institutional change, party financing, internal divisions and its relations with different communities and the public at large. Not only does this book fill an important gap in the scholarly research on UMNO, this book offers different perspectives on the party’s contemporary challenges.

The contributors in this collection include prominent and established scholars studying Malaysian politics. They are all long-time observers of UMNO and each of the essays builds on their fieldwork and earlier scholarship. John Funston expands upon his seminal work on Malay politics, Malay Politics in Malaysia: A Study of UMNO and PAS. Clive Kessler draws from his rich anthropological work on Kelantanese and Malay society, as well as decades of analysis on Malaysian politics in his analysis of UMNO’s changing political identity. Leading political scientist and political commentator James Chin focuses on the changing perspectives on UMNO amongst the Malaysian Chinese, whilst Bridget Welsh draws from her fieldwork on elections and local party dynamics to examine how UMNO has struggled with reform, crises and an erosion of its political legitimacy.

To broaden the study, the book turns to a former insider to reflect upon UMNO. The foreword is written by former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and UMNO Supreme Council Member Saifuddin Abdullah. He left UMNO in October 2015 and has joined the opposition.

The question of UMNO’s future goes to the heart of Malaysia’s future. Having governed Malaysia for nearly six decades, whether (and how) UMNO can tackle reasons for the decay in its public standing will shape the path ahead for all Malaysians. Views of the party are deeply polarized. Many have given up on UMNO altogether. With its party leader, UMNO President, and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak embroiled in scandals, involving billions of ringgit, multiple legal jurisdictions and unanswered concerns about the use of funds and potential abuses of power, UMNO is facing one of the most serious crises in the party’s history. UMNO is indeed at a crossroads. This book aims to contribute to understanding, broaden public debate and stimulate further research on arguably Malaysia’s most important political institution.

Posted in Books, Politics

Kerajaan : Budaya Politik Melayu di Ambang Pemerintahan Kolonial

Author: Anthony Milner
Format: Paperback 274 pp.
Subject: History & Biography, Malaysia & Politics
ISBN: 9789670960265
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
First Published: 1982
Price: RM48.00

Sebuah kajian perintis dan provokatif tentang pemikiran politik Melayu di ambang pemerintahan kolonial – berdasarkan sumber-sumber Melayu dan Eropah, dan mengetengahkan isu-isu yang terus menjadi kritikal di Malaysia pada hari ini. Dengan memberi tumpuan kepada semenanjung Tanah Melayu dan Sumatra Utara, Kerajaan adalah buku yang bersifat inovatif pada pendekatannya – sebuah penyiasatan yang penuh dengan metodologi yang dibangunkan dalam bidang antropologi dan kritikan sastera. Buku ini menegaskan bahawa apa-apa analisis pemikiran sosial bukan-Barat adalah penting untuk mencapai sebuah sejarah yang benar-benar global, menyentuh kepelbagaian perspektif dan pengalaman manusia. Pada tahun 2003 Persatuan Pengajian Asia Amerika Syarikat mengangkat Kerajaan sebagai salah satu daripada 25 ‘karya-karya penting dalam kajian sejarah’ dan ‘paling kerap dirujuk dalam kesusasteraan’ bidang sejarah Asia Tenggara.

‘… sebuah karya klasik dalam kajian Malaysia oleh sebab penghuraian teori dan empirikal tentang keadaan dan kandungan kerajaan Melayu tradisional … Bagi sesiapa yang ingin mula memahami politik Melayu kontemporari, terutamanya peranan raja-raja Melayu dan akar sosio-sejarah mereka, buku Kerajaan karya Milner ini adalah sesuatu yang wajib dibaca.’ – Shamsul A.B.

‘Penerbitan semula buku Kerajaan… akan memberi dorongan kepada pengembangan radikal dalam kajian sejarah idea di Asia Tenggara.’ – Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied

Milner ‘membuktikan bahawa adalah tidak mustahil untuk mempelajari sejarah melalui bahasa dan sastera tanpa mengasingkan pemikiran dan tindakan.’ – Tony Day

Posted in Biography & Memoir, Books, History, Malay Books, Politics

Kerajaan : Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule

Author: Anthony Milner
Format: Paperback 274 pp.
Subject: History & Biography, Malaysia & Politics
ISBN: 9789670960067
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
First Published: 1982
Price: RM48.00

A pioneering, provocative study of Malay political thought on the eve of colonial rule – based on both Malay and European source materials, and addressing issues that continue to be critical in Malaysia today. Focusing on both the Malay peninsula and North Sumatra, Kerajaan is innovative in approach – an historical investigation informed by methodologies developed in anthropology and literary criticism. The book argues that such close analyses of non-Western social thought are essential to achieve a genuinely global history, addressing the full variety of human perspectives and experience. In 2003 the US Association for Asian Studies selected Kerajaan as one of the 25 ‘works of major importance to historical studies’ and ‘most frequently cited in the literature’ in the field of Southeast Asian history.

‘… a classic in Malaysian studies because of its theoretical and empirical elaboration of the state and content of traditional kerajaan Melayu.… For anyone who wants to begin to make sense of contemporary Malay politics, especially the role of the Malay royalties and their socio-historical roots, Milner’s Kerajaan is a must read.’ – Shamsul A.B.

The ‘republication of Kerajaan … will provide the impetus for a radical expansion of the study of the history of ideas in Southeast Asia.’ –Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied

Milner ‘shows that it is possible to study history through language and literature in a way which does not separate thought from action.’ –Tony Day

Posted in Biography & Memoir, Books, History, Politics

Death of the Dragon God Lake

Author: Isabel Crabtree Parker, Jonathan Crabtree Parker, Miranda Crabtree Parker & Sara Ashencaen Crabtree
Format: Paperback 269 pp.
Subject: Environment & Ecology, Ethnic Studies, Malaysia
ISBN:  9789670960241
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM35.00

Death of the Dragon God Lake is a family ethnography focusing on the Jakun of Tasik Chini, Malaysia, and their contemporary struggles. The Orang Asli West Malaysia’s indigenous people – comprise only 0.6 percent of the country’s total population, and within this group, the Jakun of Tasik Chini number around 500. While recent decades have seen efforts to ‘modernise’ them, this official spin cloaks the denial of Orang Asli self-determination and the concurrent damage being done to their traditional land. As part of their condensed ethnography, the authors conducted interviews and field discussion groups, observed the adults and children living around Tasik Chini, and gathered information about their lives today and how they compare with the recent past. The lake is polluted, the children unable to swim in it as their parents did, and the natural beauty of the surroundings has been eroded, having an impact on tourism as well. With awareness of their positionality as foreign anthropologists, the authors examine the contradiction between the authorities’ and indigenous narratives, and reveal the efforts made by Tasik Chini community members to improve their situation on their own terms.

Posted in Books, English Books, Environment

Punk, Penentangan dan Politik Transnasionalisme

Editors: Muhamad Takiyuddin Ismail
Muhammad Febriansyah
Sharifah Nursyahidah Syed Annuar
Format: Paperback 194 pp.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Social Studies, Southeast Asia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960500
Price: RM28.00

Punk seringkali dipandang negatif dan dilemparkan dengan tuduhan-tuduhan seperti sampah masyarakat, tidak berguna, tidak berakhlak dan sebagainya. Realitinya, wujud komuniti-komuniti punk lain yang melakukan bermacam-macam aktiviti dengan maksud untuk menyumbang sesuatu kepada masyarakat.

Buku ini cuba untuk menampilkan sesuatu yang berbeza, iaitu tindakan politik dan aksi langsung yang telah dilakukan oleh komuniti punk seperti Rumah Api di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia dan Komunitas Taring Babi di Jakarta, Indonesia. Buku ini juga menonjolkan nilai-nilai penentangan, pemberontakan dan kemandirian punk yang boleh dilihat melalui pelbagai prinsip seperti kerja bertukang sendiri (do-it-yourself).

Oleh yang demikian, buku ini berkeyakinan bahawa punk harus dilihat dalam lensa sub-budaya, ketidakakuran, penentangan dan transnasional bagi membolehkan mana-mana individu atau komuniti punk dapat difahami dengan lebih dekat sebagaimana Rumah Api dan Komunitas Taring Babi.

“Kajian tentang perlawanan politik di luar gelanggang rasmi seperti pemilihan umum dan parlimen masih sedikit. Justeru, buku ini menawarkan sebuah penerokaan budaya penentangan yang sungguh menarik. Ia memberikan penjelasan mengenai kedudukan khas seni dalam budaya penentangan tersebut dan keterbatasan dalam budaya tersebut bila berhadapan dengan konsumerisme. Proses ini mencerahkan dinamika budaya, sosial, dan politik yang tidak jelas kelihatan tetapi tetap membawa kepada perubahan masyarakat.”

Dr Sumit K. Mandal

Profesor Madya (Kajian Budaya dan Sejarah Sosial)
University of Nottingham, Malaysia

Posted in Arts & Culture, Politics

Marco Ferrarese interviewed on Sharpened Word

Marco Ferrarese author of “Banana Punk Rawk Trails: A Euro-Fool’s Metal Punk Journeys in Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia” has been interviewed in the latest edition of Sharpened Word Literary Matinee talking about his latest book with SIRD, his writing process and what it means to bring danger back into literature. Watch the video below!

Posted in Blog

Call for Papers – Misplaced Democracy (2nd Edition)

Misplaced Democracy coverLaunched in 2014, “Misplaced Democracy: Malaysian Politics and People” has made an important contribution to the study of Malaysian politics and society. Published in the wake of the 13th General Election it spoke not only to researchers and scholars of Malaysia but also to activists and others interested to understand the wider dynamics at work during that period.

Bringing together fifteen researchers from around the world it enabled interdisciplinary research in fields as diverse as political economy, urban studies, film studies and international relations, and produced a series of papers which made groundbreaking contributions to their field, on topics such as political gangsterism, piracy, Islamic law, Malaysian literature and FELDA and Malaysian land policy. All papers were also accompanied by the cartoons of Malaysia’s premier free speech artist Zunar.

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Posted in Blog

Tommy Thomas’s Books Reviewed at

Tommy Thomas’s two latest books Abuse of Power and Anything but the Law received a great review recently on alongside an interview with the author in which he explains why he decided to embark on this project.

Abuse of Power cover Anything But The Law cover

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Posted in Blog

Menyanggah Belenggu: Kerancuan Fikiran Masakini

Author: Azhar Ibrahim
Format: Paperback 266 pp.
Subject: Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670960159
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM38.00
Sebagai seorang ilmuan, Dr. Azhar Ibrahim menghayati  isu-isu dalam Pengajian Melayu sebagai rangkaian yang kait mengait, memahami satu bidang memerlukan pengolahan bidang yang lain dalam wacana yang semakin meluas;  sejarah menjurus ke tema kebebasan; orientalisme menilai kembali kesulitan dalam feudalisme; humanisme memperluaskan lagi makna dalam teks Melayu; multikulturalisme menyentuh pembinaan identiti; kekaburan akademik menyekat kefahaman masyarakat; neo-liberalisme menentukan arah pengajian seni dan sastera; idealisme diimbangi oleh perancangan  dalam wacana pengajian yang baru.  Dr. Azhar Ibarhim menyeru orang-orang muda supaya mengenali sejarah dan mengekalkan adab dan adat Melayu.  Tema berpasangan ini yang dikupas begitu mendalam menaikkan lagi darjat Pengajian Melayu sebagai satu bidang ilmu yang sah dan berguna.

Prof Dr Zakaria Ali

Kelangkaan inteligensia Melayu Singapura yang peduli akan jatuh bangunnya bangsa Melayu Singapura, khususnya terhadap budaya yang menjurus mengenai seni sasteranya, menurut saya mula tumbuh kembali apabila kita mahu mengenal sosok peribadi Dr Azhar Ibrahim. Kegiatannya yang memunculkan pertemuan-pertemuan seperti CITA, KULIAH BUSTAN menjadi kenyataannya. Begitu pula dengan terbitnya buku Menyanggah Belenggu Keracunan Fikiran  ini, mudah-mudahan akan lahir satu sosok ahli fikir yang berani mendobrak cara berfikir yang lazim membelenggu bangsa kita, insya-Allah.

Suratman Markasan
Sasterawan, Singapura

Posted in Malay Books, Social Studies

Ide-Ide Reformasi Islam Malaysia Kini: Ilham dari Jiwa Pengajaran ulama-ulama Tariq Shah Wali Ullah al Dihlawi Silam Kelantan

Author: Nik Aziz Nik Hasan
Format: Paperback 344 pp.
ISBN: 9789670960197
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM40.00

Kegiatan keilmuan ulama-ulama reformis Tariq Shah Wali ullah al Dehlawi di Kelantan mulai dalam tahun 1934 sehingga awal abad ke 21 (sebagaimana yang terdapat dalam bab 2 dan 3) banyak memberi I’lham kepada penulis untuk menghasilkan artikel-artikel sebagaimana yang terdapat dalam buku ini (sila lihat bab 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 dan 14). Pendekatan pemikiran dalam artikel-artikel ini mempunyai beberapa kelainan dengan pendekatan pemikiran Islam yang mendominafi arus perdana Ummah Negara kini. Artikel-artikel ini diharap dapat turut bersama-sama dengan aliran-aliran reformisma islam yang lain dalam membantu ummah untuk keluar daripada kepompong dan kemelut Konservatisma dan dogmatisma kini.
Posted in Books, Malay Books, Religion

Poh Soo Kai at the Launch of Living in a Time of Deception


SIRD has recently been pleased to release, in cooperation with Function 8 in Singapore, both an English and Chinese language biography of our friend Poh Soo Kai, a former member of Barisan Socialis and political detainee. Launched on April 2, 2016 at Rumah Gerakbudaya we had over 80 people in attendance and great speeches by Syed Husin Ali, Lee Ban Chen, Sunita Mei-Lin Rajakumar and of course Poh Soo Kai himself. Below is a transcript of Dr. Poh’s speech in full.

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Posted in Blog

Gender Responsive & Participatory Budgeting


Alongside the release by SIRD of Cecilia Ng’s edited volume “Gender Responsive & Participatory Budgeting: Imperatives for Equitable Public Expenditure” there has been lots of talk in the media on the topic of Gender Responsive Budgeting. It is then a great time to learn more about this attempt to open up democratic spaces and place decision making power back into the hands of the people.

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Posted in Blog

Art-Led Participative Processes: Dialogue & Subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday

Author: Jay Koh
Format: Paperback 214 pp.
Subject: Arts & Culture
ISBN: 9789670960180
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM38.00

Art-Led Participative Processes (ALPP) encapsulate artist Jay Koh’s public participative methodology, which emphasises agency, critical engagement, the ownership of actions and knowledge, the answerability of self to others, and a contribution to social change. It is the outcome and distillation of twenty-four years of a rigorous and reflexive practice and of rich experiences in social engagement with others, subjected to crossdisciplinary doctoral research at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. This book, condensed from Koh’s thesis, offers ALPP as a viable, responsive and dynamic methodology for an intersubjective participatory art practice that motivates and validates the independence of participants.

“Jay Koh offers, through this eminently readable book, an excellent example of social practice pedagogy: an artist with extensive practice in several cultural contexts, deeply committed to social change, who takes on the project of clearly articulating his framework – one grounded in ethical, aesthetic, and, most importantly, in actual art practice.”
Suzanne Lacy, artist, activist, writer, Graduate Public Practice Chair,
Otis College of Art & Design, Los Angeles

“Through the preciseness and sincerity of his committed inner search and contextual exploration, Koh has become one of the leading referents for dialogical art. With his relentless investigation of meanings, Koh performs as a catalyst for coexistence in art and life; and with his communicative actions, Koh performs the task of enhancing and facilitating the transition between real life situations towards vital processes.”
Alejandro Meitin, law-activist, artist-educator, member of Ala Plastica,
La Plata, Buenos Aires

Posted in Arts & Culture

Aktivisme Mahasiswa Malaysia

Author: Meredith L. Weiss
Format: Paperback 378 pp.
Subjects: Malaysia, Politics, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670960098
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM45.00

(Terjemahan from “Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow” published by NUS Press in 2011)

Buku ini menjejaki kebangkitan dan kesuraman aktivisme politik mahasiswa di Malaysia. Pada tahun 1970-an, pemerintah memulakan projek “pembendungan intelektual” yang telah menekan mobilisasi ketika itu dan menghalang aktivisme masa hadapan. Projek tersebut sangat berjaya dalam membendung protes mahasiswa, memadamkan warisan penglibatan masa lalu, dan mengawal penghasilan idea-idea baru yang berpotensi bersifat subversif. Cadangan mahasiswa yang inovatif untuk pembaharuan yang sebelumnya bukan sahaja dibenarkan malah juga disambut baik (dalam batasan tertentu) kini dilarang dan tidak digalakkan, mencerminkan bukan sahaja perubahan rejim politik Malaysia, tetapi perubahan budaya politik secara keseluruhan. Kajian yang jitu ini merungkai dinamik mobilisasi khususnya peranan mahasiswa dan universiti dalam perkembangan politik pasca-kolonial.

Kajian ini berteraskan sumber temubual dengan puluhan aktivis mahasiswa dulu dan kini, penerbitan kampus dan media lain yang berusia berdekad-dekad, arkib sejarah baik lisan mahupun bertulis, laporan kerajaan, dan autobiografi serta pengalaman langsung lain dalam mencermati keterkaitan antara pengajian tinggi dan aktivisme mahasiswa, dari awal pengajian tinggi abad kedua puluh di Singapura membawa kepada Malaysia hari ini. Kajian mendalam ini mempersoalkan pandangan umum yang mengatakan mahasiswa dan warga Malaysia secara keseluruhannya kini bersikap “apati”. Buku ini menghujahkan bahawa sikap tidak acuh itu bukan suatu yang tidak terelakkan atau semula jadi, tetapi hasil daripada projek pasifikasi dan depolitisasi sistematik dan berterusan oleh pemerintah yang agak iliberal dan sangat berteraskan pembangunan.

Posted in History

The Malaysian Islamic Party PAS 1951-2013: Islamism in a Mottled Nation

Author/Editor: Farish A Noor
Format: Paperback Pb260 pp.
Subjects: History & Biography, Malaysia, Politics, Religion
ISBN: 9789670960173
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM40.00

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) happens to be one of the oldest and biggest political parties in Malaysia today, though not as well-known as the Jamaat-e Islami of Pakistan or the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt. This is a work that recounts the constructed nature of PAS, as a party that has undergone several transformations − from a left-leaning anti-colonial party in the 1950s and 1960s, to a right-leaning communitarian party in the 1970s, to a party inspired by the Iranian revolution in the 1980s, to its present avatar as a pro-democracy party. It shows how PAS has evolved along a non-linear path, and was shaped by a host of internal and external variable factors that impacted upon Malaysia and its complex society.

Farish A. Noor is Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, and the head of its Contemporary Religion in Southeast Asia Program.

This masterful work on how ‘political Islam’ has transformed Malaysian politics is now one of the essential books about contemporary Islamist politics.

— Clive Kessler, The University of New South Wales

This book should top any required reading list on Islamist politics and social activism among students, decision-makers, and the general public alike.

— Joseph Chinyong Liow, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Nanyang Technological University

This is the best study of PAS that has appeared to date, and Farish’s richly documented work relate the shifts in PAS’s counter-hegemonic discourse and practice to the wider political context, both national and international.

— Prof Martin van Bruinessen, Utrecht University

Posted in History, Politics

Gender Responsive & Participatory Budgeting: Imperatives for Equitable Public Expenditure

Editor: Cecilia Ng
Format: Paperback 210 pp.
Subjects: Economics, Gender & Sexuality, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670960036
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM38.00

This unique book explores the exciting new democratic spaces that open up when budgets get participatory. The experiences of gender responsive budgeting (GRB) meet the world of participatory budgeting (PB), both of which have gained traction since the 1980s. The chapters bring together GRB and PB policy makers, practitioners, researchers and civil society actors to share and review their respective journeys. The book is a valuable contribution to current debates on re-thinking GRB and PB and the need to synergize both approaches to achieve gender equality, social justice and good governance. It is relevant to professionals in government and the private sector as well as to non-governmental organizations and students in gender and development and public policy.

“The book addresses the critical issue of citizen participation through a conversation between those involved in participatory budgeting and gender responsive budgeting approaches. It is rich in case studies and offers the promise of a new direction for entwining women’s and men’s participation by building a broad-based expertise in budget analysis and good financial governance” (Rhonda Sharp).

Posted in Gender & Sexuality, Social Studies

Symposia 5 – Defending Women, Defending Borders?: Gender and the Migrant Worker Experience

Location: Gerakbudaya, 2 Jalan Bukit 11/2, PJ
Time: 2:30pm
Date: March 5, 2016

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Posted in Past

生活在欺瞒的年代 : 傅树介政治斗争回忆录




从许多视点观察,这是一本了不起的书。傅树介医生从第一人称开始叙述他的外祖父,伟大的陈嘉庚,不仅仅止于一位慈善家,更是一位民族主义者兼社会主义者。跟着,他讲述早年在新加坡从事开胸心脏手术时期,崇高的个人抱负。傅医生谈到不得不放弃他所热爱的医疗事业,不是出于自愿,而是因为身陷囹圄,深深打动人心,他非常愤慨地说:以剥夺我的个人权利作为要胁,让我屈服,我决不就范!这一蔑视不屈的精神贯穿整本书,对终归失败的合并以及人民行动党和社会主义阵线之间的角力,广征博引、相互参照史料,详细叙述时,更加体现这种精神。更具重大意义的是,这是一部功力十足,认真查阅档案资料写就的新加坡历史,对学者和普通市民,都同样具有珍贵的参考价值。对于像我们这样的有所追求的活动分子,希望看到一个更民主和更公平的新加坡的人士,在今天,渡过了面对戴上指节铜环(knuckle duster)的当权者的年代后,这部著作,既令人鼓舞,也叫人须小心谨慎。傅医生对于获释的内安法令政治犯做了这样的描述:随着我们的释放,他们竭尽所能,在其叙事当中,把我们的角色锁定为被打败的坏分子。新加坡人思想束缚的解放,刚刚开始,在此过程中,这类书是非常必要的。


淡比雅(Paul Ananth Tambyah),


Posted in Biography & Memoir, Chinese Books