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

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

生活在欺瞒的年代 : 傅树介政治斗争回忆录

 
我想这本书是本地的一个突破。不按新加坡的故事的逻辑,把1950年代和1960年代的历史整合起来撰述,这也许是头一回。这将是当局、学者以及普通的新加坡人民必须正视的事情。 

蔡秀敏,新加坡历史学者

 

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),

医学教授兼2015年大选新加坡民主党候选人

Posted in Biography & Memoir, Chinese Books

Banana Punk Rawk Trails: A Euro-Fool’s Metal Punk Journeys in Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia

Author: Marco Ferrarese
Format: Paperback 474 pp.
ISBN: 9789670960029
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM48.00
 
Includes Free 70-minute Malaysian metal punk compilation CD and over 250 pictures

 
‘Marco Ferrarese: from the land of Raw Power and Indigesti he comes, fellow journeyman of sweat-thronged underground music, and the Herman Melville of the international fanzine-cum-Web page nation’
David Ensminger, author and punk historian 
 
Between 2010 and 2015, travel writer, author and metal punk guitarist Marco Ferrarese was the one and only ‘white elephant in the room’ of the Malaysian metal punk scene. A European inbred metal punk fool stranded in a globalised world of transnational extreme music chop suey. In this highly electric and graphic memoir, Ferrarese tells you how it was to play lead guitar in Penang’s thrashcore band WEOT SKAM, negotiating flimsy stage set-ups and shady promoters in order to gel into a developing world’s music scene. He takes you on a no-frills road bonanza scouring for sonic extremities across the whole length of Malaysia and Borneo. He chases down long-haired metal punk descendants of Iban headhunting tribes, scrawny Bidayuh anarcho-punk rockers, Kadazan-Dusun activist artists, skullcap-toting Muslim death metallers, and gets you a seat in WEOT SKAM’s rickety van for a DIY sleigh ride through the bowels of Jakarta and the vulgar, bogan-filled streets of Bali. Will your seatbelts fasten quickly enough?      
 
GET MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Posted in Arts & Culture, Biography & Memoir

Rainforest Hero : The Life and Death of Bruno Manser

Author/Editor: Ruedi Suter
Format: Paperback 330 pp.
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, History & Biography, Social Studies

ISBN: 9783905252866
Publisher: Bergli Books & SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM55


In 1984 Swiss shepherd Bruno Manser trekked through the virgin rainforests of Borneo to live among the jungle’s last nomads. In six years among the Penan people, Manser witnessed the wholesale destruction of one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems through rapid deforestation. He swore to do everything he could to stop it.
 
Manser’s globetrotting campaign brought the world’s attention to tropical ­deforestation. It also made him an enemy of Asia’s timber barons. In 2000 he disappeared without a trace.
 
Ruedi Suter’s engrossing biography – the first in English – charts Manser’s ­extraordinary journey from a young man who sought to escape civilization for the peace of the jungle to a campaigner who would stand up to oligarchs, lead protests around the globe, and, ultimately, give his life for the forests that he loved.  
 
Bruno Manser waged a passionate war to protect Borneo’s rainforests from loggers, [then] he mysteriously disappeared. 
    — Time Magazine, Asia Edition
 
Bruno Manser was ready to pay the highest price for the protection of the world’s rainforests – and the empowerment of those who live in them.
    — Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland
 
Ruedi Suter 
was born in the Belgian Congo in 1951 and writes about the environment and human rights from Basel, Switzerland. He closely followed the work of Bruno Manser for many years, and was involved in one of the final searches for the missing campaigner. 
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Environment, Social Studies

Voices from the Rainforest: Testimonies of a Threatened People

Author/Editor: Bruno Manser
Format: Paperback 294 pp.
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670960012
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM50

  “The inhabitants of the rainforest must be allowed to speak for themselves,” wrote Bruno Manser in 1992. At first glance, a European living with the Penan of Sarawak may have seemed like a quaint curiosity, but Manser was careful to redirect public attention to where it was most needed – the plight of his adopted people, beleaguered by human rights abuses and the destruction of their home. 

 
Voices from the Rainforest tells the story of logging in Sarawak, its devastating effects on indigenous people, and government collusion with their suffering. It’s a chronicle of injustice, brutality and resistance, recounted by Penan themselves, while Manser’s illustrations bring the rainforest to life. This book is an essential record of the injustices suffered by the Penan in the 1980s and 1990s, and a reminder that the struggle is not over yet.
 
“Bruno Manser did more than anyone else to bring tropical deforestation to the world’s attention – until he mysteriously disappeared in Malaysian Borneo. Twenty years after its release, this book remains a must-read for everyone interested in the plight of the Penan and the world’s indigenous peoples.”
           — Lukas Straumann, Author of Money Logging
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Environment, Social Studies

Suara Bicara: Fragmen Memoir Said Zahari

Editor: Abdul Rahman Embong
Format: Paperback 249 pp.
Subjects: Memoir, Politics, Singapore
ISBN: 9789670630809
Publisher: SIRD & Pusat Sejarah Rakyat
Published: 2015
Price: RM40.00
 

Suara Bicara: Fragmen Memoir Said Zahari ialah buku ketiga dan terakhir dalam trilogi memoir Said Zahari. 

 
Buku ini merupakan fragmen memoir yang mengandungi karya beliau serta wawancara dengannya; ia juga sekaligus sebuah festschrift atau karya penghormatan untuk beliau daripada kawan-kawan termasuk anak-anaknya. Seperti dua buah memoir Pak Said sebelum ini, apa yang terpancar dalam buku ini ialah watak beliau yang penuh optimisme, tidak boleh ditundukkan oleh penjara, seksaan dan penghinaan, juga tidak boleh ditundukkan oleh penyakit dan usia. 
 
Beliau berdiri sebaris dengan sejumlah tahanan politik lain yang hebat di Malaysia dan Singapura, bahkan di dunia, yang telah mengorbankan masa paling berharga mereka dalam penjara dan mengobarkan semangat juang yang tidak boleh ditundukkan. Walaupun diri mereka pernah dipenjara, jiwa mereka bebas memeluk pertiwi manakala pemikiran menjangkau luas di persada dunia. 
 
Pak Said dan rakan-rakannya telah memahatkan nama dalam sejarah perjuangan kebebasan manusia sejagat yang kekal abadi. 
 
Buku ini meraikan sejarah hidup dan sumbangan besar Pak Said kepada perjuangan kemerdekaan, kebebasan dan keadilan, serta sebagai lambang nurani kebebasan umat manusia. Ia harus dibaca oleh semua pihak yang ingin mengetahui dan menghayati kisah-kisah hidupnya dan anak-anaknya, serta mereka yang cintakan kebebasan, demokrasi, keadilan, perpaduan kaum  serta kemanusiaan sejagat.
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Malay Books, Politics

Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey

Author: Hannah Yeoh
Format: Paperback, 111 pages
Subjects: Biography & Memoir, Politics
ISBN: 9789670630342
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2014
Price: RM25.00

“Outlined here is clarity, simplicity, commitment and sacrifice of an exemplary Malaysian, a Christian who seeks to fight with her deep faith, impeccable character and profound courage to secure, by God’s strength and with much prayer, a better future for all Malaysians. There is great hope for Malaysia if many more Hannahs could be replicated in politics.”

– Dr. Daniel Ho
Senior Pastor, DUMC, Petaling Jaya

“Hannah’s story grips you with its refreshing honesty. From finding God to rediscovering her confidence, to the miracle of her marriage proposal and her amazing journey into politics, it speaks about God. It fired me to pray for such a generation to rise up and rebuild our land! It will inspire you to always seek God’s best in the face of many “good” options; for it is in surrender to Him that the best will be given to us.”

– Dr. Philip Lyn
Senior Pastor, Skyline SIB, Kota Kinabalu

“Hannah’s story is not only about politics. It is about a spiritual journey of self-discovery. It is also about the role of values and faith in public office. Hannah’s Christian convictions show us how faith is a prime mover for righteousness, justice and good governance in the state and the nation. She truly believes that politics needs more good people if positive change is to happen, and because of her faith, has shown that she is willing to walk the talk.”

– Saari Sungib
Selangor State Assemblyman, Hulu Kelang

“Life often doesn’t pan out the way we plan it. But when an unexpected opportunity fell into her lap, Hannah seized the day and the rest is history. This book tells of how she leads by example, and, more importantly, how she holds steadfast to her values. Incorruptible and with a strong sense of justice and fairness, Hannah is a true-blue Malaysian. I have no doubt that she will lead and inspire a new generation of young Malaysians to play their parts in securing a brighter future for this country we love.”

– Tony Pua
Member of Parliament, Petaling Jaya Utara

“My friendship with Hannah transcends shared political beliefs. We are both products of strict religious upbringing (albeit in different settings) which have shaped our firm belief in fairness and justice. Hannah epitomises the new generation of Malaysians who see things from a perspective free from the bias of race and prejudice. Her story will inspire Malaysians to claim their stake under the Malaysian sun.”

– Rafizi Ramli
Member of Parliament, Pandan

About the Author

Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan is the Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly and State Assemblyman for Subang Jaya, Selangor. Hannah won the N31 state seat in the General Elections 2008 as a DAP candidate at the age of 29. She was elected as the Speaker at the age of 34, making her the first woman and youngest Speaker in Malaysia. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws from University of Tasmania. She is married to Ramachandran M, an IT entrepreneur. They are now proud parents of two baby girls Shay Adora Ram and Kayleigh Imani Ram. The couple is passionate about nation-building and seeks to inspire Malaysians to play their respective parts in establishing a righteous nation free from corruption and racial discrimination.

Posted in Biography & Memoir, English Books, Politics

Kaleidoscope: The Memoirs of P.G. Lim

Author: P.G. Lim
Format: Paperback, 397 pages
Subjects: Biography & Memoir, Politics
ISBN: 9789675832390
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2012
Price: RM70.00
 

“Tan Sri P.G. Lim has led a remarkable and eventful life at the heart of Malaysian affairs, as personal friend and confidante of all of independent Malaysia’s prime ministers. This memoir starts with vivid images of her childhood in Penang during the years after the First World War, leading to three years at Cambridge University in the 1930s.

The years of the Japanese Occupation were spent with her family in Penang, and after the war she qualified for the Bar. She found herself first thrust into the limelight when in 1953 she undertook the defence of a young communist woman who had acted as a messenger for the Communist Party. As a young lawyer she confronted the full British judicial establishment and made her name by saving the woman’s life.

Thereafter, P.G. plunged into an active life of politics mixed with her legal activities, often involving cases in which she acted for trades unions. Her life then took an unexpected turn as she became involved as a diplomat, serving successively as Malaysia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Yugoslavia and Austria, and Brussels and the European Economic Community.

On her return, though well beyond normal retirement age, she accepted an appointment to head the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, which she developed, burnishing its reputation internationally over the next seventeen years before her retirement in 2000.

Her memoirs, which are generously illustrated with previously unpublished photos, will be essential reading for those interested in Malaysia’s development since Independence.”

— Dato’ Henry S. Barlow
Honorary Treasurer, Malaysian Branch of The Royal Asiatic Society

“This much-awaited autobiography has finally arrived! Not only was P.G. Lim a member of an important Penang family with illustrious children who figured prominently in the early history of Malaysia, she herself played key roles as ambassador to a row of European countries and as a top lawyer. Needless to say, this wonderful book contains much that is of interest to all Malaysians or Malaysianists.”

— Ooi Kee Beng
Deputy Director, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

 
Posted in Biography & Memoir, English Books, Politics